- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"Hey Fire Guy," said a voice behind Robin, as he readied himself for his act. "Are you going to swing your little fireballs for us?"
Aw, shit. Robin thought about what it was going to mean to his take if he had a drunken heckler. "No man, I'm a Samoan fire knife dancer," he remarked pleasantly, still doing his shtick. "The poi ball is a Maori dance."
"But Dude, I want to see your little fireballs," insisted the man, who was big enough to intimidate and wearing a Sun Devils football sweatshirt. Mobs of people strolled along the street between Pier 39 and the restaurants and crab stands. The lit torch in the center of the brick circle was drawing a crowd. His heckler leaned over toward a smaller man in an olive green shirt and cargo shorts and gave an exaggerated wink. "I'll bet this guy's little fireballs are..."
"Shut up, Chase. Let's go. You need to get home," said the man in the shorts.
Robin took a chance and looked up, meeting Little Guy's gaze. He looked apologetic, as though this were a regular occurrence. Robin smiled, and Little Guy smiled back. Oh, nice. His friend hooked a big, square hand around his shoulder and put his weight on him, making him stagger a little. Robin went back to his preparations, using his every movement to heighten drama and build suspense. He sprinkled water on his bare skin, knowing it would make him glow in the firelight. Not catching fire didn't suck, either.
"Don't you worry about me, Kelly. Nothing wrong with taking a peek at fire-boy's equipment," his heckler slurred. "There's plenty of the old Chasemeister to go around, right baby?" He tried to land a sloppy kiss on the Little Guy's face but the kidwas faster.
"Chase!" the guy named Kelly dodged. "You can't begin to imagine..."
"Now Kells, don't do this ... Don't go getting all tense, man. I just want to see the guy's act, that's all."
"Fine, then, Chase, just shut up. Can't you see he's already started?" Kelly looked back at Robin. "That's part of the show, Chase. He's drumming up his audience, teasing the crowd. The lit fire is his signal for people to start gathering."
"What are you now, the fucking National Geographic? How do you know so much about it?"
Kelly rolled his eyes and didn't answer. That meaty hand was back on the side of his face, trying to draw him close.
"Come on Kells, don't be like this."
"You smell like the alley behind Big Dick's Billiards. Watch, okay? I'll be over there," Kelly said, and disengaged himself from the larger man. He walked to where a hansom cab stood, the horse blowing and stamping, its breath misting the air. Robin saw Kelly say something quietly to the driver, who nodded his head, and then he began stroking the horses muzzle, putting his face right in to whisper into it's ear.
Kelly stroked the soft mane of the cab horse, and Robin couldn't help but picture him stroking the horse's ass he was with later on. Too bad. The little guy was definitely hot.
"Hey, Fire Guy," said Chase, "what do you use as an accelerant." Robin stood and started jumping around, working the crowd. Lots of nice people here. He'd better concentrate on them instead of Mr. Sun Devil.
"Magic," Robin answered him anyway, knowing he'd be talking to the guy all night if he didn't find a way to shut him down. He executed a forward flip over the flaming torch on the center of the cement circle where he was working. He'd have to give those up pretty soon, he thought. His wrists were going to start to go, and that would be so not good. He got a slight smattering of applause, and started to call to the crowd, making his usual speech about fire knife dancing and posing for them a little, preening. His tiny dance skirt fluttered as he moved, and he wasn't above a little fan service as he bent over and caught up the first torch, the attention getter, and began the process of putting it out.
With talk, Robin's show lasted twenty minutes. He'd start with one fire saber and then add a second, saving the best, lying on his back and roasting himself alive for the pleasure of his assembled guests, for last. This wasn't the final show of the night, so he had to pace himself. He hoisted a fire saber and lit the one end, twirling it and dancing with it, playing with it until the exact moment when the audience started thinking, "Is that all," and then he'd use his bare hand to light the second end. He could and would keep them in the palm of his hand for the entire show, practiced as it was, with its mixture of teasing, flirting, fire, and mostly naked man that never failed to yield up enough cash for him to go another week without getting that second job at MacDonald's.
"Hey, Fire Guy," he heard again, beginning to hate that sound more than the sound of mosquitoes close by his ear.
"Come on people! Let me see some clapping!" he shouted to drown the big man out. As he made his circuit Robin noticed Big Man frowning, as though he didn't like not being the center of attention, but Robin had to pay attention to the fire, and only the fire. He gave himself to it, finding his rhythm and kicking his second torch up and into play, lighting it off of the first. After that, Robin was alone with the fire, and they were doing their dance together, and someone could have lit off a grenade next to his head and he wouldn't have noticed. Finally he was lying on his back, arched into a bridge, and passing the two lit torches under his body, back and forth. He was counting it off in his head, and holding, the sweat dripping from his face, back and forth, when he heard a noise to his right.
"Hey, Fire Guy, you look like a fucking coffee table," said Chase, the big guy, and sure as shit, he reached over and put an ice-cold beer bottle on Robin's belly, when all hell broke loose.