Welcome! Come one come all, to Cirque Du Morte, otherwise known as Circus Demise! We show off the most frightening, most amazing, and most unique set of people you'll ever see! We've got lions and tigers and all manner of creatures, and fun games for all ages!
Buy your tickets now! For the show or the fair, or maybe you'd like to come at a later hour to see our adults only freakshow!
[+red I wouldn't have pegged you as a laborer.] The woman had said. Dannie nodded along. She knew that she wouldn't be a good performer here...at least with a circus...She didn't have a random talent. She had been running, getting money from anywhere that she could. Eating from random food places that would offer her food after her services were completed. Pressing her lips together, she continued to look at the woman before a smile came upon her face as she was complimented.
[b Thank you.] She said. After asking the woman about her job in the circus, she could only smile as she spoke about the clown that was silly. Dannie laughed a little. [b I am kind of glad that you are a silly one. The ones who aren't scare me a little.] She had always had a fear of clowns. Ever since she was young...
She twitched. The toxins were kicking in. Pain struck underneath her skin. Fire filled her veins and all the while, she held herself together, restricting that she show weakness right now.
Speaking of a different place to go and get something to eat, she nodded her head. [b I would love to do that.] She said following behind the woman as they turned to head toward the dining tent. She needed to get her mind off of what she was just thinking about. She couldn't let anyone see. Otherwise she would fall surrender to the toxin and everyone would know...She had to stop herself...
Cheryl chuckled as the girl responded, shaking her hand.
"I used to be a stray before I got picked up years ago" She explained, offering a smile. "I wouldn't have pegged you as labor, Dannie. You're pretty enough to be a performer. Well, now that I think of it, I can name a few pretty ugly faces in this business" She snorted in laughter "But I mean it. You're pretty. And by the way, I'm a performer. Clown, to be exact. Not like the creepy ones though. I just run around and squirt people with a flower, honk a horn, be silly, you know"
She turned and glanced at the others.
"Hey, you hungry? I know you just got here and haven't done much yet, but there's enough room for you, and I can introduce you to some of the laborers and performers if you want" She offered, jabbing a thumb behind her as she turned back to Dannie.
You must be new here. Dannie heard before she turned around to see a littler woman walking toward her. It took her by surprise for a moment before she nodded. Yes, I am new. She said, looking at the animals before back to the woman who was staring at her as if she was a project to be figured out. Dannie looked normal, nothing was physically wrong with her. It was on the inside where she was completely different, but never would she actually tell that to anyone else. She would keep that to herself.
Yeah, I'm another stray he picked up. My name is Dannie. She said, extending her hand to offer a shake before she looked around, wondering what they could do...What she was needed to do.While she looked around, she heard the other question and she turned to look at the woman, her eyes distant. I'm labor... She could never be a performer...Her old job though had been a dancer at an exotic club...but her marine love had bailed. Leading her life to where she was standing now. On the outskirts of a circus...one who looked actually very successful.
Are you a performer? She asked, curious as to who the woman was...It would be nice to know at least one person besides Carnegie. She might actually be able to find a place to work within the circus grounds if she was with Cheryl. Carnegie didn't seem to want company near him...whether it was in or outside the ring.
Her hands laced together as she held herself together, still trying to pull herself away from the burning in her body from the word family.
It haunted her like a ghost...
Cheryl, the ever inquisitive dwarf clown, noticed someone by the animals as she scanned the area. She pushed herself up and headed towards the person. She had heard the pep talks many times before, having been with the cirque longer than most performers.
"The fuck is she doing?" She wondered aloud as she watched this strange person spin around. She approached the other, eventually getting close enough to get a good look.
"Hey. What'cha doing? You must be new here, right?" She said conversationally, looking up at the other. She looked the other up and down and held out a hand, grinning.
"My name's Cheryl. Did Carnegie just hire you? Seems like we pick up strays in every town we're in. Are you Labor, or Performer?"
That was something most people asked newbies. Not that it made any difference, but it was nice to know who you would be working with.
