2010-05-15: Lion's Share of Fate



Date: May 15th, 2010


Traveling foster brothers find a traveling carnival.

"Lion's Share of Fate"

Near Angel City, Florida

After having watched the launch, the dynamic duo opted to go to the coast and enjoy some fun in the sun. Kneeling on a beach blanket, and dressed in neon green board shorts and a black tank top, he's building a sand castle. Yes, he's fourteen and building a sand castle. Why? Because it's awesome!!

Cross-legged, he begins to dig a moat around his monument (which all things is pretty epic because he's pretty bright), grinning all the while. Ironically, he's wearing a pair of oversized designer sunglasses that he definitely didn't buy. On his feet he's wearing a pair of blue flip-flops.

Cam, of course, given his relationship with heat, is spending a lot more time than Micah actually in the water. Dressed in just a pair of swim trunks, he makes his way back up the sand to sit by Micah again. "Wow, that's looking amazing!"

"Thanks! It needs some work still. I wanna put in windows, I think," Micah half-smiles as he stares at the structure. "And then I'll bulldoze it over because that's half the fun." He's beaming now. The last month has certainly been somewhat of a holiday for the pair, and its showing on Micah's face. With a lop-sided smile he stands from the blanket to dig along the other side of the castle. "How're you doing with the temperature? The water's cool at least, right?"

After finishing the moat he hmms before walking over to one of the day bags they've been carrying around and pulling out a toothpick which he uses to dig out windows for his castle and etch in some of the finer details. Carefully he wets it in the moat (which does indeed contain water) and uses it as a kind of tool to finish some of the details.

Cam nods quickly and grins, "Yep, nice and cool. It's great." He looks a little out of breath still as he leans back, watching Micah work. "Make sure to get a picture of it before you bulldoze it, though."

The Floridian breeze picks up, warm and harmless as it rustles a few beach towels and tousles some of the beachy waves of sunbathers.

A stray bit of trash — a piece of paper, tattered around the edges — blows around Cam's ankles, whisks across the sand and gets caught in on the turret of the sandcastle.

White, red, and black, it proves to be a flyer … crumpled and a bit dirty after being torn from wherever it had been posted and journeying across the beach. It is, however, still bold and bright!




Sullivan Bros.


Trash?! Who would litter?! Darned litterers! Save the world only to have the rest of it kill the planet through trash! Indignantly, Micah furrows his eyebrows as he plucks the piece of paper from the sand castle, but his expression changes as he actually reads the flyer. "A carnival…? And it's today." His gaze shifts to Cam. "That could be really really fun… wanna go?"

Cam looks to the paper as Micah picks it up, sitting up a little straighter. "Heck yeah! That sounds great. Never been to a real carnival before. Unless you count the school halloween carnival," he adds, joking. He reaches for his own bag to pull out a shirt.

* * *

Sullivan Bros. Carnival


A vivid orange flame flourishes from the mouth of a fire-eater and then second from his female partner, back and forth.

The smell of popcorn and other savory and sweet confections fills the night air; so the sounds of talking, of laughing, of distance music; and lights of every shape, size and colour are strung from place to place, around signs, upon rides…

It's a whole other world.

Sullivan Bros. Carnival, the sign at the entrance said— and the name, set upon an theatrical north, east, south and west, can be glimpsed all over. Signs are everywhere, beckoning visitors into different exhibits, rides, games, and concessions. ZIPPER; FISHBOWL TOSS; KNIFE-THROWING; SLUSHY CONES!

"Wooooooooooooooow," Micah is in utter awe as he peers around at the sights with his slushy cone in hand. "This is amazing." He gnaws on the blue-coloured ice as it turns his entire mouth that all too familiar fake blue flavouring colour. With a broad grin he points towards one of the signs, "What should we do next?! I bet you'd be really good at the fish bowl toss— "

"Knife throwing always makes me nervous, BUT it might be fun to watch, right? I mean, they won't hurt anyone. It's all for fun and they're professionals— "

Cam, of course, couldn't pass up a slushy cone of his own, though his is red. "I dunno, I can try," he says with a grin to the mention of the fishbowl toss. His eyes are wandering everywhere, taking in everything he can. "This place is amazing. But yeah, we definitely have to check out the knife throwing."

