chapter 1“CIRCUS! CIRCUS!
Do you like to be mystified? Terrified? Bewildered?
Then you’ll enjoy our traveling circus!
Come join us for a stupendous, magnificent, and enchanting eve!
We have sword swallowers, fire breathers, lions and the bizarre!
Join us tonight! 6 PM!”
The older man shouted on the crowded street corner. He was dressed in a red tailcoat jacket, with yellow embellishments, a black top hat and black pants. He had a perfectly curled salt and pepper mustache. A small crowd gathered around him to see what he had to say, others just walked by. His wife was handing out fliers as he spoke. She had long flowing wavy blonde hair, painted lips, rouge on her cheeks, and thick black eyeliner on her eyes, maybe to hide her age. She smiled sweetly to the passerby’s, but her eyes told a different story, something dark. She was dressed in an off-white corset, and red skirt with the same embellishments that matched the speaker’s tailcoat.
In the crowd of gatherers stood a young girl around the age of 20. She was wearing a ragged dress, the bottom was tattered and stained with char. Her face was covered in coal dust. She was clearly a coal mining girl. A poorly treated girl. She was such a pretty thing too. Such a shame she was trapped in such poor working conditions. She was desperate for a way out. Anything would have to be better than the life she was living now, right?
The circus came to town once a year and this year she had saved up enough pennies to be a spectator. Maybe she could join them? She had many talents. She could even make their costumes! Her imagination ran wild with her as she remembered the posters she had seen around town. Images of tattooed people, fire eaters, glamorous showgirls with feathers standing on elephants, she wanted to be a part of it. How could she join them?
She walked up to the woman with the flowing wavy blonde hair who was handing out fliers.
“Excuse me ma’am.” She said in a hushed voice.
“Yes my dear?” She turned and smiled so sweetly at the young girl.
“I would like a ticket please... I’ve been saving all year...” She looked at the older woman with big hopeful doe eyes, a little nervous.
“Ah yes my child, let’s get you taken care of.” She wrapped her arm around the girl’s shoulders and lead her to the man who was talking to the crowd a few moments before.
“This young lass would like a ticket for our show tonight.” She said with a smile that the young girl couldn’t quite place.
“Ah! Yes! Here you go. That’ll be $2.00 M’dear.” He held out his hand which was clad in a crisp white glove. The girl reached into her chatelaine purse and pulled out her money that she worked so hard for. She handed him the money, ashamed of her dirty hands and nailbeds. But he just smiled happily as he handed her the ticket and he could see her face light up even through all the grime.
“Say girl. You have a lovely smile. Would you like a tour before the show?” The older woman asked as she winked to the older man. The young girls smile beamed, as her eyes widened.
“Really? A tour? For me? I would be delighted! But... why would you do such a thing for me?” She thought there had to be a catch of some kind.
“Let’s just say I like you and you have pretty features. I can see you have worked so hard for this opportunity. Why not make it worth your while hmm?” The older woman said kindly, but almost too kindly.
“Well I would love to meet the performers. I have dreamed of being a circus for so long and I would love to see them!” The woman gently nodded at the older gentleman and he gave a knowing smile.
“Now young lass, why don’t you go home, clean yourself up and join us at, say, 6?” The lady asked her.
“Well I... I...” The young girl stammered.
“Oh... I should have realized. Meet me at 4 behind the big tent. I will get you taken care of.” She smiled sweetly.
“Oh thank you! You are too kind. I promise I will be there at 4!”
The lady already knew the young girl was poorly treated, and she could tell how dire her situation was by her clothes, her face, her hands, her overall shyness. She was the perfect candidate to add to their circus scheme. Her and the Ring Master were trained to spot desperate people longing to escape their situations, whatever they may be, like they were their prey. Once the girl walked away gripping her ticket in her hand and placing it in her chatelaine, the lady looked at the gentleman and said in a dark tone “she will be a fine one once she is cleaned up.” The man twisting his mustache in a devious way, grinned and said “yes, she will. She will.”
4 chapters, created 2 years , updated 1 year
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