As a young girl, she learned how to juggle fruit: apples, oranges, sometimes pears. There was little risk, little drama, and people smiled politely and then moved on. But they started paying attention she could manage to juggle over 5 objects, and when she started juggling wooden sticks, so that she could train herself one day to juggle knives.

She was the circus laundress, but wanted to be so much more. So, she tried teach herself a skill, so she could be part of  the show. She wanted an entire act just to herself, just for her talent. She wanted to make people dizzy with the amount of colored balls she could juggle, so fast until they turned into a single rainbow streak. She was working with the sticks, trying progress to heavier and heavier scraps of wood, so that she could possibly move on to blades, and then in some far future, full size flaming swords, dazzling with both her skills and the moving lights. A dangerous act but a masterful performance. That’s what she wanted.

She dreamed of being showered with flowers when she was done, like nobody else was at the nightly show under the big tent. She wanted people to flock there just see her; she wanted her act to be world famous.

She wished for such splendor, but it wasn’t time for any of it yet.

She tried to learn and work on her act even while she had to attend to her regular duties, those being washing the whole camp’s dirty clothes. An endless line of leotards and tutus awaited her. A big bucket and a washboard and the smallest piece of soap you had ever seen, that was all she had to work with; the rest of the force was provided by her scrubbing the daylights out of everything in order to even hope that they were clean.

But she always left time for juggling. It was her only hobby. She couldn’t do much else other than juggle and wash clothing, and so she thought her only possible road to success was through the former. She had no other skills; she couldn’t read or write. She had’t very much money to her name, since her pay came as food and a place to sleep at night.

She knew it was a long shot, in the back of her mind. But she continued with her regimen, for the hope of a bright future, which was in truth hopeless. She knew that there was no way for her to accomplish so much, or at least the chances were so minuscule it wasn’t worth the effort.

But… but. It was always this way with this sort of thing. Hoping, and knowing that it was unlikely, but only hoping more because of it.

Maybe such a transformation, such a rocketing into stardom didn’t exist. But she was certain she had seen it happen before, and she wanted it to happen for herself.

She wished for such splendor, but it wasn’t time for any of it yet. Perhaps it would never be her time to shine. But that couldn’t stop her from looking at the stars and yearning for something more.


4 thoughts on “Risk

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