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Cirque de la Lune

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Under the silver moon, when the streets of the city still pulsed with activity, at the heart of Tokyo, the Cirque de la Lune was well underway. The smell of popcorn and cotton candy permeated the atmosphere with the lingering taste of cigarette smoke. The heat of the crowd mingled with the uncomfortable and imposing frost of a midnight stillness. Scalpers that leaned against the metal wire fence with a stack of tickets up their sleeves and the homeless that had convened to soak up the warmth contrasted with the bright lights of the attractions outside. The stilt-walkers, in their flashy costumes and bright colours looked anything but human with their painted smiles and their bright orange head gear. And the music of the Circus, the sounded like a distant rumble before, became louder and clearer, until the drums drum-drummed with the beat of the spectators’ hearts when they were just at the threshold. As everyone took their seats, the lights were dimmed and the roar of a lion could be heard as it pierced the very atmosphere separating the audience from the stage.
The lights were brought to a ringmaster. In his dazzling costume of midnight blue, he welcomed the guests and enticed them with his caramel words. And with a lashing whip and the metallic screech of a lowering cage, it was clear that the show had begun. Eight lions in total walked in and one lone tiger stood out for its stripes. The lions followed every gesture of the ringmaster, every flip of the wrist and wave of the arm. But the tiger remained enthroned in place, never once twitching its jaw, nor lifting its eyes. It looked as if it were made of stone. But when the applause had not yet faded from the stands, and the last lion had only just been led out, it became animated pounced at the ringmaster that barely moved away in time. The whip slashed through the air although the Tiger only continued, this was a real 4000 pound Bengal Tiger, holding its head like a Sheik, moving with the grace of royal blood. This tiger was no peasant to concede to the whims of a whip. But there was something in the ringmaster’s eyes that reminded him that he was only an animal and that in the Ring, it belonged to him. The tiger bowed, and the crowd hollered and yelled. The Ringmaster lowered its head and removed his hat. He was not yet twenty four, and he had proved himself the King of Beasts.
The show continued and with every act, the crowd felt more and more detached from the world. As if the entirety of the universe could fit under the Big Top and there existed nothing but a few steps to separate them from a world where the strange creatures of the Cirque de la Lune and their otherworldly countenance; they unconsciously leaned forward in their seats. The final acts had arrived, including one act that everyone looked forward to…Firebreath. With eyes of amber fire and a costume that looked as if it were forged in flames, she had the body that looked like melting gold. No one knew what she looked like for sure, with her dark auburn hair styled for her costume and her masklike expression. Her show they said was one of the most spectacular ones, partly because of her mesmerizing nature. She was the fire breather. The fire appeared as if from nowhere when she whispered into her cupped hands and she breathed it out of her mouth like solar flare. She glowed with the energy. She danced and leapt between the flames she conjured. People were convinced she had been born in the cradle of the sun. As many lost their hearts that day, so did an immortal that watched silently from the stands frozen and unbeating as his heart may have been.




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