The Traveling Freak Show

Atlanta’s not a stellar place, but it had been livable with its cheap rent, a job that didn’t require human interaction, and most importantly, no insane “family” members for 900 miles. Nicole adapted.

Three years ago her obsessive-compulsive mother married that lunatic Dwight Wilson and stumbled into his neverending world of family togetherness crap. From their first dinner at home, a nice cozy meal for 25, Nicole knew her life in Harlem was over.

So we’re all a little messed up. Nicole was not ashamed of her agoraphobia. If anything good had come from the Wilsons, it was a better understanding of irrational fears. The whole freaking family was a medical dictionary of disorders.

Mother she could deal with. Not bed-wetting Grandma. Not cousin Joey with the hormonal imbalance. Not her—ugh— stepbrother Mark the pyro. Didn’t they understand her need for solitude?

Mother would not be moving to Atlanta without the posse. Nicole would be gone when they arrived, and wouldn’t be leaving a phone number this time.

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