Dannie could hear cheering across the way where she had seen Carnegie go. Pressing her lips together, she thought that she should have been where the group was. Perhaps she could have talked to some of the people over there, but she couldn’t get herself to move. It was as if the toxins were restricting her movement so she could just stay drowning in the word family. It was killing her on the inside and headed on out as she turned her eyes to stare at the group under the tent.
There were smiling faces and those who were laughing, but nothing but smiles as Carnegie spoke over the crowd. Keeping her feet together and still, she stood there, still contemplating before she finally gained control over her feet and moved forward. Maybe she could gain courage to go and talk to these people, or should she just run away?
Nah. She thought to herself as she kept walking through the grounds, continuing to look around the areas. Her eyes scanned over the different animal cages, watching all of the animals as they looked back at her. It was as if they could already tell that she was something different. Something not even close to human…She was nothing like the caretakers that looked over them now…Even then, she was advised that she shouldn’t even be coming near the cages. I guess as long as she wasn’t touching or trying to pet the animals or putting her hands in the cages, she would be fine.
Or so she hoped.
She still continued to look around just in case someone were to come and attack her from behind wondering who the hell she was. It was a surprise to herself to think who would ever come to be in contact with the animals. They were ones to turn on you so fast. She sighed heavily and moved away from the animal area to the arena where she could see all the stands were put up. Walking around the ring, hearing the silence as the entire crew was still under the tent, she found her place in the middle. She looked around, imagining the amounts of people that would show up to just see an act involving crazy people and their stunts as well as their weird abnormalities. She spun in a circle before she finally stood still to look over her shoulder at the entrance.
She could have sworn she had seen something there...
As he walked away, Carnegie's thoughts ran over the conversation he had just had.
He hadn't gotten the girl's name. It didn't matter on a personal level, but he did need to know who was working in his Cirque. This was his pride and joy, and everything needed to run smoothly. He'd call her in to his office in the morning before work.
He approached the large group of people who were eating on various picnic tables, grabbed a megaphone, and hopped onto the nearest table. Those who were sitting there knew to move their bowls out of the way, and look up at their boss with rapt attention.
"All right" He spoke into the megaphone. "Tomorrow is another day, another town, with a new set of faces that will be watching you. Like always, I expect nothing but the best. I have faith that you will all bring your best tomorrow, and each day after. We have worked hard to get where we are. We lost some friends along the way, and gained new ones. You are all the best at what you do, through hard work, determination, and maybe a bit of luck. Whatever the reason, I want you all to remember that you are here to make sure the day runs smoothly. I expect to see happy faces in the audience during the performances and cheerful dispositions for those of you working the grounds. We are the only one of our kind, and the best of anything similar. We bring joy to others and money to our pockets. What are we going to do?"
All during his speech, he had gotten increasingly more active, pacing the length of the table and using wild gestures.
There was a loud chorus of screams, all shouting "Our best"
"And what are we?" He asked, a large grin starting to form on his face.
The crowd screamed out "The best!"
And he ended the pep-talk by yelling into the megaphone "I want to hear you howl! We're the best, and we're damn proud!"
I guess you could call it that.
She thought that she might need to be a little more straight forward, but it didn’t matter. She was away from those men, she was away from those creatures, and now she was free for the time being. Pressing her lips together, she still walked with him, not looking to get on the man’s bad side, as she could already tell that would be hell to deal with. She was hell to deal with when she got mad, and most didn’t even suspect it…
Now it was only a matter of time before she would be sought out again. You’re hired. The words alone made her smile, but the rest, she ran her fingers through her hair and pressed her palm against her forehead. I knew that it was ready, but I meant that when doing work itself during set up, I could help out a lot. I didn’t specify. Anything that has to do with lifting, I can do it. She said. She wanted to stay strong. She didn’t want to do office work. She didn’t want to do meaningless handing out tickets work. She wanted to moving, to be active so she couldn’t think about memories dealing with the circus from when she was little. She winced a little, feeling as if the toxins were going to activate when she changed subject.
Family. She said it non-emotionally. Nodding her head, she said nothing more as he explained not to approach him unless it was emergency. And again he brought up family. She squeezed her hands together, trying to keep her mind clear. Thank you. She said, turning away from him as he completed his work.
