The Circus

The Circus

A Story by BrynnaW.

Very Short. Please read. This is what I hope to be the start of a chapter to a leading off of a story I wrote called "Echoes."


          I will give you not a name, nor a face. You will simply know me as “I” because we really are all quite the same. I am you and you are me; we are one in the same. We are all facing the struggle and you just happen to be reading mine.

I see painted faces all around. Not one is sad, they’re all quite happy if not forced to be. The joy they bring is not for themselves though and, for some, their image is also contrasted with terror. Red paint spreads beyond the lines of their lips and triangles stretch down their cheeks in blue or black. Or maybe green. Many of these faces wear curly hair of bright colors, I do too; a wig purchased by my father. We’re sitting on bleachers, surrounded by a giant striped tent, though the color of it escapes me.

 My father points toward someone and I bob my head this way and that, desperately trying to see what he sees but my vision is blocked by numerous people bustling around, occupying every inch possible of the tent to see the show.  Again, he attempts to draw my attention to something but it isn’t until I stand on my seat and jump that I see who he was pointing at. I’ve always believed, even now, that my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. She has brown hair cut rebelliously short, curled under her ears, and decorated with a sparkling silver ornament. She wears a silver leotard with beaded tassels to match and when she notices me jumping, she puts a hand to her mouth and covers her giggling grin.

I sit down again with my wig in my lap and playfully curl my hair under my ears to be just like her. Perhaps, I was hoping someone would notice our similarity or ask whether she was my mother or maybe tell me that I was very pretty. My father gently touches my chin with a soft smile but pushes my hair back the way it was as he whispers, “You and your mother have very similar features, love, but your little differences are what makes your beauty unique.” I frown and turn my head away until I know he isn’t looking. Then I curl my hair again and stuff the wig back on top of head.

Two decorated men began to lead an elephant into the tent. The crowd stretched out their arms eager to touch it while it took a man’s hat off of his head in the crowd. The elephant placed it on the curly hair of another performer who is riding forward on his unicycle while juggling obscure objects. The man is only about a couple steps down from me and he simply laughs along with all the other high spirits. A man and woman above us are swinging back and forth on hanging bars. With each toss and flip, the crowd holds their breath while I put my hands in the air with a bit of hope that one of them will grab me and pull me up into the air with them. They link together. The man hanging from the bar by his legs grasps the woman’s ankles tightly. She extends fully as they swing and scoops the hat off of the man on the unicycle and drops it onto a monkey, who claps his hands and runs up to the man, handing him the hat. The crowd applauds the performers vigorously; not a sad face in the entire crowd.

The man goes to put the hat on his head but the lights suddenly dim and a spotlight beams down on my mother. He immediately takes off his hat again. For all men, she is an unobtainable trophy and for all women, she is their object of envy. Even high above the crowd, close enough to the top of the tent she could almost kiss it with her red lips, all of her features are easily distinguished. I’ve wanted for so long to be able to perform up there with her. I want to wear beautiful costumes, be daring, and bring a gasp to everyone’s lips. I want to be her.

When she looks down at the crowd, I can swear her eyes are on me. Before I can stop my fingers from fumbling, a dandelion I was twirling between my fingers flies out of my grasp. Without thinking, I leap from my seat to chase after it. As if far away, I hear the crowd beginning to clap while I crawl at their feet in search of my dandelion. Then, everything goes quiet. Just barely, I can hear my father calling my name to get me to come back. I look up as I snatch up the dandelion slightly squished beneath a woman’s heel to find that all eyes were on me. I accidentally got my own wish for a spotlight but it wasn’t exactly the one I wanted. Slowly, I turn around at the bottom of the bleachers, the performers were watching me curiously and my mother stood directly in front of me. She bent down to my level with a smile on her face and the monkey leaped onto her shoulder. My mother kisses my cheek and whispers, “See you in ten,” with a wink. Before she can stand straight again, the monkey leans toward my dandelion and blows. All of the tiny seeds fly at my face and stick to my wig. The performers join in with the crowds laughs. I drop the bare flower on the ground and quietly go back to my seat next to my father.

He wraps his arm around my shoulders and plucks a seed out of my wig, whispered, “I wish my daughter would smile right now,” and blows the tiny seed away over the crowd.

This was not my first trip. My mother frequently performed in the giant tent and my father and I never missed her act. He used to perform as well, though I’m not sure what his act was. I only know that he quit for me. He quit, concerned I may end up an orphan one day. However, my mother continued to perform throughout the years. No matter how many times I saw her performance, I was always left mesmerized. The way her bare feet gripped onto the wire, no safety below, her hips rocking to the tantalizing music while she daringly smiles down at the crowd. One day, I hoped to be just like her but then, I’d be dead.

© 2017 BrynnaW.

Author's Note

This is what I hope to be the start of a chapter for a story I wrote called "Echoes." I hope to continue the idea around that short story. If you have any suggestions or like where this is headed please let me know, it's been a while since I've written. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you'll take a look at "Echoes."

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Added on July 15, 2017
Last Updated on July 19, 2017



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