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Not My Circus: Chapter 15

by GengarIsBestBoy


Chapter 15: Road Safety Laws, Prepare to be Ignored!

Keith’s eyes widened as the scenery came into view. He immediately recognized where the girl was. It was a city, yes, but it wasn’t Mayday City—it was Ganymede, a small-ish town nearby.

He recognized it so easily because he used to live there.

The girl positioned the camera upwards. The sky seemed to have a crack in it, as if it were a physical object that could be cracked. It was glowing bright purple and was getting wider by the second.

In an instant, the crack opened wide, and the whole sky gained a purple tint for a few seconds.

Something was descending from the sky.

It was a spacecraft of some kind—but it wasn’t like any depiction he had seen before. It wasn’t a flying saucer with blinking lights; it wasn’t a pointy jet faster than the speed of light; it wasn’t even like the ones in Space Trek.

No, it was something else entirely.

It was purple and rounded at the front, with two wings on each side. Zebra stripes were adorning up the sides, and the back had purple rocket blasters. It kind of looked like… an orca whale, but without a tail.

It was just small enough to fit in the middle of the street. It slowly came down, and as it landed, the wings retracted and four legs popped out from under the ship. One final puff of smoke came from the rocket blasters as it touched the ground.

For a few seconds, nothing happened. For a few seconds, all was still. The camera was positioned in a way so that you could see empty streets. There was nobody out today, and judging by the camera angle, it looked like the streamer was… hiding.

With a click, a door opened up on the side of the ship. It came down like a drawbridge, and someone stepped out.

Her footsteps were slow and dramatic, and her features came into view one by one. First, it was her sleek black combat boots; then, it was her outfit, which was also sleek and matched the design of the ship; then came her thick fluffy hair, which was dyed purple around the edges. Her face looked kind and welcoming, but also a little apprehensive. Two brown wolf ears sprouted from her head, and her nose looked animalistic—like Flax.

Speaking of Flax, he gasped as soon as he saw her. He said nothing, but he covered his mouth with his hands.

She held out her arms wide. “Greetings Earthlings,” she said loudly, “We are with the Inter-Dimensional Bureau of Defense, and we come in peace.”

She looked around at the empty streets, confused at the lack of Earthlings.

Suddenly, the TV cut out. The screen was filled with static once more.

Keith was left with more questions than answers. But before he had time to ask any of them, he noticed something in the static.

Right in the middle of the screen, there was a faint circular area that looked different than everything else. He slowly walked closer, until his nose was almost touching the screen.

It was hard to see, but it was definitely there. There was a circular logo that had an eagle, stars, and a laurel wreath, and all the other things that you’d find on the logo of a government agency. But it didn’t look like any one that he’d seen before (not that he had familiarized himself with the logos of government agencies; that would be weird).

There was a sudden flash, and he covered his eyes as he recoiled from the TV. When he opened them again, the logo was gone.

There was a pause. What was that? Was… was the government shutting off the Internet? Was that why nothing was working? That’s what it seemed to be, but Keith had no idea they could even do that!

He thought about the government agents that had attacked them yesterday. Was it them? It had to be; it just made sense. Of course, they’d try to cover up something like this!

He looked back at Flax, who was still in shock. They made eye contact, and Flax jumped back a little.

“Keith,” he muttered, his ears pinned back, “that’s… that’s my squad.”

He got louder. “That’s my squad! Oh, they were probably worried sick! They were probably looking all over for me!” He suddenly grabbed Keith by the shoulders and shook him. “We’ve got to get over there, quick!”

Keith was so dizzy that he saw stars—no, wait, little stars were actually swirling above his head. He still wasn’t used to this whole “being a living cartoon character” thing. Flax quickly realized what he had done, and he stepped back and apologized profusely.

Keith shook the stars away. “Okay, I know where they landed. It’s kind of far away though, so it may take us a while to get there—”

The pleading look in Flax’s eyes interrupted him.

He took a breath. “I know a shortcut,” he said. “I’m going to go get ready—I’ll be five minutes, tops.”

Molly, who had not spoken the entire time, jumped up. “Ooh, can I come too?”

Keith looked down at her. There was probably no harm in letting her come along; after all, there were much bigger problems than her being spotted.

He rushed into his bedroom, a sense of urgency flowing through his veins. He instinctively reached for his stealth gear, which was hanging over his standing mirror, but he stopped himself.

The vague-yet-menacing government agency already knew who he was—and honestly, they were probably scared of him. There was no use in trying to hide his clown-ness anymore. For this, he was thankful; it had been so long since he’d worn any color besides gray.

