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Olympia "Oly" Binewski

  • Bald Woman
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's not as harmless or innocent as she pretends to be.
  • Blind Obedience: Towards her parents and Arty.
  • Extreme Doormat: To everyone, especially Arty.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: More special, that is.
  • Love Martyr: Sisterly example, for her brother Arty. Turns out not to be so sisterly when she arranges to have his baby.
  • Mama Bear: To her daughter Miranda. She'll murder her one and only friend in cold blood to protect her daughter.
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  • Manipulative Bastard: She could probably give Arty a run for his money in the "Notes For Now" sections, as she's extremely good at reading people, and knows how to use her "talents" (like changing her voice over the phone) and "disabilities" (bald albino dwarf hunchback status) to get people to trust her and tell her anything. She can even get people to think she's harmless and a friend, even as she stalks and plots to murder them.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Oly's hit with this hard. Not "special" enough to draw ticket sales like her older brother and twin sisters, but also not normal-looking or "gifted" enough to shine for her parents like her little brother Chick does.
  • Heroic Albino: She's not exactly heroic, but she is the protagonist of the story.
  • Stalking Is Love: Maternal example. She stalks her full-grown daughter Miranda relentlessly, and planned on doing so for the rest of her life, yet doesn't want the girl to talk to or know anything about her.
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  • Younger Than They Look: Miranda is surprised to learn that she is just 38, as she aged very rapidly. She also apparently looked like an old woman (thanks to the baldness and hunched back) since she was a child.

Arturo "Arty" Binewski

  • Always Someone Better: Despite being the first Binewski child to survive gestation and come out "marketable," nearly every sibling born after him has been this—"Elly" and "Iphy" the Conjoined Twins, Leona the Lizard Girl, "Chick" the psychic wonder, etc. It makes him furious, to say the least.
  • Attention Whore: And how.
  • Bald of Evil: Being a fin boy, there's not a hair on his whole body, and he's mean as a snake.
  • Evil Cripple: Even if he, his family and his followers don't consider him to be handicapped.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Any time there's a hint that one of his siblings might get as much or more of a crowd than him.
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  • Handicapped Badass: He was born with flippers instead of limbs and is confined to a wheelchair when he's not in his tank. Yet he is very athletic and capable of taking care of himself. He even manages to smother several of his siblings without anyone noticing.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He eventually tells Oly that the reason he's so jealous of his siblings is because he's freak enough to never fit in with normals, but just normal enough that he has to work hard to come up with gimmicks to stay in the limelight. If he doesn't have an audience, he's just "an industrial accident." His more severely "gifted" siblings don't have to work hard to draw a crowd, and it drives him crazy.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Lampshades and milks this for all it's worth for his Arturian cult.
  • It's All About Me: Boy is it ever, with this guy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Oh, where to start...
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In the past, he killed (and attempted to kill) any siblings he suspected might get between him and his beloved audience. After taking over the carnival, he has Elly lobotomized so he can have Iphy without her.

Iphigenia "Iphy" and Electra "Elly" Binewski

Fortunato "Chick" Binewski

  • Beauty = Goodness: Interestingly, the most normal-looking Binewski sibling is by far the sweetest, with only Iphy as a runner-up.
  • Doorstop Baby: Narrowly avoids this fate, as his family "discover" his powers seconds before dropping him off.
  • The Empath: He can literally feel the pain of those around him, including the ones he "moves."
  • Fatal Flaw: His extreme desire to help people, coupled with his desire to be loved (especially by Arty), is what allows Arty and Dr. Phyllis to manipulate him into helping them amputate and lobotomize dozens of cultists by claiming he's "helping" people, which wears away at his mental health so much he eventually commits Murder-Suicide on himself, his whole family, and the Arturian Cult.
  • Friend to All Living Things
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Oly realizes early on that, since toddlerhood, Chick constantly uses his powers to do favors for his family because he wants them to love him. He's also deeply distressed that Oly and Arty don't like him, and tries his darnest to win them over. To his detriment.
  • Meaningful Name: Fortunato, meaning "Lucky," because his family discovered his powers seconds before they planned to leave him for being too normal. Turns out to be an Ironic Name, as his fate winds up being a cruel one.
  • Mind over Matter
  • Psychic Powers
  • The Sociopath: Subverted. When he was still a baby, Chick's Id-driven baby brain only thought of instant gratification (food, playtime, etc) and would move all people and objects around him to fulfill those desires. This caused the family to attend his every whim 24/7 in order to keep him satisfied so he wouldn't destroy the trailer or seriously injure or kill anyone when hungry/bored/agitated. This might lead the reader to think he'll grow up to be a self-serving sociopath like Arty, but he ends up being the kindest, most empathetic, and selfless of them all.

