Don’t Look Down
It’s all about timing, really. Of course, you also use your eyes. You see placements, or “marks”, but for Tsigana it was all about timing, and she had learned to keep time in a most natural way, she played a tune in her head and counted off the beats. She had done this so many times that now she could do it blind-folded, just by singing the song.
1-2-3, 2-2-3 He floats through the air - Wait
1-2-3, 2-2-3 with the greatest of ease - Release!
1-2-3, 2-2-3 That daring young man - 2 somersaults
1-2-3, 2-2-3 on the flying trapeze - and Catch!
Simple, really! Kazmer always caught her. Kazmer... solid, steady Kazmer. Kazmer who was always in the right place at the right time, Kazmer who never deviated from the script, who was unwilling to take risks, or to step outside of the normal. Steady, boring Kazmer.
Kazmer was good looking enough. The women sitting in the grandstands loved Kazmer, what with his bulging chest and tights, his marble face, and his jet black hair. Those were the very reasons that Tsigana herself had once fallen for him, had married him even, but that was not enough to win her love. Tsigana wanted more... she deserved more! She was still young. It was her time to live!
Sebestyen now! The lion tamer! Sebestyen knew how to live! Tsigana had been with Sebestyen just last night, and it had been a wonderful night spent dancing, drinking, laughing! They had made love on a park bench, under the stars. Her skirt had been short, so that to do it was easy and somewhat discreet, it was certainly something Kazmer would never dream of doing. But for Tsigana it had been intoxicating, especially when strangers passed by on the path staring wide-eyed at the young woman in the short skirt sitting on the man’s lap so brazenly? Intoxicating! Exhilerating! Higher even than the trapeze!
Tsigana unwound from her tuck on cue, but no strong hands graspered hers. Panicky eyes sought out Kazmer to find him out of position... late. Late! She hung suspended at her zenith, floating, waiting. Desperate, she found his eyes. They were looking into hers, and they were smiling? Kazmer was never late, and he never smiled! Tsigana’s arms flailed the air, swimming in it, holding herself aloft. She tried to recall seeing Kazmer smile in all of their time together and could remember none. Not even once. Not even the day they had married. This was one hell of a time to see it for the first time! “Late, you fuck!” She mouthed the words. Could her eyes have fired lazers they would have done so now, and they would have fired them directly into his.
And then her swimming failed. Tsigana began to fall. The hateful expression in her eyes changed to something else.
Was there a net? They never used a net! “Not authentic” Kazmer always said. A strange sound escaped her. The sound grew in volume as her downward velocity increased. She actually heard the heart-felt, “Oooohhh” whispered by the gullible fucks in the crowd, by those who paid good money to watch... this? To watch murder? She saw in his face what this was. Kazmer was condemning her for her many, many crimes. In this frightening moment Kazmer was God, and she subject to his mercy.
Someone must catch her! Kazmer must catch her! She was too young to die, and too beautiful, but she was falling fast, too fast, way too fas...
There was no thud, no thump. It was really like crashing through plate glass, only without shards, or blood. There was a ticklish moment when she was happy even. There was no pain. She was ok! But then it occured to her that her velocity, rather than stopping, continued to increase. The “Ooooh’s”, and the Aaaah’s” from the crowd were gone, replaced with far reaching shrieks and screams, echoing screams that emanated from within the deep, cavernous pit that pulled her downward. This was no Earthly place, and it was certainly not Heaven!
There was only darkness to fall into. There was no wind, nothing to indicate the direction of her fall. She was in an immense weightless space that pulled her toward a swirling black hole, a crushing, sightless, soundless hole that sucked at her soul like a foul-breathed prostitute, unclean and hard, wanting to pull her in quickly and get the nasty work over with. The fear in her grew to an absolute and unimaginable terror. This fall was multitudes worse even than the fall to death. This longest of all falls was Tsigana’s fall from Grace.
The fiery pit loomed.
“Who knew,” she thought? “Kazmer is God!”