Thursday, September 22, 2016

2. When the Circus Comes To Town

It was her second Thursday of her second week of school and Eadon found herself slowing down her pace on her walk home. Up ahead of her was a man standing at a bus stop passing out tickets. Eadon’s eyes narrowed as she approached him. He wore striped pants and a plum hat that was at least a foot tall. He turned his head and made direct eye contact with her. Her breath hitched as she stared into his shockingly green eyes that didn’t seem to blink, trapping Eadon into an odd staring contest. From behind his back, an old, balding monkey popped up and onto the man’s shoulder, startling Eadon, and began picking at the man’s mustache that was curled like a smile.
“Hello there, dear.” The man stepped to Eadon closing the space between them. Eadon didn’t say a word, but she straightened her shoulders preparing herself for anything.
The man flashed his tickets and grinned, “I’m the ringmaster of the circus that has just landed in town. We’re here for one night and one night only, and that special night is tonight. Now, before you say no, you must know, that we are not an ordinary circus. Why! Our main event is a boy  who can control ice and his twin, a girl who can control fire. I promise you, young lady, this will be a night you won’t forget.”
A nervous shiver ran through Eadon, “thank you, but I think I’m good.”
“No, no! I insist. You should come, why, I’ll give you a free ticket.” Eadon gave the ringmaster a skeptical look, before cautiously taking the ticket from his extended hand.
“See you then,” the circus man said with a wink.


Eadon let out a loud groan. The elevators of her apartment building were broken, again.
Her apartment was in Winthrop Place, the tallest building in town; she also considered it the ugliest. Not only was it suffering with a chipped paint job, it looked as if it could fall over any minute. There was also something mysteriously creepy about to Eadon. She felt that within its walls and behind every apartment door, a secret was being kept a little too closely.
Eadon heard a small huff from behind her. She turned to see a girl who could have been no more than nine, looking just as annoyed at the “out of service” sign on the elevator.
“Sucks, right?” Eadon asked. So far, this girl was the only resident Eadon had seen who didn’t make her insides jump and her gut scream “run!”
The girl pushed her black bangs out of her eyes and looked at Eadon, “yeah. It does.”
Seven flights of stairs later, Eadon wiped the light sweat from above her brow and let herself catch her breath. She walked up to the seventh door in the hallway and took out her key to unlock it. Instantly upon walking inside, her nostrils were filled with the smell of garlic.

“Hey honey,” her mother’s voice sang out.

“Hi mom.”

Eadon sat down at the kitchen island and watched her mom cook dinner. “Did you hear about the circus? It’s kind of weird, but I don’t know… I was wondering if I could go tonight?” Eadon hesitantly asked her mom while anxiously awaiting her answer. When her mother didn’t respond, she went on. “I know it’s a school night, but it might be a cool chance for me to explore the town more and maybe I’ll make new friends?”
Ms. Stevenson stopped her cooking to turn and face her daughter. “Eadon, you know how I feel about these sort of things; you know how I worry. Are you sure this is something you can handle?” Eadon gave a sly smile. “Mom, seriously, I can. Trust me.” Mrs. Stevenson stared at her daughter a moment longer before nodding her head. “Okay, but please, be careful.”


The circus was something of a nostalgic dream. Eadon felt like a child again mesmerized by the performers and their acts. Never before had she seen a circus without animals, instead people acted like them; the acrobats had swung high and low and the contortionists bent in ways she had thought to be impossible. Then stepped out the twins. Eadon’s jaw dropped as she witnessed them control water and fire with ease and grace; how could they maintain their self-control? How were their powers possible?
Eadon stood with the rest of the audience who gave the performers a standing ovation.
The night had left her with a whimsical feeling and she left the circus feeling content. Her emotions soon shifted into panic when she realized she was being followed.
Eadon took a sharp right down a deserted street and quickly glanced behind her to find no one in sight. She let out a sharp shriek as she walked into someone’s chest and bounced off onto the ground. Rubbing her now stinging bottom, she scrambled back up to meet the eyes of the man whose chest she had bumped into.
“You’re very beautiful.” The man said as he moved his arm out to touch a piece of Eadon’s hair. She dodged him and tried taking a step back, but he looped his other arm around her waist and moved her closer to him.
“Let. Go. Of. Me,” was all Eadon’s fear would allow her to grunt out.
“I can’t do that.” The man began to move his face closer to hers and panic consumed her before she was able to constrain it. Her eyes flashed to an empty beer bottle in the road and within an instant, it flew straight into her attacker’s head.
A thwack followed by a shatter of glass signified the blow and he dropped to the sidewalk. Blood slowly pooled out of his head.

“Oh shit. Oh god, no.” Tears brimmed Eadon’s eyes; her body was shaking. “This can’t be happening. Oh god, not again.”