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The Ring Master

By , , FL
Juliet sat motionlessly in her chair as always. Her mother was smiling and talking nonsense to her. The women behind her was talking in encouragement to her mother, as if it would make a difference. If she could move, Juliet would cry non-stop and hug her poor mother.

All that was left for Juliet was her memories. Once she was a beautiful eight year old girl. Until five years ago when her family had been in a fatal car crash. She remembered this well. The sudden appearance of the enormous truck coming toward their small Malibu. And the collision… Her father was smashed up against the steering wheel to never be seen again, her mother’s head was bashed in, leaking blood all over her face. And then there was her little brother who had been only a baby. He had been swung to the side and through the window where he fell on the cold black road. But as if the cruelness in the world thought that was not enough the truck had swerved and trampled her brother before ultimately falling on the car itself.

Because of that fatal night Juliet’s brother and father were dead. Her mother’s brain had suffered too many internal injuries that she now had to be kept in an asylum. Juliet herself had been paralyzed, not able to move or feel. All Juliet had was her site and hearing. She was catered by an old women who she hated dearly, because she treated her like a baby. She wanted to be treated like a teenager as she was, but she could not complain because of her imprisonment inside herself.

Her face had been turned toward her mother who looked like a stranger from who she was five years ago. Her hair was a dark greasy mess and her eyes were bulges with red lines that traced through them. Her mouth flapped excitedly and drool soaked out to her chin.
Juliet couldn’t help but wonder if her mother even remembered who she was.

Before long the caretaker mumbled something about dinner and she pulled Juliet out of the room. Juliet wanted to scream and beg the women to let her stay with her poor mother. She realized at that moment that she would give and do anything to have her family back.

That night after they took her feeding tube out she was in her bed looking at the window, because that was where they had laid her head down. She had not slept since the accident, but once again she could not tell anyone that putting her in this bed every night was pointless.

She stared out the window with only the sound of her unsteady breathing. A red light suddenly took over the white glare of the moon. She wondered what this was, for a moment. She had learned of an occurrence, called “A Blood Moon.” The event was supposed to look like this. The red light grew until everything in her vision was influenced by the blinding light.

A thought came into her broken mind. There is something wrong…

The window shook before finally breaking, glass flew around the room. One shard cut across her arm letting blood flow down to her fingers. She did not feel the pain, she only could feel the terror that had erupted in her mind.

Now two hands were gripped on the window sill. She held her breath, which was the only thing she could do. A dark figure pulled himself up through the window and landed neatly on his feet facing her.

In the red light Juliet could see the figure’s young kind face. And his dark curly hair that was messily in his eyes.

It took no time at all for Juliet to recognize him. A new thought echoed in her mind. Father!

He smiled as if he could read her mind and spoke softly. “I have come for you Juliet. I can bring you with me, but only if you promise to do what I say.”

Ok. Juliet thought.

“Alright.” Said her father smiling. There was something in this smile that Juliet didn’t recognize. It was something devious and untrusting. But soon it vanished and her suspicion went away. “But you can’t do anything the way you are.” He added and he put a hand around the cut on her arm. She felt heat radiate through her limbs. And she could feel the stinging of the cut, and the air from the broken window against her face.

“Now get up.” Her father demanded. She did as she was told. Shaking violently on the limbs she has not used in five years. She stood on her feet only gripping onto the bed for a second to keep herself steady.

She moved her lips and spoke with a croak. “Father, you came back for me!”

“Of course I did.” He said with a smile. “Our family is going to be together again.”

For the first time Juliet noticed what he was wearing. On her father’s head was a top hat. And he wore a colorful vest and long matching cloth pants. “What are you wearing?” She asked curiously.

“Juliet, do you remember where we were going that night?” He asked excitedly. His eyes widened giving him a crazed look that sent a tremor down Juliet’s spine.

“Of course. We were going to the Fair.” Juliet responded.

Her father waved this answer away with one of his hands. “And what was it that you wanted to see the most?”

“The circus.” Juliet said without a pause.

“Well that is where we are going!” He announced. “We are finally getting to the fair and to the circus! Where I am the ring master!” He took off his top hat and took a proud bow.

Without another word Juliet ran up to her father and hugged him not wanting to let go. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.” Her father brushed his fingers through her long dark hair. He pushed her away after a minute and looked at her seriously.

“Now Juliet.” He began in a grave tone. “Before you are aloud to come, you need to do something.”

“What is it father? I will do anything!” Juliet answered with curiosity.

“Down the staircase you will find a hallway you have never been in before. Open the door on the very end of the hallway. You must be very quiet though, to not wake anyone up. On the nightstand is a small bottle of pills. I need you to bring them to me.”

With a nod Juliet started toward the door, before turning back around. “Will you be here when I get back?”

“Always my darling.” He nodded with encouragement for her to leave.

She followed his instructions as she crept down the old wooden staircase. She stopped to soak in that she has lived here for five years and has never been down this staircase. But she suddenly felt a gust of warm air, that pushed her down making her tumble face first on the stairway. When the agony was finally over she stood up feeling pain pulse through her nerves.

The cut on her arm had grown and was bleeding badly she cradled it with her other arm and made her way down the dark hallway. It was an old corridor with peeling flowery wallpaper with old gray-rugged carpet. She wondered lightly why the caretaker did not fix it.

The pain seemed to grow in her arm. Juliet said softly to herself. “I forgot how much pain hurts.”

She reached the door and opened it slowly. The knob was cold under her fingers. The door gave off a loud creak and she froze until she heard snoring from inside. Upon hearing the assuring breath, Juliet let out a thankful sigh.

Sound asleep in a small old bed was the caretaker. Anger and hate rolled through Juliet. She remembered all these years of being treated like an animal, like something that had no thought for herself. The caretaker had stolen her dignity. Now Juliet had no problem stealing her pills. She took the small bottle in her hand and made her way back up to her room.