A crowd forms around the fire-breathers, watching the red-and-blue clad pair of carnies with the same innocent, childlike awe. They deserve it — sometimes it seems like the fire is really coming out of their mouths!

In a tent off to Micah and Cam's left, a woman in long, flowing layers, dripping with bangles and crystals stands. Middle-aged, but pretty despite sharp features, she has dark hair with a grey streak (natural or put there for show? The same question could be asked of her whole outfit). "Come see into the future!" she calls out. She seems to be looking straight at the teenagers. "Don't fear the future! I hope you're not afraid~…" She waves above a small wood-framed sign, lit from within.

In script:
Psychic Readings
Tarot Readings
Palm Reading
* Horoscopes *

"What's there to be afraid of?" Micah smirks back at the fortune teller. His grin broadens as he steps towards her and offers her his palm. "How much? I'd like to know my future, seems kinda fun…" he pauses before looking back at his foster brother, "What do you think? Palm reading? See how long we'll live?" He winks before his grin turns dimpled. "Please, ma'am? I think we'd both like that."

He shifts a little as he stares at the sign. How do they do that? More than anything he wants to touch the sign and understand how it works. He reaches out to touch it with his other hand just to understand it, but he stops, "May I?"

Cam grins and nods quickly to Micah, as he steps towards the tent, "Yeah. Let's go for the full package, actually, not just palm reading. I'd love to see what our future's like." He stops as Micah stops to examine the sign, not in any kind of rush it seems.

"For you boys…" The woman smiles toothily, spreads her hands, her long fingers encircled with many glittery baubles. She really does look like a traveling gypsy of some kind. "…donation only!" Micah's fascination with the sign, of all things, throws the carnie and her theatrical manner falters for a moment as she gives the kid a weird look. "Uh…" The big ol' smile returns. "Why don't you follow me into my booth…" A flourishing hand gestures toward the red tent and she heads inside, brushing aside a beaded curtain, which she holds open.

The space inside is tiny: dimly lit, strung with soft orange lights, the walls are decorated by multi-colored scarves and trinkets. A small black table sits in the middle with something rectangular wrapped in a royal purple silk cloth, as well as what appears to be some small animal skull (cat? Monkey?), and a miniature silver cauldron with a paper note taped to it that says 'donations welcome! the stars thank you!'. Two chairs are on one side of the table, and one across: the psychic's seat.

The woman is followed through the beaded curtain with a bright smile and wide-eyes. Micah contemplates how much to give. With a shrug of his shoulders he reaches into his pocket and extracts a ten dollar bill which is promptly put into the cauldron. They don't have tons of cash considering they're on a trek across the country, but if she's giving them the full deal, then they really need to give what they can— within reason, of course.

He seats himself on one of the chairs and leans forward, ready to hear whatever the psychic has to say— still smiling broadly. This is all for fun anyways, right? Besides, it's holidays, smiling and fun is where it's at.

Cam follows Micah and the woman into the tent, grinning as he looks around and moves to take the other seat. "This place is cool." He too seems to be taking it all for fun, totally relaxed. He looks to the woman again and asks, "Do you need us to do anything?"

The woman nods her head after the money is dropped in the cauldron. It's rare to get that much, especially from youth! She sashays around the table, the beaded curtain clattering in her wake. She takes her seat across from the boys, and instantly the orange glow from the lighting casts an eerie, ethereal glow on her angular features, all shadows and light.

The carnival knows how to work even a cheap set of string lights to their advantage.

The psychic certainly looks legit as she stares across at the pair, studying them, considering, with large brown eyes full of depth. "Your hands," she states. The more she speaks the more it becomes obvious that she has a faint accent. Romanian? "I need your hands." She clears the skull to the edge of the table and calmly places her own hands, palms up, on the dark cloth. One in front of Micah, one in front of Cam. "How old are you… fourteen?" Eyes move from one to the other. "Fifteen?" A nod. "I am sure your futures are not yet fully formed… you have so much life ahead of you. But let's see what we can see, shalllll we?"

With a small nod Micah offers his hand. Maybe he looks fourteen? None of this is real anyways. "We're still figuring life out, so you're probably right… besides futures can be changed anyways, right?" He's grinning again although he looks up at the lights above, how are they doing that? Those lights are particularly fascinating. Not a surprise, considering his fascination with technology.

