2010-08-15: Acrobat



Date: August 15th, 2010


Fred takes a day off work for a trip to the carnival, only to see a familiar face.


Sullivan Bros. Carnival, Central Park

The Big Top, the centre of the biggest performances at the carnival. Various amazing performers come through, aweing the audience, before finally the announcer introduces their newest performer, Jamie, the flying water-sprite! The lights focus well above the ground, on a ring that's starting to swing around as a music with a decent beat. Hanging from the ring by her legs, with no net underneath her, is Jamie wearing a sparkling and water-themed leotard. She pulls herself up and starts doing a routine, a practical acrobatic dance on the ring, with nothing but her muscles keeping her from falling to the ground below.

It has been a leisurely day at the carnival for a certain psychologist. Fred Stone has taken it upon himself to just take a day to relax with no worries or thoughts, beside thoughts of having fun of course. He's not wearing a suit today, but rather slacks and a loose, blue button-up t-shirt, and running regular walking shoes. Who knew he had such regular clothing? Mostly he's just seen in a suit and tie with a suitcase at his side. After seeing quite a few wondrous acts outside and around the Big Top, the psychologist man makes his way into the tent that brings attention to itself, whether that's the general intent or not. He was there for the previous act, but this one, above all, catches his attention.

The act continues, with Jamie doing some pretty amazing contortions on the ring. Finally, as the music comes to a close, the ring comes to a stop just over the very centre of the tent. She waits a moment for it to stop swinging, and then slowly makes her way to a standing position, her feet on the bottom of the ring and her hands behind her back holding the top of the ring to keep herself from falling. Until… she suddenly dives forward off of the ring, falling towards the floor like diving into a swimming pool, eliciting a gasp of shock from most of the audience who haven't seen her act before. Instead of a bloody splatter hitting the ground, all there is is a splash of water. Before anybody can get a good look at where she landed, to see her costume in the puddle of water, there's another splash of water and a dripping Jamie's standing on the ground there again, bowing to a now applauding audience. One know-it-all sitting near Fred can be heard saying to his girlfriend, "There's a pool there in the middle of the tent, hidden by an optical illusion." Of course, Fred should know better. Jamie turns to run out the performer's entrance and the next act enters.

Fred watches in amazement. He knew that Jamie fancied herself quite the acrobat, and that she would often go to the roof, with Trent in tow, and practice, but he never knew exactly how good she was at all this. As the man near him states that it's an optical illusion and that there's a pool there, Fred just laughs. "You really think so? From that hight? Well, I suppose it's possible. She was probably on a thin cord we couldn't see, too. Or something." He says to the man as he stands up. He's got a performer to go find, after all! Making his way to outside, he starts to walk around the tent to find where the performers come and go from.

The area around behind the tent, since it leads to the private camp of those in the carnival, isn't really all that accessible. Luckily for Fred, Jamie is coming out of it, still barefoot and in her shining costume, perhaps off for some cotton candy to celebrate her successful performance. That all stops as she all but runs into Fred, though, and she blinks as she looks up and sees who it is. Instantly she smiles, "Fred! Hi! Did you see my show?"

Fred is nearly baffled by the fact that a mini person has run into him. He quickly brightens when he discovers who it is, however. "Hey Jamie!" He chuckles and nods happily. "I sure did! I have to admit, it was wholly unexpected! I didn't know you were here with the carnival!" He tilts his head. "How long have you been here?" He rubs his neck a little. "Wasn't expecting to see you using your special ability though."

Jamie smiles and says, "What did you think?" Then she answers, "Been here a few weeks. Only been doing my own show for the last few days, had to practice up before they put me in the lineup." Then she giggles at the last comment, "Well, everybody in the audience thinks it's special effects, except the kids."

Chuckling, Fred kneels down so he can be eye level with Jamie. "Well, understandable, I suppose. Gotta practice with the equipment here that they have. And they have to make sure that they know you can do it." There's a ppause. "Personally, I never would have had any doubts. But then, I knew what you could do." He says softly. "Well, all the kids…and me know it's real." He says with a small smile.

Jamie smiles happily again and nods quickly. "Most of the stuff here is real. And it's safe here for all of us." She seems very happy too. Then she gets more serious, "Have you seen Sydney? Trent said she'd been missing, maybe kidnapped, and we tried looking for her but nobody knew where she was."