Her father was standing by the window, looking out. Juliet approached him with the pills. Before her father could take them however the red light vanished and he spoke in a hurried tone. “Get away from here!”

Juliet looked at him curiously not knowing what to say. The light changed again back to red and her father shook his head. He took the pills and put it in one of his pant’s pockets.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that being back is bad for me.” He explained.

Juliet smiled. “Well I guess that means we have to go to the circus.”

Her father nodded in reply and went to the closet that was in the far corner of the room. He tapped the door with his fingers until a fire started. It crackled at the wood until the door itself was just flames swirling in different colors. The fire stayed on the door to make a fiery wall instead of spreading throughout the room.

Juliet backed away in fear. “Father, why did you do that?”

He came to his daughter and held her hand. Suddenly the ugly hospital nightgown, she had been wearing, changed into a beautiful red dress that puffed out at the bottom and at the sleeves.

Some of the blood from her cut had gotten on his hand and he looked at her with astonishment. “You’re hurt! Why didn’t you say something?”

“I thought you noticed.” Juliet said shrugging.

With a smile he put his hand over it and suddenly the cut was replaced by skin.

“Thank you.” Juliet said gratefully peering curiously at the healed cut.

“I’m your father. Juliet. I will always take care of you.” He smiled the devious smile again.

To this Juliet gritted her teeth. “But you left me alone for five years.”

The smell of smoke began to fill the room, making Juliet cough but her father staid still. “Juliet, I didn’t have the choice! But now we have the chance to be a family again!”

Juliet looked at him with squinted eyes, because of the smoke. “Why now?”

“You need to stop asking questions and begin living your dream!” He held out a hand. “I will never hurt you again Juliet, please come with me.”

With a deep breath Juliet took his hand and together they walked forward into the fire. The fire was cold and Juliet felt as though she had dived into a calm pool. It only took a second for her and her father to make it through the fire. Now they were in a fair with lights and rides in every direction. Along with people laughing and chatting.

They had emerged from the doorway of a wooden reptile house, the fire no where to be seen. Father and daughter walked together through crowds of people toward a large red tent in the middle of the fair yard.

With every step Juliet felt as if she was shrinking. That wasn’t all they were walking in a fast pace and still getting through crowds with ease. It was as if they were walking through them. Before long they were right outside the great tent.

The huge tent loomed down at Juliet, sending chills throughout her skin. Thoughts began to burn in her mind. What is happening? Why did I come? Where am I? “I’m scared.” She finally said.

What happened next made Juliet wish she had stayed in her room. Her father looked at her, his eyes wide and dark. “You should be.” He said laughing. With that said, he pushed her into the tent.

Juliet screamed and found herself in the middle of the rust-covered metal stadium, inside the dimly lit tent. Around her were rows and rows of people all staring at her silently. None of them blinked, they just stared. Juliet stumbled backwards and fell but instead of falling into the dirt she found herself at the very top of the wooden balcony.

A mirror was behind her. The realization passed through her mind that she had been shrinking. In the mirror was the eight year old version of herself, although the dress somehow still fit her. She looked into the mirror frightened, her blue eyes wide. Suddenly she was pushed again by a gust of air and she fell off the balcony. A trapeze soared toward her, but only her fingertips touched it and she continued to fall until an open purple umbrella appeared in her hands and she touched the dirt ground safely.

A voice sounded over the silence. “And now Ladies and Gentle I introduce the newest member of our circus, Juliet!”

There were no claps or cheers, only silence. A small colorful, clown car roared out blasting dirt in a every direction. It stopped a few feet from Juliet. Suddenly it turned into the small silver car that she had last seen her family in. Her mother stepped out of the passenger seat.

“Mom!” Juliet said crying as she ran up and hugged her. “I’m so scared. Please help me!” But when she looked up at her the car was gone, and her mother was now a frightful clown with a white bone like face outlined in black and complete with red lips.

Juliet screamed and jumped away. Suddenly in front of her their was a large tank with one un-fed shark hungrily pacing back and forth. She heard the crying of a baby, and saw her baby brother was on the top of the metal platform above the tank. In panic she climbed the rusty ladder on the tank quickly and graved her brother holding him her arms. But then the small baby turned into hundreds of green swirling snakes.

She waved her arms wildly but they vanished in thin air. And she was back on the ground. Her father looking down at her. His skin began to melt off him and soon all that stood before her was a skeleton dressed as a Ring Master.

To her surprise its jaw began to move up and down and it spoke in a fearful echoing voice. “Now lets see what’s happening back home. Shall we?”

Out of thin air a huge fire appeared in between them. In it Juliet could see the old caretaker in the swirling flames. She had woken up and was looking around in fear. “Where’s my medication?” She yelled, her voice was faint and breathless. She picked up her phone from the night table and dialed 911. “Help! My heart medication is gone and-” But she was not able to finish. She gasped and fell back without another word.

The ring master laughed hysterically. “Well Juliet I guess that makes you a murderer. You’ll fit in just well around here.”

“No.” Juliet whispered. “I didn’t mean to! I just took the medication! You told me to!”

In the fire Juliet saw herself in a car. She was laughing with her family and then suddenly the laughter stopped and they were spinning and flipping in every direction. Juliet felt all feelings leave her limbs and she fell to the ground. Her lips were going numb but she managed to say her final words. “What is this place?”

“Why, it’s my circus!” The skeleton replied and with those words Juliet was once again trapped. The skeleton snapped his fingers and she was sitting in one of the seats in the third row, in between a small boy and an old women.

The skeleton laughed and changed into another human form and went to pull his tricks with another miserable un-expecting person.





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