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The Night Circus Giveaway! - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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The Night Circus Giveaway! [Jan. 8th, 2012|11:06 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Black Sabbath: Touch of Evil]

It's that time again!

Our friend Erin Morgenstern just published her first novel, the mind-bogglingly successful The Night Circus and to celebrate, we're going to give away an autographed copy in the time honored tradition of this blog: a flash fanfic contest!

To win this lovely book (and read it before you're the last person left alive on Earth who has not) just write a story (350 words max) that contains Roswell and any mixture of the following:

a) The most amazing circus you've ever seen -- a maze of magical tents only open from dusk till dawn.

b) A mysterious wager between two shadowy, ancient wizards.

c) Two young magicians, pitted against one another by their trainers, but inescapably falling in love.

d) A clockmaker who's designs are so spectacular and unexpected they seem to be alive.

e) Tumblers, kitten trainers, tattooed contortionists, trapeze artists, red headed twins.

f) Europe and America in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

g) A strange cabal of people who never seem to age.

Post your story here, in the comments to this post.

Contest ends Monday January 16th 2012 midnight EST. Entries will be judged by Erin herself.




Roswell photographed with The Night Circus to enhance value.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!



Some of the past contests, for inspiration:

Cherie Priest's Boneshaker

Kaz Mahoney's The Iron Witch

Chris Howard's Seaborn

Peter Straub's A Dark Matter




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[User Picture]From: morbid_curious
2012-01-09 04:11 am (UTC)
She's a friend of yours? Excellent :-) I just bought her book for my mother as a Christmas present, which was quite enjoyed.
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[User Picture]From: wittytoddy
2012-01-17 05:00 am (UTC)

Entry!

Lately, his dinners had been far too stringy. The mice here were not the typical lush, well-fed, juicy, slow-witted city fare Roswell had become accustomed to. They were lean, and wily, and taunted his distinguished sensibilities. He didn’t like to play with his food. And it was far more delicious in his mouth than running in demented scattered circles about his feet. Still, it was lean and stringy, or no mice at all.

He had just set to a thorough washing, camped under the popcorn and candy stand in the deserted circus. Dawn was creeping over the brilliant silken tents, washing the damp earth in hazy reds and purples. It was Roswell’s favorite time of day…the end of night, when the last drunken onlookers lay passed out in the waning shadows of the night before. He had the place to himself, quiet, except little taunts of feathered prey chirruping from climbing trees all around, and the soft scent of nibbling grasses thickening with dew. Quiet, except…from across the brightening circus grounds came a familiar sound. It floated in and out of the tent walls, ruffling with them as they caught the breeze.

“Snick-snick-kitty-lick…”

His ears pricked forward.

“Snick-snick-snick…”

He knew that call. Forget mice. Diabetes Time was here!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-09 01:57 pm (UTC)
Of course you can!
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[User Picture]From: skreidle
2012-01-09 04:42 am (UTC)
Roswell photographed with 'The Night Circus' to enhance value.

Of Roswell or The Night Circus? :D
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-10 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'm never sure. I stole that from a William Wegman photo from the 1970's called "sketch photographed with basketball to enhance value" -- i thought it was the funniest thing he's ever done -- it's a pencil drawing of a landscape sitting next to a basketball.
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[User Picture]From: chris_walsh
2012-01-09 04:52 am (UTC)
It was all powered by cat hair.

Each morning, the clock tender swept up Roswell’s sheddings, separating out by white and black, and dropping one pile in that slot and one pile in that slot. Machinery whined dustily. Pendulums started moving without having been pushed. They curled, even insinuated, like cat tails. Roswell watched, seemingly approvingly.

The clockmaker did approve -- “Good job, Gregorious,” he told the tender, “see you tomorrow” -- and, having dismissed him, looked at Roswell. “There. Next I will design one that you shall be able to climb on and sleep in safely. That should please you, too. What happens next should please you, as well.”

A newsboy could be heard passing a window. “Today’s edition! American Civil War declared over through truce! Dual governments agree that war was bad idea! Also in news! English Channel Arch completed! Offers best ocean views in Europe!”

