It's snowing a heck of a lot out there right now, and fairly soon I'll be hoofing it to the bus for my closing shift at work. One good thing about February? It's short. Winter is no longer coming, as the Starks would say, it's already here. In fact, it's now on its way to leaving. It just doesn't feel like it.
"Winter Quarters" by Tom Cardamone
This is one of my favourite short stories in Tented. Put far too simply, it's the story of Jimmy, who is with the circus and just hasn't found his niche yet. The others all seem to know which way they were growing - to be future trapeze artists, or clowns, or roustabouts - but not Jimmy. Jimmy works the concession stand, and seems to have a knack for spinning cotton candy, but that's not likely to lead him anywhere else under the Big Top. An encounter with one of the acrobats, however, and some deft handling of the cotton candy machine, might just reveal more about where Jimmy could be headed than he had ever considered before.
I love this story, and the joy of the cotton candy between the two young men is a blast. It's clever, and fresh, and while Jimmy at first feels a little bit lost and more than a little bit pathetic, the journey in this quite short story takes him somewhere completely different. I already knew I liked Tom Cardamone's stories from my brushes with other tales he'd written, but this is one I return to for a quick smile.