He turned to his colorful closet and picked out a button-up shirt. The top part was striped in different shades of pink—like a strawberry candy cane—with heart-shaped buttons down the middle. The sleeves were red and puffy, with ruffles at the ends.

He stared at it for a bit, not quite remembering where the shirt came from; he didn’t remember buying it, but he didn’t think it was a gift either. When was it? The memory was like a fog that hung around the corners of his mind.

Keith pulled it over his non-hair puffs (which was actually quite easy), and put on the matching pants. He turned to see himself in the mirror and—

Oh.

He stopped and stared at himself for a while. He gently stroked his cheek, not taking his eyes off of his reflection.

Up until now, he didn’t necessarily like who he saw in the mirror. It was like looking at a complete stranger—a stranger who barely resembled a human. He didn’t even want to look at that stranger.

But as he looked at himself now, he didn’t feel that way. Sure, it was still a little strange, with his blue non-hair and red nose—but the clothes he wore seemed to compliment his new features.

Slowly, he went back to the closet and picked out a couple more things—a flat ruffle collar and some dangling heart earrings. He looked at himself once more, and a smile came to his lips.

It didn’t feel so bad now; it felt good, even.

He heard the shifting of impatient of hooves in the living room, and he snapped back into focus. He ran back out there.

“Okay, let’s go,” he said. He got his keys and phone and walked out the door, with Flax and Molly in tow.

As he stepped out and unlocked his car, though, he remembered just how big Flax was. If he could barely stand in his house, then there was absolutely no way he was going to fit in a car.

But he wasn’t going to give up before he started. If there was a will, there was a way.

“Just letting you know,” he said to Flax, “cars around here aren’t made for people of your size; it’s probably going to be a tight squeeze, alright?" Flax nodded, but perhaps he underestimated what a "tight squeeze" would actually mean.

Keith opened the trunk and put both of the back seats down. When he looked back at Flax, he saw his eyes shifting. He was doubtful that this was going to work out.

"You can get in through here," Keith said. Flax peeked around the corner to see inside the trunk. Judging by his expression, he still had his doubts, but there was nothing else they could really do.

It took a minute to figure out how he would get in—6 minutes, actually. It was like playing the world's most stressful and frustrating version of Tetris. First, he tried to lay completely on his side, but he could not fold his legs inward enough to do so. Keith suggested he turn the other way, but his antlers were too long. He couldn’t sit up, either, because he was simply too tall

Finally, after 6 long minutes wasted, Keith opened the sunroof so he could stick his head out. It wasn't entirely practical or safe, but it would have to do for now. Flax couldn't be buckled in, so he just held on to one of the safety handles.

Keith put Molly in the passenger seat—which also wasn't ideal, since she had no legs and the seatbelt didn't fit around her.

"Molly, can you, like, grow legs or something?" Keith asked, not really sure how he was going to phrase that question.

She looked up at him, and without changing her facial expression, she sprouted two adult human legs. Keith reeled back a bit, but also stifled a laugh. Her upper body had not changed at all, so she looked extremely disproportional—and disturbing. He buckled her in, trying not to laugh.

He got in the driver's seat and immediately started up the car. The drive to Ganymede should take no more than 10 minutes.

Just as they were out of the parking lot, Flax cleared his throat. “Hey, Keith?”

“Yeah?”

Flax paused, then sighed. “About my squad… I wouldn’t typically consider them ‘close minded’ but…” Here, he took a breath. “Just don’t tell them you’re an Earthling, okay?”

Keith looked back for a second, and he saw that Flax had his head tilted down and his eyes wide open. This was serious.

“You hear that, Molly?” Keith said to her. “If anyone asks, you tell them that we’re not from Earth.”

She nodded.

A shiver ran up his spine as he focused on the road again.

Keith still didn’t understand what was so bad about being an Earthling. This ‘squad’ of his didn’t seem particularly kind—but then, why did Flax miss them so much?

As he got out onto the interstate, he hoped that there wouldn't be any cops out today. He shuddered just imagining how that interaction might play out. Hello officer! What? No, there isn’t a 7-foot deer-man or child shapeshifter in my car! Whatever do you mean?

But surprisingly, there weren't any cars out today. The roads were completely empty. It was just him and the vast oak forests on either side of the road. That was... unusual, but what wasn't unusual these days? He took this as an opportunity to speed up a little.