The clockmaker looked out the window at the tents of the nearby bazaar, its shopowners preparing for its day, and whispered “Fare thee well, those who shall sell today. May this be your best-attended day ever. You will at least have the chance for this.” He waited. The clock struck.

A minute later, the clock struck 8:61.

“It's working!” said the clockmaker.

And 9:00 never came, and the perfect spot of sunlight never again moved from Roswell's favorite spot.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-09 05:14 pm (UTC)
Love it!
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[User Picture]From: jettcat
2012-01-09 05:22 am (UTC)
Now who inspired who?
After all Roswell just needs some jaunty red to make her a Reveur!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-09 05:15 pm (UTC)
Roswell IS all black and white -- and if you make a tent, she'll sit inside it....
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[User Picture]From: stachybotrys
2012-01-09 05:39 am (UTC)
I am making a small, discreet sad face on behalf of all the people like me who love to read but completely lack the creative writing gene themselves.

Good luck everyone who has a shot!

Many scritches for Roswell.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-09 05:15 pm (UTC)

Re: My attempt

lovely!
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[User Picture]From: delilahpaints
2012-01-09 02:48 pm (UTC)

The Magicians' Tango

The cat scuttled around hoopskirts and boots and spats with his usual disdain. Surely he wasn’t the only one in a tuxedo this evening? At least the audience had the colors right: black and white with the occasional red scarf. The cat himself wore one, knitted by a smitten girl who thought herself his biggest fan. Of course, if she had truly known him, she would have brought food. Or freedom.
Reaching the foot of the stage, he leaped onto a surprised lady’s lap and catapulted himself onto the stage just in time to disappear in a puff of smoke. A hurdy gurdy began to play, the notes twinkling through the white cloud like stars appearing at dusk. It was a tango, and the cat sighed heavily as he stood upright and placed a white paw delicately on Esmerelda’s hip. With his tail held in a question mark and his partner captured firmly but politely in the cage of his arms, the cat spun out of the dissipating smoke into the spotlight and danced as if the stage were made of fire. Esmerelda moved with him, her lips drawn back over sharp teeth and her white tail whipping around them both and snapping at appropriately dramatic moments.
At first, the audience seemed amused, then charmed. Then confused. Surely a cat and a dog couldn’t dance like human lovers, their every step sharp with danger and passion, sadness and fury. Surely the graceful Maltese wasn’t wearing an evening dress of silver spangles, her topknot braided back in the current fashion and her hat pinned at a rakish angle. Surely that wasn’t a single red rose held in the teeth of her pugilistically undercut jaw?
They danced with a treacherous familiarity and an otherworldly magic. The audience clapped in time as the music crashed to a tumultuous close, the dog bent backward over the cat’s extended claws. And then the applause roared, and they bowed until their ears swept the floor, but no one called for an encore.
“They will never understand the game,” Esmerelda growled.
“Neither will we,” Roswell hissed back.
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[User Picture]From: TYBelka
2012-01-09 09:51 pm (UTC)

Re: The Magicians' Tango

Love this one! Awesome!
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From: moonmeetssun
2012-01-09 07:06 pm (UTC)

primul act-

On the first day of winter of 1813, a magical circus had come to the city. No one knew where it had come those wonderful tents stretching across the sky. Everyone was amazed. The children approached to observe the unique beauty that overflowed of each of them. They were strange. Perhaps wonderfully strange. Unique. By their colors more than anything. Black that emanated from the darkness and the deep mysteries hidden in those tents. Of course, white that sank the minds with a fresh spirit of hope and endless light. But what no one knew, was perhaps the darkest secret of all, that kept alive the flame of the Circus: Roswell. The diminutive and enigmatic hair ball. Two mesmerizing green gems that allowed us to get lost in the depths of her eyes. She could control everything that was going on at the circus. Roswell was the spark behind each charm. Her powers. As unknown as her existence in that magical world without color. Rarely you could saw her walking around the tents. Some folks stories told by the circus workers said that Roswell was always sitting on a beautiful red furniture that seemed to breath. Moving like the ocean waves. Her room was under this beautiful piece that always marked the same time : 12:00 midnight. Others believed the clock was the time itself. Moving to each period Roswell wanted. But that's just another mystery behind the black and white color. However, do not let this confuse us. Below the enigmatic tents is a cabal of strange people that never seems to age: the most striking tattooed contortionists, the darkest kitten trainers, the most agile trapeze artists and of course, the peculiar red-headed twins. On the other hand, a duel. A fierce competition between two young illusionists that ended in a sweet, forbidden love…

