Pearly's first trip to the circus with his dad and little sister was magical. He'd never had cotton candy, and he vowed not to eat his; he'd keep it forever. He felt a kinship with the clowns, and he almost understood the strange symbols on their costumes. He even dared a quick touch.
On the runway, Dad just couldn't manage to toss the ball and win a kitten for Lucy...until a clown pulled Pearly between the tents and offered to make it happen, for a price.
"Would you like to be a clown, Pearly?"
Then, everything went sideways.