I am rare. Unique. Not quite one of a kind, but one of a mere handful. I am a Harlequin.
And I am going to die.
As with many, The Grand Opening changed everything. I was reborn. I became more than my brothers, more than my sisters ever could dream. Amongst the Norms, I stood out. Amongst the Clowns, I stood out. I refused to be counted amongst the rest of the Changed. Those who awoke to find themselves, Clowns, Tamers, or Freaks. I was not a deceitful Trickster nor a Knife-Thrower, I became something greater than a Clown. Pure white skin etched with striking diamonds. I had no second face or need of a false nose. My hair became sleekest black, straight and long. I was a Queen.
And I found myself a King.
Harlequins are a rarity amongst the Changed. Our gifts, like our Clown-brethren allow for new skin and indestructibility, however we are granted the added advantage of flexibility. To leap and tumble with such effortless grace was a boon that was ours and ours alone. My king was the greatest, my king could fly. The Clown Prince, he called himself. He was the first to claim his own kingdom in this new world, and I was there with him. When the rest turned their back on us, he was there. Welcoming with open arms, "Come, you have been reborn! Join me and claim your own thrones!" And life was good. We travelled the country, a mobile court of a hundred carriages and cars. With my king and I at the front, leading our people to where ever we may choose.
We stood against normalcy, we crossed deserts fighting with militias, soldiers and others who would demand we give in our nomadic ways and 'register'. "We shall do no such thing!" Claimed my king, "We are proud of our new selves and will not submit to those who cling to the old ways!" I loved him for that. So did we all. Word spread and our kingdom grew. We easily began to rival towns in size and number. Although, misfortune followed our growth.
We began having to fend off raiders. Men, Norm or otherwise who came to claim our spoils as their own. Our Fantastic Beasts, hunted for their bones and pelts. Seers, for their wisdom and even my beloved king, whose own skin was coveted by most who knew the value. The nights became longer as attacks became more frequent, it was impossible to settle anywhere for more than a day. More bounty hunters and bandits learned of our existence. And one fateful night, I was captured.
The alarm was raised too late to do anything. Our lookouts had been killed by snipers and their wagons smashed our gates. Panic rose and fires spread, black smoke billowing into the orange night. We were being escorted to vehicles, my entourage and I, my king at the other side of the encampment leading our defence. I never saw him again. Men ambushed us, I screamed too late. Hands and ropes covered me and then the world became dark again.
I miss the night. I have been kept here for a week now. The laughter of my captors keeps me awake most nights, others I merely cry for my king until sleep takes hold. They have yet to kill me. There is no signal for them to advertise their wares. I pray that my king, my Clown Prince comes for me before then…
Items For Sale
Thundercattle Front Horn
Harvested from fresh adult Thundercattle, the front horns are stronger than steel. Perfect for foundation support and a variety of other uses. $250 per horn or $600 for a pair.
Small bus worth of Sq. Ft. Real Untreated Thundercattle Hide. $50-$100 per sq.ft.
Modified Land Rover
Raised suspension, roll cage, 4-Wheel Drive. $1,500 ono. Comes with chest of lubricants and contraceptives. Faulty handbrake.
Extremely rare. White, blue/yellow diamond pattern covering shoulder blades and navel area. $500,000,000.