Aloysius "Al" and "Crystal" Lil Binewski

  • Abusive Parents: While they likely didn't mean any ill, Al and Lil making Oly (and later Chick) feel inadequate for not being as marketable as her older siblings doesn't help her self-esteem any. There's also the fact that they took various drugs and radiation during gestation to produce genetically altered children whom they could put on show and exploit for money in the first place...
  • Adults Are Useless: Most noticeably when the twins beg their father to pull a Parental Marriage Veto for their upcoming "marriage" to the Bag Man, but he won't defy Arty.
  • Baby Factory: Lil gives birth to several children while abusing drugs and raditation, all for the express purpose of putting them up as carnival attractions.
  • Broken Pedestal: As the Binewski siblings grow up they're disappointed to learn that their father is not as brilliant or competent as he led them to believe as children.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Despite Chick's amazing abilities, and the fortune they could bring if used properly, Al only ever thinks to use them for petty theft and gambling. Granted, he might have gone farther had Arty not sabotaged them at every turn until Al's spirit was broken.
  • Functional Addict: "Crystal" Lil remains a fairly attractive and attentive mother despite years of experimenting with drugs and radiation. Becomes an Addled Addict over the course of the story, and the "Notes For Now" sections.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Lil wanted to become a trapeze artist, but she fell and smashed her nose. She settled on being a carnival geek (mangling live chickens in a cage), until she married Al and they decided to breed their own special brand of genetically modified carnival freaks. She's still a little wistful when her husband tells her story, however.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Lil, even though she's still a knock-out when the kids are young. Her looks start to fade over the course of the novel, though, as years of drug abuse catch up with her.
  • Meaningful Name: Crystal Lil.
  • Selective Obliviousness: After Arty takes over the family business.
  • She's Got Legs: It's easy to see where the twins and Miranda got theirs.
  • Theme Naming: They give all their kids Greek and Latin names, often with significant meanings.


  • Brainless Beauty: Oly thinks she's this from a distance, but she turns out to be very bright.
  • Hidden Depths: Invoked. She seems kind of shallow and ditzy due to her beauty and promiscuity, but she's an artist and a med student, which she wants to use to draw anatomy illustrations for medical textbook, and she has a deep fascination with the strange and bizarre due to her tail.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Spent most of her life wishing she could get rid of her tail.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Oly keeps her in the dark about everything.
  • Really Gets Around: Like father, like daughter.
  • She's Got Legs: Which she uses to great effect at the night club she works at.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: To Oly, the bald, albino, prematurely aged hunchback dwarf. Also to Arturo, the bald, slippery, fin-limbed man.

Miss Lick

  • Adorkable: Oly discovers that Miss Lick rather endearing in her awkwardness after getting past her icy exterior.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Feels an almost murderous jealousy toward all women younger and prettier than her.
  • Loners Are Freaks: She suffers from this due to never having close friends all her life.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Struggled with this all her life, since she's so tall and masculine.
  • No Social Skills: She's discovered to have this since she didn't have any close friends all her life.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's very gruff and intimidating to people she's not close to, but is very sweet to Oly once she genuinely befriends her.

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