Marching on the stage with a tumble and bow, springing to his feet with a smile, Taddeo revels in their cheers.
At least that’s the image he wants to sell to the gathered court. He sings for his supper and his hijinks keep him alive. No one in the crowd recognizes the previously wealthy business man Tonio behind the caked on make-up.
A merchant of the town, selling fine fabrics and rich silks, that royalty from the world around came to see. Each one he addressed with respect and professional distance until he met her—Princess Nedda.
Speechless, he bowed to her and kissed her hand even knowing it was forbidden. Even knowing the prince’s jealousy of his beautiful wife.
A lifetime ago, literally one lifetime ago as of two minutes ago, I was a street magician.
Or a huckster.
It depended on your disposition or my needs. I worked and lived on the street for as long as I could remember. Since I started out as a kid, gainful employment wasn’t an option, and after a trip to juvie and some unpleasant experiences there, I realized a life of crime wasn’t for me either.