I fell in love with the novel, "Water for Elephants" and decided to put my intake on a different type of scenario. Though this is all FANfiction and doesn't necessarily go with the exact details of the story.
It will revolve around the character August of WfE. The story will take place about four years prior to the actually novel, at least during the flashbacks not the present time. So this will be before August ever meets Marlena.
This chapter is more of an introduction of my new character that I'm putting into the story. I'll start explaining more as the story goes on.
Chapter 1: Introduction
It was dark and quiet, the grass tickling the bottom of my small bare feet. The palms of my hands being traced ever so gently and with each touch a chill runs down my spine. There is a slight summer breeze and I inhale deeply to calm my nerves. I gulp looking apprehensive, I didn't know what to expect. I figured everyone's first moment like this would be slightly nerve-wracking.
"And you will live for 80 more years!" shouted the frizzy gray haired woman across from me.
I yank my hands back and run them on my lap creating a warm friction. "I think that's a whole lot of years to live, don't ya think Clarissa?" I pout, with a slight twist of a smile.
Clarissa was the fortune teller of the whole show; the Gentry Brothers' show that is. She is the most well known psychic around and the boss was lucky enough to pick her up before any of the other shows got the chance, even before Ringling!
I try not to take Clarissa's fortunes to heart, though they scare the living wits out of me. I'm witness to say that most of her predictions have come true in the past. I reckon I'm not surprised that she would embellish some fortunes on my account though. I find it hard to believe I'm going to have 8 children in my lifetime. Or at least I sure hope not.
"Are you questioning my fortunes?" Clarissa, who I believe is probably in her late forties, bellows.
I stand up from the wooden bench that I had been sitting on, which was quite moist for some odd reason. Honest to God, it was like that before I sat down. I step over the bench and smile at the crazy loon of a psychic, "No Clarissa. Never that, Clarissa. You are the almighty knowing one, Clarissa." I intone. Slowly I step backwards from Clarissa's dressing tent which also served as her working tent since she would bring the rubes in there to tell their fortunes as well.
I sneak away, closing the flaps lightly in front of me and turn around and stride to the menagerie. It was around twilight, the sky was almost completely dark but I could still make out the direction I was going in. Even with my eyes closed I could always find the way to the menagerie, it was never a quiet area.
It was a warm summer night in 1927. Our destination was supposed to be Mississippi but since the great flood had struck in the middle of April the manager decided not to risk our show and we took another route. I was keen on traveling to South Dakota, hearing about all this talk about our presidents being sculptured on huge rocks, but my opinion really didn't matter to the business, so we continued traveling up towards Indiana.
I skipped through the flaps and take in all that I see around me. The Gentry Brothers have been collecting for several years an assortment of exotic animals and it doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. Overtime they've accumulated two lions, over a dozen Percherons, a seal, a hippo, a leopard, a black bear, and a pack of four wolves.
Now let me explain something about the pack of four wolves. They are kept in a huge barred cage, which I stand before right now, watching as some pace around while others are just laying down flat on their bellies. Rubes were still passing by, heading their way to the big top. They are all too preoccupied with Thema, our star leopard, and Benno the black bear, who are flat out, our best animals on the show.
I stuck my hand inside the bars of the wolves' cage, I smile tenderly at them. Soon the alpha male, a huge heavy coated black and white furred wolf lashes forward and snaps at my hand. I pull away in time and let out a small gasp from the sudden movement.
"Mio tesoro" I coo as I dip my hand back in the cage and rub under the alpha male's muzzle. "Essere più bello, tesoro."
Soon the other wolves gather and I'm greeted with wet licks on my hand. My bright amber eyes lighten as I see the golden tan and black colored wolf sniff my hand gently and then lick my fingers. "Mio tesoro ragazzo." My voice becomes soft as I speak to him. He is my favorite wolf out of the small pack.
There's a slight trick to the training of the wolves. They understand the common English but I also took into account that they have a knack for understanding Italian. I speak to them when others are around. It's almost like our secret language. We all share a close bond.
The golden tan and black wolf is named Giacomo. The black and white alpha male is named Adamo. They are the two males in their pack. The other two are females, one with a gray shiny coat named Regina. She claims title as the alpha female. And the other darker gray wolf is Fina.
I feel hands grip my shoulders, "Get ready, we're about to line up!" I turn around and see that it was just one of the performers, prepping everyone. I find my ballet slippers tied around the cage of the wolves and daintily untie them from the bar and slip them onto my feet.
"Mommy! Mommy! Look at the wolves! They are so big!" a red nosed little boy shouted from a few feet away from the wolves' cage.
"Yes, I know! Now let's go find daddy so we can get good seats!" The mother exclaimed, gripping onto the little boy's hand firmly and walking towards the big top.
I turn around and smile again at the wolf pack. Though there is one slight falter about the lively and stunning pack. They aren't wolves at all. Or so says our veterinarian. They are said to be a pure breed of a domesticated animal. I believe that they are half of their ancestors. They look too brilliant to not be part wolf and all domesticated. Either way, the boss told everyone to keep it quiet about them not being real wolves and just fib and say they are for the show. A little lie never hurt anyone.
As time passes by I watch each of the performers go into the big top and back out, done with their act. I fix my costume and touch up on my hair piece before lifting up the latch to the wolves' cage. They stare at me vigilantly, waiting. I hear the band stop playing their instruments as the song of the last performance finished, and know that I'm almost on.
I never particularly liked performing. I was shy as a child. Never spoke up much. Though things change over time, don't they?
Soon after, I hear the band start to play again, this time a familiar bass melody and I know it's my turn up. I see the aerialists run back out of the big top, panting from their performance.
I never particularly liked my performing name either. It was made for show. It seems my birth name was too simple for the likes of the Gentry Brothers.
I turn around and nod, sauntering towards the big top. "Ladies and gentleman! Children and adults of all ages! Please give a loud applause for the wonderfully talented…"
No, I never particularly liked any of it. Though I made my bed for many years now, and now I must lie in it.
I stop in the middle of the ring and thrust both my arms in the air, with one leg in front of the other standing straight and long. I already begin to hear gasps and murmuring surrounding the tent. Around me, the pack of four wolves parade and soon they stop encircling me. They lean their heads back and cry out a chilling howl.
"…for the Wolf Girl, Serenity!"
My first fanfic in awhile! I hope it turned out okay! It was a little short so hopefully I can make the new chapters a bit longer and with more details so everything will start making sense. If there are any questions, just let me know. Btw sorry if the ending is kind of cliche and corny...and excuse my Italian!
Water for Elephants contents (c) Sara Gruen
The female protagonist and the wolves (c) Me