FINISH THE STORY — THE CIRCUS PART 4

Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t post too much for a while, but as my manuscript is being read by someone and I am twiddling thumbs it was a lovely surprise to receive a tag to one of these brilliant continue the story malarkeys by Scott Bailey.

c32e9cf5-b0fc-46a5-817c-a5629f2ce0b4

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started another one of her intriguing stories where she gets things started, tags another blogger to pick up where she left off, and then that blogger picked someone else to keep it going.

Fandago was second, and he tagged Scott as the third. Then, as you have read, Scott tagged me…So here goes.

To get us started, here’s what Teresa wrote:

Andy sat in the front row every night and watched the small family circus perform. There were clowns, acrobats, dog tricks, and even a high-wire walking monkey. His favourite though was the juggler. Andy watched as he threw balls, flaming torches, rings, and knives in the air and caught them with ease. Everyone in the circus seemed so happy and nice. He longed to join them.

Late one night after the final performance, Andy mustered the nerve to find the circus owner who travelled with them.

“I’ll do anything. Please let me join you.”

Mr Tall looked at the scrawny boy and scratched his chin. He walked around Andy and looked him up and down. “What could you do for us?”

Andy spared no time to think. He blurted out a laundry list of menial tasks he could do.

“I have plenty of people to do that.” Mr Tall shook his head and stared at Andy. “I asked what you could do for us? What are your talents? Your secret talents?”

Andy gulped. Few knew his secret, but those who did knew it immediately. Could Mr Tall be one of them? Could he risk telling the truth? Not telling the truth? Andy took a deep breath and swallowed his fear. “I could …”


Fandango’s addition to the story:

…change my appearance.”

“What do you mean you change your appearance?” Mr Tall asked.

“I’m a shapeshifter,” Andy said.

“You mean that mythological crap about being able to transform your physical form or shape?” Mr Tall said. “Get out of here, kid. You’re wasting my time.”

“I can transform into anything I want,” Andy insisted. “Think of something you want me to change into. Don’t tell me what it is. Then close your eyes and I’ll let you know when to open them.”

“This is stupid, but fine.” Mr Tall thought for a moment. “Okay, boy. Now what?”

“Close your eyes until I tell you to open them.”

Mr Tall closed his eyes and waited a few seconds. He then heard a voice from overhead instructing him to open his eyes. Mr Tall looked up, but all he saw was a red-tailed hawk perched on the high wire near the top of the tent.

“So?” the hawk said, looking down the shocked circus owner. “You thought of a hawk, right?

“Am I hallucinating? Did you slip something in my drink?”

The hawk opened its wings and started circling above, slowly working its way back down to the ground. By the time it hit the sawdust-covered floor, Andy was, once again, a scrawny, human kid. “So, Mr Tall, can I work in your circus?”

Mr Tall just stood there for a minute or two before he found his voice. He looked at Andy and said …


Then Scott’s

“Come with me!” and he hurried off into the night.

Andy rushed after him, eager to pursue the chance he had been longing for.

Mr Tall brought him to the centre of the campsite, he stopped in a ring of caravans, the doors looking inward. Andy felt suddenly like he was on trial. The brightly coloured caravans seemed like elderly matriarchs, stern but hiding an impulse to burst into laughter.

Except, one. There was one dark caravan, unpainted and in disrepair. It was completely out of place in this bright court.

Mr Tall caught the direction of his gaze and then looked abashed. He ducked his head as if to hide his shame or some other emotion not meant for Andy’s eyes.

‘I shouldn’t have brought him here,’ Andy heard his thoughts. ‘He will not resist that place and we will be discovered.’

Then he spoke.

“Listen, lad. There’s no doubting your talent, we can use you. I am just not sure how. My people here, they. Well, they are an old fashioned bunch. Give them bearded ladies, conjoined twins and they’re fine. But you – you show them that and they will freak. And you and me won’t last five minutes. As for the audience. Well, we have to be subtle. Show them a trick that looks impossible in a way that they can believe it’s all smoke and mirrors.”

Andy stared at him. Was he going to give him a job or not? Was he going to bow out at the last minute? Lose his nerve?

Mr Tall glanced at the dark caravan again, then back at Andy. He took a deep breath as if drawing his strength.

“OK. Wait here! I have an idea, let me introduce you to my partner. He will know what to do.”

With that, he swept off into the darkness between the caravans.

Andy stood, suddenly unsure what to do. Should he just wait? What was going on here? It was all very strange.

But then it was a strange situation he had engineered. And much of the strangeness emanated from him.

He smiled wryly at himself. Wasn’t this exactly what he wanted?

Then he caught sight of the dark caravan again. It seemed to draw his attention. What was in there. What was Mr Tall afraid of? Ashamed of?

What would he discover behind that tatty door?

He found that he had already walked up the steps to that door. He looked around, something was warning him not to go any further but he found he could not resist. He pushed the door open.

It was dark inside. He stepped forward into the darkness. He took three steady steps and then there was a click.

Too late he sensed a trap. There was a clash of metal. The darkness fled as the sides of the caravan fell away to reveal he as inside a cage. A cage with fine wire mesh sides.

He could transform – but not into anything that small.

