Herman Fuller Presents: The Lovers
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The Lovers













Defying what's possible with every leap

MIDNIGHT this Sunday at the Cook County Fairgrounds.
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 Lovers: Cahaya

in the beginning?

I don't think I'll ever know what precisely drew me to the Circus that night. There was something in the air, perhaps? I'd seen a flyer on the side of a building somewhere and… I dunno, I just had to go. I'd been compiling a report for one of my clients that kept me at the office until really late that night, and I was pretty exhausted. I ended up wandering past the fairgrounds on my way home, and there it was, just glittering in the night.

It was an experience that I'll never forget. The Circus was magical, and it just drew me in like a moth. I dove into it immediately, drinking in everything that I could, as fast as I could. It was a whirlwind, straight from the start. I didn't know where to go or what to look at first, all I knew was that I wanted to be there, I NEEDED to be there. I had to see and do everything, but that simply wasn't possible. I remember being faced with a kind of 'option paralysis' that held me in place.

At least until the cotton candy kicked in. I know now that they make the stuff from Clown's Milk, diluted with loads of sugar and other stuff, but even in that state, it sure packs a heck of a punch. Even though I get my Milk now in other ways, I still enjoy eating the Candy. Fraust tells me that I've got a sweet tooth, but it's not that. When we're not performing, and we're free to roam about the Circus on our own, I like to pretend that I'm seeing it again for the first time.

You see, I'm not a Clown. Poodles and Squigly ask me all the time why I don't just do the thing and be done with it. When Icky offered to help me through the transformation, I considered it. Hell, the first time I fell during practice I swore I'd do it. But, it doesn't seem right, you know? I'm afraid that if I become a Clown I wont feel the same way that I do now about the Circus, about Fraust. The magic works differently on Clowns. Sure, they all love the place as much as anyone, but they love it in a different way. The original Clowns love it because the Circus was a place for them to escape, a place for them to sow the seeds of Vhuzompha.

The Transformed love the place because it's a chance for them to fulfill their wildest dreams. Hell, most of them are just as in love with all the extra stuff that comes along with it. Clowns aren't human, or they're no longer human. They have different dreams, different motivations. Even so, they all love the Circus, just not in the same way I do. I don't want to lose that, that sense of childlike wonder.

But, that isn't it either. I don't want to become a Clown because I don't want to lose what matters most. I don't want to risk losing the way I love Fraust.

So I'm something else. I'm 'in-between'. I apparently have a higher tolerance to Milk than most, so I can more or less drink the stuff. Took me a while to build up a tolerance, but, you know. I get it straight from the source and, well, Fraust does something to it. Aside from the Candies, I get my Milk from Fraust. I mean, I could just get it from any of the other Clowns, Fraust wouldn't mind. It just… I don't know, I guess it wouldn't taste the same?

It wouldn't be the same. And I don't want to even try. I can live without it if I have to, but Fraust and I are always together, so I never have to.


The Lovers: Fraust

they were such a baby about it.

It was so funny when Cahaya first got plopped, quite literally, into my lap. Poodles and Squigly just waltzed right into my Nest without so much as a 'by your leave' and just left a human with me to babysit. I did not mind at the time, Cahaya was just so pretty to look at. Still is. Especially now. Very much now.

When we fly together, when we perform, I never have a problem keeping my attention focused right where I need to. We work well together, dance together in the sky. When Fuller came and told us we needed to get our shit together and perform, it was an easy call to make. We were in between shows, taking a siesta in La Rue Macabre. Cahaya had been going on about how fun it was to watch trapeze artists in the boring circuses, and was wondering why we did not have BETTER ones.

I said that we USED to have some, but Fuller got mad when they pulled a prank on him and he woke up from a nap to find his trailer suspended in the middle of the Big Top. He fell 20 feet and hopped up screaming mad. I think he was going to kill them both right on the spot, but Manny stepped in and we ended up leaving them behind in Belarus somewhere I think. Fuller was pissed, let me tell you. I do not think he wanted any more flyers after that, not for a long time.

But anyway, we were in La Rue, right? And Fuller got into a mood and started yelling at the Clowns that were not taking part in any of the acts. He and Icky got into it, and things were getting real ugly, but we were in La Rue, and Joe does not like it when people real fight in La Rue, so they just yelled at each other a lot. He is funny like that. Joe, not Fuller. Fuller is not funny.

So Cahaya comes to me and says that WE could do a flying act. I said that that was not going to work cause Cahaya is afraid of heights. That you can not have a high flying act with someone who is afraid of the 'high' part. Sure, I could do the flying and whiz around up in the air near the tent canopy, but if Cahaya had to stay on the ground the whole time it would not be so grand. But then Cahaya tells me the sweetest thing: 'I wont be afraid, because I know you will always catch me.'

Yeah…. so we started a high flying act. We started with some small stuff, just to get Cahaya ready for the bigger things. Just simple stuff, like swinging back and forth on the trapezes. It was fun! Like swinging on a kids' swing at the playground, just a whole lot higher up. And falling is fine too when there is a net, you fall and it is fun, then you bounce real high and fall some more. The net was like this big trampoline, and we started incorporating it into the act. Made jokes about the 'catch me' bit, except that it was ME that would fall and bounce and catch Cahaya on the swing.

But Fuller did not like it much. Said that it was not disquieting enough. So, Cahaya tells me that we are going to do it without a net.

We practiced and practiced and practiced. And it was going real well, too. Then I missed a cue and I missed the hand over. Just by half a heartbeat, I could just barely touch the tips of Cahaya's fingers as they swished by, but it was too late. The sound of a body hitting the sawdust will echo forever in my mind and I never want to forget it. I dropped to the ground immediately and rushed over to the spot. It was horrible.

Cahaya was broken and bleeding and coughing up soft, wet stuff. I tried to do what I could, I tried to stop the bleeding, I tried to fix the broken parts, but I did not know what to do. I kept pushing the bones back in, but another would come out and Cahaya was screaming and I was screaming and the other Clowns came running and they were screaming. It was a mess.

Then Fuller did something. I cannot remember what he did, but he tapped Cahaya with his cane and things went real quiet. He told me to give Cahaya some of my Milk and I

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