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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 56 > Continuing Series > Ses' Story: Part Two

Ses' Story: Part Two

by aizii

Circus Tales
      I walked all night, finally reaching a small town as day broke. I knew I stood out there - an ownerless pet attracts attention, so I decided to try and blend in. Many of the pets, I could see, wore jeans, shorts or dungarees. I stole a pair of dungarees and a cap from a washing line, with a guilty glance through the window. Pulling the cap over my eyes, I looked more like a pet gone shopping than a run away from the pound.

      By the time I had reached the heart of the town, it was ten am. I was tired, hungry and miserable, still thinking of the girl whose trust I had betrayed. She deserved it though - all owners were like that, ready to break your heart.

      As I walked down a busy street, I noticed a young Aisha, with large blue eyes and a cheeky grin sitting on a wall, a pair of ragged jeans on its legs and a bandanna on its head. It gave me a cheeky grin and a wave as I walked past. It was chewing gum, blowing bubbles every couple of chews.

      "Hey runaway!" it called. I started and spun round, glaring accusingly at the Aisha.

      "Who are you?" I demanded.

      "Harriet0798," the Aisha replied with a grin. "Harry for short. By the way, I could tell ya were a run away because ya walk funny. Like someone's gonna grab ya or summit."

      "I do not," I replied hotly. Harry grinned.

      "Sure ya don't kid. I've seen owned pets do a better job. I'm surprised ya ain't done what most runaways do - go and join the circus. They need a pet to help train the Uni's, ask them, see if ya can help or summit. After all, ya look pretty smart."

      "Join the circus?" I replied in surprise. Harry rolled her eyes and handed me a small leaflet. The front page was of two Aishas, wearing navy and lilac leotards, jumping through fire hoops, whilst a nimble looking Lupe trapezoid in the background. Come see Circus Maloy and join the fun! It said. "I could do that…" I murmured. I looked up at Harry. "Can I keep it?" I asked.

      "Ya, sure. Go ahead." Harry looked behind her spitting out a wad of gum. When she looked back, I was gone.

***

"Lemme get this straight, ya wanna try out for the circus?" A grand starry Scorchio laughed. "Ya a weaklin'. Ya couldn't do a thin'. Waista money." Seeing my desperate look, he relented and added, "I'll ask the boss, but I ain't promisin' nothin'."

      The boss turned out to be a young man of 25, with raven black hair, startling green eyes and a narrow mouth. He glanced at me before saying to a small Green Ixi, "You reckon Sarah would take her for the Uni training?"

      The Ixi looked at me once before nodding slowly. "She looks like she could ride them well, Shoyru's are good at balancing. She looks smart." Neither of these spoke like the Scorchio, their English tinged with a British accent. The Ixi was obviously respected by the man, for when his gaze fell on her, it was not of owner to pet, but of friend to friend.

      "Give 'er a go boss. She ain't got nowhere else ta go!" The Scorchio pleaded.

      "Sarah won't like it much, but I say we'll keep her." The man sighed. Turning to me, he said, "What is your name again?"

      I paused, "Sesebia sir."

      The man chuckled softly. "Sir, gosh, I wish I got that respect still. Everyone calls me Gary around here - no sirs for a circus ringleader like me."

      "Okay…Gary."

***

Sarah turned out to be a girl of 14, with cropped auburn hair, soft hazel eyes and a knack for training wild Unis, one's that had never learnt the art of tongue. An expert rider herself, for a long time she had commandeered the Uni show, riding and performing tricks with them. But it had become old, and Gary had decided they needed something newer, or they might have to replace the show entirely. This is where I came in.

      "D'you have any balance?" was the first question uttered by Sarah. I shrugged.

      "I've never ridden before Miss," I replied. Sarah frowned and whistled sharply. A small white Uni trotted towards her, a saddle on its back. Sarah grinned fondly at it and patted its nose gently.

      "This is Isabelle, my most trusted Uni. I've had her since she was a tiny Foal, not an hour old. She never learnt to talk, which was a shame, but she's probably the best friend I had. I want to see if you can try and ride her. I'll teach you a basic trick, most people can perform it with a little practice - standing on the saddle."

      "Yes miss," I replied, nerves increasing.

      Sarah frowned again. "Stop calling me miss - it's Sarah." She sighed. "What is it with newbies and politeness?"

      I shrugged.

***

As Isabelle trotted round the ring, I struggled to stand on the saddle. Sarah had made it seem easy, nimbly jumping up and down as Isabelle cantered around the ring. And yet, even at a slow trot, I was unable to get further than my knees. Fears had overwhelmed me to the point where I almost choked, and Sarah could tell my nerves were building. I knew my fears were stupid - I was clipped onto the roof of the circus by a harness, so if I fell, I would dangle behind the Uni, and yet the thought of falling off made me shiver.

      "Isabelle won't chuck you," she promised, as I fell off again, fear locking me into a kneeling position.

      I gave a tremendous sigh, and climbed back on the Uni. I was going to learn to ride it if it killed me, and the rate I was going, it wouldn't be soon off…

***

"YES! GO SES!" Sarah yelled as I finally stood shakily on the saddle. I flung my arms up and beamed, my expression quickly changing to horror as I promptly fell off... For the last hour, I had managed to progress to standing, with Sarah yelling words of encouragement to me. She had started calling me Ses, something no one had done before. I didn't mind my new nickname; in fact, it had started to grow on me.

