The loud festive music and crowded guests of Eden Park did not deter my concentration one bit. At this point, I was a professional doing the job my Master Attendant had summoned me for, entertaining the guests. I balance on the unicycle I rode on as I juggled the colourful clubs in my hands. The small crowd that had gathered around me was ‘oohing and ‘aahing' as I performed. It’s been years since I’ve been summoned, however, as they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
From the corner of my eye, I could see two of the staff watching me, I recognised them as Gabriel and Sebastian. Once I noticed them, I understood why they were here, they’ve brought news regarding my Master Attendant. I temporary shoved my worries to the back of my head and laughed, the unicycle spun on its wheel before I slid off its seat, catching the falling clubs and one-wheeled device before they could hit the ground. I bowed, queuing the end of my street performance. The audience clapped hysterically as I pushed my way towards the two workers, but was promptly stopped when a little girl stepped in front of me.
“That was so cool!” She cheered.
I smile as I crouched down to her level,
“You think so?” I asked as I gave her my brightest smile. She looked to be no older than ten years old. Her long blonde hair stood out from her blue ribbon and dress.
“Yes! Could you teach me? Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top?” She begged, clasping her hands together.
The thought of refusing to such a sweet girl left a bad taste in my mouth, but to my luck, a lady calling out the name ‘Elizabeth’ caught the girl’s attention. ‘Must be her mother.’
“Aw…” she sadly pouted but obeyed the call as she began trudging back. My heart felt heavy as I watched her go.
“Wait!” I called before she disappeared into the crowd.
I refuse to let it end this way, I didn’t like how her sad expression looked again the park’s blinding lights, I knew I could turn that frown upside down. Running up to her, she turned around, looking a little hopeful.
“I’ll tell you what, the next time you come to Eden Park, find me here and I’ll teach you how to juggle!” I said.
A large smile appeared on her face, her eyes glimmered as she suddenly jumped forwards and trapped me into a hug. It was unexpected but nice.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She cheered before running to the lady I assume is her mother.
The girl took one last look at me as I waved her goodbye, she returned the act. “Bye, Mister!” she shouted before getting engulphed by the crowd.
I lowered my hand once the crowd grew too thick, I almost forgot about all my props when I almost dropped one of the clubs.
“Shoot,” I whispered out when the red one slipped from my grasp, luckily, thanks to my fast reflexes, I caught it before it met the ground.
“Look at you, getting all the hugs from the children.” I heard a familiar voice say.
I smiled as I turned around, two smiling workers came into my vision.
“Evening Gabriel, Sebastian.” I greet as the latter offered to take the unicycle. “What brings you here tonight?” I asked.
I frowned when I saw their smiles falter.
“You see, the Ringmaster is being stubborn again,” Sebastian informs sadly.
I sigh, he truly is my Master Attendant.
“What did he do this time?” I asked, worried about my Attendant.
“He tried to escape his room,” Gabriel answered. “Luckily, Arthur caught him in the act.” He continued. I let out a sigh of relief, gods bless that magician.
“Thanks for telling me.” I say as I hand the clubs to Gabriel, “But now I have to go check up on him!” I say as I begin running towards my Master Attendant's location.
“Cotton Candy Carnival!” I heard Gabriel shout, but I by the time he finished whatever he meant to say, I was already out of earshot.
By the time I stood outside my Master’s bedroom, I could hear him conversing inside with his best friend.
“Come on, Alfred, eat your soup.”
“What are you, my mother?” I heard my Attendant joke from the other side of the door.
“I will be if you don’t begin eating! I made this for you!”
“Arthur, your soup is far from a remedy! Why Freddy almost met death when he ate it!”
“Oh hush, you! That was my first time, ok?” The magician responded.
I tried to contain my giggles before making my presence known. I knocked on the door and stepped in.
“Master Attendant may be getting older, but on the inside, he’s still just a young child.” I joked.
“Thank gods, you’re here! My dear friend was trying to assassinate me with his killer soup!” My Master Attendant joked back.
At this point, the magician threw his hands in the air and spoke.
“I give up!” My Master Attendant and I exploded in laughter.
“Also…” I continue as I walked closer to the two, “A little birdie told me you’ve been trying to leave your room.” I finished.
My Attendant’s expression fell as it was the magicians turn to burst into laughter.
“Oh, she got you there!” He teased.
“I’m not a she.” Once again, the magician stood there dumbfounded as my Master laughed again.
“... Huh.” Was all he said for a response, the sound of my giggling and Master Attendant’s laughter was just background noise.
Some time later, the laughter had finally died down just enough for the magician to turn to me and talk.
“Cotton Candy Carnival, could you and I speak momentarily outside this room?”
“Of course!” I responded with a smile.
“I feel absolutely betrayed. My best friend and Food Soul have both left me behind in my weakest moments!”
“Oh grow up, Alfred.” The magician joked once more as he and I left the room.
“What did you need to talk about?” I asked Arthur once we were some distance from my Attendant’s place.
He looked to be in thought.
“You know how Alfred is, right?” He asked.
“Well, he is a ‘Stubborn Punk’ as you would put it,” I answer.
I would have smiled a little, but I could tell that the atmosphere surrounding us both wasn’t exactly a humorous one.
“Is something wrong?” I asked him.
The magician noticeably hesitated, he even took a sip from the coffee cup in his hand in order to stall time.
“As you know, your Master Attendant tried to sneak out despite his wavering health.” He told,
“I understand. He had been working very hard to pay off the park’s debt that he once almost passed out from exhaustion.” I tell.
“Exactly my point. I hope you don’t mind me asking this of you… but could you see if there is any way you could get him to retire?” He asked finally.
I was, fairly surprised, but I understood his intentions. Master Attendant was getting old and should’ve retired by now. His best friend just wanted peace for him.
“I’ll try my best!” I tell him, determined.
Arthur’s frown had become a smile at my words.
“What do you mean retirement?” My Master Attendant asked once I came to him with Arthur’s favour in mind. “I may be getting old on the inside, I am still a young man!”
I was tempted to reply to his statement with a joke, but just like his best friend, I was concerned for him.
“Master Attendant, I’m serious, we all are. You should have retired by now but you are still working yourself to the point of exhaustion.” I explain as seriously as I could, “We just want you to be able to finally rest. If you retire, then do not worry, everyone has grown and are prepared to take over if it ever came to it.” My master simply said nothing.
I was worried that he would refuse to retire, but to my relief he said,
“Alright, but on one condition.”
“What is that condition, Master Attendant?”
“I will retire as long as you let me perform one last show.”