Cassidy’s job this evening was to tidy up after the show, she stayed backstage during the performance watching nervous acts go on and come back elated. She longed to be able to flip like the acrobats, or have Nadia’s courage; she wished to have Jerin’s fearlessness or Moon’s skill. Cassidy was talentless in her own eyes and she was blind to her own skills. Cassidy hoped her learning to read and write would help her in the future, she couldn’t stay with the circus her whole life – she was a hindrance, a liability. The only reason she was still here was her father and if he wasn’t the ringmaster she’d have been long gone like so many of the other act’s children.
The show ended and Cassidy headed to the audience seats, a few were left behind, speaking in strong regional Italian accents which even Cassidy found hard to understand. Cassidy having grown up travelling through Europe knew most of the languages: Italian, Greek, French, German, Spanish, Turkish, Austrian even some loose Romanian, Albanian and Polish. She revelled in their sounds and never forgot how to say a single word, her favourite was Italian. Two years ago she’d spent a whole summer in the region of Florence, a town named Massarosa. It was on the Western coast, very close to Pisa. Despite coming from an English background Cassidy felt Italian, her childhood had been predominantly in the country despite travelling and she’d made many friends that summer. One special friend in particular – Antonio. Whenever the circus was close to Pisa she’d look out for Antonio, hoping that one day she’d meet him again but she was beginning to lose hope. It had been two years; he’d have grown up and moved to Rome or Bologna.
Cassidy began to collect the tickets and programmes which had been left on the seats. She divided them into reusable piles and throwing away piles. A few acrobats came onto the stage and began to practice a stunt which had gone wrong. Cassidy sat slowly on a chair and watched as they gracefully threw their bodies around, she noticed Cassius slip in to spy on Alianna. He looked around the seating and saw Cassidy; he got up and jogged over to her.
“Dakota was looking for you,” he whispered,
“I was just finishing tidying up,” she replied under her breath so as not to disturbed the acrobats. She stood up slowly and handed the tickets to him, “You can finish it off, I’m tired,” Cassius smiled and nodded. Cassidy slipped out the main tent and went to their wagon. Carlo their wagon horse was lazing on the grass by the trailer, she petted him gently. He wasn’t a performer either, he merely pulled their wagon every time they had to move to a new location but he was getting old and slow. He sighed contentedly as she fed him some sweet hay, the quiet buzz of the Italian countryside left Cassidy feeling sleepy. The sun had almost gone down and that meant it was nearly 10 O’clock. She climbed into the wagon, closed the door and lit a candle. Sitting on her bed she began to recite the letters she’d learnt that morning. Cassius snuck in quietly a few minutes later, he didn’t say anything as he undressed and climbed into his own bed.
“Blow out the candle Cassie, it’s late,” Cassius hissed, a second later darkness wrapped around them and Cassidy lay down slowly. Another day in the life of a traveller.