Pi Steely's life is a circus. Literally. As business manager for the Steely Family Circus, sensible Pi steers her madcap troupe through the perils of life on a daily basis. Things progress from muddled to madness when her soul mate accidentally turns up married and a body is discovered on circus grounds.
Aided and abetted by a zany young man with a tarantula tattooed on his forehead, and her pet chicken, Rhonda Sue, the smart and sassy Pi must fight the odds to save her circus family, reunite with Reuben, the slightly married love of her life, and manage to mollify an international cast of flamboyant, one-of-a-kind characters, one of whom could be a murderer. It's going to take a brilliant performance and a whole lot of heavenly intervention to keep the show on the road.
The horizon was barely visible through the thick layer of fog. Iron grey waves rolled endless, scouring the rocks along the sand's edge in a perpetual tumble. There were no muscled maniacs or bikini-wrapped ladies here. Only the wildness of wind and surf and the delicious scent of the sea.
Ed picked up on the spirit of adventure. He pranced to the edge of the surf where rocks and seaweed lay in a tangled heap. After thirty seconds of determined sniffing, he began to scratch the pile with gusto.
I let my thoughts ride the turbulent wind. My mind wandered to the letter I had received in the mail. It was from my mother's attorney. Mom died eight months ago, while serving a sentence for drug possession. The official cause of death was stroke but they could just as well have written “heroin” on the death certificate. The drug killed her long before her heart stopped working.
I was informed of her death by my stepfather. I didn't feel much about the whole thing, really. It was such a long time since I'd received any mothering from Maia Steely Cordoba that her death didn't impact me significantly. I wondered at my lack of emotion. Maybe my psyche was missing some important part, some piece that went undeveloped.
I don't understand why she let herself be taken by those drugs. How could a chemical mean more than a child's love?
Silly, I know. Drugs capture the mind the way cancer takes over the body. Still, I find myself wishing that she could have been stronger. For me. And for herself.
I wonder why God let her become ensnared by the drugs.
I wonder why he let me escape.
The cold seeped into the soles of my feet, despite my boots. I shook myself back to the present and tossed away the sentiment like I had tossed the letter. Enough daydreaming. It was time to face the troops again. Giselle might have returned in my absence.
Ed was still engrossed in his canine mission. I moved his way. The little terrier dug with sufficient passion to pelt me with a shower of sand.
“Ed. What in the world are you after? Did somebody bury a wheel of cheese out here?” I cleared the sand from my eyes and got my first good look at what Ed was attempting to yank from the twining kelp.
I was wrong about the pile.
It wasn't seaweed and rocks.
Someone started to scream, a bloodcurdling, gut busting, eyeball popping scream.
It took several seconds before I realized it was me.