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He energetically expresses his gratitude, somehow making his mask spin, which elicits some further exclamations of astonishment. When he takes it off, it transforms into an ordinary wooden bowl, which he uses to collect contributions from the audience.


 
 
 

The audience cheers ecstatically, showering the stage with coins. Both Shasha and the furry animals stand hand-in-paw next to each other, bowing and basking in the adoration. Then, the two creatures disappear in the wagon and Myszshu steps back out.


 
 
 

Shasha saltos through the flames, the furry creatures perform handstands on top of each other and at the climax, where only low, reverberating drums, like savage echoes of a lost primordial land remain, the will-o'-the-wisps rise and explode in fireworks.


 
 
 

The will-o’-the-wisps dash and dance through the rings in intricate patterns, drawing astonished ooohs and aaahs from the audience’s mouths. As more and more percussion joins in, the music’s alluring grace makes way for a wild, feverish cacophony.


 
 
 

With that, two strange furry animals, that look like something between cat and monkey, join her on the stage in dance. Their fur is as red as the evening sun and their long tails join in with the will-o’-the-wisps, forming blazing rings of red-hot flame


 
 
 

You keep silent, for now. Before the meaning of this is clear to you, you want to avoid causing any disturbance. Quietly, you close the door again and try to continue to focus on Shasha’s dance. The music changes slightly and picks up even more in pace.


 
 
 

There is one very noteworthy exception: the drums are being played by an automaton! They previously must have had it hidden in some corner of the wagon. You assume the mechanical nature of its being might help in keeping the rhythm.


 
 
 

All of the musical instruments are gathered around Yenot: the man who – apart from his large size - previously seemed entirely inconspicuous and equipped with the regular number of limbs, is playing four of them at the same time using six arms!


 
 
 

Something about the music seems strange to you: it can only be Myszshu and Yenot making it, yet you can distinctly hear many more than two different instruments. You walk to the back of the wagon and open the door to investigate.


 
 
 

Her dance has the audience enthralled. As the rhythm of the music rises, she appears as if dancing and leaping between the borders of two worlds; bringing back with her will-o’-the-wisps from beyond to join her, guided by the swirls of her flowing dress


 
 
 

He hurries back into the wagon, the music shifts to a quick, zestful rhythm and out on the stage, dancing, comes Shasha. Rotating her body and arms in a windmilling motion, the long sleeves of her costume whirl around like lost spirits.


 
 
 

Then, accompanied by fanfare-like music coming from within the wagon, Myszshu leaps out onto the stage. Now dressed in a motley costume and his face concealed behind a serpent mask, he enthusiastically welcomes the audience and announces the dancer.


 
 
 

A little while later, the crowd has already reached a remarkable size. Men and women all gather in front of the stage and there is much expectant murmuring and chatting. The three performers have withdrawn into the wagon for their final preparations.


 
 
 

You are willing to assist, but it appears that you have already slept through most of the work to be done, so you sit down on the small steps at the wagon’s door and wait. After a while, the first few potential spectators approach from the road.


 
 
 

Her long dark hair is put up with many ornamental jade needles and pins in a shape that recalls the majestic birds you saw a while ago, one of which you shudder to remember. Her dress is of many warm colours, long and flowing and her feet are bare.


 
 
 

While Myszshu is tuning the instruments, Shasha is sitting on a small stool, cleaning the costumes with a brush. You can hear her quietly mumbling some curses under her breath. She is already dressed in what looks like a dancer’s costume.


 
 
 

The wagon has been halted on a clearing in the forest. A small stage attached to it is already nearly fully set up. Yenot is currently mounting the screens to a device at the back of it that lets him switch them quickly through a winding mechanism.


 
 
 

Eventually, your eyes adjust, and you see Yenot carrying a large painted screen from the inside of the wagon to the outside. After you have sluggishly gotten up and properly stretched your limbs, you step out through the door onto a soft green lawn.


 
 
 

In the morning, you are awakened by loud noises coming from outside. The wagon is standing still. A large, bright ray of sunlight entering through the door forces you to shield your eyes with your hands as you try to open them.


 
 
 

You see a silhouette from a great distance. Below, the ground is soft; above, an all-devouring black. In the air, fine sparks of coloured light, specks in your vision, sizzle before you like electrical current. There is no sound, your ears feel clogged.


 
 
 

From the front of the wagon, Yenot answers: his two companions were unable to sleep and have joined him outside; you needn’t worry and should go back to sleep as there are still a few hours until sunrise. Reluctantly, you do as he says.


 
 
 

You are roused from your sleep! A noise within the wagon. It did not belong to the rattling of the vehicle. You look around but no one is there, including your hosts. You call for them several times...


 
 
 

Satisfied to finally have had something at least resembling a regular conversation with human beings, you sink down on the rough blanket and wish your hosts a good night’s rest. As you lay down your head, you notice fine, red animal hair all over it.


 
 
 

While you were chatting, Shasha had offered you a very fragrant alcoholic drink that is white of colour and has a hint of something resembling pear to its taste. It quickly takes effect, and you begin to feel both giddy, as well as very sleepy, again.


 
 
 

Suddenly, you remember your recent acquaintance residing in your pouch and exhibit it to them. They are curious at the sight of the little slug-creature but offer neither further commentary nor ask any questions. Which you find suspicious, as well.


 
 


About Spiders For Saleone of us since 9:23 PM on 02.28.2016

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