“So! You could not resist?” Mr Tall. “You read my mind! At least as much as I wanted you too. And could not resist my bait.”

He smiled strangely.

“You are not the only one with talent.”

Before his eyes, Mr Tall seemed to shimmer and he transformed. Not into an animal but into a young girl not much older than himself.

“We have been waiting for you to joins us for quite some time,” she said.

“Indeed we have,” said another voice. And out of the darkness came another man. Broad, long-haired and bearded, dressed in an immaculate suit.

“What shall we do with him?” asked the girl….


And now, my addition.

It had been a few hours.

The two had observed me for a while, whispering to each other and smiling, but they were just a little too far away for me to sense what was being thought in their villainous minds. Then they left me, striding to the far caravan.

Slowly doors opened and the other circus ‘acts’ stepped out, one by one, to peer at the newest addition to their crew.

The acrobats flipped their way to the cage and stared at me. “What’s so special about him? He’s a mere boy.” Unimpressed, they stalked off.

Andy tried to smile at the juggler, his favourite act, as he sauntered over, lazily tossing two small balls up in the air. “Hey! Mr Juggler! Please, let me out. They tricked me!”

“Jacques. I am Jacques the Juggler extraordinaire. And trick? No. Franco and Seline. They never trick anyone. You only end up here, if this is where you are meant to be… A demain, garçon mystérieux.” He turned and made his way back to his caravan.

“No! Please! Wait!” Andy called out in vein. Slowly the others retired to their caravans, tired of waiting for something to happen.

This boy.

What was so special?

Andy slumped against the metal bars that caged him and slowly slid to the floor. A tear formed and trickled down his cheek.

Why did he never listen? Mother had told him no good would ever come of his revealing his secret to anyone. She had lived with her shapeshifter gift all her life, using it to help them survive. But never in a way that one of the ordinary folks of the world would ever discover her power.

“Psst!”

Andy’s head jerked up. In the darkness, he was unable to make out anybody there.

“Psst! Over here!” The voice was just behind him. He turned to see a young girl, head covered, beckoning to him.

“Here,” she pushed something through the railings. Bread. “You must be hungry.”

Andy scrambled over and took the food.

“Eat.”

She watched as he devoured the chunk of bread hungrily, before looking up at her again.

“Er, thank you.”

She smiled.

“I heard Maman talking about you with Papa. You are quite an enigma. No one seems to know why you are here. Caged. Oh, so rude of me, I am Nina. The juggler’s daughter.”

“Can you help me get out?” Andy knew nothing more than the fact that he needed to be released so he could run back to his own mother.

“What is your name?” She just looked at him, making no move to open the lock.

“Andy. My name is Andy, and if I don’t leave soon, my family will be up in arms! Please, Nina. Help me!”

She pondered his request for a moment. “I don’t know… you intrigue me. Maybe I don’t want to let you go. It’s been a long time since I had company here, more my age…”

Before Andy could make another plea, the door to the far caravan flung open. The voice of Franco bellowed out loud. “Quick! Pack up, everyone. We need to leave – IMMEDIATELY!”

Like magic, the ground filled with people, unpegging the tent, harnessing horses to the caravans, packing up the circus paraphernalia that was all around.

And just like that, Andy felt a shudder as the sides to his cage became solid. Someone had pushed the wooden covers back, leaving him nothing but a small slat to look through.

Then with a jerk, he was flung onto his bottom. The caravan started to move. He scrambled back up to peer through the slat. He could see nothing.

All he knew was that he was trapped, with no idea where he was being taken…


Teresa’s rules for Finish the Story are:

  1. Copy the story as you receive it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!
🙂

I tag – my blog sis Willow, who I know will think up something fantastic to add!

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Circus (FTS 2019 #4) – The Haunted Wordsmith
  2. Elisabet
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 03:45:01

    😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: FINISH THE STORY — THE CIRCUS PART 6 | Morpethroad
  4. Trackback: FINISH THE STORY — THE CIRCUS PART 5 | willowdot21
  5. Giovanni Augello
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 14:22:09

    So cool! Very interesting post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. You Can Always Start Now
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 13:26:00

    This is a great idea! Maybe something for Kick Ass Kreaters to consider????

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  7. dearanonymousfriend
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 20:59:55

    how fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  8. Fandango
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 15:17:36

    Another great addition to this intriguing story.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  9. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 13:32:58

    You got it, Sis! Great work! It is really not easy to rethink a story for a further addition. You are the best! 🙂 Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. joylennick
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 11:37:24

    Clever you Ritu…The plot thickens! x

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  11. The Haunted Wordsmith
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 11:07:21

    Fantastic addition 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

My interactive peeps!

Peeps are reading in…

Flag Counter
Duncan Grant

artist and designer

GJ Stevens

Writing Fiction. Blogging Fact

Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

FROM THE HELM

A Daily Chronicle of My Misadventures in Parenting

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

random rants ruminations ramblings

different times, different thoughts

Frank Prem Poetry

Storytelling.

Sparks of Insanity

Haphazard Explorations & Experiments In Fiction

Out an' About

Loving Life On and Off the Tracks

A Princess Castle To Call Our Own

Life in Orlando From the Ears and Beyond!

%d bloggers like this: