Herman Fuller Presents: The Last Inca

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The Last Inca

He fought

for freedom

he lost

due to treason

now he is back

for vengeance?

Come and see

with your own eyes

the magic and power

the just cause

of the mighty Inca!


7 PM this Sunday at the Oak Park Mall.
One show, One chance! Come one, come all!

The following is a page from a publication entitled To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks. The identities of neither publisher nor author have been established, and scattered pages have been found inserted into Circus-themed books in libraries across the world. The person or persons behind this dissemination are unknown.

The Last Inca

We had always been a place for those who have nowhere else to go. You prove you have something to offer, you can be part of the family. No questions asked. When the tall dark-skinned man showed he could bend railroad steel with his bare hand, nobody had any objection. He also had uncanny dexterity with his crossbow. Arrows seemed to bend their trajectory to his will. It would make for a truly marvelous act.

Raw strength and marksmanship were not his only attributes. There was a magnetic charm around him, a fascinating aura that few could resist. Yet all attempts to bond with him were in vain. The man was a tomb.

When asked about his name, he just remained silent. Fair, but he still needed a name for his act. We went to Madame Petinox, our dressmaker and resident witch, for ideas. She just laughed, "Are you blind or just stupid? Can't you recognize royalty? The one standing there is the rightful emperor of a stolen land, the Last Inca."

It surely worked as a catchy name for a circus act. He was surprisingly acrobatic for a man of his size, performing flawless spins and flips as his entrance. After that, he captivated the audience not only with his fantastical marksmanship but also with his stoic demeanor when wrestling wild lions and pumas. At the climax of the show, the evil conquistadors had kidnapped his beloved and forced him to shoot an apple on her head while blindfolded. I think the ringmaster got the idea from a musical or something. He never missed the shoot and freed the damsel while the cowardly Spaniards ran away. The public always went crazy.

Yet he was not interested in fame. After the show, he quietly retired to his tent, avoiding fans and colleagues alike. Everyone in the circus respected him, though no one was able to penetrate his silence. Time passed and everyone just accepted this mystery as a fact of life.

One time, I woke up in the middle of the night to relieve myself. Coming back from the latrine, I saw a tall silhouette at the campfire. It could have only belonged to him. I was cold and still sleepy. Yet finding him outside his tent was such a rare event that I could not help but shoot my shot. I just had the gut feeling that this could be my only chance to get to know more about this so-called emperor.

I approached the comfort of the fire. "Mind some company?" I asked but got no answer. Nevertheless, I sat in front of him. I did my best not to stare, but it was hard to not feel fascinated by this mythical warrior, this lost monarch, this rightful ruler of a stolen empire. The was something truly exceptional about him. And I'm not talking about his dexterity or his imposing physique. It was something subtler, a lingering feeling that you got after watching him. I could only describe it as a… sad determination.

Impulsed by a childish wonder and enabled by my lack of good manners I suddenly barfed an impertinent question: "Are you really him? Are you really the Last Inca Emperor?"

After I few moments of silence that felt eternal, I had already lost all my hopes for an answer; so I almost shat bricks when I heard his powerful yet calming voice: "I don't know. The only thing I have are banishing memories of a fallen kingdom, a lost rebellion, and a gruesome death."


The Last Inca

"I think I died. I think they kill me. Then… darkness. Darkness for what can I only describe as an instant eternity. The next thing I remember was waking up in a sort of cocoon. Like a butterfly. I broke out and found myself surrounded by white walls, clean floors, and strange machinery. Inside the cocoon, there was this crossbow that never misses and a necklace I always wear on me. I believe the necklace to be the source of my strength. Somehow I knew I had to take them with me. I left the cocoon and raced to freedom. Men in white came shouting and tried to grab me, but I was too strong for them to contain."

I just kept looking at my interlocutor with a mesmerized look on my stupid face.

"I still don't understand what that weird place I escaped from was. Yet remembering it always gives me an unbearable sense of dread. Whatever was happening there… it was certainly not for the greater good. I can not shake this feeling… it felt like a conspiracy… a conspiracy against the human race… I'm still trying to make sense of it…"

My dumb brain was struggling to keep track of his incredible story, though I managed to mumble "Couldn't you see any clue? Any sign about the identity of those people?"

"I can only remember an inscription above a door. A language unknown to me in my previous life, yet I could perfectly understand it. Red letters over a white background: 'American Secure Containment Initiative: EVERSOR Directive.'"

That last bit sounded like gibberish to me, but I could not dare question his memory. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Well, I haven't had a nice chat with another human in a long time. I missed communication and I wanted to share my burdens with a fellow man. I never talked too much to anyone here, for I could not risk my story to be known. Yet now that my time here is over, I feel less pressured to keep the secret. And you always seemed to me like a trustworthy one."

I must admit that I felt a strange excitement when the last Inca called me trustworthy. Like a child being validated by his father. But then the full weight of his words fell on me. "What do you mean your time here is over? Are you… are you leaving?"

"The men that I escape from… they won't stop looking. In my heart, I know that to be true. For that reason, I must never stay too long in one place. Your circus is a good home for those with nowhere else to go. You were a nice family, if only temporarily. Please forgive my distance and understand my reasons. And send my regards to the rest of the crew. Tell them I did have a good time performing here."

And just like that he stood from the campfire and walked into the night, lost one more time in the streams of time.. never to be seen again by the likes of us.

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