Don’t Drop The Ball: The Heaven’s Gate Fan Fiction Prequel

Heaven's Gate

My name is Miguel Cauldwell. My father, Claud Cauldwell, was the greatest juggler on the east coast. Bowling pins, top hats, infants – you name it, he juggled it. I remember as a child being endlessly entertained by his juggling, even when I was one of the objects being tossed into the air.

But all that fun ended after a freak accident involving a meat cleaver. No, he wasn’t juggling knives. Rather, he was at the butcher’s purchasing a hunk of prime rib to celebrate his mother’s 73rd birthday when he slipped on a wet tile and slid into the counter. He was fine, actually – his hands weren’t broken – so he got up and tried to laugh off his clumsiness, turning his palms upward in that “what can you do?” gesture. That’s when a meat cleaver fell off the wall and chopped off his left hand.

From that day forward, my father forced me to become the most famous juggler on the east coast. I resisted, naturally. Children never like their parents to tell them what to do. Still, I practiced every day. Apples, at first, and only later graduating to tomatoes. Life in the 19th century was pretty boring, so my only real source of entertainment was juggling.

I eventually got tired of my father waving his left hook at me, telling me to “Juggle harder!”, so when I was 34 I packed up and headed west. I was determined to become the best juggler on the west coast – a title at the time held by Josephine Reekes of Casper, Wyoming. I knew that the only way to become the best juggler on the west coast was a good ol’ fashioned juggle-off. So when I arrived in Casper, I set to work. I needed to practice. I needed to be at the top my game to topple Josephine. I found a tiny one-bedroom apartment facing some sort of bar/cockfight arena/community center where a bunch of eastern European immigrants seemed to be having a hard time. I didn’t have time for their woes – I had my own struggles to deal with. So while they were organizing, I was doing the one thing I could do better than anything else: I was juggling.