36: A Small Mutiny

36: A Small Mutiny

“GIVE ME THAT,” Trixie Franklin demanded, holding out her hand.

Absently, Jenna handed over the first five pages. She was still reading the rest.

Trixie squinted at the print, then rummaged through her bag for the glasses she never let anyone see she wore and slipped them on. A tiny crease appeared between her eyebrows as she read.

“What?” she muttered. “No. I would never say that. Or that. Is it all like this?”

35: A Meeting of Friends

35: A Meeting of Friends

GABRIEL ZACARTE HAD SEEN plenty of shows in his time. He had worked with amazing casts of performers, the best in the world. He had seen acts that, even though he himself had imagined them from the ground up, left him speechless with delight when they became tangible. He had seen the magic that happens between audience and performers, between the performers themselves, on those nights where some subtle shift in awareness happened for everyone involved.

34: Winged and Read

34: Winged and Read

GETTING HER PREGNANT SELF out of the rows of seats at the Circus of Lost and Found was even more challenging than getting in had been. By the time Trixie Franklin made her way out of the row, down the aisle and out into the yard, she had to go to the bathroom. Again. And by the time she got out of the ladies, what with the crazy long line, they were already chiming everyone back into their seats. She had just enough time to find Youssef and apologize, meet the two women he was with, and get back to her seat.

33: Interlude

33: Interlude

BILLY DOHENY INHALED the fresh, grassy scent of the track as he stretched his legs, glad to be here. Happy Grounds Home, where he had spent the past thirteen-and-a-half months, didn’t have a place to run, not really. Billy had tried jogging around the green a few times while he was there, but the problem was, he didn’t jog. He ran.

He had started running when he was twelve, before his mother had gone crazy, back when the signs were there but no one knew how serious it was.

32: Finale, and Begin

32: Finale, and Begin

LEE LEE KNEW IMMEDIATELY that this would be of of those shows. She could feel it in the way the crowd held its collective breath before anything had even happened. She could smell it in the air, the fresh salt-and-seaweed of the ocean breeze mixed with a tang like warm copper. She could feel it in the way her pulse jumped in her neck, the way the conductor counted out the starting beat, the way the opening act took their opening leaps, the flowing red ribbons they controlled creating impossible shapes in the air.

31: Perhaps, Two

31: Perhaps, Two

GABRIEL ZICARTE, creator of and mastermind behind The Circus of Lost and Found, stood by the circular stage of his circus and watched the crowd for the Grand Finale filter to their seats. Venice Beach had been good to them; full houses every night and a kind of atmosphere that exactly fit the circus. It felt very right to land here permanently. And though he hated to admit it, he was also looking forward to the time away from the constant touring.

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