It is a dark carnival filled madness, magic, and grinning clowns.
For all the curious ones who want to buy a ticket and take their chances, just follow me. First, go watch Lita’s Cirque du Méchant, then hurry right back.
Your Wildest Desire
Step right this way, ladies and gentlemen, and visit the Evil Circus. It sprang up outside of town last night like a pale mushroom. The gaudy flapping canvas of an enormous tent dominates what yesterday was the Smith’s south pasture. A ferris wheel soars above everything like a glistening tiara. Elephants trumpet. Tigers roar. Even their manure has an exotic stench.
Lovely women with rouge-painted cheeks and shapely scarlet lips smile and tease. Handsome men wearing top hats beguile you with promises of wonder beyond your wildest desire. Why resist? You surrender only money, not your soul, for a ticket to this freaky show. At least initially.
Childhood Gone Dark
Youth is a dark time for some, and the children of the Cirque du Méchant are the darkest. It’s difficult to tell if they are the offspring of the glittery carnival adults or if they are runaways. Some plain boys sweep away the dirt and haul buckets of manure. The beautiful children fly on the trapeze. We see a motionless girl with long hair covering her face. Hello, sweetheart. What’s wrong? She ducks into the shadow of the fortune teller’s wagon and vanishes.
Let us follow this carnival boy of about ten years. His steps are so light, the lad’s feet seem not to touch the ground. Will he float away? He pauses at a tent flap, sees us, and points inside. I have my treasure to show you, he mouths before he slips into the tent. Oh, let’s go see.
This little boy has stuffed his tent with broken dolls. He heaped them everywhere. Look at this shelf–all heads. He tossed the bodies over there. Such an odd child. We back out of the tent.
Madness is Saving You a Seat
Listen. Over there is a shrieking Calliope. See it puff and bluster like a boastful bird.
Over here, that oh-so-handsome carny beckons us to the show in the big tent. We follow the crowd and take our seats. Care for some pink cotton candy? It tastes like a sweet cloud. A whisper warns us no, it is really spun cobwebs. We turn and look for our party spoiler. No one there. We hand the rest of our treat to the child sitting next to us. The sticky stays on our face. It clings, just like a cobweb.
Still, there is beautiful magic here. Weightless acrobats fly between swinging bars in the tent rafters. Gorgeous cats leap, paw the air, and roar.
Tiny-eyed elephants balance on drums and wave their snake-like trunks at the crowd. Look, there is a Fantasy Elephant floating under its own tiny circus tent. Is it real? Of course. It flicks its trunk and blinks. See the madness in its eyes?
The circus band plays a dusty fanfare, then the Barker hearkens our attention to the center ring. We scoot to the edge of our seats and crane our necks. What wonders now wait in the wings? A delicious shiver runs down our backs. Time to send in the clowns.
Masks & Grease Paint
See the jesters and harlequins with the huge shoes and painted-on grins. Their desperate antics with bloated tricycles the size of cars remind us of crazed morning commuters vying for a parking spot. There is one clown that they will not allow in their play. They bonk him with huge stripped bats. The crowd roars. We laugh for a moment, pleased that for once it isn’t us. But the Evil Circus quickly steals our mirth. Clowns. Do the grease paint smiles hide their pain and desperation? Is the grease paint a mask? Such a disturbing thought.
It’s gotten late. Time to leave the Evil Circus, methinks. No need to run for the exit just because night has come. The colored circus lights will light your steps. Don’t forget your hat. Nor your sanity.
The Evil Circus World lives near the brighter Fantasy Worlds of film noir, floating lands, and steampunk–it borrows their wonder and magic. It is the gentler cousin of Horror Worlds. Evil Circus is like a mushroom that grows in the dark. Mostly tasty, but odd and disturbing. Be sure to visit the next time it comes to town.