tiny bears live in drain pipes

tiny bears live in drain pipes

A Story by Kelsey
"

Lola, a woman who works in the circus' freak show, leaves to try to rediscover what bit sanity remains inside her. Heartbreak, however, destroys her.

"
While all the young boys and girls ran away into the brightly colored lights and cotton candy aromas of the ever-tantalizing circus tents, Lola fled them. She changed into the most average looking clothing she owned which still caught the lights and made them dance across the sequins of her tiny dress. She gathered her necessities and what little money she had from tips at the freak show tent and left with the sound of laughter, drumrolls, and hypnotic music ringing in her ears.

She found a tiny house where the shower was perfectly her height and she could reach the counters with a simple step stool and she didn't need help climbing into bed. No one paid her any mind in the real world even though she was by all their standards a freak even now. Lola unpacked her belongings with a smile smaller than her stature. A bottle of whiskey barely worth having; two swigs were its contents. A handful of marijuana in a sandwich bag to help with her migraines from the never-ending cacaphony of sounds and never-dimmed lights. The circus was almost always alive. Always dancing. Even in her dreams she performed. A simple necklace from her long-gone sweetheart, the image of a bear balancing on a brightly colored ball. He'd won it at the very circus she'd just escaped from. Long before she'd ever run there to escape into the sounds and sights from the pain of having lost him. Long before she knew what it felt like to be a survivor.

Lola took her time in finding a job. She curled up naked in the nest of dirty clothes she'd worn to the tiny run-down building. The sequins scratched and itched against her flesh and sometimes they cut into her skin just enough to pinch but not draw blood. It felt like nuzzling against the bearded woman's chest when she'd needed someone to talk to, to cry with, to be near when she felt so distant at the loss of her only. With that in mind, she finally found rest. But rest is only temporary. When she woke, she smoked the last of the tiny bag's contents. She took one of her last two swigs of whiskey. Her skin still shone with red glitter from a life she now wanted left far behind her.

But soon she couldn't resist the final swig. And she set the bottle in the closet, red glitter coating the side where her hands had gripped it so tightly. With no money left after having paid for the home and no energy to bother looking for work, she resolved to die. She turned the necklace over in her small fingers, watching the bear dance and roll along her skin. Her eyes followed it back and forth and back again. Lola may have been there for days or only hours. When she heard the knock at the door she could only assume they'd found her by the trail of red glitter that led to the front door.

The bearded woman entered first, looking like the concerned motherly figure she had always proved herself to be. Behind her followed the knife throwing twins, their dark eyes barely visible behind their even darker hair. And behind even them stood the strong man. None of them carried their usual sharp knives or over-whelming weights. Even the bearded woman had put down her tiny pink fan and carried a grocery bag instead. They all circled around Lola's shivering, naked frame and set down their loads before the strong man scooped her into his massive arms, making her look even more like a child, and said he would help Lola shower while the others prepared food.

With the loving hands of a father, he controlled his strength enough to tenderly wipe the fevered sweat from her brow and scrub away the dirt, but the glitter seemed to still remain no matter what he did. Just as gentle as his touch were his words. They all left the circus, he said. Without her there was no point in staying. They were family. If one was gone, they all were gone. Though Lola never responded, the revelation made her heart soar higher than the woman on the trapeze.

After he helped her out of the tub, though she didn't really need the assistance, he helped her to get dressed in something without so many sequins. It was comfortable, airy, and held her like a soft hug from a child. Though she'd never received such a hug, she imagined it must feel like this.

The knife throwing twins were ready in the kitchen with a bowl of hot macaroni and, smiling mischeviously behind them, the bearded woman waved a full bottle of whiskey back and forth in one hand and a full sandwich bag in the other. Lola's smile was a genuine one, though in the back of her mind she knew this was going to end just as badly as the fire eater drinking before a performance.

It started out as socializing. Once she was fed, Lola seemed to come back to life. The fire returned to her eyes and her smile, though shaky, was dancing across her face like a timid ballerina. They laughed together, drank together, smoked from the hookah, and sang pub songs from the strong man's homeland. Sometimes loudly but always badly and, most importantly, with a smile on everyone's face. It started out this way.

Soon, the bags of food were nothing more than deflated plastic and the packaging was scattered into various corners of the big empty living room. Little Lola sat upon the bearded woman's lap in the only chair, a big orange recliner that smelled faintly of rat poison and had suspicious stains in various places. One misplaced laugh sent Lola spilling onto the floor, nearly knocking the hookah over, though one of the twins steadied it in his hands. Between her breasts, the little bear necklace bounced with Lola's laughter. The strong man knelt to grab her hands and danced with her around the room. The twins threw red glitter that sparkled like tiny meteors around them and, before anyone knew what was happening, his lips were on hers and the room transformed in her mind. Inside she was ripped apart at the idea that he would do this thing. Do this thing while she wore the necklace. And yet his lips were intoxicating like the whiskey, his embrace as he lifted her like the touch she'd craved for so long, the security she longed for. It took her several moments to notice the cheers of the other three occupants.

