Friday, April 15, 2016

Inspiration For An Incident At A Carnival

Paperback Cover
Not all my ideas for stories come from dreams.

My short story, An Incident At A Carnival, is a piece that is entirely in dialogue and was first published in the March 2012 issue of Cover of Darkness magazine that unfortunately is out of print. However, the story is still available in my collection, Dark Dreams and Darker Visions, both as a paperback and an eBook.

The narrator, Madame Gianopoulos, is a carnival fortune teller with a "wicked pack of cards." Written completely from her point of view, An Incident At A Carnival is her one-sided conversation with a young lady who decides to have her fortune read resulting in tragic consequences. Here are the story's opening lines.
“Please come inside. Sit down there across the table from me.
“My, my. What a pretty one you are!
“No, no, my dear. Don’t be concerned over a silly old lady like me. Sit! Sit!
“So you want to know the future? Maybe the past? Yes?
“Well, of course you already know the past! At least you think you do, but my cards have a way of helping you remember it.
“Ignore the noises of the carnival outside. Here it is just you and me.
“Now I will unwrap the cards and we shall begin.
“Yes, that’s real silk they are wrapped in. I’m not some carnival hack, not Madame Gianopoulos. I have dealt these cards for over seventy years.
Madame Gianopoulos found her genesis in Madame Sosostris, one of the subjects of T.S. Eliot's epic poem, The Waste Land (written in 1922):
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.
You can read An Incident At a Carnival in its entirety along with nine other tales including The Pond, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Killer Lullabies, and The Pig and is available internationally through your country's

eBook Cover
Amazon USA Paperback

Amazon USA eBook

Amazon UK Paperback

Amazon UK eBook

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