The performances that followed lasted a little over two hours and it was midnight before the tent began to empty. The Man had watched with amazement as each act was replaced by one even more spectacular. Dancing dolphins and singing trees making way for juggling cats and high wire panthers.

Even to Jingle, who had seen so much, it was a sight to be seen; but now the centre ring was silent and most of the seats were empty. The White Heart Carnival & Circus was about to close for the night.

Jingle stood and led the way outside, keeping step beside him The Man pushed his hands into his pockets and looked up into the sky. The stars were bright and neither he nor Jingle could recognise any of the constellations.

The Man yawned.

“Its a bit late.” He said.

“Are you going home?” Jingle asked him.

“Hmm, yes I suppose.” The Man replied.

Around them the carnival and circus was empty, even the carnies seemed to have disappeared. The Man walked out into the main thoroughfare that led from the gates to the entrance to the big top, either side of the man long rows of attractions sat in darkness.

The Man had is back to Jingle when he paused and looked over his shoulder at the reindeer.

“You coming with me?” He asked.

Jingle had been waiting for the question, searching for it across this strange land but now it was asked he did not know how to answer it. He remembered the hum of the computer monitor and the hard table, as well as the bright light that reflected off his blue nose in that irritating manner. He thought of all this and wondered what he wanted to go back for in the first place.

“Nah,” Jingle answered, “I think I’ll stay a while.”

The Man nodded.

“Before you go,” Jingle called, “what’s your name?”

“Alan.” The Man called back as he continued to walk away, his shape getting dimmer in the darkness.

“Theres an elephant here called that.” Jingle replied.

The Man laughed.

“There would be,” Alan said, “I wrote him didn’t I!”

And with that he was gone and Jingle found himself alone in the strange and wonderful world of the imagination.

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