Goren Hargus wibbered down the hallway, clutching a thick envelope. He dodged half naked clownettes and club footed machine operators who would not make way for him. A long ways away, plodding organ music reverberated throughout the big top and its basements.
Hargus arrived at the dressing room in a cloud of glitter and black licorice. “Drutherstone?” he asked one of the matted extras who was combing her hair with cigarette nails. She pointed with her chin.
Clownmaster Drutherstone was powdered and dressed in blue sequins and mesh. His chest was belted and a long row of peacock feathers stuck up and out, concealing his face like a swan in a marsh. A little lever in the belt scooted the feathers this way and that.
“Drutherstone,” Hargus repeated. Drutherstone turned around and made an attempt at the envelope but it was snatched up by Mingey, one of the unicycling twins.
“What’s this! What’s this! Checks for us! Rustia and me want to get tutus!” Mingey squealed but then her twin sister Rustia began beating her around the face.
“Give me that.” Rustia stole the envelope from Mingey, “I want the checks. Mud on your tutus! I want a great big silver tureen to eat soup from!” Hargus reached a hand in to rescue the envelope but the twin sisters were advanced scufflers and handily evaded him while still choking at each others’ throats.
“What soup!” snapped Mingey. “Tutus! Pink taffeta ones with the yellow trim like we saw in Roma!” She strained for the envelope but Rustia kept it out of reach.
Keeping both her sister and gnomish Hargus at bay, Rustia examined the envelope more closely, “Lindsey Drutherstone? Since when does Drutherstone have a wifey?”
“He’s Lindsey. Lindsey Drutherstone,” the girl combing her cigarette hair drawled from the doorway.
“Thank you, Violet,” Hargus beseeched the cigarette girl.
Rustia and Mingey began to laugh like barking seals. “Lindsey!” they squealed in ghoulish unison.
“Just give us back the envelope,” panted Hargus.
Lindsey Drutherstone plucked his envelope from Rustia’s hand, ending the foolery. “Upstairs,” he recommended to the twins.
Rustia hopped onto her unicycle and Mingey scampered up her sister’s back. Rustia peddled them up the stairs with olympic abandon while they both chanted, “Lindsey! Lindsey! Such a measly mimsy!”
“Is it checks?” Hargus hoped.
Lindsey Drutherstone opened the envelope and pulled out a long notice. He took his time reading it. Hargus felt sweat at his temples. Violet, the cigarette stained girl, cocked her head to one side, watching with interest whatever troubles were playing out at the level of management.
“I may have to go away for a while,” Lindsey said to Goren.