The Circus is in Town

The Circus is in Town

A Story by Jay

The horrific incident of a circus derailment


The Circus is in Town        

The circus is coming to town, and Jack hands me a cigarette as we pass the time smoking and watching the trains pass with coal and refuse cargo. Jack looks to me between a drag, “Did you get tickets to see the circus?”

“No,” I respond.

“F**k man, come on, we have to together. What else is there to do in this town?” Jack flicks ash on a southerly wind along the rails.

“I don’t like clowns, they’re more creepy than funny.”

“Well they’re preforming tomorrow, and you should come with me.” He pauses for another drag, I follow suit.

“Jack, the circus is for kids, I don’t know why you wanna see it.” Smoke catches a crosswind, “D****t, my eyes.”

“I can get you high…hmmmm,” Jack jostles me with his pointy elbow.

“Fine… I guess I can go but only if we can get a couple of joints in me, I need to be good and blazed if I’m seeing this freak show.” My cigarette burns towards the filter and I push it into the earth and toss it towards the underbrush. “I’m going home, you comin’?”

“Yea,” he says, “I guess we best get back before dinner; Summer man.”

“Too short.”

Jack flicks his cigarette onto the ground and we walk through the covered woods behind our suburb towards home.

Jack interrupts, “Wait man, we have to do something first!”

“What man.”

“We should flatten some of my loose trains on the tracks.”

“Haven’t you already done that?”

“No, come on man, I’ve only got a couple of quarters”

“I guess I have a couple of pennies here” Rooting in my pocket I pull out three pennies

We trek back, side stepping the underbrush and sliding down the hill towards the tracks. The air is quiet as the evening sun hangs onto an amber skyline. Coming to the tracks Jack puts his ears to the tracks.

“It safe Kimosabe.” He chuckles.

“F**k off man. Here.” Jack takes the pennies from my hands and lays them two feet apart on track of the rail.

“So what now,” I ask.

“Let’s start early and roll a spliff…it’ll pass the time”

I pull out a cigarette and rip it carefully, catching the tobacco in my hand as it falls. Jack unscrews the grinder and lays a fine line of green herb along the fold of a Zigzag paper. He adds the tobacco and proceeds to roll. A series of bird flutter off in the distance.

“A good sign, it looks like we have some takers.”

“Come on; let’s get back up the hill and smoke.” Jack nods and we climb back up the hill.

A sound from the North grows louder as the rumbling and huffing of an engine steams toward our direction. The soft billows bleed over the hill and a train rounds the corner in our sight as Jacks finishes lighting and takes a puff.

Jacks pulls a hard drag and passes the spliff my way, chuffing, “This is why they shouldn’t discontinue the penny.”

The steel and gears moan over our conversation as the locomotive barrels towards town.

I sneak a couple puffs in before looking at the oncoming train.

“Oh s**t man, the f*****g circus is in town!” Pointing over to the colorful serif font; the decorations read “Greatest Show on Earth.” Coming closer and closer with each grind we watch a metal snake of boxcars speed towards the three Lincolns.

As soon as the first wheel passed over we cheer with elation before noticing a minute yaw in motion where the engine leans and screams against its weight. The right wheel twists hard with a deafening screech and a late conductor’s whistle. First, the engine laps past the first track and the momentum carries it off course, into the woods. Sheer force careens a colorful cavalcade of cars off course.

“S**T MAN!!!” Jack ejaculates.

Time stands still and a weight hits my soul. The cars topple over and a series of screams and roars emit in a cloud of red clay. Earth shakes and trees topple with derailment. Ancient firs fall, and some pierce the belly of the beast in explosive ecstasy. A colliding stream of wood and iron is clouded and we hear wails and cries of agony. The dust clouds our vison, but the sounds continue before the whole train collapses into the adjacent edge of the forest.

“We have to do something.” I say

“No way man, I’m out of here… I’ll…I’ll…I’ll get some help!”

“Fine, I’ll do what I can.”

Hissing and fiery coals hit dead wood; a blaze breaths life. “GET THE F*****G FIRE DEPARTMENT”

“I will!”