Fred furrows his brow. "Everyone here who appears to do something specially…actually can do that ability?" He chuckles softly, shaking his head. "Well, ain't that something?" He says breezily. But the topic gets to Sydney. He nods his head slightly. "Yeah. In fact, her and I were at the same place." He says simply. "But…she's back now, if you're wanting to see her. I'm sure she'd like to see you."

Jamie bites her lip and shakes her head a bit, "I'm not allowed to leave the Carnival grounds." Not usually a rule she'd follow, but this time she does. Then immediately she brightens again, "But I think we're still here tomorrow, you could bring her to see a show! And then we can visit after."

Fred frowns deeply. "You're not allowed to leave the grounds? Ever? Not even if you were with someone who they approve you to go with, under the promise of being back at a certain time?" He shrugs. "Well…she doesn't feel like leaving her home a lot right now. I'm sure she'd love to come. And I can see if she'd be willing to come here. I might be able to persuade her."

Jamie hesitates, "Well, I'm not supposed to go out *alone*. But, that only counts the adults here. They don't trust outsiders much around here, and you'd be one. But… I might be able to talk someone into taking me out to visit. Dunno though. Would be lots easier if she came here."

Fred smiles softly, placing a hand on Jamie's shoulder. "I hate to say this, Jamie. I know I just said I might be able to coax her out, but really…it would be better if you went to her. Do you understand? She doesn't want to go out right now. She really hates it. If…if you could persuade one of the adults from here to go with you, that would be much better." He says softly.

Jamie bites her lip and then nods a little, though it's kind of obvious she doesn't understand. Why would anybody not want to go to a carnival? "Ok, I'll try. I dunno even for sure how long we're staying in town for, but hope we'll be long enough to talk someone into it."

Fred sighs a little, and looks down at the ground for a moment before looking back up at Jamie. "She's going through a hard time. She's…it's really hard to explain. But she's having a hard time. I know she'd love to have a visit from you. It would brighten up her day. I'm sure it would. Or…I hope it would, anyway."

Jamie bites her lip again and nods quickly, "Ok. I'll do my best! Maybe Sydney can see my show next time we're in New York. It'll probably be even better by then anyway. Where's she living now? The same house Trent was staying at?" She shrugs then and asks, "Are you having fun here anyway? There's really lots to see! Lydia, the Tattoo Lady, is amazing. So are the Bowmans, they're fire-breathers. They're the ones I'm staying with. And there's tons of games."

Fred smiles and nods. "Good. Good." He thinks for a moment. "I'm…not sure if it's the same place. I don't know. But I can give you the address, though. How are you at memorization?" He smiles and nods. "I've been around the carnival. I've not seen the Tattoo Lady, but I did see the fire-breathers. A family of them, eh? That was really neat."

Jamie grins and says, "I'm good at remembering addresses and choreography. Not much else, though. But, I used to be a runner, a long time ago, addresses are easy." Then she nods quickly and says, "Uh-huh. They're really cool people. And Jennie, that's their daughter, loves doing the shows as much as I do."

"So…if I tell you the address, you'll be able to remember it, then?" Fred says hopefully. "Tell the…the…Bowmans, was it? Tell them that I enjoyed their fire-breathing display. It was amazing!" He says happily. "How old is their daughter? Is she your age?"

Jamie nods quickly, smiling, "Yep, I'll remember!" Then she nods again and says, "I'll tell them, promise! Um, no, she's a bit younger, she's eight. Still, she's really fun and cool to talk to. She's the one that I met first, she wasn't allowed to go on the ferris wheel alone, so I went with her."

Fred smiles softly as he recites to Jamie the address of Sydney. "I hope you get a chance to visit with her." He says gently. "I'm glad you're making friends here, Jamie. I know that being in a carnival was really what you wanted to do. You didn't want to be anything less!" He chuckles.

Jamie repeats the address a couple times to herself, and smiles, "I'll remember!" Then she nods emphatically and says, "It's the best here! It's… like being back at home again. Little different, but *feels* like home again. Know what I mean?"

Fred listens intently to Jamie as she describes the carnival. "I think I know what you mean. I've had a place or two like that for me too." He says kindly, with a smile. "I always like being home, don't you? It's the best thing, to go home!"

Jamie nods emphatically, giving another happy smile, "The best!" She then says, "Oh, don't tell anybody, about the powers being real here, ok? Told ya 'cause you'd probably figure out anyway, but knew you'd keep it secret too. You're a doctor, it's what doctors do."

