Started: May 2012
Finished: June 2012
He stood in front of a mirror assembling a costume that would underline his charisma and attract the most attention. He settled for dark pants, an off white poet's shirt and a ballerina tutu. "My dad says you should work," Valentina began. "Help focus your mind. I don't know. It might bring your memory back. Ah, here we are. Try this." She threw him a hat with a long feather sticking out. "You can help upfront; sell tickets or something like that.
He put it on and finished his ensemble off with a white long nose Mardi Gras mask that covered up his face considerably. "What do you think?"
"Mmmhmm," she smiled and nodded in approval. He extended his hand out to her. She took it thoroughly charmed. He pulled her up and started dancing with her to the old circus type theatrical music. "So," she commented looking into his blue eyes outlined by the mask. "Aren't you the mystery? Not even a memory of who you are."
"It's so strange. It's a complete blank. You know?"
"What can I call you? Do you at least have a name you prefer to be called?"
"Ah, mmm." He thought. "You can call me….Jack."
"Jack," she repeated.
"Yes love?" She smiled brightly.
Anton shows up and ruins the moment looking at the two surprised and confused. She never danced with me like that, he thought. They looked up at him and he quickly left.
Just when the crew thought that they weren't going to get any customers and that they were done for the night, Jack surprised them brought a small crowd up to the Imaginarium. He introduced the Doctor impressively. Unfortunately, the Doctor fell down drunk. Valentina came quickly to his side.
"This man is drunk, dead drunk," one of the ladies in the audience said.
"That's disgraceful," another one added.
"He's not drunk." Valentina protested. "He's got a bad cold."
"He's got a bad cold," Jack repeated to her assistance. "And you know what, despite that he still went on for you, you know?" He stumbled for words at how to make this situation work and continued with; "That he still went on at considerable risk for his health and I think that is worthy of a round of applause."
"We want our money back," the ladies in the audience said.
In the heat of the moment Jack thought quickly. Leaning into the audience he said; "Well, alright listen. I understand. To tell you the truth, the Doctor's daughter right? She looks pretty but she ain't. She's pretty sick. She needs surgery. So we're trying to scrounge up all we can get you know? Otherwise she's gonna- that's what all this is about is to try and get money for her. Do you understand? I mean- well how about this? We'll give you a free ticket, no; we'll give you 2 free tickets if you buy another one at half price, aye?"
"This offer is only available today," Valentina assisted and went back stage.
"What?" She asked Anton who was giving her a disapproving look.
"Nothing," he answered. She walked off. "This offer is only available today," he mocked.
They poured out all the money they made that night. "He took all that?" Percy asked in surprise.
"Yeah, Valentina said. Have you ever seen so much?"
"Yeah that is what lying through your teeth can get ya aye?" Anton sneered. Valentina looked up at him surprised upset that he would say such a thing about someone that only wanted to help them.
"Maybe with him you could get out of this dump," he suggested bitterly. "Go find your ideal home." Anton stormed off.
"Anton…" Valentina began softly.
Jack had found an article of himself in the current newspaper and his memories all came back to him. The money and fame where all under the facade of charity. His real name was Anthony Shepherd and he was a liar on a colossal scale. He sat outside in the cool London air as the newspaper lay safely burning his secret in the fire. He had to stay hidden and these carnies were all he had…for the time being.
"Maybe I can be of some assistance," The Doctor approached Tony. "It must be hard not knowing who you are."
"Yes it's terribly frustrating."
The Doctor closed his eyes and appeared to concentrate very hard. He made some noises as if he was mediating then he began to speak. "I can see a name, its Shepherd, Anthony Shepherd. They call you Tony." Tony got shivers at the old man accuracy. "You used to do good works I understand. Something about a charity I think." Tony became dizzy with anxiety at what else the old man could uncover about his sordid past. The old man looked at him for confirmation. Tony squinted his eyes and pretended this was new knowledge to him.
"Yes, Tony Shepherd rings a bell for sure." He took a breath. "Wow this, you, this, it really works. Was there anything else you discovered?" He asked suspicious that the old man might be on to him.
"You must understand that this is an ancient technique. I'm extremely rusty." They shared a laugh, Tony a nervous one. "No, there was absolutely nothing." Tony bit his lip and swallowed hard. The old man eyed him.
"That's fascinating stuff. It really is, I must say." The Doctor got up to leave. Tony rose with him. "Thank you, thank you very much."
"Not at all, not at all." The Doctor replied.
Tony had over heard the words first to five and his curiosity peaked as to what it meant. He went to Anton first but the man didn't give him anything he could really understand so he asked Valentina. The Doctor, her father, seemed to be under a lot of stress.
He laid on the charm and played with her hair. "Hey listen, I've been meaning to ask you about your father. He seems to be in a terrible state, you know? Now is it a financial thing? Is it money?
"I don't know."
Caressing her cheek with his fingerless gloves he added; "Because if it is, you know I can help out in that area."
"I don't know."
He moved closer to her and asked; "Or is it the show perhaps?"
"I don't care about the show anymore."
He took her face in both hands. "Or what about the police?"
"Bring on the police. I'm sick of living like this."
Hmmm, he thought to himself. "Oh really? he smiled some. Aren't you a little toughie?" He became serious and stroked her cheeks with his thumbs and looked into her beautifully wide set eyes. Looking into his face she was absolutely bewitched. His hands held her still and he smiled faintly before kissing. His kiss was slow and sensual. Her hands lifted to his and felt their way up his arms till her hands were behind his neck pulling him closer.
Anton approached Valentina making sure Tony wasn't around and said, "I don't trust him."
"You don't have to trust him, she said not looking up at him."
"Yes I do, especially when he's staring at you."
"Let him stare."
"Just what is it? What is it about him that you seem to fancy so much?"
"He seems nice-"
"He seems nice," Anton mocked in a high pitched voice. "He is a con. You saw how he lied to all those people so easily. He's a con artist. Or are you impressed by that? Do you find him attractive because he's bad news?"
She looked to him. "No I," he cut her off.
"Or do you just think he's good looking?"
Glaring at him she said; "how dare you, you miserable sack…" His insane accusations completely caught her off guard and it was all she could do to not beat the snot out of him right then and there.
"Oh, I'm sorry Valentina. I just thought you had better taste then that," he said condescendingly.
"Get out," she said in a low voice. "Get out of here before I slap that sour look off your jealous sad delusional face."
He turned before he left. "Mark my words, if you trust him you'll be on the other end of his shenanigans. He'll play you as he does with every one else in the crowd and then make a clean getaway. Then what will you do?"
Valentine snarled and rushed towards Anton who fled quickly shutting the door behind him. Val felt heady with anger and want to punch Anton out but thought it better to get her breathing under control as she was starting to feel dizzy.