She waited there for a moment as she watched him walk away. Her eyes darted to a different direction, but her body remained still. Eyes were on her, and whatever else was on her too. Finally regaining her strength and mobility, she turned around to look at the tree line. The shadows were gone. She was safe for the time being. Pressing her lips together, she finally released a breath that she had been holding. The darkness would not consume her right now.
She would stay alive…She would not let the toxins get to her.
Carnegie surveyed the girl one last time before speaking.
"Are you a runaway?" He asked bluntly, knowing the look of someone who has been running.
"Just say yes or no. No need to tell me from who or what. Everyone's running from something, and we get a lot of runaways." He glanced at the men walking by, but didn't say a word. He wasn't one for pleasantries. He was down to business, unless he was in a really good mood, then maybe you could coax out one of his legendary stories. Everyone in the Cirque knew of Carnegie's legendary storytelling abilities. That's what made him such an amazing ringleader.
"You're hired, and no you don't need to help set up the tent. It's already mostly set up. Tonight, you can get to know the Cirque, and tomorrow you can help with setup and cleanup. During the shows, if you can find someone willing to show you around or mentor you, then you are free to do whatever you want with them. No wandering off by yourself, and most importantly, do NOT touch the animal cages unless you have express permission from me." He explained, before heading towards the main group. "The Cirque is a family, and I expect you to treat it as such"
He turned and spun on his heel to face the other once again. He flashed a grin and swept his hat off his head.
"Oh, and by the way, my name is Carnegie P. Rath. You may address me as 'Boss' 'Sir' or 'Mr. Rath' Or anything else, as long as it is appropriate. When the Cirque is open, I will be working alongside everyone else. If you have any questions, please refrain from approaching me unless it is an emergency." He explained, bowing his head slightly.
"And with that, I bid you welcome to the family"
She had responded quickly. She couldn't even let the man know that she was on the run. If someone were to find out then what else would she do? She couldn't. That was the problem. Pressing her lips together, she pushed back her bangs and crossed her arms over her chest as he stood there, no longer holding the clipboard with his hands but under his arm. He was short and straight to the point. It was helpful, and she didn't mind. If he was to be her boss, then she would be fine.
Though she wasn't great with stupid people...
And that was pretty much the next question was..."Do you play well with others and get your work done on time?" Oh the words...Oh the question...Dannie contemplated as he asked her to follow him as he continued checking through everything. Watching him carefully, she finally responded because she was in desperate need of the job. Yes, sir. She said, her eyes looking at him. He was the type that was going to be very bossy...yet he was going to be the one who would be able to look straight through her. She could already tell by the way that he studied everything.
Pressing her lips together, she still continued to walk with him, trying to set herself apart from others who might come looking for a job. I'll work for setting up the tent...I'm strong.
He might have laughed at her at that moment. She hadn't been eating very much and she looked tiny, but she knew that she would be able to lift more than a dozen of him. Probably twice what his strongest man could lift...Her eyes met his as she looked around them, seeing a few men walk by, but the thing was, they looked weird...not exactly human. Dannie was mostly human...The toxins that were running through her veins changed her genetics, but that was it. She didn't look weird, she didnt' change forms...she didn't even seem different when it came to other humans. At times her eyes changed when the toxins need to be refreshed. The color they take would be a crimson...while her blood would bleed black, almost like tar.
She even surprised herself by living.
Watching him still, she looked at him curiously. Is that a yes or no?
Carnegie had been so focused on his work that he hadn't noticed anyone approaching, and when he was tapped on the shoulder, he spun around quickly, coattails flapping.
He lowered the clipboard he was holding to his side and eyed this newcomer. His eyes were narrow and distrusting as he listened, but when she finished speaking, they softened a bit.
Not a threat.
He glanced up and down at the girl once again. She didn't look out of the ordinary, so that meant she wasn't looking to join as a freak.... He had no idea if she had any hidden talents, or if she wanted to just earn some money by working for him.
He folded his arms, pinching the clipboard between his arm and his side, and glanced off to the side in thought, before deciding what he would say.
"And do you have any....Special talents, or are you looking for a menial labor position?" He questioned, before glancing back to what he was focusing on earlier.