Be careful mysteries always comes with little surprises, have your mind open and let this act begin...
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From: moonmeetssun
2012-01-10 12:56 am (UTC)

Re: primul act-

I want this book badly. I havent read it. Best luck! I inspired myself on the cover and the little sumary that is on barnes and noble. I tried to make it like an little introduction more than anything else. hope you like it xD
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[User Picture]From: oberonia
2012-01-09 07:33 pm (UTC)

350 Eggs Zachary

If he would have known that the position of his sleeves had an effect on the coloring of his transformation, he would have made sure they were at least in the same position when the spell was cast. Looking down at the white fur on his front legs, Benedict’s ears pinned themselves back ever so slightly. The one sleeve he’d left down allowed only the paw of his left leg to be white, while his right leg was almost completely white. He tried to forget it.

Tonight, his mission was information. It was a tricky business. In a town overflowing with wizards, staying on top was not easy. He had been lucky enough to capture the position as First Apprentice with one of the foremost magic practitioners in the city, Dr. Otho Apheticus. Benedict skulked around the bakery and across the street to the office of the doctor’s rival. He jumped into the window and swished his tail against the wall.

First Apprentice Jupiter was practicing the shadow bending exercises. Benedict wasn’t supposed to learn them until next year. Their masters hated each other and it was expected that they, in kind, hated each other as well. Benedict held no hatred. The only thing he felt was heated interest at the way Jupiter’s wrists moved as he conjured and the way the fire light lined his profile. He waited for the practice to end before he meowed.

Jupiter knew the cat in the window and he grinned as he reached over to open the sill.

“You’re late.”

Benedict bumped his head against Jupiter’s cheek, “Mrow.”

“Don’t give me that. Dr. Titus will be back in an hour.”

Benedict jumped inside the room and began to circle. The faster he moved, the faster the transformation shaped him. Finally, he stood, adjusted his sleeve and stretched.

“Don’t be mad. Old Patheticus is taking me with him on his next outing. I’ll be gone at least three days.”

Jupiter pulled Benedict closer. “We’ll make due. We always do, love.”

The young men kissed as the fire light lined both of their profiles together.
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[User Picture]From: oberonia
2012-01-09 07:34 pm (UTC)

Re: 350 Eggs Zachary

And yes, I only used Roswell's likeness...I think Benedict saw her once and decided to model his transformation after her :)
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[User Picture]From: TYBelka
2012-01-09 08:18 pm (UTC)

