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Melanie Mouse

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 Prologue

It had happened: it seemed she had finally told him.

I realised this, just after hearing the start of an explosive argument, which was coming from Alicia caravan, that was unfortunately just situated next to mine

Everyone else in the surrounding area could probably hear it as well.

But they were all used with Ricardo ranting and raving, and his explosive temper.

They tolerated it, because he was one of the big stars. And everyone knew a brilliant Artiste's were prone to temper tantrums, so they were allowed to have them.

And he was a great Artiste; one who brought the crowds into circus

They were fascinated with his dazzling death defying feats on the trapeze that made them gasp with awe and amazement.

So everyone went about their usual business, ignoring the yelling and shouting coming from within the caravan.

That was the good thing about circus folk, they stuck together as one tight knit community looking out for each other, yet knew when it was best not to interfere in some matters.

And I?

Well I sat feigning great interest in sewing and mending the clown costume my Aunt Lizzie had left me to do, but my fingers trembled nervously as they pushed the sewing needle into the fine material and pulled it through.

I was one of the few who knew exactly what this particular hot and heavy argument was about. But I knew I had to keep pretending that I didn't, then act suitably shocked as the rest would, once it finally became public knowledge.

Alicia had finally made up her mind. She was leaving the circus behind for a modelling career. She had been mulling over it for a while now, but the main problem had been her parents, they would not be happy with her new choice of career.

They believed in preserving the circus and its way of life, and for one of their offspring to think of abandoning that way of life, it was almost sacrilege.  There was the fact that Alicia, like Ricardo, pulled the crowds in; with the elegant bareback stunts she performed on Spangle, the pretty white mare.

So her leaving would also be a great loss for the circus

Then there was Ricardo, her boyfriend of three years. They were known as the golden couple. She was blonde and beautiful, he was dark and handsome. No one else could handle the hot tempered arrogant Ricardo like Alicia could. She gave him as good as she got. Which was probably why he had been so attracted to her.

With her, he had met his match. She was as spoilt and pampered as he was; only she was not quite as mean tempered, and she was far more gracious and thoughtful of other people than he could be.

Both of them though, had the same fiery passion and loved being in the limelight Everyone had expected them to eventually marry, including me.

But that had all changed a few months ago, when two significant things happened around the same time for her.

Alicia had been doing some part time, casual modelling work, to earn some extra money. It seemed that someone in the agency that had employed her, loved her stunning figure and face enough to offer her a full time contract, which had appealed to her greatly.

She had told me all about it. I had somehow become her confidante.

Not that we were best friends or anything like that; far from it.

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