Tonight, we begin our story before the Faire is set to open, before the packing up and shipping out starts, and before the crew has even met. Tonight we meet the resident trouble makers of our story at the Razor Bubble.
A tiny little dive bar, on the far west side of town, almost hidden between the Chinese Resturant, so garish on the outside you question if it’s a resturant at all and the liquor store that was almost never open. The exterior was black entirely, every nail and glass pane painted to match, with an oversized light bulb above the front door that bathed the sidewalk in bright pink light. Off key jazz bled out into the night, but only the regulars knew it was a ruse to keep out the tourists and the passer by. Colleen, the owner, hid speakers on the roof, while inside melachony songs from all genres kept whispered conversations polite company.
Inside, there were twelve late night wanderers, trying to get a decent grip on life at the bottom of a glass. That morning, they had all recieved the same letter, from the owner of Adelaide’s Faire, Franco White. All the letters had been the same, “You have been invited to join an outstanding crew to travel the world and present the finest show anyone has yet to see.” Big talk, for a Faire with no reputation, no history, and no website. It had continued in the same line of grandiose nonsense, until, and this is where the letters differed, it address them personally. Franco has given each of them a special title, and told them specifically why he had chosen them. It was unnerving, since no one had ever met Franco White, even tiny Lucinda Williams, who it was believed, knew everyone. The letters had just appeared with no warning, and it finished with a time and place to meet to begin the adventure. It did not specific an end date.
“I’m telling you, it’s a fucking hoax.” Charles Nioti, the (to be) electrical engineer, growled behind a luke warm beer. He was with Thomas Patrick, the (to be) creative designer, and Michelle Walsh, the (to be) on hand medic. His companions were not convinced it was a hoax at all.
Michelle touched his arm, “If it is a hoax, we go, we find out, we’re disappointed. If it’s not a hoax…”
“Strange things happen in the City all the time. I wasn’t even surprised when the letter arrived.” Thomas had worked in the neighboring city of Claudevaine as the keeper of the library that housed the seven cities entire history. It was a few years back that members of the founding family, The LaNoira Children, had come to expand upon that history about the living Family members. Thomas had become close to the LaNoira girl, Lucinda Williams Bloom, and she had promised to share every future adventure with him. “Because you’re smart in ways you don’t even understand.” She had laughed as she climbed onto the train home. Thomas imagined she was just keeping her promise. “Come with us and find out.”
“What’s it even pay? You honestly think it could be more than either of you are making now?” Charles insisted, but in the dim light over the bar, he could see the glint of hope in their eyes.
On the other side, closer to tonight’s musician, a group of young adults whispered excitedly to each other. Bethany Hamsted, the (to be) singer, knocked back another shot. “I can’t believe this is happening. It’s like a dream come true.” Her eyes were alight with strong alcohol coursing through her veins, but the gaze was obviously unfocused. The twins on either side of her, Victor and Vio Lyn, the (to be) acrobats, laughed giddily, leaning hard on her shoulders. “Of course it’s happening. It was only a matter of time.” They typically spoke in unison, being perfect mirrors of each other in every way. Their eyes were half closed and they clumsily followed along to the jazz singer crooning gently into a transition of blues. Across from this trio was the musical genius of the City, Gabriel DuMont, the (to be and sole) composer for the Faire. He wasn’t as drunk as his table mates, and he certainly wasn’t delirious with joy. He worked with Lucinda and Julian Williams Bloom for Dreamweaver Inc, a game company they had made, and the Hourglass Theater, an inheritance from the great director, Julius Graves, who had disappeared mysteriously one day and left it to them. They were the trio of trouble in the City, hands in every pie they could pour their heart into, and more often than not, the reason strange things happened. So with the arrival of the letters, Gabriel had taken it upon himself to find out everything, starting with who else had received them. He threw a weary glance at the Williams twins tucked into the darkest part of the bar.
They smiled at his semi suffering. “Gabriel isn’t social, is he?” Lucinda whispered to her brother, watching Thomas out of the corner of her eye. Thomas’s group was the last to arrive and the corner was too dark for her to have been seen. “No, but I have to say I am impressed with his determination to solve this mystery.” He whispered back, a mischievous tone wavering under every word. Julian and Lucinda had not been given direct titles for the Faire, but were informed they were needed desperately, and that they would have the most power in the Faire. Lucinda thought that should have been obvious, Julian thought they should try and play nice. “It’s going to be interesting for us to play a different role in someone else’s show.” They were also on the side that did not believe it was a hoax.
The remaining three were seated alone and in random parts of the bar. Tully Yanhollow, the (to be) set designer was very interested in her phone, awaiting text messages of congratulations on the job, and only receiving words of disdain for her foolish willingness to participate. She had had five glasses of beer and no satisfaction. Benjamin Baxter, the (to be) costume designer sat silently with a glass of Cabarnet Sauvigion, weighing his options carefully. He had been offered another job earlier that day, a real promising job, with a fashion house overseas. He knew the life that would come with that job, it was once everything he ever wanted, but now…now he felt a calling he wasn’t sure he could ignore.
The last person to receive a letter was also the only person in the bar to know anything about Franco White and Adelaide’s Faire. He knew everyone there already because he had picked them specifically and had convinced Franco they were the ones they needed. He knew about the deal Franco had made to get his Faire, and about the plans other people had in store for it. You see, Franco was merely a puppet carrying out a debt generations old. This man was to be the liason between Franco and Franco’s master, the strings if you will. His proper title was simply, the Keeper, and his name was Hector Greves.
And even with the not quite all players in place, the show must begin.