      "I did it!" I yelled excitedly, unclipping myself from the harness and falling to the floor. Brushing earth off my crumpled dungarees, I shakily stood up. My cap had long before fallen off and the dungarees were now torn and earthy.

      "Perhaps we should focus on sitting down now…" Sarah said thoughtfully, grinning at my appearance.

***

By the end of the day, I had managed to be able to trot around the ring, stand up and balance on one leg before slowly sitting back down and dismantling. Sarah was pleased at my progress; the three pets that had previously tried out for this job had not managed to stand on their second or third day of training. I had one week to prove I was better than anyone else was, and so far, I think I was doing well.

      As we walked towards the mess tent, I could smell the stew wafting towards us. I sniffed the air eagerly and sighed. For once, I finally felt content.

Illusions
      For a while, I lived with the circus. I spent my days learning new tricks with Sarah, and my nights performing in the ring. Gary grew to praise me and Sarah was pleased with my progress. Each night, I stepped into the ring wearing a tight sparkling leotard with a lilac frill. My skin was sparkled with body glitter and light gold eyeshadow decorated my eyes.

      Out of the Uni's, I had one favourite. It was a tall, faerie Uni named Alex. Alex couldn't fly, despite his handsome wings. He also couldn't speak, but was intelligent and learnt tricks quickly. I could jump, somersault forward and land on Alex's back neatly. Alex could time how far I would travel and could trot forward at the right speed to catch me. This had become a popular trick in the ring, and guests would cry out for the trick.

      I was currently learning a new trick - a handstand and flicking over into a somersault, landing on Alex's back. I wasn't clipped, so landing on the ground hurt, with nothing there to catch me.

      Sarah was yelling at me, telling me stuff I already knew - pace myself, feel the rhythm etc.… I stood up, casually glancing at Sarah. I flung my stubby arms into the air, grinning at an imaginary crowd. I learnt quickly that presentation is the biggest flaw, and crowds soon grow bored of a sullen act. So everything I did was to be with the biggest grin possible and I was to show off to the max.

      "OK…now!" Sarah yelled, and I flung myself into a handstand. I could feel Alex's rhythmic trot beneath me, and I started counting how long before I somersaulted. I was to hold it for 10 seconds before a somersault It was a difficult move, and I had been practising it all morning.

      "Hurry up Ses!" Sarah yelled. I didn't' reply, concentrating fully on the task ahead. Slowly, I flicked over, landing on my knees with a grunt. This time, I didn't fall off though. Despite the sloppy landing, I felt proud. I stood up and turned to the "audience" grinning widely, arms above my head.

      "That was sloppy Ses," Sarah said as I jumped off Alex's back. I nodded and replied,

      "Yeah - my hand slipped as I landed. Sorry." Sarah grinned.

      "Hey, it's still good," she replied. I grinned.

      "Shall I try again?" I asked, walking back towards Alex. I heard Sarah sigh before she replied,

      "Go for it."

***

I always felt great stepping out into the ring. The crowd roared and clapped as I stepped out, waving and holding Alex's lead with one hand. I felt great, my heart pumping and adrenaline pump throw my veins.

      "Sesebia and her Uni…ALEX!" Gary yelled. I stepped out to the middle of the ring, unclipped Alex and threw the lead to Gary, who caught it with a grin. I saw him mouth 'good luck' I knew why - tonight I was trying out my new trick for the first time. Despite my excitement, I was nervous.

      I lightly leapt onto Alex, tapping his sides to make him jolt into a light trot. I rode around the ring once gaining my balance. Riding bareback was annoying, but the tricks were impossible on a saddle. I waved as we trotted round the ring, beaming as they applauded.

      With a grin, I pulled my legs under and rose to my feet in one movement. The crowd applauded again.

      "Don't let me down Alex," I murmured and tried our first trick. It was pretty simple - just a jump really. The crowd gasped and applauded as I landed on Alex. Now was the harder stuff. I had three tricks left - a handstand, somersault and my handstand flick. None of them were things I particularly enjoyed doing, but it made good entertainment, according to Gary.

      The first trick went well, although the handstand was a bit shaky. My nerves were increasing. All day I had been practising my latest trick, but I kept falling to my knees. It would ruin it if I did that on the night. Sarah had told me it was nerves, and I would get it with confidence, but I wished I wasn't doing the trick tonight. I'd rather take on all the Uni's that do it.

      The second trick was fine; it was an old trick. The somersault was timed perfectly, and, unlike other times, I didn't wobble as I landed. I grinned, although my nerves were building rapidly.

      "Okay Ses, don't muck up," I thought, and stepped forward into a handstand. "10… 9… 8… 7… oh no… 5… 4… why?… 2… don't muck up… go!" I thought and kicked over. I knew I had missed straight away, even as I was flipping. I knew I was crooked.

      The crowd took in a breath as one as I missed Alex and landed on the floor, falling heavily on my side. One thought ran through my mind as Gary and Sarah ran over - I'm going to be kicked out for sure…

To be continued...


Neomails are roundly appreciated and I will personally reply to each and everyone. All characters apart from Sesebia, Aidhru, Aizii and Drakona14 are made up and therefore, do not belong to me. So if they are on Neopets, then they are totally irrelevant and are not the people I refer to in my story. Thanks!
Previous Episodes

Ses' Story: Part One

Ses' Story: Part Three

Ses' Story: Part Four

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