Improvisation / reading / Short story / writing

Improvisation is Maximization 3

Improvised Story time! Continuing the Improvised story I started a while back

It had been several years since Jenna had seen a festival. She remembered how happy she was the last time she visited one. She wished her sister could have gone with them this time, but she was at the S.O. Jenna looked up at her mother’s face. Her expression was dreary. It was also a long time since her mother was happy. Jenna remembered how happy she was the last time they went to a festival. She believed there was hope.

The two of them walked down the entrance to the subway. The floors were littered with coffee cups, some of them not even empty. Jenna walked holding her mother’s hand. The subways were crowded. Jenna held her mother’s hands tight as they maneuvered through the crowd. The trains arrived. They found it difficult to squeeze in with the crowd. Jenna had to hug her mother’s thigh for the entire ride.

“Sorry Mommy,” said Jenna. Katelyn put a hand on her child’s back.

“No Jenna, it’s okay,” said Katelyn. Somebody was trying to pass by. Katelyn pressed her daughter closer to her. “It’s okay.”


At the intersection of Joyl and College Street there was a large group of people enjoying the early opening of the festival. If there was not the sound of a large yammering crowd of festival goers, one could hear whispers. The whispers were ghostly and angry:

“Darn it, back up!”

“Like this, Dad?”

“No! Now we’re half on the sidewalk! The road! Get on the road!”

“Dad, relax. I’ve got this. There, how’s that!”

“No son, that’s not right.”

“Why not?”


“Oh, (hehe) sorry. It’s hard to tell when we’re doing this.”

“Okay, good. That’s perfect. Now disperse the crowd!”

Then a strange phenomenon happened. The crowd started to clear off, leaving an empty spot. People walking along the road simply walked around the spot, not even noticing that they were doing so. Then, in the empty spot, appeared an RV. Nobody seemed to think it was strange that an RV suddenly appeared out from nowhere. A window on the RV opened and Candiler stuck his head out of it. He looked around.

“Yep!” he said, “We’re good.”

He then closed the window and ran outside holding a wooden crate. He lay the crate down and whispered something. He ran back inside the RV. A teenager was walking along the road and, because of deep rooted mommy issues, aimed a kick at the crate. The crate didn’t move and the man bounced away in pain, holding one foot in the air. A few minutes later Candiler and his father came out. The father set up the stage, and Candiler sat atop the box, reading his book. Finally the father was finished with setting up the stage and gave his son a thumbs up. Candiler smiled and closed his book. He got up and looked at the crowd. Time to start the show.

First he needed their attention. Smiling he pointed his finger in the air. His finger glowed brighter and brighter until…


“Look momma! Fireworks in day time!” Jenna said, pointing at a large batch of lights that shot into the air. The festival was spectacular. There were street performers, and booths filled with colorful merchandise. Aside from a few crying children who dropped ice creams or some other treat, everyone in the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves.

Jenna looked up at her mother’s face. Her smile faltered. Her mother was staring ahead of her unhappily. Whenever she knew she was looking, Jenna’s mom would put up a front of having fun. But Jenna knew that when she wasn’t looking Jenna’s mom was busy thinking about her sister who wasn’t with them for some reason. Jenna looked around for something that would take her mom’s mind off her troubles. There was a man playing with a crystal ball.

“Look Momma!” Jenna said, pointing at the man. “How does he make the crystal ball move like that?”

“I’m not sure, honey.” Katelyn said. She actually did know. The man was just rolling the ball along his hand but it was polished so it wouldn’t look like it was rolling. It wasn’t a complex trick.

Jenna frowned. Her mother didn’t look too interested in the magic glass ball. She looked around some more. Another man was doing a magic trick with a wooden bowl of water.

“Look at this bowl. Not a drop of water!” the man was saying, showing the audience that there wasn’t any water in it. Then he put it down  on the wooden table. “Oh how I need water! I’m so thirsty! Does anybody have any water? No? How will I-Oh thank you good sir! I’ll only drink a little bit.” He took a water bottle a man offered to him and poured a little bit into the wooden bowl. He then picked up the cup and pretended to pour the water in his mouth, but looked surprise. He flipped the bowl upside down dramatically to show that the water had disappeared.

“Wow!” Jenna said. Katelyn suspected the base of the bowl to be a special absorbing material, or perhaps he had drank the water in a way that nobody could see him.

“Okay, the water is gone. No problem. I’ll call upon the Gods to give me water, Oh Gods! Give this poor soul three things! A brilliant smile, lack of illness, and last of all…Water!” with that the bowl started to sprinkle with more water than could possibly fit inside of it. the crowd cheered.

“How does he do that Mom?” Jenna asked.

“Didn’t you hear? He asked the Gods. The gods helped him.” Katelyn said. She believed that the wooden table had water in it and the bowl was specially modified to work with it. There were no gods to help this man get water, Katelyn thought grimly. The thought of asking the Gods for help brought Katelyn bad thoughts.

Jenna knew her mother hadn’t been wowed by the show. As much as Jenna wanted to see the remains of the magic show she wanted to find something to make her mother forget about her sister more. She took her mother’s arm and walked quickly through the festival. There had to be something amazing enough to amaze her mother. Then she saw a little bow standing on top of a box. He was surrounded by laughing people. Curious, Jenna and Katelyn moved closer.

The boy seemed to be trying to twist a balloon into a balloon animal.

“W-wait up. Give me a minute, I’ll give you your star.” the little boy struggled to twist the balloon. He wasn’t really good. The crowd laughed at his ridiculously pitiful attempts at a star.

He isn’t very good, thought Jenna. The boy didn’t seem like a street performer. He wasn’t dressed in very noticeable clothes, just a Nike T-shirt. His balloon animal skills were simply terrible. How did this little boy draw such a large audience?

“Sorry young lady,” the boy said, finally giving up. “I can’t turn your balloon into a star. So instead, I’ll let you see all the stars you want!”

With that he pointed his fingers into the blue sky. The crowd was amazed. So was Jenna and Katelyn.

Though the  sky was sunny and blue, where the boy pointed the sky turned black like night. It was although somebody had punched a hole in the blue sky and you could see the stars behind it. The little boy whirled his fingers around, slowly like a search light. The night sky followed him, but it wasn’t a static image of stars, but as if he was moving a window around the sky, analyzing the hidden night sky.

“Momma,” Jenna said, staring in awe, “How does he do that?”

Katelyn too, looked up at the  stars. “I-I don’t know. I really, don’t know.”

Maybe there were Gods after all.

[to be continued in, let’s say, two posts? Maybe I should move this story to it’s own blog, I know it won’t be over for a while.]

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