image: circus performer


Lars Circus of Love: a story of comeuppance and revenge

By Maxximillian Dafoe

It had been twelve years, eight months and two days since I had been a part of Leery & Lamboni’s Flying Circus. According to the elderly acrobatic duo, I joined the circus before I was even potty trained. The elephant man discovered me, playing in the dirt, near the cotton candy machine—I had already pulled up all the grass and was throwing handfuls of dirt high up into the air, the way one might launch festive confetti.

In the beginning, I was too young for it to be determined with any certainty what my talents might someday be. Surely, at the time—although none of the members will admit it or point fingers today, there were some who would intuit that I didn’t have any talents at all. Even among the hated, there be haters.

Someone—I won’t say who, told me it was Marius… but more on that later.

Sometime after I’d lost count of the summers and falls, life for me in the circus began to change. I had started training with the elephants. Though it wasn’t my task, I  began to memorize the elephant and handler routine. I watched them closely. And they did as they were bidden by the handler, though in every moment, I was certain that the elephants were closely watching me.

Marius, in late July, after a particularly nasty exchange with the contortionist—one of a set of identical twins who was also his wife—was launched high into the air by the female elephant. He landed in the uppermost branches of a nearby pine tree. It was so tall that one could scarcely see the top branches. Not desiring to uphold the law with regard to the penalty that may be enforced upon the beloved elephant and unwilling to pay any fines or attend any court hearings that may arise from proper notification to local authorities, the entire circus voted to leave him right there. We all fled. Immediately.

Juniper was offered her own show, in addition to the duo performance she shared with her twin. She was also permitted to requisition the largest and most decadent circus wagon.

Eleven years later, as I had yet to give evidence of any acrobatic skill or sensational talent, I was made apprentice to the ring master. When Alvin Lamboni died—another mishap with the elephants, it was unanimously agreed that I would take over as ring master. It was a no brainer—Leery had long since died and Mrs. Lamboni was in no emotional state to do anything outside of her absinthe cocktails and percocet refills, which suited me fine since her interest in the business of the circus was negligible and I had other ideas.

Within the fall season following Lamboni’s death, I’d commissioned the most luxurious circus wagon the world had ever seen, made the twin contortionists my consiglieri and transformed Leery & Lamboni’s Flying Circus into Lars’ Circus of Love. It’s grossed three billion dollars to date. It’s a traveling whorehouse.


Write an alternate story of your life, like an alternate history book, in which the author changes one key fact of history, then explores the possible changes that would occur as a result. Change one key fact of your life, one decision that you made, and explore how your life would be different. If you hadn’t committed to your mate, for example, or moved to a new city or passed up a certain opportunity, how would things change? You can do this in a serious way, striving for the most plausible possibilities, or you can go wild, concocting crazy scenarios.

Just to keep things from getting too heavy, I put a 500 word limit on my story. Yours should be however long you like.

A story can be 6 words, if you write it that way. (I have even written a two-word story.)




image: artist-author maxximillian dafoe and 7 different episode covers from her various podcasts including afterlife, mollyville, and maxximillian presents: thematic


Taryn Maxximillian Dafoe is known for her well told stories, new world organization concepts and unforgettable characters. She has aspirations of eating pub pies in London with a dark pint like the characters in her favorite television murder mystery series, Midsomer Murders. John Nettles is one of her favorite actors alive.

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