The Rise of the Einix, Tina D. Miller, Black Rose Writing, 2010
This is a tale of individualism and identity. It takes place in the small town of Baldric, where sexual acts are bartered for goods and services.
Einar and Trixie are twins who have been kept confined by Lola, their mother, all their lives. Lola's funeral brings out people like alcoholic Aunt Evelyn, and Eleanor, their next-door neighbor, who has had a long-running dispute with Lola concerning a willow tree. The reading of Lola's will is practically the social event of the year, because Lola sent out over 100 invitations before her untimely demise. The twins are allowed to stay in their house, as long as they procure employment. Joining in the Baldric "tradition" of sex as payment is not possible for them.
Loki Kluge, local attorney and administrator of Lola's estate, offers a number of options. The least impossible oprion is to become part of a musical production of the film Modern Times with marionnettes, at a local theater. Run by a hermaphrodite named Gertrude, the other member of the cast is Morton, an African-American dwarf. After several days of long hours for little pay, the three go on strike. Gertrude totally ignores the strike, and orders them back to work. When they refuse to back down, Gertrude closes down the whole production, and absconds with the money, leaving the three high and dry.
They return to Loki Kluge, who, among his other business interests, owns the Kluge Traveling Circus. Seeing dollars signs around the twins, he gives each of them a spot in the circus. Morton becomes a clown, while Einar and Trixie are placed in a giant clear plastic tube. They can dance, or cavort, or do whatever they want, as long as the customers keep paying their quarters. Financially, it is a good night, but, for Trixie especially, it is not a good night. After the circus closes for the night, things get very serious. The reason that the twins are such a curiosity in Baldric, and why they are kept confined for their whole lives, is not mentioned until late in the book.
Einar talks in a very stilted, or formal way, which is different, if nothing else. This book is short, it is interesting and the author does a very good job with it. This is well worth reading.
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