"What is this?" Says Phillip, awkwardly standing and looking with confusion at everyone. His burn was doing really nicely, no longer easily aggravating since he started putting on ointment three days ago. PT looks up at him from where he sat on the sheet covered floor.
"Story time." Says the ringmaster simply, as if it explains it all. Everyone was sitting down in a circle, a pretty large circle, and were chattering amongst each other. Phineas taps the area beside him, which was also next to Anne. Phillip holds back a smile, instead sighing and joining the rest of the troupe on the ground,
"So, what is the point of this 'story time'?" Questions the young man, a bit nervous. He didn't exactly have a lot good memories.
"Why do ya' ask?" Says Lettie, seven people to his left. "Yur just a rich kid!" They all chuckle at that, Phillip forcing a smile. Did he even tell them he was unofficially disowned? He was just wait8g for the letter of confirmations!
"Well" says PT, clapping his hands together like a little kid before desert. "The person to your left or right asks you a question, and you have to tell them a memory, or a story, about the answer!" The cheerful man's answer was confusing with the speed and raw excitement he talked with, but somehow, they all understood what he said. "Think of this as a way to let go of all the misery we've had" he says. "You make your story any tine, we'll cry and laugh with you." And with that, the stories began, and Phillip became a bit less nervous.
The Irish Giant was actually born to a Scandanavian dad.
Lettie's dad was the inly person that treated her normally before she met PT.
Charles could walk in thin ice,
WD and Anne learned the trapeze after accidentally getting stuck 8 a set of hanging ropes.
PT had worked on the railroads since from when he was thirteen to twenty-four. At that, Phillip could of sworn he heard someone say "so that explains his bod."
There were some sad stories, and some happy ones, Some people even went twice! Phillip smiled a lot, and when PT looked over to see how his 'assistant' was doing, he could see that his icy haze was no linger cold, but curious as he learned more about each member of his makeshift family. And then, it came to Phillip.
"Please give me an easy one" quietly whispers Phillip. He see's Anne smile, obviously having heard him. Now, here was the moment they all waited for: learning about Phillip Carlyle.
"So, Phillip" says Anne. "Do you have any siblings?" Phillip was socked at this one, and it flashed briefly in his eyes. His muscles tense, and they can all tell that it was a sensitive topic for the former playwright.
"Um...well..." he takes a deep breath before starting, a small smile on his face. "Yes. I had a sibling." He can see some moving forward a bit, intrigued.
"Well, go on." says PT tentatively.
"His name was Edwin." He says, cautious of the past tense wordings he chose. "He was six years older than me, so he would be twenty-eight right now. He was the best older brother, even though my parents didn't really like him. He was, as I am now, "a disgrace to society", and truth be told, he loved it!" They all laugh, and PT nudges Phillip, knowing how much he now also enjoyed being a disgrace.
"He actually was the one who got me into play-writing. I was ten, he sixteen, when I had finished the first few chapters of my first play." They smile, trying to imagine how a young child's play would be like. Phillip's suddenly nervous. Does he want to continue? They would understand either way, but no one had talked about death yet.
"I wanted to show him what I wrote, but he was dead." This come's as a shock to everyone. They thought he had the perfect life!
"How...how did he die?" Says one of the conjoined twins. They probably couldn't understand the trauma of losing the other.
"I'd actually went into his room" says Phillip, "to show him my writing, but he was dead."
"Natural causes?" Says Charles. Phillip shakes his head, swallowing. His throat was suddenly dry.
"No...he was hanging from a noose. Suicide." Anne drapes an arm over his shoulders and embraces him, Phillip not allowing the tears to fall.
"Well..." says PT, trying to avoid an awkward situation. "We have a show tonight. Go get the ring ready." Everyone gets up, Anne still hugging him as people quickly say their condolences. Now, it was only Anne and Phillip. They stand up, Phillip's head bowed, but she holds onto his hands, her thumbs gently stroking their backs.
"Phillip, I...I'm sorry. I shouldn't of asked that question." He shales his head, head still cast down, but she releases one hand, putting hers beneath his chin, lifting his head up. Those beautiful blue-grey orbs were warm and innocent right now, but she knew they would become cold, piercing, icy, holding back emotion. She wondered if that single death made his eyes that way.
"It's not your fault, Anne" he says. "I... I actually want to say thank you. It isn't...it isn't exactly healthy for me to keep so many things bottled up. You allowed me to be free of one thing." He lets a tear fall, and Anne hugs him, softly singing to him until she knows he's not crying anymore.
"Phillip Carlyle" she says, brushing the wetness from his cheeks. "I understand. Its okay to be you when you want. Sometime's, I think you aren't the former bratty rich kid everyone thinks you might of been. Sometimes, I think you are like us, a renegade of the circus ring." He smiles.
"Thank you, Anne." They stare into each other's eyes, before Anne quickly stands up on her toes and kisses his forehead, before stepping back.
"I'm going to warm up. Just know this, Phillip Carlyle: you can always rewrite the stars."