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I felt lonely, sitting down with my only friend, the moody night sky’s full moon glaring right into eyes. I felt trapped, without an escape or future. They had just closed a couple of hours prior, and the chaotic audience full of unfamiliar faces had settled down after the show. I knew that I was more of a chained down prisoner than an exhibit of delight. This was not what I asked
for. As a young cub, I was captured and torn away from my family. I had lost everything and everyone. I was now surrounded by strangers forcing me around, living in a constant cycle of a depression surrounded by delightful cheers of joy. Every day seeing my black and apricot reflection shining off the stainless steel rods that were keeping me away from my freedom. Our stadium was enormous and fit plenty of equipment and animals for acts. I spent most of my time in my cage daydreaming of all the wonders of the world. Thinking about exploring the vast, sub-Saharan African desert where I was from.
My cage was about 12 feet wide and 10 feet tall, full of scratches and marks from attempted resistance and escapes. I wanted to be wild and free. This was not the life that I deserved. I was only let out every other day, gleefully relaxing in the sharp green turf.
I was the only tiger here and didn’t connect with the other animals. No one understood my situation or what I felt. I was trapped. I wanted a family... The following morning I woke up to the boisterous grunts of my showman. Clowns, acrobats, and stuntmen hastily rushed out into the center of the arena while I was waiting at the side. The show had begun.
The audience stood, full of wonder and curiosity about what would happen next. A burst of music and fascinating lights suddenly erupted and flashed like a rave festival. Everyone began with his or her first acts while the crowd intensely cheered. Two acrobats soared across the infinite glowing sky as if they were waterfowls flying from the hunter’s shots. I inhaled deeply and admired the sweet and buttery smell of popcorn and vibrant cotton candy being sold in the stands. Every day I was fed bloodied rancid meat, and if I didn’t comply with my showman's commands, I would be starved or beaten. Because of this, I forced myself to perform many tricks I was uncomfortable with. I was forced to commit dangerous life-threatening acts such leaping through a fiery hoop. Every time seeing the flash of what felt like the wraths of hell, radiating fiercely in my eyes. I had many patches of lost fur and scars throughout my body. Every time when I saw them, it reminded me of the cruel punishments I had to previously endure.
The men were cruel and were only in it for themselves. They were greedy, arrogant, callous, and especially inconsiderate. But I wasn’t the only animal exploited. There was an elephant, very fat with a long and hairy trunk and floppy ears. Although on the inside, he was
intelligent and very patient. His name was Thomas. He dealt with a lot more trouble than me. This primarily was because of his bigger role in the circus’ acts in the show. I then realized it was my turn, after seeing the astonishing act of the motorcyclists, wearing their crimson and ivory uniforms. Their act was named the sphere of death. They all got into a circular-battered steel cage then started riding and tangling themselves within it. It dropped the jaws of the amazed audience while they powerfully cheered.
I was dragged into the center of the arena with the spotlight shining right into my fearful eyes. I had to execute my act perfectly or I would be punished. The crowd stood in complete silence as I prepared for my jump. It was so silent that a pin drop could be heard. The assistant walked over to the metal hoops and spat an immense fireball onto the rings, engulfing them in
intense hellish flames. I mentally prepared myself and began to accelerate rapidly towards the inferno with the spotlight following me as if I was being watched from the heavens.
I sprung off the ground using all the lower body strength I possessed slicing through the thick air full of smoke. In slow motion, I flew through the three rings glaring straight ahead towards my landing position. I roughly landed on the hard crusty pavement scratching the bottom of my feet. The crowd went wild, shouting and screaming in amazement. I had done it.
Fireworks exploded upwards flashing vibrant reds and blues in the sky celebrating the success of my act. Emerald green lasers flews across the sky and arena beaming into and reflecting off the walls. I was then led to the side of the arena to finish the show. All the members of the crew such as the clowns wearing droopy flashy face paint and stuntmen in their suits dashed to the center of the arena for a final goodbye. The crowd seemed remarkably satisfied chucking flowers into the center of the stage while cheering. These moments were some of the only times I felt a type of delight. Although life was rough, I was glad that I could supply kids and families with happiness.