The Two Ringmasters (a DC short)

The Two Ringmasters is actually a Donovan Circus short story and prequel. Readers will follow a few days in the life of Sheffield Donovan, years before Lucy Sullivan shows up on his doorstep. DC fans will spot a few easter eggs, as well as learn about his travels to the Kipling Carnival, where he helps train the new ringmaster taking over. The only problem is, the new ringmaster doesn’t want the position thanks to a secret he’s hiding…
(Scroll down for special excerpt.)

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When tragedy puts circus owner Sheffield Donovan on the road, he pays a visit to the struggling Kipling Carnival and their mysterious new ringmaster. Sheffield means to be of help, but as tensions rise between the two ringmasters and anxious troupe members, he realizes he may have put himself in a precarious situation. Sheffield has plenty of his own dark secrets, but so does everyone else – and if Sheffield Donovan isn’t careful, he might not make it back home to his own circus.

Excerpt from The Two Ringmasters:

Sheffield Donovan was tired, weary right down to his bones. It wasn’t because of the jam-packed circus season or the small road trip he was on to an old friend’s carnival. In fact, he welcomed the brief change, the newness that came with unfamiliar grounds and staff. As Donovan Circus ringmaster and owner, Sheffield needed it, perhaps more than he realized. Calloused hands on the worn wheel and a cigarette between his lips, Sheffield contemplated the last two weeks with concern.

Boston had been a rewarding tour stop, complete with a new Firestarter who was sure to be a crowd favorite. Nikolas, Sheffield’s favorite protégé, was also a Firestarter, and he was eager to gain a gifted brother on the road. Sheffield had immediately noticed how well they balanced each other, their instant camaraderie something to appreciate. Their show would surely be some insane feat with fire and motorcycles, if Nik had any say. The new guy, Keegan Larson, didn’t appear to have any problems with adrenaline. He’d fit in well. 

No, Sheffield was tired of losing friends. Of the constant battle to maintain his status, of the fight it took to keep his circus family out of debt and out of any humans’ spotlights. He’d had a brother on the road once, a soulmate of sorts, if one could be found in a best friend. His brother had passed, thankfully of natural causes, but too soon and too far away from the people he called his family.