Once upon a time there was a boy named Victoria. His life started on a Fall day, while another life ended. Against his will, he found himself part of a busy and exciting life, for he was born into the life of a circus performer.
Most of the time the area was bustling with noise, even in the medicine tent. But now an unusual hush had fallen over them in a most uncommon way. The young midwife held a struggling baby in her thin arms. She tried, but failed, to keep her professionalism. After all, the midwife was only a 12-year-old girl. She looked down at the table.
There laid the beautiful Victoria. Her curly long red hair was matted around her body. Her skin was unnaturally white, still sheened by sweat. Victoria was dead. She had just given birth to the baby. She had been bleeding internally and there was nothing the pseudo-midwife could do. They were days away from any civilization, much less a qualified doctor.
The midwife sighed. She was tall for her age, though, so she was often mistaken for an adult. It might have been because of the full beard she had, long and fluffy curls to match the brown hair on her head. A trail of tears fell down her pale cheeks, soaking into the hair on her chin.
The girl gently gave the baby to its quietly sobbing father. Her job was done, though it should not have been the job of such a young girl. She only had the job because she was one of the oldest girls in the troop, excluding Victoria.
There was normally so much cheer and excitement around this small group of people, but the troop couldn’t find any reasons for laughter today. They had just witnessed one of their best die, after hours of tormenting labor. The poor soul’s final wish had been that they pass down her name to her baby. She had been far too gone at that point and left the world not knowing the gender of her child.
Ja held onto his son. Tears fell down his white painted cheeks. He was supposed to be a mischievous clown. His role in the troop was putting on acts for the children, making balloon animals, and playing tricks on the parents. The children loved it when their parents got pies to the face and that was Ja’s specialty. He was far from jolly at the moment.
It was a couple days from their next destination and Ja didn’t think he would have the heart to perform, but he knew he must. As it was said, the show must go on. Though, he knew he couldn’t continue on if he had to worry about the babe. Every time he looked at the child he saw his wife. Ja simply couldn’t stand it.
He couldn’t find it in his heart to love his baby, though he wished he could.
It shocked everyone when Ja asked The Strong Man to take the baby from him. Strong Man was a simple-minded fellow and the most unlikely sort to be responsible for something so fragile as a newborn. But the Strong Man took the child eagerly, and did his best to raise him, with the help of the other troop members.
Ja gave baby Victoria away and then went on as if nothing had happened. It was the saddest thing any of them had ever seen, yet nobody had the heart to do anything about it. Victoria, who soon went by Victor, grew up clueless about the truth of his birth.
By the time Victor had learned about his real parentage, it was already too late. His mother had long passed and his father was old, senile, and dying, left in the care of those qualified to take care of old folks.
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Book / Fantasy
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