Fuller Than Full!
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“Ladies and Gentlmen, let’s have another big round of applause for Bubble Gum, the tipsy elephant. Try not to feel too sorry for her. We can’t help her until she admits she has a problem.”

While the crowd cheered and applauded as the permanently plastered pink pachyderm perambulated out of the Big Top, Ringmaster Icky cast her gaze towards the back of the stands where she had noticed a rather, well, disquieting individual.

Thanks to her many years of experience she could tell effortlessly whether or not someone was under the effects of their signature black cotton candy, and she always made sure to keep an eye on them in case they were up to something. Her circus was everything to her, and she could spot a threat to her circus from miles away.

The man she was looking at now had been watching her performance with rapt attention, but without any of the joy and wonder or disgust and horror that most people did. No, he was watching diligently, as if it was his job. She could practically hear him writing his report in his head.

Time to find out who that report was going to.

Icky signalled to the audio technician to switch the calliope over to ‘Officer of the Year’. All the Circus folk present took immediate note of this, and knew they were about to go off script.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have time for one last magic trick before we get to our final act. Do you all want to see another magic trick?”

The audience of course applauded their approval.

“I want to see another magic trick!” said her assistant, who had popped out from under her top hat and was now gracefully perched on her head.

“Lolly, get down from there,” she commanded gently. Lolly did a handstand, placing the top hat back on the Ringmaster’s head, then back-flipped to the ground to laughter and applause. “For our next trick, we’re going to need one more volunteer from the audience. Only one! Do we have any volunteers?”

Dozens of eager hands shot up of course, but the man in the back remained as passively observant as ever.

Not that that made one bit of difference to Icky. With a flourish of her wand she cast the spotlight upon him.

“You sir, there in the back. You look like you’d be perfect.”

“What? I, uh…no. I mean, I couldn’t, I…”

“Come on down!”

The audience clapped and cheered their encouragement, and the man noticed a rather large Clown had already appeared beside him to usher him down. He hastily weighed his options and decided it would be best to play along, and allowed himself to be led into the ring.

“Thanks Noodles,” Icky said, taking the man by the arm. “What’s your name sir?”

“Ah…Jeremy?” he said, though it hardly sounded like he was sure.

“Well Jeremy; actually can I call you Jerry? I’m going to call you Jerry. Jerry, the reason I picked you over all these other nice folks is that I couldn’t help but notice how serious you looked, and that just doesn’t sit right with me. How can someone be so serious after seeing a drunken pink elephant blow gravity defying bubbles from her trunk?”

“It certainly is unusual Icky,” Lolly agreed. “Makes me think that maybe Jerry didn’t come here to have fun at all.”

“What do you say to that Jerry? Are you here on business or pleasure?”

“Well I just, you know, I just saw the tents set up and I didn’t have any other plans so I…Jesus Christ!”

Jeremy’s pants had spontaneously combusted, engulfing his entire posterior in fire. The audience roared with laughter as he tried to beat the flames. “What the hell is this!”

“Your pants are on fire Jerry, which means you must be a liar-liar-pants-on-fire,” Icky explained with a smug smile.

“Yeah, that’s why I only wear skirts so I can get away with any fibs I want,” Lolly boasted.

Jeremy had started rolling on the ground to try to smother the flames. A frantic Clown ran out with a fire extinguisher, but when he fired it he was sent rocketing around the tent to the amazement of the guests, assuring them it was all part of the show.

“Somebody help me!” Jeremy screamed.

“All you have to do is tell the truth,” Icky said, but then lowered her voice so that the audience couldn’t hear her. “Why did you come here? Who do you work for?”

“I just wanted to see a circus!” he claimed.

“Fine then, let your itty bitty boy parts burn off. Hope you don’t got anyone who’s gonna to miss ’em.”

As if by her command, the fire actually started to move towards his genitals.

“Ah! Okay, GOC! I’m with the occult coalition!”

To his relief the flames instantly died out. His relief was short-lived though, as he immediately noticed all the Clowns staring at him with a hatred so intense it put the fire to shame.

“Freak killer!” Lolly hissed under her breath.

“No! Please, I just do recon for them and I really did just stumble upon your circus. They don’t even know I’m here and if you let me go I swear they never will,” he claimed. Icky shook her head in contempt, and knelt down to speak with him privately.

“You just do recon? Every freak you ever ratted out to the Geo Sea is dead! They’re literal Nazis bent on wiping my kind from the Earth! This Circus is a sanctuary for freaks, which means there’s no way in hell you’re getting out alive. Play along, and it will at least be quick.”

Icky rose to her full height and resumed her cheerful persona.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for Mr. Jerry’s strange and lackluster performance, but luckily that won’t have any effect upon the astounding display of magic you’re about to witness: the Fuller than Full Human Caramel Cooker!”

Lolly and Mr. Noodles hoisted Jeremy up and placed him inside of some sort of elastic harness, and shoved a tube and funnel down his throat. Lolly leapt to the top of the harness to hold up the funnel for all to see. A stagehand entered the ring pulling a large tank filled with pristine white sugar.

With some nonsensical magic words and dramatic gestures, Icky drew all the sugar into the air and started spinning it around the ring in a vortex. The sugar assumed the shapes of various exotic animals, elephants and zebras and tigers and the like, racing around the ring on parade as Icky cracked a whip made of sugar to drive them on.

One by one they dove into the funnel to cook inside Jeremy’s stomach. His stomach swelled with burning hot molten sugar until he was sure it would burst, but it didn’t. As his stomach expanded his ribs broke off and his spine was horribly deformed, but yet all his soft tissues had taken on an unnatural elasticity allowing them to stretch to horrific proportions.

His torso continued to enlarge until it was so massive his legs broke underneath him. It was at this point that the harness lifted him up to about a dozen feet off the ground. He had swallowed all the sugar and yet still he kept growing. The harness spun him around, faster and faster as Icky led the audience in some sort of chant, but he was in too much pain to care what they were saying.

Finally his skin had become taught. It could stretch no more, and yet whatever was inside him continued to push outwards. He let out one final scream, and then popped like a balloon.

Thousands upon thousands of colourfully wrapped caramels rained down upon the audience, most of whom applauded and eagerly scooped them up. Only the few who remained unaffected by the calliope music looked confused, uncertain as to what they had just witnessed.

While the light-weight candy had flown all across the Big Top, the heavier viscera had mostly landed in the front rows. Sitting in this splash zone, among others, was their VIP guest Victor Chan.

With as much reserve as he could muster, Victor took out his neckerchief and began wiping off the stray bits of flesh. He was certainly glad he had taken Icky’s advice to wear some less expensive clothing.

Nevertheless, he fully intended to submit his dry cleaning bill on his next expense report.

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