They lived on the margins of society as a travelling entertainment act. A classic clown-and-baboon show, in the old Czech style.
They had terrorized a generation of Eastern European children.
Pozo the Clown (once known to his family and a series of bemused teachers, as Jirka Zdenec) found his lifelong companion and colleague at the German customs house, in Dresden. (Some years before it was firebombed.) It turned out that the young baboon, of the Red-Assed Dorling family, had been abandoned by a teenage Canadian singing sensation just weeks before. Pozo fell in love with the manic little primate immediately, and agreed to adopt him, and to pay for all the medical bills of the customs agents who had been caring for him.
Their career became the stuff of legend. Their stock-in-trade was children’s parties, but they’d also perform at conventions, trade shows, and if they were unable to book a gig when they rolled into town, they’d do a little bit of busking too. Mr. Savage was an accomplished pick-pocket, so when they ran into hard times – as they often did – they could still pay for Pozo’s heroin habit and Mr. Savage’s expensive tastes in raw flesh. (He preferred macaque heart whenever he could get it.)
Most days, they were just one step ahead of the law.
Today was no different, though they found themselves at a train station, practically deserted between the morning rush hours and the 13:04 express from Praha to Brno.
The train that Ivanka had fallen asleep waiting for – a nap that one day, she would tell her therapist, changed her life.