A to Z Challenge: J


The Lion Tamer had been with the Bearded Lady since Birmingham, six cities ago. Rolling Jinto Laredo, he heard the familiar howling from her tent and rushed in to find her breathlessly staring into her compact, rubbing rouge into a facial scar.

You can cover a scar with makeup, but you can’t cover your tracks in the circus.

“You too?” Lion Tamer roared, cracking his whip with accusation.

“It’s not what you think, Louie,” Bearded Lady pleaded, “I was helping the Juggler with a new act and he gave me a close shave with one of his machetes and it stings!”

“Uh huh,” Lion Tamer shook his head sadly, “then what’s the dwarf doing beneath that big tent you call a dress?”


The show must go on, and it did, with the fans in Laredo getting more than they paid for. But that’s for another day. Maybe the Lion Tamer will reappear when we reach L, who knows? Six-sentence stories are sponsored all April long by Hemingway, who created the first six-word story (For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.) And by John Deere, nothing runs like a Deere. And by Jack in the Box, whose tagline I can’t remember at the moment but has good tacos. And by Jaguar, the art of performance.

Thanks for stopping by. Come on over tomorrow for K. Ugh!


17 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: J

    1. The imagery was haunting me last night. Okay, maybe it was after midnight. I was trying to do Jockey, but this circus scene kept interrupting the horse race. This challenge is too much fun!


  1. Ha, I love this, but no, no, no Jack In The Box does not have good tacos. You poor man. However, now I am hungry for tacos. I should probably go eat a salad before I go to town. Thanks

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  2. The unfortunate thing is… you’re not gonna like me any better after you finish Taco Bell. Sometimes you can say to a person: ah, but you’ll thank me later. This is NOT one of those times. But as long as you’re going, can you bring me back a #7? And then I’ll thank YOU later! Hey, I like how this works.


  3. That circus sounds like fun. No clowns, thank goodness! You can continue the circus theme next time with a knife-thrower! Or go really literary with the Kite Runner. Maybe a cozy mystery with a knitter, or play an ethnic angle with a kosher inspector? I can’t wait to see which direction you go!

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    1. Celia, you should be my manager! I love it. Been a long time since I read Kite Runner, otherwise it’d probably make a good six-sentence parody. Thanks for the K suggestions, I’m gonna need one in exactly 7 hours and 2 minutes.


    1. So right, Kate. A whole world unto themselves. Water for Elephants was such a great book. I’m gonna have to go back to the circus again during April, there’s a lotta fun to be had there!


    1. Not my best, but my favorite one to write so far. Maybe because it’s so far from my usual, I had such a good time putting it together. I think I’m gonna have to visit the circus another time or two during this April challenge!


      1. That’s one of the things I love about flash fiction: it’s a low-commitment way to experiment. As you’ve seen from my efforts, I have toyed with both kinds of story: ones where people die, and ones where people don’t die. 😉


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