Cam nods to the woman and says, "He's fourteen, I'm fifteen." He places his hand in the psychic's trustingly, eager to see what she has to say it seems. Still, he nods agreement with Micah, "Yeah, soon as we start to know the future, it'd change a little. I think."

"Wise wise!" The woman grins widely. "I see you have thought about this." She takes Micah's hand and Cam's hand in each of hers. She leans over the table, closing her eyes to reveal a swathe of murky, smoky black and blue make-up on her eyelids. She takes a deep breath, seeming to be in great concentration.

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…" Slowly, her eyes open, and her thumbs simultaneously traverse liens on each teenager's palm. "You've both had… trauma in your life… changes. But you both have much vitality." She raises Micah's. "You have made important decisions that have affected many." She blinks, seeming surprised, before focusing on Cam's hand. "You, my boy, have a penchant for adventure … you both do. In fact, I'd say… you're on an adventure right now. Ah ah ah, now the fate line…"

Micah side glances Cam. Things have just gone from fun and happy to slightly weird. He tenses a little. It's not like he doesn't know there's people out there who can read thoughts, and even see the future, but this isn't what he was expecting. His eyes squint, his lips curl into a contemplative non-happy smirk. It's pensive, in a way, as he blinks at the woman sitting across from him. She couldn't have deduced that, could she? Maybe the adventure part, but not the trauma, and certainly not the decisions. He glances down at his clothing. As near as he can tell nothing about either of them screams orphan or foster care. A side glance is shot to Cam, but only for a moment before the fortune teller has his full attention again.

Cam blinks in surprise as the psychic figures them out so quickly. He doesn't stop grinning, though. He either believed this woman was a real psychic all along, or he thinks he knows how she's deducing everything so far. He does glance over to Micah, but he soon looks back to the psychic.

The psychic doesn't falter as she continues studying the palms in the dim light. Running her thumbs over their hands, it seems she feels the lines more than sees them, in this poor lighting. "Your fate lines are very similar…" she says. "Are you…" She looks up to study the pair slightly skeptically. "…brothers?"

Regardless, she goes on, "Your fate lines are very deep. You are both strongly controlled by your fates. They both intersect here…" she presses. "You were supported by your family until recently… you— " A nod to Micah. "Had your family around you for longer." A nod to Cam, this time. "Your line is spotty. Both of yours break off here— " Another press into their hands. "You are both on your own, are you not? Now that is strange. You are so young!"

Finally, Micah's skepticism has faded, this is too odd for words. "We're foster brothers," he answers quietly. "Our parents died last August." His face flushes a little at the memory before he pushes it away. "And yes. We're on our own… but we have each other," he shoots Cam a wry smile. "And we're really… fine that way." He frowns. They are fine, but there's no sense of belonging outside of each other, not for him anyways.

Now things are venturing beyond what a skilled con man (like Cam) can figure out. His eyes widen a little and he glances to Micah and back. When Micah answers honestly, though, he relaxes a little and says, "Yeah, you're right on just about everything." He nods then in agreement with Micah, "Yeah, we're fine."

"Ah hah. I see that." The palm-reader gives the boys' hands each a little pat and lets go. Both of her bejeweled hands drift to the object wrapped up in purple silk on the table. "Now let us be a little more specific, shall we." Because that was vague?

She unwraps the silk to reveal of deck of tall cards. She halves it, setting one half in front of Micah and Cam. "Shuffle," she says. "And don't get any slushy cone on my cards." In the meantime, she watches them with a glint in her dark eyes. "How have you been enjoying the Carnival so far? It is a wonderful thing, isn't it … to have family."

Micah smirks at the notion of getting slushy on the cards, but shuffles as he does what he's told. His lips curl upwards at the question about the carnival, "It's awesome. Honestly, I like all of the lights and colours… and I like the music and sounds… and the food." He grins broader at the notion of the food in particular. It's not healthy, but darn his slushy is good. He tilts his head a little at the notion of family, "Yeah… I… I miss Mom and Dad. Like all of the time. We stayed at an orphanage in Germany for awhile and that was cool having people all around." He smiles thoughtfully, "I bet it's kind of like that here…"

Cam puts aside his slushy, using his backpack to prop it up as he then reaches to pick up the cards and shuffles them. His shuffling style is more backroom casino than normal card shuffling, but it gets the job done in any case, and he puts it back down. "The carnival is amazing. Never been anywhere else like it. And yeah, the food's really good." He nods again to the mention of family, admitting, "That's partly why we're on our own. Not going to let anybody split us up."

