Miami Nights

It was a late summer afternoon. Laura walked along the muggy street, dragging her vintage suitcase towards nowhere. 

A black man lay on the door of a pub. He whistled when Laura passed by, but he was completely ignored. She kept walking with her head down. Her blonde hair was shining under the sunset, but she didn’t know it.

Laura was frustrated. Early in the morning during the rehearsal, Laura fell off from the ropes again. Mr Hardy was quite unhappy with her continuous mistake, so he asked her to take one day off and think of her performance. “Do it right before the show or leave my troup,” he said to Laura cuttingly, “the tour’s going on tomorrow, you still have sometime practicing before boarding. I’m not choosing you to make the audience laugh. You’re not a good clown anyway.”

Now she was alone, with her air ticket in her bag. Of course she was not going to quit the show, let alone that she had no elsewhere to go. She kept walking till somehow she suddenly noticed she was sitting in a pub, a shot of bourbon was in front of her.

Laura drank it up. Two cowboys whistled, “That’s quite a tough choice for girls, uh?” She didn’t reply. The pub was muggy and noisy, a campy band sang on the stage as if they were punk indeed. It was an ordinary pub, but the whiskey was pretty good.

She asked for a sandwich, with ham and salad inside. The waiter, in a multi-colour shirt, put the dish on her table languorously. The sandwich was made well, smooth cut bread with fresh ham and juicy vegetable. People often forgot the importance of cutting the bread tidily when making a sandwich. She seized it and took a mouthful. It was a great pleasure. She put the rest whole piece aside and got out her ticket. The destination was Miami, she caressed the letters and sighed. 

“Miami, he said it owned the most wonderful nights,” she thought. She remembered the day when she was a little girl, as a gymnast she spent all her spare time in the studio. One day after the practice ended, she met the magician. She was mesmerised by his talent, he made the fantasy came true through his big black top-hat. He was from Miami, The Florida Circus. During the period when the tour was in town, the circus had show every night. 

She remembered those days deeply that she escaped from her gymnastics class to the tents. It was so fortunate for her that the show was free for children. She didn’t like the clown who was always hilarious stupidly, nor did she fancy the animal trainer, because she saw those animals jumped over the fire again and again unhappily. (But actually they were really good.) Somehow the Circus didn’t have an acrobat, that dissatisfied her. The only attraction to her was the magician. 

The last show of the tour was on the Central Plaza in the town. The magician showed up as the last performance. “We’re from Miami,” he smiled in the centre of the plaza, declaring to the public, “We’ve shared so many sparkling nights with you, and now let me offer you the last one.” He opened up his arms, suddenly all the lights in the town lighted up, then went out, left the dark sky with constellations which were concealed by the light of the town before that nobody had ever noticed its beauty. While everyone was raising their heads to locate those stars, few noticed that the magician had gone.

It must be a wonderland, where furnished the fantastic illusionist. From then on Laura wanted to be a magician like him, but somehow her life was moving on in a steady pace. She finally became a acrobat, and made it to the Sovereign Circus of Wyoming. Nonetheless,  she was always the most hardworking one but never a splendid acrobat. 

She gazed at the ticket for a long time. The name of the destination was shining. She grabbed the shot glass, turned it upside down and drew a coin from the rim out of thin air, then with the coin in her hand she beat the bottom of the upside down glass, a coin appeared in the glass fell on the table through the thick wall of glass. The cowboys clapped loudly. She glimpsed at them, and smiled coldly. She used to be good at this kind of tricks, but she had forgot to show them for years. Even if she remembered, she would be too frightened to show them.

She walked out of the pub with her vintage suitcase. The sun was almost sink off the horizon. She looked at her watch, and slowly took the ticket out to check the time. The plane was about to take off in an hour. She caressed the name of the city again. It was to be the stage welcoming her debut, but how could she make it a good one?

“It shouldn’t be like this,” she whispered calmly to herself, “It shouldn’t, shouldn’t be like this.”

Gently and unswervingly, she tore the ticket into pieces. She did it very, very slowly. After every letter on the ticket had been impossible to be recognised, she stopped under the dark sky. 

She put the pieces into her pocket and kept walking, calmly. Although towards nowhere still, she suddenly felt that everything was seemed to be bright and hopeful.

“The night has just begun,” she thought.


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