"Phantasmagoria" is a work in progress, so titles and salient features in the individual stories are malleable. The order of the stories will change. New stories will be added, and weaker stories will fall away.
The stories are fairly dark, and I'm noticing that characters disappear a lot. Having written draft copies of approximately half the stories I'm now weighing up whether to use the other half to inject some humour and levity: depict the highs as well as the lows of the Travelling Show.
But this is the story so far.
Prologue. The Hall of Mirrors is dusty, cracked and dark. But still it is difficult to tell where illusion ends and reality begins. And behind the mirrors lurks a malevolent presence: it's hungry, and it's growing. Welcome to the Delano Brothers' Spectacular Travelling Show- the Greatest Show on Earth.
Hamelin's Children. The residents of a provincial Victorian town line the streets as the unusually drab wagons of a Travelling Show creak along the High Street. Twenty four hours later as the wagons depart, there is no one left to watch them leave.
Insubstantial Pageant. While wandering lost through the Show, Jude is confronted by a woman who won't let the matter of her death come between her and the opportunity to have the final word.
Madame Marguerite at the Precipice. Maggie the Fortune Teller is a drunk, violent fraud and she's on her last chance. A reading in the crystal ball shows her she may not be a phony after all, but is it the key to her salvation, or the catalyst for her destruction?
The Two Brothers. There's hatred, resentment and violence at the heart of the Show. One of the Delano Brothers is dead, and amidst the suspicion and accusation, will the struggle for power destroy the whole Company?
Water. On a snowy night, James has come to the Show with his wife and two sons. He's tired, unimpressed and sullen, and since setting foot in the fair, he's been slowly freezing to death.
Euphemia's Grace. After her crystal ball reading Euphemia finds her fortunes improve as Maggie's wane. With the destinies of the two women inextricably linked, can either, or both, survive?
Cold Cream Bitch. The Showman's ambition is to turn the Show into a full blown Circus. The barely contained chaos at the heart of the Show is in danger of overflowing, until an awkward Aerialiste discovers that the magic can be harnessed, and the tide can be turned...
Stars To The Gutter. Under construction.
Spider of the Dead. There's an undercurrent of mutiny in the air, as the Showman's grip begins to fade. Who is the glittering Queen Spider, and how far back into the past does her influence extend? Can her manipulation of the future be undone?
This Rough Magic While the Show is in a state of flux, a group of people who have played the game and lost catch up to the procession. Will they be able to wreak vengeance, or is this final act a malicious mockery perpetrated by the juggernaut of The Delano Brothers' Spectacular Travelling Show?