Chapter 10

Written by: Suraya Dewing

The camel for once is standing quietly. Then I realise it is standing quietly because it is eating Mrs Knight’s beautiful turquoise hat with small creatures woven into the netting around the brim.

It picks out the creatures with its fat lips and eats them leaving the netting and hat undisturbed. 

Seeing what the camel is doing Gerard guides it away but the camel bites down on a tasty morsel and holds on. That’s when I realise that Mrs Whitman’s hat has a stretchy band running under her chin. With each tug at the net the camel drags a mortified Mrs Whitman with it.

Unaware he has an addition to his entry Gerard walks with such pride I know he thinks he has the contest won and the prize money already banked in his account. I hate to disturb this illusion. 

If he wins it makes a perfect double, prize money and entry fees - all his. Clever man. Suddenly, he looks like Warren Buffet and I realise I am desperately in love with him.

I will take him, penguins, flamingos, and all other creatures we will have as our entourage for better or worse…for sickness and… The camel is but part of the whole, I take thee to be my lawfully wedded husband, I rehearse.

Animal Welfare are hovering at the far end of the stand. Interfering officials would never see innovation if it hit them between the eyes. Mine and Gerard’s innovative approach to the circus will transform the way the world enjoys circuses forever. 

‘Going to the circus is,’ I tell myself, ‘all about experiencing the unusual. And this is definitely unusual.’

Gerard is deep in conversation with the Animal Welfare people and he starts to look tense, so I hurry over to him. Every man needs a good woman at his side. And that’s what I am…a good woman.

“Excuse me,” I say, “Are you interrupting our show?” 

“Well ma-am…,” the Welfare Officer starts to say.

The Welfare Officer lifts a loudspeaker to his lips. I assume he plans to tell the growing crowd that the show is off. I snatch the loudspeaker from him.

“We have a show to get underway,” I tell him, “and we don’t need bureaucrats stopping our fun.” I point to camel. “This camel has never had such a wonderful time…hydrangeas in the morning and Mrs Whitman’s ha… er… with Mrs Whitman in the afternoon. Time to go,” I say imperiously. 

With that I march Gerard and the animals on to the show ground. The crowd roars their applause.

 “And the winner is the Camel and Mrs Whitman,” I announce.

Gerard runs around the ring beside the camel with Mrs Whitman running alongside trying to release the band holding the hat to her head.  

The Animal Welfare people thankfully leave.

Gerard snatches the loudspeaker from me. 

“They were not Animal Welfare people you silly woman,” he says, “they were offering me a million dollars for my concept.”

Comments

I wish someone would offer me a million for my latest concept. Well done, Suraya. This serial has been nicely wrapped up with a twist in the tail - tale? First-person dialogue mixed with good back-up movement, especially from the camel. An enjoyable read that ends the kind of serial we have not had too many of. A little thank you to Rosemary as well. Nice one, Suraya.
OMG! That is such a funny and beautifully executed ending appropriate to the genre. Thanks Suraya; you are one very talented writer!
Hi Ray and Rosemary. Thank you both for your comments. This was a truly experimental serial and I think the writers pulled it off well. Thanks Rosemary for putting it up there as a challenge. Great idea! Yes Ray, I'd love a million for my latest concept too. (-: