Come one, come all!
As the lights in the red and white circus tent dimmed, the stripped fabric background faded away into darkness as the crowd spoke in hushed whispers.A spotlight ignited, and two muscled Anyu workers slowly marched into view, then two more. Each carried a large black orb, which when dropped dented the thick pieces of metal set underneath them.“Those, my good Subeteans, are almost solid balls of iron! I say ‘almost’ because the individual you are about to witness found the last set too easy! So we had to add a bit more metallic weight! They always say three heads are better than one, so may I present the titan of strength, the Cerberus Bronwyn!”
The heat of the lights.
The roar of the crowd.
The pressure to succeed.
Mixed together it was the most energizing atmosphere anyone could ask for. While his body might be that of a tiger, the three heads gave away the single most unique fact of being a Cerberus. Clad in a one piece outfit of circus-tent striped material, Bronwyn carried a massive metal staff to the center of the sandy stage, tiger-striped body rippling with muscle. While each head was a separate entity, they all answered and occasionally thought as the name ‘Bronwyn’ when they were all in agreement.It just made things easier, both for work and when meeting others. Not that any of them minded of course!The leftmost head, an Anyu named Bruce, couldn’t help but grin as they reached down to slot the metal staff into the two waiting weights.
“Quite a crowd today eh?” He whispered, prompting Oscar, the middlemost Tigrean head to nod.
“Indeed, let’s give them a show! These should be heavier too! What do you say Benjamin?”
The right Archan head nodded with a grin, examining the massive dumbbells.
“I say all the better for a challenge!”
Gripping the weight with a single meaty hand, Bronwyn lifted the weight high above his head, the other arm gesturing to the crowd triumphantly as they roared in applause.
“I’m actually a tad disappointed. I wanted something heavier!” Benjamin quipped with a grin.
“Then let’s ask!” Bruce replied, gesturing to the entrance to their left.
“What’s this?! The titan wants more weight!” The announcer cried out; one of the few times the Zentu ringmaster named Unearthed sounded pleasant. No manipulating drawl, just love of the show. For that, Bronwyn could at least appreciate and respect.
Another massive dumbbell was carried out in a fashion similar to the previous one; first the two weights, and then the metal staff. Slotting in the bar, Bronwyn heaved the second dumbbell high above his head with a toothy grin, each head flashing white fangs underneath their carefully cultured moustaches. The Cerberus felt the energy in the performance tent rise to a peak; the crowd clapping and stomping their feet in approval.
Bronwyn took one step, then another, heaving both of the weights into the air again before sending them thudding to the ground; the sand sinking halfway up the sides of the metal at the impact.The crowd continued to roar as the Cerberus gave a bow, then casually picking up each weight and putting it on a respective shoulder.
“Should we give them a secret finale?” Benjamin whispered, prompting the other two to nod.
“Not on the schedule, but it’s our performance after all!” Bruce agreed.
Dropping one of the weights, Bronwyn pretended to trip, sending the other weight into the air-And promptly caught it by one of the metal balls in one hand, holding it straight up with ease.
The crowd went completely nuts, many standing to cheer and make the tent reverberate with applause.
Walking through the off-stage entrance, Bronwyn was all grins as he nodded to the next act, which prompted a grateful smile in return.“They’re all fired up! You’re on Sucric.” Bronwyn chuckled, giving a slight bow to the sheepish sentient puppet, formed in the composite shape of a few different species. The poor dear was always being picked on by the Ringmaster, so especially no reason for him to be rude!
The Wyllop Miamor glanced Bronwyn’s way, nodding in appreciation of the Cerberus’s pleasant attitude towards Sucric before returning to pet one of the heads of Circus; their two headed canine clown friend. Nodding back to the skull-facepainted individual, Bronwyn gave the other head of Circus a friendly scratch as he headed to the break station, dropping the heavy weights off to the side first.Miamor was a longtime friend; but when they all had to be on their toes for performing, there wasn’t too much time to chat. Aside from the unpleasant ringmaster, both were living their dreams of wow’ing the crowds and meeting relatable characters.And they had indeed found a family among fellow performers.
Slumping down on a large wooden chair, Bronwyn passed a bottle of water to all three heads, each still chuckling slightly.
“That was perfect, a fantastic idea!” Bruce chuckled, the other two heads nodding in agreement.
“No doubt we’ll get an earful from our pleasant ringmaster friend.” Oscar mused, prompting a shrug.
“Ah, but regardless, it was a good idea, and the show must go on!” Benjamin chuckled.
The Cerberus downed some more water and prepared for the next act, it wouldn’t be too long. He was a crowd favorite after all; and that wasn’t being boastful. If anything, Bronwyn loved to keep the show up-beat and mesmerizing. If his strength could do that, then all the better for it!
“Bronwyn. Improvisation time. Have a bit of extra space before the intermission, so get on out here!” A speaker called out backstage.
“Huh. Unearthed actually sounded happy that time! Guess things are going well!” Oscar quipped, prompting the other two heads to nod. Standing up and grabbing the weights, Bronwyn couldn’t help but grin as he headed for the stage entrance, all three heads speaking as one.
“Well, let’s give them quite a show!”
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story by Frode
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