Building a Mystery

Few lion tamers randomly described candy to a wee one barely large enough to be Samson’s next snack, but here he was, Herbert S. Langly, better known as Master Zen, pitted against the ringmaster’s eight-year-old son, arguing the case for black as opposed to red if one wanted real licorice. 

It was all rather surreal and…well…yes, downright ridiculous.  

“No one wants bitter candy that smells of wood!” The lad continued. 

“And I don’t want pressed, dyed and twisted sugar sticks. So you leave the real licorice to me, and you can have the fake stuff. Jolly good then.” Herbert was quite finished. 

Instead of peering at the tow-headed cowlick on Randolph, Jr.’s head, Herb surveyed the landscape.  The stone pillars were massive.  Absolutely massive.  He’d seen the pictures (who hadn’t) but not in relation to the specks mortal men became at their feet.  All those years he’d lived less than a day’s drive from this world wonder, and now after he’d traveled with the circus for twenty, it landed him in the shadows of them. Ridiculous.

That they would allow a circus to set up in the shadow of them was even more ridiculous.  Nothing was sacred anymore.  Money was tight everywhere.  One had to be inventive to earn enough coins to have bread and a scrap of meat for dinner.  Which was why the circus was a hit.  Cheap, fun, a chance to forget an empty belly for a bit. And Randolph, Sr. could sell the impossible.  Obviously.

At this rate it wouldn’t surprise him one bit to see Captain America fly in and put down in the center of it all.  Did Captain America fly? Surely he did.  Americans were flamboyant in everything they did.  This was just the type of thing that would appeal to the folks across the pond.

Photo by Kustere


From Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer, page 41, the prompt was:

Few lion tamers randomly described candy to…(constructed opening phrase)

#7: Stonehenge; Captain America (landmark and superhero to be included)

Write for 10 minutes. 


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