On the outskirts of a small town miles from the nearest city lived the two-headed man. A freak of nature. In reality, twins sharing organs and extremities. Whose parents were flying trapeze artists, hired by a circus primarily to acquire their son. Lacking talent, they fell to their deaths when he was only a child. Adopted by a family of clowns he traveled like a gypsy for two decades, enduring ridicule and visual scrutiny day after day, until finally he had had enough. He married the bearded lady and they left show business to hide, also to seek out a semi-normal life. Their first child, a son, stopped growing after the third year and remained a midget but developed a talent for jumping onto their Great Dane and riding it bareback. Their daughter was wild and ran with a pack of unruly boys who taught her how to swallow swords and juggle knives. Their baby boy had a shy disposition and kept to himself but grew into a giant who could barely fit through the doorways of their home. Other families might have cursed their fate, believing their lives to be cruel jokes created for the amusement of a demented maker. But they were not like other families and were thankful to have found a place where people accepted them. Isolated by distance, they became close friends with their few surrounding neighbors. There was the woman with purple hair who talked in tongues, a man who lived in a tree and squawked like a crow, and the albino triplets who sang songs in a haunting three-part harmony. There was also the blind three-legged stub-tailed dog who found shelter in their yard. A cozy world that would change. It happened the day a caravan of trucks got lost and wandered into their out-of-the-way town to stay the night. His wife by then had discovered electrolysis and fashion magazines and makeup and acted hysterical and put on a good show – refusing to comprehend the wiles of her children. As a parent, he too felt the pain, the loss, and fear for their safety. But being of two minds he understood their desire to want to leave home and experience the circus for themselves.
Excerpt from Light-Years in the Dark: StoryPoems (see more)
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