That was it. She had enough for the time being. Ever since the management had agreed to hire him for the new show, the Freakus was not as Fabulously Great as it once was.
Not that he was a bad guy, but he was all so closeted, he was imprinting it to the circus, and she wanted to breathe some different kind of air. Of course, never been a freak himself, Morgan the Mentalist wouldn’t ever come close as to understand what having been closeted your all life would mean. Being the Lobster girl of the show, she knew quite a bit about that.
It had took her awhile to know that there wasn’t anything wrong with her expression, so no one would told her how to express. Not the Mentalist of all others.
Damo, the guy who was setting up the tents had seen her leave the Freakus without a word, her little piece of luggage on her “normal” hand, while her claw-like one was tucked in a glove under her bosom. Sweet-hearted as he was, he had tried to convince her to stay, that surely there was some misunderstanding.
“Lyla, don’t be stoopid, ain’t got nothin’ fur you out there” he’d said to her.
She didn’t know how to tell him that all was good. She didn’t want to tell too much either, for Fama, his teen daughter wasn’t really loving the life at the circus either, and would easily have taken the bait to get out of there too. So she had moved saying that she would come back, “when it’s safe for kids” she’d added mysteriously.
Strange at it seemed, it was like taking a breathe of air, and yet, she couldn’t help but think over and over at how she could have changed anything in what had happened. Perhaps it was just a pretext for her to do her next step.
When Morgan first came to the show, he wasn’t in a good shape, and had begged Pat Elson to hire him. As he was kind of smart guy, he didn’t stay long in Damo’s team of workers. Pat saw his potential as a sort of empathic guy, and devised the Mentalist act with him.
He was good at cold-reading, mostly guessing at people problems; in the beginning, some of the freakus’ people would play a part with him, to amaze the audience, but it became less and less necessary, and he would do a nice job buy himself, with lots of “it wouldn’t happen to be that your mother gave the watch to you? No… not your mother… but someone close… I can feel blah blah” and then picking on the subtle hints the guy was giving off unwittingly.
Lately, he had started to kind of feel stuff for real. And he started to freak out. After all this time, not many people remembered Morgan as he first came to the circus, and for most he was the Outstandingly Great Mentalist. Yeah, he had been pimping up a bit his name too… Those things happen in the milieu.
But Lyla remembered. She was a girl at this time, but your work at the circus starts very early when you’re a freak.
She had seen how he gained a little confidence in himself, as long as it stayed within closed tents and half-lit veils. He was truly a master of illusion games, and he didn’t want people to see him differently than the way he was presenting himself. He’d first tried his little games of séances with some close trusty friends, and Lyla had been quite encouraging; he deserved to blossom his potential; no one deserved to be maintained at a place where you can’t reach your highest.
A few days before, Lyla had had the pleasure of seeing Jenny, who’d been snake charmer many years ago, and had quit to become a singer in a bar: “tired me to travel so much, ya see” she’d said to Lyla “Now my life ain’t so complicated”.
Then Jenny had then asked about the guys she’d known in the freakus, first of all was Morgan the Mentalist. “How’s that old fart of Morgy?” she’d asked with a giggle “still scamming around?”
Lyla had said innocently that he’d been practicing doing it more genuinely, even to some success with local peasants in a few séances. Jenny had greeted the news with a cheer. “Wonderful, hey!”
The next day, Lyla had had the Mentalist erupt in the caravan she shared with Zarafina and Venus, since Twi had gone to sing too. He was looking furious and once they were out of earshot (how could there be any need of making secrets with the others, Lyla had wondered, they shared everything, even the tiny bar of soap) told her with his sweetest voice how he appreciated Jenny. Of course she wasn’t a Mentalist, but she knew when someone was beating around the bush; and she needn’t be Moses to know the bush was smelling of burning.
“I greatly appreciate Jenny, but I’d love to choose when I disclose my information to her” that’s what he said. At first, she’d thought, well, why the theatrics? Cool for you guy, peace off now. Then she slowly understood that he wanted to tell her to shut her mouth. How could she know what part to shut and which to tell? She hadn’t done anything wrong did she? Why was he having the same tone than the frigging priests with their sermons telling that you’re sinful, and when you’ve got a crooked arm, it’s because you’re born evil and such guilt shit.”
Well, she didn’t want to stay in a position where she had to figure out which of his sharing was a real sharing or was not. So she better bugger off, take some fresh air.
She thought how she loved to hear the radio, and her lifelong dream was to work there, in a place where people would hear her before judging from her appearance… Maybe she would thank Morgy in the future for giving her the last excuse to do what she wanted.