The psychic's dark eyes take it all in with an almost too-deep intensity. "The Carnival is a family for us." She smiles, toothy and … unusual, but even so, there is something heartfelt to be found.

"Ah!" The cards are ready. She gathers them up, pressing the two half-decks together until they're all one, jumbled. "Past," she places one card face-down. "Present," second, "Future." Third.

The "past" card is overturned first, to reveal an artsy image of three toga-wearing figures holding gold cups in the air. "Three of Cups. Here you are… nothing we haven't already learned, hm? You are friends, family, you are very close." She's quick to pass by this one and flip the "present" card over, a man on a horse with a five-point star on his shield. The card is upside-down. "Prince of Pentacles. You're on a journey over land…" She looks up with concern at the pair. "…but listen! You have to be careful. Think things through. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times. You will come across someone on your journey— I can't see him…" She shakes her head. "It's dark."

"Yeah, like Cam said, we want to stay together. We need to stay together. We left because they'd separate us and after everything we've been through…" he starts as the cards are melded into one stack, but he stops talking abruptly as the fortune teller explains each in turn.

Micah's eyebrows furrow. "Is he… bad?" While before he thought all of this was a joke, he's taking it very seriously now. He leans forward as he stares at the card, unsure of who this man is and whether he's friend or foe.

Cam frowns at this prediction, glancing to Micah and back. "Is he a danger? We're usually pretty careful about things like that." Though they've trusted way too easy a number of times already. He looks to the card as if it'll say something, obviously concerned as well.

"Yes." The psychic seems sure of this. "I think." …Or not. "Looking ahead will give us more insight," she explains, and does just that: the "future" card is now overturned. It pictures a woman in a white gown petting a mighty lion. "Strength!" she claps her hands together. "This card says that you will have to call upon your inner courage in the face of adversity you will face — something, I think, you know a little something about already. Because … ah. Yes. The lion tells us that you will have to be strong in your instincts to uncover that which is not what it seems. You will do so because— "

The woman sits back, folding her hands as she regards the pair. "You want justice." She reflects on the reading. "Quite the little heroes I have in my chairs, hmmm? It seems you cannot so easily prance away from fate."

Micah blinks. All of this information from cards. Cards. He blinks harder as he nods, "We do want justice. All of the time. Cam and I seek it out!" His eyebrows furrow. "Have we gone off our path— ?" the path of the hero. "Or… are we okay? We're heroes. We've been heroes for awhile," not just in what they can do, but in what they have done. With a small twitch of his lips he's smiling, but it's not really joyful, instead it's sweet, a little pained with a tinge of melancholy. "What will we face? The guy from the last card— ? Or something else? Someone else?"

Cam nods in agreement with Micah, though adds, "We haven't gone off the path. We've just been taking a vacation. If we'd seen anything, we would have helped." He quiets then, though, as Micah's other questions have him curious too, and he looks back to the psychic.

"The cards say what the cards say!" The psychic spreads her hands apart. "I cannot force them to speak when they've said their piece. But I can say this: you will know your path when you see it."

With that, the carnie draws the tiny cauldron close to her. It jingles with loose change, which she picks through with long fingers. Apparently the psychic reading is over!

"Okay… so you don't know anything else?" he pauses. "Thank you?" Micah asks more than says as he pushes his chair away from the table and shrugs at Cam as if to indicate silently 'that was weird'. He pushes the curtain of beads and steps out of the room.

Shaking his head he glances about the rest of the carnival, "What do you think that was about? I mean, path? What path? We're just making sure no one catches us and separates us. There really is no method to our madness right now…"

Cam rolls his eyes a little at the odd dismissal, but he gets up, picks up his bag and his slushy, to follow Micah out of the little room. "Well, you mentioned our path, as heroes, that maybe what she meant. The reading sure didn't say much, though. I *guess* it means there'll be someone we have to help catch sometime soon."

Soon — but maybe not now. The colorful world of the carnival greets them again, bright and full of activity, an blast to every sense outside the dark tent of the psychic. "Try to toss a ball in the fishbowl! I bet you can't win a goldfish!!" A game booth operator shouts to a group of carnival-goers nearby. Fun and games. It's one of those places you might spend hours at and not see everything.

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