Hi all! I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to your comments from my other two stories, "Dear Abby" and "Phishy Circumstances"; I'm afraid both have been deleted because they were not in accordance with this site's rules. I'll be more careful next time. I will reply to later comments, though! (And thank you for all of your very kind reviews, they were truly uplifting...=)

This is a tiny little humor phic, about Erik as a little boy working in the circus...just know that I have not read Susan Kay's novel (scandelous!!) but I fully intend to. So this is me just guessing. At any rate, I hope you get at least a small laugh out of it, and I hope it just might brighten your day! Enjoy!

The Letter
"Erik," yelled the ringmaster one afternoon as the young eleven-year-old boy was dragging a ten-pound ton of dung from the Menagerie to the dump where the elephants had been getting a bit carried away with lunch. Annoyed by the sweat, heat, and sheer derogatory nature of the task he was subjected to, the young boy was pleased to receive a break.

"Yes, sir?" he asked, wiping a trickle of perspiration from his eyes as he moved to join the ringmaster under the shade of a tent.

"We found this in the mail," said the ringmaster, "it must be for you. You disgusting little cringing piece of filth," he added authoritatively.

Erik read it: it was addressed to:

Mr. Erik

Tent No. 7, Freaks Row

The Traveling Circus Extraordinaire

The World, The Universe

"How strange," said Erik, "I never get mail!"

The ringmaster looked suspiciously at the envelope. "Who'd be sending mail to a useless little idiot like you?"
Erik shrugged. He winced slightly at the "idiot" comment—his brainpower exceeded that of his ringmaster, although he was obviously clever enough not to point this out.

"Well, it better not take you much time! I expect you to prepare Monsieur Daae's caravan! He will be arriving soon.

"Monsieur Daae? The great violinist?" Erik carefully set the dung on the sweltering ground.
"Yes."
"Sir, do you think perhaps he could give me violin lessons?"
The ringmaster peered into his eyes.

"Lessons? I'm not paying some crackpot old fool to teach you musical tricks—"
"You wouldn't have to pay a thing—"
"Don't you dare argue with me," barked the ringmaster, "giving you your own mail is enough! Soon you'll be asking for rose-tinted soap and your own room!"

Erik sighed as the ringmaster harrumphed.

"Listen, you," he said fiercely, "as soon as you've finished this, I want you to go to that caravan! And present him with your Friday ice cream! Is that clear?"
"Yes sir," said Erik as submissively as he could to avoid incurring the ringmaster's wrath. But not happily. He'd been looking forward to his weekly ice cream for a long time: it was among the few things that made his life worthwhile. Monsieur Daae better be all that he was cracked up to be.

"Right." The ringmaster stalked off to harass another employee.

"I'll get a job in music one day," thought Erik, "It's what I've always wanted! And Monsieur Daae will help me! I just know it! It is the life for me. Enough of this mess," he looked about grimly, "I'm sick of being treated differently because of how I look!" He touched his scarred face with suppressed anger. "I want to be like everyone else!"

He suddenly remembered the envelope in his hands. Nimbly, he slit it open, and read:

Dear Mr. Erik,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry—

Erik stopped reading. He snorted. "Frankenstein got one of these," he remembered. "I don't think so."
He glanced at the words again.

"No thanks," he told the letter, "I'd rather stick to music."

The End