They left her with some money. Said they'd be back tomorrow with their things. They would turn this hovel into a home. As the door snapped closed, her fingers curled over the bills in her hand. Her everything broke. She fell onto her knees and whimpered. At the kiss now gone. The kiss long gone before it. The necklace around her neck felt heavier than the barbells the strong man lifted every night for the amusement of an audience who had no idea of the true pain that life really was. There was no beauty. The only thing honest in that world were the funhouse mirrors. You never know what is fact and fiction there.

So she stumbled drunkenly to the bathroom, chucked the necklace into the tub, and ran the water until it vanished inside the drain. Whether it clogged the pipes or not was not her concern. She had to forget, to let go, because holding onto the pain was destroying her. Consuming her. From there, she wandered into the bedroom and hid the remaining alcohol bottles with the first, all of them just as caked in red glitter as the one that started the journey with her. Inside and out, they shone with a life from her past. The life of her future? She didn't know.

Lola's fingers caressed the neck of a bottle that had yet to be open. She spent the night indulging in what was left from her friends' stay. Her hair sparkled when the sun came up with little bits of red. It covered her face, her arms, her chest, her legs. Naked and exhausted, she curled up in the big orange chair, the rocking making the bottles at her side clink together. She snored peacefully in the remaining haze of pot smoke.

At nightfall, they returned. The bearded woman put down a feathered pallet for her to sleep on and arranged her hair products in the window sill above her make-shift bed, just across the hall from the room Lola had claimed for herself where the closet was slowly being filled with alcohol bottles and the floor dusted with red glitter. The kinfe throwing twins claimed the washroom, hanging up a beautiful brown, beaded hammock and hiding their magazines inside and covering them with a blanket. The two smiled at one another mischeviously but spoke not a word. The strong man brought in yet another feather pallet, larger than the one the bearded lady had had, and set it in the room across from her's. The room that was Lola's. It made her heart stop beating. Made her lungs stop functioning. Made her eyes close like a prison door slammed tightly shut.

And then he asked if it was okay. If this was fine, as he grabbed her hand and pressed it gently to his lips. Was it alright for him to want to be her strong man instead of the strong man of fans he never knew by more than shadowy faces in a crowd and cheers that sounded like nothing more than angry bees buzzing in his ears. What he wanted to know, he said, was if she would let him be her strength. She couldn't hold the world alone, but he could hold it above their heads enough for both of them.

And she said it was okay. Because what else could she say? And her heart started pumping again and her lungs began working and her eyes opened to meet the biggest smile she'd ever seen him wear. She found herself in his strong arms and yet being held so very delicately. A man like this wasn't expected to know how to handle a fragile doll and yet it was instinct to him. He knew what would be too much and exercised the control not to overdo it. She became his world.

The knife throwing twins hid out in their laundry room with countless numbers of women that none of the others ever met. The bearded woman entertained the neighbors by combing out her namesake on the front porch in a rickety rocking chair and waving with her pinky when they sent questioning stares her way. The strong man took charge as man of the house and protecting the others from random passerby who had once used the empty house as a place to get stoned or cause chaos. He ran them off in the same manner of a pissed off gorilla; beating his chest and howling at the top of his lungs. They ran for their lives, tripping over themselves, crying for mommies that they hadn't called "mommy" in many many years.

Lola? Lola acted like the strong man was her sun and stars and moon. Acted like he was her summer and winter and fall and spring. Like he was her life source. Her air and blood and nourishment. His skin against her's at night felt like literal sin. She took the hottest of showers in the hopes of burning away the betrayal to her first love. She kept the whiskey bottles on the side of the tub for easy access while she waited out the pain, curled up on the bottom of the tub, her eyes ever focused on the drain.

When the bearded woman found her like this the first time, they had been living together for several months and Lola was whimpering with the pain of it all. The strong man wasn't home, away at work doing whatever it was he had found to do. Even Lola couldn't remember where he was. When the bearded woman asked her what was wrong, oh, her dear, sweet child, what was wrong? Lola could only reply that tiny bears lived in drain pipes. That she had seen them only yesterday. Rolling one after another on their brightly colored balls out of the piping, waving with their big, brown paws to her, moving in small circles in front of her in the routine they'd learned from their ringmaster. Once they had finished, she said, they returned to their hole. Down they went, as swiflty as they appeared, rolling away into the clogged drain and out of sight.

