A is for Avatar:

Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe discover they are Avatars--"gods made flesh"--with the abilities to manipulate life forces, prophecy the future, bend the wills of others, and astral project, among other talents. They are descendents from dynasties of like-gifted individuals that may have included other notable Avatars: Jesus, Buddha, Alexander the Great, Caligula, and Vlad the Imapler. As first born males, Ben and Justin are not just Avatars but also Prophets possessing Vitae Divina--blue blood.

"And to each generation was born a Creature of Light and a Creature of Darkness. And great armies fought by night in the old war between Good and Evil." - Gospel of Matthias (101)


B is for Baggage Trailer:

The carnival's mysterious baggage trailer seems to exist out of time and space, materializing only through the will of Management. It contains artifacts connected to Ben's past, such as a picture of his mother Flora at "Big Sky Farms" and a top hat belonging to father Henry Scudder when he worked the Geek Show.

"We don't got no baggage trailer. Nobody's got a baggage trailer. It's an old carnie gag, like hunting for snipe. Send some poor chowder head out searching for something that don't exist." - Samson (102)


C is for Colossus:

The biggest and best traveling Ferris wheel on any circuit west of the Pecos, it surprises no one that the mighty Colossus eventually collapses outside Damascus, Nebraska, killing at least one person. The carnies immediately take a powder across state lines, but the Damascus locals catch up with Jonesy and hold him responsible. Later, Colossus is rebuilt for the carnival's engagement in New Canaan.

"Hell's bells. He's run that old wheel a thousand times, drunk and sober. The old contraption is only held together with spit and bailing wire anyway." - Stumpy (209)


D is for Dignity Ministry:

A vision from "God" instructs Justin to transform Chin's, a brothel and gambling hall in downtown Mintern, into a place for migrants to worship. Chin's owner, Carroll Templeton, is forced to face his sins by sharing one of Justin's visions. This results in Templeton putting a bullet in his brain and Justin assuming possession of Chin's, which he renames Dignity Ministry. Shortly thereafter, the building burns to the ground with six children and their caretaker trapped inside. Arson is suspected.

"Go for a walk, you see them. Boys and girls, selling themselves to men and women. A nickel buys a virgin. Some are kept in cages. Babies bought by men who raise them as livestock. Animals to abuse. Soft flesh to violate. To tear and bite." - Justin (104)


E is for El Dia de Los Muertos

When the carnival arrives at Los Moscos on the Mexico border, the citizens are observing The Day of the Dead, a celebration of departed souls returning to dwell amongst the living. The event holds literal significance for Ben who is tempted by Management to resurrect a fallen friend... at the cost of another person's life. For the rules say, you give life, you gotta take it from somethin else.

"To La Muerte. We raise our glass to her." - Bartender (111)


F is for Fireball Show:

Samson puts on a Fireball Show, which includes fake attractions like Turtle Boy and The Man-Eating Chicken. The latter being, quite literally, a man... eating chicken. The carnies are tasked with pick pocketing and other nefarious schemes to put coins in the kitty. After one night of con art, the carnival is quick to move on, as Fireball Shows leave them no choice.

"Get the word out. We're going wide open tonight. Wide as we can go. Trim the chumps for all they're worth." - Samson (109)