Jack runs back past the suburb as I stream down the hill to help. A harsh wind flies and the fires spread on the forest floor. Getting to the bottom, big shoes and lacy dresses litter the rails and, behind a bright backdrop of crimson lashes, the underbelly exposes shredded gears and loose spikes. My heart drops, and then I hear a small whimper, and a honk.

The third car, from the front emits a dull thud as I climb up the box car. It is no use; the doors are jammed by the damage.

“HEY….HEY, is anyone in there?”

Looking for some way to enter I see air slats, it is dark inside, and the air grows hot with flames reaching closer to the wooden box car,

“IS ANYONE IN THERE?” I wait, but nothing

Two dull bang come from inside the car before I see, from the corner of my eye a crawling thing. It drags along the rail and, in the setting sun it flies a hand up.

 I jump down.

A small woman, lean and muscular, reaches a hand with coagulated blood and dust diminishing her features. A trail of red essence flows form her shins, and her whole arm is twisted inhumanly. Her blackened hand raised; a chorus of groaning and screams become apparent. Banging, banging, the ungodly banging.

“Miss…. MISS, hold on, you are going be alright, there was an accident.” I wait, and stand still, the guilt stops my steps.

“puh, pl-,” she coughs brown blood and begins to choke and cough

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t you f*****g die on me, “I run to the outstretched hand and put her in my arms. I caress her matted hair and notice her face is white, and a design of a heart on her cheek.

“My friend Jack is getting help, they’re gonna be here soon, just hold on.”

She opens one eye and looks at me with a knowing smile, like it didn’t matter. The fire burns and heat becomes more intense, but I can’t move, something about her keeps me still.


 The girl puts a finger to her temple, and presses down a gnarly gash. Her wetted finger goes to my cheek

“Smile,” she coughs, “the circus is in town.” She paints a smile on my cheek and closes her eyes with a sly grin. I can’t move, I don’t want to move, I want to die. I deserve to die. Her stomach rises and falls flat, and the blood continues to wet my clothes.

Flames eat at the roofs and the cars begin to smell foul with flesh and hair billowing to the sky. Acrid fumes and gurgling cries, a gunshot, a squawking, even pleas for god bite my reality.

Sirens come and, as the engines approach , I still can’t move. Two firemen carry me away, before the silhouettes of screaming forms tear into the woods with shrieking desperation. Comical honking and bitter wails scar the day.

An burly EMT looks me over, “Are you hurt? Is this your blood? Are you okay?”

I sit motionless replaying an epitaph, “the circus is in town.”

© 2017 Jay

Author's Note

Judge me, but if you have another prompt, i will write more, or rewrite this.

My Review

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Featured Review

For me is very hard to give review . Cause my English is bad . I am not also good in literacy . I can see here very nature conversation in nice flow. Quiet dramatic story line it's can keep reader attention until end. I am sure something must be improve . But I don't know what. Sorry I cannot give you proper review. take care.

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.


There were some areas that could use some brushing up. I would watch out- you repeated yourself unnecessarily a few times. One example is during the crash. You mention the screams and roars heard twice. The description of the crash itself is very vivid and detailed, so well done on that (you wrote that part phenomenally) it's just that if you mention the cries of the people once you shouldn't mention you can hear them again, not unless it's for dramatic effect. If it is for dramatic effect then your readers need to feel that. I didn't. There were also a few grammatical mistakes, but only a very few. All in all this is a work well done! There really isn't much to correct here that I observed.

Posted 1 Year Ago

For me is very hard to give review . Cause my English is bad . I am not also good in literacy . I can see here very nature conversation in nice flow. Quiet dramatic story line it's can keep reader attention until end. I am sure something must be improve . But I don't know what. Sorry I cannot give you proper review. take care.

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Wow, I love the detail you put into this. It's very good, I hope to see more of your work!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you, i will try to either exapnd it, amke it a one off, or abandon it. i imagine that if i exp.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on October 3, 2017
Last Updated on October 3, 2017
Tags: Horror, Circus, Train, Blood, Death



Blacksburg, VA

Novice writer who is ready to collaborate or support with feedback. I enjoy writing about horror, comedy, and other degenerant forms. Seeking screenwriters to provide critiques and advice more..