The strong man came home, trying to soothe the concerned bearded woman, saying he didn't understand what she was prattling on about. In the meantime, Lola slid six more whiskey bottles into the already crammed closet, toking on some grass at the same time, her vision barely worthy of being called vision anymore. By the time he entered the room to see her she was curled up on the feathered pallet waiting for him. Looking as innocent as a little person can while blowing a cloud of smoke into his face before he could kiss her. As long as he only had sex with her, it was okay. It hurt like hell, but it was not as intimate as a kiss. Was not as much of a betrayal to her only.

In time, the knife throwing twins met a couple of very ordinary twins. Just as fair as they were dark, they fell in love almost at once. The magazines in the hammock weren't worth their time anymore. In time, they stopped coming home for the night. Eventually they returned to say that they had proposed to the blonde-haired beauties. They wouldn't be back. So they gathered what few things they cared about while leaving behind bags upon bags of trash in the room they'd once occupied. Wadded up Kleenex littered the floor and fell from the hammock if you bumped it just the right way and the solitary thong that rested on the TV set was enough to make the remaining house occupants never want to enter there again.

The rest of the time spent in the home had the strong man and the bearded woman fighting. Lola would slip away like a child, as she so often felt these days, and drank until her throat felt like hell and pulled on the blunt until she began coughing uncontrollably. By the time their arguing was over, Little Lola wasn't even in the world anymore. Her eyes saw only red. Sparkling. Diamond-like. The bottle stash in the closet was like a graveyard to a wasted prositute.

Not long after what must have been the millionth fight, the bearded woman packed up her few belongings. She no longer could stand being around the strong man and his ridiculousness. She spent the night curled up beside Lola in the big orange recliner crying, the droplets catching in her beard, and she prayed that Lola would contact her should she ever need to. She was returning to the circus where at least, even though she was reviled, she wasn't almost beaten every night. And so Lola watched her only mother-figure walk out the door.

As she vanished, the strong man appeared at her side. I can be your everything, he assured her. I can be your strength. You don't need her anymore.

Was it a promise or a request? Lola only nodded. And he had his way with her then and there, as gentle as ever, but Lola's mind was so far away. Her eyes only saw tiny bears. Dozens upon dozens of them. They lived in the drain pipes.

Oh, how she wished she lived in the drain pipes.

© 2012 Kelsey


Author's Note

Kelsey
Lola was a name I'd wanted to use the entire time this story came to mind. I looked it up, and it's a diminutive of Dolores. The meaning of Dolores? 'Sorrows'.

I am pleased with this.

This was inspired, by the way, by cleaning a rental house.

Some personal experience.

And a little bit of my own twisted imagination..

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TLK
First sentence - I was not sure what Lola was fleeing. Here is another way of writing it:
"Lola fled.
Lola fled the circus tents.
Lola fled the young boys and girls streaming towards their bright lights and cotton candy scents."
It might just be me really liking that repetition of the action, but it certainly does enhance the central fact of her fleeing. I would argue it acts as a particularly sound foundation for what is to come. It also works to highlight her moving in the opposite to the young boys and girls -- and the reader now wants to know why the motivations of Lola vs. the unnamed young boys and girls are so different.

Also, I would consider adding a "for" after the bag of marijuana sentence: "for the circus was almost always alive". Just to heighten the link between her need to take a psychoactive drug and the circus; this helps the reader to find out why she is fleeing.

I hope this bit of unasked-for-editing was useful.



Posted 7 Years Ago


4 of 4 people found this review constructive.




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[send message][befriend] Subscribe
TLK
First sentence - I was not sure what Lola was fleeing. Here is another way of writing it:
"Lola fled.
Lola fled the circus tents.
Lola fled the young boys and girls streaming towards their bright lights and cotton candy scents."
It might just be me really liking that repetition of the action, but it certainly does enhance the central fact of her fleeing. I would argue it acts as a particularly sound foundation for what is to come. It also works to highlight her moving in the opposite to the young boys and girls -- and the reader now wants to know why the motivations of Lola vs. the unnamed young boys and girls are so different.

Also, I would consider adding a "for" after the bag of marijuana sentence: "for the circus was almost always alive". Just to heighten the link between her need to take a psychoactive drug and the circus; this helps the reader to find out why she is fleeing.

I hope this bit of unasked-for-editing was useful.



Posted 7 Years Ago


4 of 4 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 18, 2012
Last Updated on August 18, 2012
Tags: circus, little people, strong man, bearded woman, twins, alcohol, marijuana

Author

Kelsey
Kelsey

GA



About
I'm 22-years-old. I am a Christian writer-singer girl who enjoys fried chicken, the color green, and the ability to dance about ridiculously in the rain. I hope you enjoy my writing (new and old!). more..

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