Me,Roswell and the Amazing Circus Tent

It was a Fall afternoon on desert trail. The coolness of the air keeping the dust down and the orange tint on the horizon telling me dark would be soon upon us. Traveling now for months, the days blur into nights and nights back again into days. I started counting time by existence as opposed to the normal constraints of this world. I was still on “one”. We had hoped to be in California by now, I suppose a train would have been quicker, but the romanticism of traveling by horse and wagon had overcome our sensibilities. As we crested the last hill before the waning light escaped us, a strange sight caught our attention. Off in the distance there appeared to be tents strangely arranged in an almost maze like design. The last bit of light left the sky and a huge sign eerily glowed with the word “OPEN”. Roswell, my best friend, traveling companion, business partner and the world’s last living-walking, talking cat suggested we take a look. He hopped down and led the way to the opening of the first tent. We stepped inside only to have our senses overwhelmed by the amazing sights before us. As far as the eye could see were circus rings with the most peculiar and amazing sights ever seen. It was strange, because as we passed these queer sights and displays of balancing, juggling, oddities, rare animals never before seen, the pathway would turn out of sight and into a new arena and ring with even more spectacular sights. It was though we were spiraling in to what should have been a smaller and smaller area, like the inside of a conch shell, yet each turn inward brought us to a larger and larger area. We finally seemed to get to middle of the tents and to the biggest ring yet. There in front of us was the ringmaster… a horrible and evil looking creature, almost human…yet…not. Roswell said to me, “I think it is time to leave”. “I knew it”, said the ringmaster. “He talks”! “I must add you to my collection of amazing oddities”. “This circus, The Circus of The Night, is only open from Dusk to Dawn”. ”If I keep you here until the daylight falls upon the tents, you will be stuck here until the end of time and forced to do my bidding”. I had turned to tell Roswell we better run only to see the tip of his tail rounding the first corner. I was three steps behind. It seemed we ran for hours, days, years, eternity…. Until, a small tiny opening was seen in the distance. It was shrinking before our eyes. At the very moment the first ray of the sun hit the tent Roswell and I dove through, hitting the ground quite hard…..OUTSIDE OF THE TENT! As we turned to look at where we had been, the amazing incredible array of tents and amusements faded away…it was gone. Roswell turned to me and said “Well partner, shall we continue our journey”? I laughed and said “Yes sir…and let’s high tail it as far from here as possible”. “I am with you”, said Roswell.
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[User Picture]From: TYBelka
2012-01-09 09:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Me,Roswell and the Amazing Circus Tent

.....And to any who don't believe.... Roswell is fluent in 3 languages and is finishing up a Master's degree in Fall of 2012.
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[User Picture]From: kuroshii
2012-01-11 05:31 am (UTC)
That did it! Now somebody NEEDS to send Roswell a kitty-sized Fez.
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[User Picture]From: instantdharma
2012-01-10 12:28 am (UTC)
I just purchased The Night Circus! It's next on my list of books to read. I didn't know you were friends with Erin Morgenstern.
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[User Picture]From: howlokitty
2012-01-10 12:42 am (UTC)
The once drab sand glittered in the afternoon sun. This was Roswell’s time, before dusk and its machinations, before the circus folk woke and created a colorful world illuminated by the glow of gaudy lanterns and lit torches.

There was no mustachioed barker in red velvet coat waving in marks. No Siamese twins bound in layer upon layer of pastel frocks singing their sirens’ song. The pickled punks were packed away, row upon row of jars nestled safely in cartons filled with sawdust. As the circus folk slept, their chosen site was frozen in silence.

The three main tents already hitched, were three blazing jewels enveloped in the light of the setting sun: emerald, ruby, and topaz. Roswell barely noticed; she was intent on her course. She slipped into the smallest edifice and entered a world stained royal blue. She snuck past the wizards, who dueled with lightning in their act. Daytime, they slept curled around each other on a nest of cushions. Roswell leapt over the bearded lady’s arm to reach the cordoned off exhibit that was her destination; the woman’s fingers brushed Roswell’s tail in a dreamy, languid motion that warned her to be more cautious of those under Morpheus’s rule.

Finally, she was through the muslin hung as a makeshift wall and perched on the lip of the crude, pine box hidden within. She was fortunate; once again no one had bothered to secure the lid, which gaped open on rusty hinges. Inside rested the living mummy, unprotected from moths and ants and the other creepy crawlies that might munch on her papery skin and wrappings, but this worked to Roswell’s advantage.

She stared down in affection. With a lift of her chin, a small mouse still jerking with traces of life flew into the mummy’s mouth, past leathery parched lips and jagged, brown teeth. Its jaw crunched closed.

Roswell was pleased. With each new offering, the sound that accompanied the crunch, something like the whisper of two sheets of papyrus sliding and ripping against each other, grew fainter.

Soon, Roswell’s friend would be ready.



Edited at 2012-01-10 12:43 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2012-01-18 05:57 am (UTC)
Send me your address -- kyle at kylecassidy dot com you're a winner.
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