The Circus of the Smile

The Circus of the Smile

A Story by East of Eden



May 1st 1990
    A late evening wander around the park. Beyond the treetops I spy the tip-top of a circus tent. I make my way towards it through the trees.

    No sign of life. I traipse right round the circumference of the tent until I spot a pair of open flaps that serve as the entrance. I am drawn to them. 

    A sprightly young man appears out of the flaps. He is wearing a three piece suit and his hair is slicked back. He has clearly been transported in time from a 1950's Hollywood dinner party. He bows his head towards me.

"Room for one more, Sir." 
    He doesn't make eye contact. His accent is...foreign and he is smiling widely.

"What's the entry fee?" I ask tentatively. The man laughs.
"No charge for you, Sir." have no sense of adventure Andrew, you never take any risks and that's what makes you boring...

    The smartly dressed young man leads me through the flaps. I am immediately blown away by the size of the arena. There are at least fifty rows of raised benches....yet they are all empty! 

"When will the show begin?"
"When you are ready, Sir." 
    I assume this is a joke and laugh politely. I follow him up past nine rows and then he indicates where I should sit. My place on the bench is marked by a sloppy red 'X' painted on it. Panic grabs me. 

"Where is the audience?" 
    The man smiles for me and I feel... entranced... soothed. 
"This performance is especially for you, Sir." 
    Without another word he dashes back down the stairs and exits the arena. My heart is pounding. I am overwhelmed in a rush of fear and excitement. I am possessed by pure adrenalin!

"Let the show begin!" I yell. 
    I clap my hands. I stamp my feet. I hoot. I whistle. I scream! The light in the tent dies and I sit on the edge of the bench and hold my breath

September 8th 1990
Andrew York, 23

Andrew has been missing from Glasgow
Southside since May 1st 1990. Despite
enquiries over the past four months Andrew's 
current whereabouts remain unknown. 
His family are shocked by his uncharacteristic
disappearance. They just want to know he's
okay and urge him to contact the Runaway
Helpline on 0808 800 7070. Andrew York is
of slim build with blue eyes and short black 

© 2010 East of Eden

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Featured Review

Very intriguing read. I liked the complete mystery of it all and unlike the others commenting on this story, I think the missing newspaper clip added the sheer creepiness of the whole mess. It was almost as if Andrew was sucked into the nightmare and never woke up again. This was very good for being so short. Awesome job. 100%

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


Amazing and original! You really have the ability to captivate a reader!!

Posted 7 Years Ago

Oh, I really enjoyed that! How rare is an unexpected ending. I particularly enjoyed your masterful use of words, invoking senses and emotions - and then the change of tone in the last paragraph. Congratulations to your imagination and talent.

Posted 8 Years Ago

I liked how it was short with a sharp shock at the end. It has left me wanting to know more. The only criticism would be that I want more! Good job!

Posted 10 Years Ago

wow, creepy. Really this gave me chills especially when I saw the Missing add. amazing piece!

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is the kind of writing and reading I'm looking for on this site. Thank you for sharing! I agreed on Sound that the newspaper clip built the creepiness of it. I never expect this story to be short. However, you captured my attention and sent goosebumps all over me. Also, you were able to pull me (and hopefully other readers) into the story itself and have a taste of the vibes of the story.

A perfectly short and detailed story.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, creepy is an understatement. I loved how this built up to such an unexpected but brilliant crescendo. I wish it were longer in all honesty, but having said that it probably wouldn't match up to the mystery if you were to solve it for the reader!

Great stuff and thank you for entering it in, "Be Experimental"

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very creative and intresting!
Thanks for submitting it into my contest!
:) elyssa

Posted 11 Years Ago

i like the mood behind this piece ... very cleverly done.... overall nice job on this....

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

ok, very good i enjoyed the story BUT
you missed places that needed commas
and the end of the story could of used more info
but other then that GREAT

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It was really different. I knew something fishy was going on with the "smart person." btw, wat category is this for the contest?

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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35 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on May 2, 2008
Last Updated on August 27, 2010


East of Eden
East of Eden

Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland

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