He looked to his clipboard and checked something off, before taking a few steps away.
"Walk and talk" He instructed, indicating to the girl that he was very busy and wanted her to follow him.
He passed by an area that had cages of animals set up. Most were sleeping, but there were a few still awake, and they watched as the ringmaster walked by.
Carnegie's fingers darted up to adjust his hat, before he finally pulled it off, ran his thumbs along it quickly, and replaced it back on his head.
"Do you play well with others and get your work done on time?" He called over his shoulder once they were away from the animals. He busied himself with straightening a few things now. He didn't take the time to stop and chit-chat. If she wanted to work here, she'd have to get used to his mannerisms.
On the run. Always on the run. Out of breath, legs burning, chest hurting, Dannie turned her head to look behind her. The evening sun was setting in the west. It was burning her back as she ran through the thick wooded area beyond the city. Darkness began to reach for her, wanting to touch the soft pale skin of her body. Scratches from hitting tree branches and running through bushes scarred her skin. Taking in another gulp of air, she finally reached the opening. She finally reached where they couldn’t be…Openness…While she still thought they wouldn’t be able to catch her in the city, she was wrong.
Now it was only a matter of time before she would find out if she was safe or not. The light was retreating over the horizon behind her. She walked in the opposite direction. Turning her back on the light and headed for the darkness ahead. The light had never been able to save her. The poisons running through her body, through her veins kept her from being close to the light. Memories were toxic to her mind…to her life. It was only a matter of time before she would be walking along the underworld with the dead souls…
Blinking her eyes, she ran her fingers through her hair and pressed her lips together as she gained her breath. Running for a more than a few miles had taken her breath away. She coughed and then bent forward to press her hands against her knees. After a while, she pulled herself up to standing straight. In front of her lay a circus set up…Hadn’t she seen the fliers as she was running past? Her eyes scanned over the property as she walked forward, still trying to walk and regain air to her lungs.
On a post outside of the official circus claimed lines, a poster was stapled to the wood. Pressing it down with her hand, she looked at all that was there. Tigers, lions, and everything else involving a circus was there. Typical…but most were the freak shows. She had always been interested, but never had she actually pushed herself to go and look at some. Mostly being the reason that she was the freak show.
Looking past the post, she could see someone who looked to be giving all the orders. His eyes scanned over the different areas as he walked around, looking to be inspecting anything and everything. She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the post, her eyes scanning over the empty areas. Most were at a different tent, one that smelled like food. Pressing her lips together, she could hear her tummy grumble, but her veins began to burn at the thought. Immediately, she turned her head to look back at the trees.
Shadows were there. They were watching…
Perhaps you could always run away with the circus…
She bit her lip and moved forward to tap the guy on the shoulder. Excuse me…Are you looking for any help? Not what she was meaning to say…but for the time being…some money couldn't hurt…
The circus was in town, and Carnegie P. Rath, the owner and ringmaster of the Cirque Du Morte, was pacing around an empty , but quickly filling, plot of land, barking orders to the many workers scattered around. Caravans were being parked in one area, and a large black and red striped tent was being put up near the center. Animals in cages were being unloaded and placed in their respective areas.
All around him, his circus was coming to life, and it was always a glorious sight to behold. This was his pride and joy, the product of years of hard work. He had given blood, sweat, and even his very life to make this dream a reality, and here it was.
The tent was up now, and the various booths, poles, and other miscellaneous items were being set up. Soon the whole area was built from the ground, and everyone stopped to eat a hearty dinner of chilli.
Despite his somewhat standoffish exterior, Carnegie always took care of his own, making sure they were fed, happy, and healthy. Unless of course, they didn't do their job. There was a no-freeloading policy, and everyone was expected to do their part.
There had been a team who had posted fliers all over, and had returned shortly before the completion of the grounds, but the posters all read the same date of opening. Tomorrow.
For now, they would rest and everyone would prepare to do their part in making the Cirque run smoothly.
Carnegie had not eaten yet, as he was oft to do in these situations. He rarely ate the day they arrived, and rarely ate the day they left. He was too busy making sure everything was going well, and now he was patrolling the grounds, giving one last check to everything.
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