Chapter one: the terrible popcorn seller.
“Come get your popcorn! Over here! All flavors!” I cried out, waving my arms as if I was trying to fly. An elderly couple came near me and bought two small bags of caramel popcorn. It was something.
“Aren’t you a little young to be selling popcorn, deary?” The old woman asked.
“I’m 19,” I said, “I am old enough.”
“But you’re so short.”
“I have popcorn to sell, so excuse me.”
The old people walked away looking slightly annoyed.
My name is Viola Smith, and I am the official popcorn seller at the Kimther circus. Honestly, I really don’t like my job at all. I want to be an acrobat, swinging on the stage and earning cheers from all over the large crowd…
“Smith!” I jumped and sent popcorn everywhere. My boss, Mr. Gone, looked angry.
“Now see what you’ve done!” He cried out, “How many bags did you sell?”
“Um, three sir.” I looked down at my feet. My boss was literally hopping up and down in rage.
“You are getting paid twelve dollars per month for nothing? If you only sell five bags of popcorn on average per show, then why are we letting you sell it at all!?”
I perked up. “Maybe you could give me a different job instead?” I asked hopefully.
“Yeah right,” Mr. Gone scoffed, “You can’t dance, sing, swing, juggle, do magic, or even do acrobatics. This is your job. Be good at what you are allowed to do.” And with that, he strode away, leaving me and my stupid popcorn tray.
I sighed and began to clean up the bits of spilled popcorn. Mr. Gone was wrong. I could do all that stuff if I wanted to. All I had to do was try. I would have tried way before this, but the acrobat’s room and the juggler’s balls and the trapeze and the swings and the magic tricks are all out-of-bounds for me. Just me. Everyone else can watch the acrobats and the jugglers and so on practice. It’s so unfair. Besides, I don’t really believe I could do all that stuff. I’m too short and skinny. Who would want to see me out there in the crowd?
Of course you may be wondering why I didn’t just sneak in like people in books and practice in secret. Well, the truth is there are guards all over the place. And people outside. What if someone saw me?
Ok, I admit it. I am a coward.
That night I lay in my bed with the thin mattress, dreaming about quitting my job and starting a circus of my own. In the dream I was so successful. I could do anything. But that’s what dreams are. They are the exact opposite of real life.
When I woke up I shook my head. “I can’t quit,” I thought, “it’s not possible. I need this job.”
Now why can’t I quit, you ask? Well, my boss won’t let me. It’s true. He says if I quit he’ll track me down and throw me into an endless pit. Of course, there is no such thing as an endless pit, but what do I know? I never went to college and I never really did well in school. Mr. Gone says that I’m very ignorant. If I had a dictionary I would look up that word. I have no idea what it means.
I’m a complete fail, right?
But Mr. Gone isn’t really mean. He’s just angry most of the time. Sure, he threatens me and bullies me, but he never did anything. So I’m just planning my life that will probably never happen, and hoping for the best.
I just wish the best would come.