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Somewhere over the Rainbow
A young boy the age of seven sat up in his bed, the crisp clean hospital sheets crumbling around him. Taking deep and heavy breaths he looked about the white walled room he’d been placed in for a couple weeks now. Over in one corner his mother sat mournfully reading a book, her grey hairs and strained eyes adding a more aged look than she truly was.
“You’re awake, darling.” She said puzzlingly looking to the little boy. The red ringed circles under his eyes and the many pointed syringe needles in his arm were enough to tell you he was a cancer patient. With a small nod of the head he smiled softly to her before turning to look out the window. What he saw next was dazzling enough to light up his whole afternoon. Balloons filled the sky but not just any balloons, hot air balloons. They were mixes of many colors: blues, greens, yellow, reds and had so many intricate designs one could stare at them for hours and get lost in their maze of shapes. That heartwarming smile crept back to his face adding a shade of color to his once pale cheeks.
“Mommy, what are those giant balloons doing here?” asked the little boy through quick and raspy breaths.
Getting up from her seat the older women walked to the double framed window next to her sons’ bed.
“Those are hot air balloons Riley and they’re here because of the circus.” She said looking out to the balloons and remembering the circus flyers posted around the hospital grounds.
“I want to…”
“Good evening Miss. Brock.” said a woman of small stature in a pale pink dress cutting Riley off short before he could fully respond.
“Hello.” Miss. Brock said softly, her chestnut brown hair falling over her shoulder as she turned to look to the nurse.
“I’ve just come to make sure everything was okay.” The nurse said in a cheery manner, walking around Riley’s bed as she checked his pulse and monitors for any
un-normal activity. With his daily check-up taken care of he went about his usual routines without mentioning a word of the circus.
The next day rolled around and Riley was as excited as ever to have the giant balloons floating outside his window once more. He waited for hours and what seemed like weeks in his little mind. Finding himself disappointed Riley immediately turned to the next thing that would grab his attention, but nothing could quite do it like the balloons had. In all his frustration and disappointment Riley hadn’t notice his mother leave and re-enter the small little hospital room.
“Riley…” She said in a whisper as her hands unfolded a large piece of paper. “Would you like…to go to the circus?” Her son overwhelmed in joy couldn’t help but to gasp for breath. Clapping her hands together Miss. Brock called in the nurse to set Riley up for a day’s adventure. He was allowed to leave the hospital if and only if he was not put under too much activity. Sitting in the passenger seat, hand pressed against the glass window, Riley watched the car’s go by. He stared transfixed when his mother pulled up to a colossal, red and white striped, tent as strange and crazy creatures poured out of it. Bearded women, juggling men, Elephants and Tigers filled his every line of vision with something more exciting and strange than the last. Following his mother to the stands they took their seats front row and center seconds before the lights began to dim and the loud voices in the audience hushed.
“Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.” boomed a loud voice from the center of the ring. Women on white horses with jingling bells cavorted around, acrobats flew in the air, and the infamous huckleberry clowns ran amuck fooling the audience with the gadgets and gizmos. Performance after performance Riley would “Ohh” and “Ahh” at the amazing feats with a round of applause at the end. The show was ending quickly and the ring master had time for one more grand appearance. Flying in the air above the ring master were acrobats dressed in tie-dye colored suits that covered their entire body. They twisted and turned in the air as if by magic.
“It seems as though we need a volunteer.” shouted one of the flying gymnasts from the tops of the trapeze. Looking among the crowds clowns rushed down the aisles to Riley’s side. Taking the little boy by the hand the clowns pushed him up the ladder to where the flying magicians stood. Looking down Riley could see his proud mothers face, small tears streaming down her eyes and the rest of the crowd cheering and clapping for him to take hold of one of the acrobats and go flying into nothingness. Closing his eyes in fear, Riley clasped the acrobats’ hand and before he knew it he was flying through air to be caught by the second man. One more time he was whooshed through the evening sky, but this time there was no man to catch him and no net to fall into. Falling and falling he could hear the shouts of civilian’s, but right before his body met the earth eyes came bursting open in a rush. The white sterile walls surrounded him once more as his heart raced a million miles per hour. Looking out the framed window that towered over his bed the sun was just beyond the horizon as balloons of many colors could be seen floating peacefully about. With a small and angelic smile he closed his eyes to drift peacefully back to sleep as the heart monitor came to a flat and steady line.