Fred chuckles softly, holding up his hand in an oath like manner. "I solemnly swear not to speak a work of the powers being real to anybody. Not even Sydney. Or my sister." Yes. He just said his sister. "You're right, I probably could have figured it out anyway. I've worked with lots of people with powers. So…it's not a far stretch." He says with a chuckle.

Jamie smiles again and says, "Thanks." Then she blinks, "Wait, your sister? Wasn't your sister missing or something? Did you find her?" She seems excited for Fred at this prospect.

Fred chuckles a little. "My sister and I were separated when we were young. But we've run into each other again, and we're reconnected." He says happily, smiling widely. "She's just recently moved to New York. It's quite something."

Jamie smiles again and says, "Cool! Family shouldn't be seperated, glad you found her! Or she found you, whatever." She grins and says, "We both found families, mine's new and yours is old, but bet it feels the same."

Fred smiles and a nods a little bit. "Yes, I agree. Family shouldn't be separated! And yes, we have both gotten a new family. It's wonderful. Absolutely family!" Patting Jamie on the shoulder, he says, "I hope I'm not keeping you from anything. I wouldn't want to do that!"

Jamie shrugs a little and says, "Nothing important, was just gonna get a slushy cone for a snack. That was my last show of the day but it's still a while before supper. Wanna come with me? They're really good. But if you want something else, they sell spaghetti and popcorn and meatball sandwiches and all sorts of stuff."

Fred considers this for a moment before nodding. "You know? I think I'd like a slushy cone! I haven't had a slushy cone for YEARS! But I remember that they're very yummy!" He say, standing up once more. "Well, I'm sure you know better which way to go, so lead the way!"

Jamie smiles again and says, "Ok!" She turns and starts to lead the way out into the carnival, turning this way and that as she navigates a path she knows well, including short-cuts. Soon enough, they're at the right concession. "Hi!" The man serving the cones smiles and says, "I was wondering when you'd show up today, hold on." He looks up to Fred, not quite realizing he's with Jamie… perhaps worried that the girl was followed, in fact, but he gives a smile anyway, "Can I interest you in a cone?"

Fred does try to keep up with the girl, and succeeds quite well. "You sure know your way around here!" He says, noting as they take what appears to be shortcuts. Giving the man at the concession stand a little smile, he looks down at Jamie. "What kind of cone are you getting, Jamie?" He looks back up at the man. "I'll have what the lady is having."

Jamie introduces, "This is Fred. He helped protect me once, when the soldiers were after us all." The man still has an air of suspicion, but relaxes a little at least. Jamie looks up to Fred and says, "I'm having lemon-lime. It's my favourite, though strawberry's good too."

Fred smiles a little bit. "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir." He shrugs a little. "It's like Jamie said." Though, he doesn't feel the need to continue with the explanation. She said it well enough. "So, I'll have the lemon-lime one, please!" He says with a nod.

The man nods and goes about making two lemon-lime slushy cones, handing one to each, and says to Fred, "Since you're a friend of Jamie's, you get one on the house." No promise of the same for any future ones, though. Jamie just smiles and says, "Thanks!"

Fred smiles to the man in the concession. "Thank you very much, sir. That's kind of you." He responds, receiving his cone. "Have good day." He says as he looks around. "Now, any other acts you'd suggest I see, Jamie? You already mentioned going to the Tattooed Lady. Anything else in particular?"

Jamie waves to the man in the concession, who smiles to her, and then she starts to walk on with Fred. She thinks as she works a little at her cone, and then says, "The House of Mirrors is really amazing. There's the puppet-master, he really puts on a good show. Um… the psychic booth, you can get a tarot card reading, it's really cool!"

Fred thinks for a moment. "Well, I didn't actually go into the House of Mirrors, so that could be fun!" He says happily. "Where about is the House of Mirrors?" He says, looking about. "You certainly know your way around this place better than I do!"

Jamie grins and says, "It took me about a week before I figured out my way around! But we're all a family here, so everybody's been really nice, helped me figure stuff out. Especially Jennie." She then points in the direction of the House of Mirrors, "It's over there."

Fred shrugs a little. "Understandable, of course. I don't blame you. It's a big place, here!" He says, looking around. "There's this one job I had…took me ages to figure out how to get around." He shakes his head. "But, that's that!"

Jamie nods quickly and grins. She eats a bit more of her cone before she asks, "Will you tell Sydney where I am, and about how cool this place is, in case I can't get to see her? And that I miss her?"

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