Both Flax and Molly were fascinated by the car. Molly was peeking out the windows and asking "Are we there yet?" every 12 seconds. Flax kept pressing buttons, some of which Keith didn't even know existed.

The drive went smoothly. It was so smooth, in fact, that Keith's brain went on autopilot—which is something you should never do when driving.

He snapped out of it when he heard a sharp crack sound—the same one he had heard on the TV—followed by Flax shouting from behind him.

"Keith! Watch out!"

Before he could even see what was in front of him, he took a sharp turn and spun out of danger's way. Everyone leaned in their seats as the car almost toppled over.

Keith could not believe what he saw.

A gigantic blue dragon stood in the middle of the road, even though the road was empty a moment ago. Even in a time of danger, Keith could not resist his inner mythology nerd; he recognized it as a wyvern, because its front arms were also wings. Its piercing orange eyes shifted around; it didn't recognize its surroundings.

"What. The. Devil," Keith muttered under his breath.

Suddenly, the beast let out a roar that shook the whole car. Keith didn't even think before he floored it. He heard the screech of the car, as well as the flapping of giant wings behind him. The speedometer climbed higher and higher, reaching speeds that nobody should ever reach.

Flax stuck his head out the sunroof. "Go right!" he yelled. Keith did so quickly.

Seconds later, a burst of flame missed the car by a hair.

Everyone screamed—except for Molly, who was actually quite delighted about almost being cooked alive.

"Left!" Flax shouted. Another round of fire flew past the car.

He swerved in and out, narrowly avoiding the wyvern each time. In minutes, there were patches of forest that were completely leveled, with fires spreading quickly. He felt really bad about that part, but it wasn’t his fault or his problem.

Flax stuck his head out even further, pressing his hands together and creating an illusion. Keith looked back, to see a carbon copy of his car driving in the opposite direction. The wyvern stopped, and then went to attack it.

For a moment, nobody said anything. Keith had slowed down a bit but was still going 10 miles over the speed limit.

Finally, Molly broke the silence. “That was… awesome!” She shouted, jumping up in her seat.

“No, it wasn’t awesome!” Keith retorted. “It was terrifying!”

Flax was shaken too, but something told Keith that he had seen way worse. “I…assume Wyverns don’t exist here?”

Keith shook his head slowly. “I didn’t even know they were real until now!”

“Oh,” Flax muttered, looking down, “this is much worse than I thought.”

Keith was going to ask him what he meant by that, but Ganymede was on the next left.

Ganymede was one of those towns that seemed to defy classifications; it was too irrelevant to be a big city, but it wasn’t rural enough to be a small town. It just was.

He drove onto the main street. Buildings were more spaced out and trees were more prevalent than Mayday City. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he kind of missed this place. Sure, the big city life was nice and all, but there was a certain charm to towns like these.

But then he turned right, and he saw it.

It was the Ganymede Cancer Center. As soon as he laid eyes on it, wisps of painful memories came flooding back. Being the new kid at a new school; his mother stressing over paperwork and phone calls; and, worst of all, the coughing—oh, the coughing—the deep, chesty coughing, that was always followed by blood-spattered floors…

He quickly looked away. He was over it by now. Well… he should be over it by now. Why wasn’t he over it yet?

Stop, said a familiar and indescribable voice in his head.

It took a moment to register, but he quickly hit the brakes and snapped out of his thoughts. Everyone lurched forward a bit.

Was Avery just going to be a part of his life now? Well, they seemed quite helpful, so it was probably for the best.

He hadn’t really been paying attention, but now he saw that there was a huge block in the road. There were vans everywhere—some looked like news vans, while some looked governmental. He recognized the buildings in the background from the live stream, and he pieced the puzzle together.

He unbuckled his seat and tilted his head up a bit. He could see the purple-haired lady among a crowd of people. She was having microphones shoved in her face and government agents surrounding her. Actually, the agents looked like they were fighting with the news crew.

There was someone else beside her. Her face was completely shrouded in a dark cloak. She seemed a little defensive over her friend, jumping out at anyone who got too close.

Keith got out of the car, helping Molly out with him. Her legs disappeared, and she was back to her normal self. Thank goodness, Keith thought as she climbed up to his shoulder. Together, they both helped Flax out of the trunk.

Now that everyone was out, they just had to get their attention… somehow. Keith peeked over the crowd again. There was no way they were going to be able to push their way through.

“Hey!” He shouted, cupping his hands around his mouth. No response. He tried again, but he went unheard once more.

He put his hands on his hips in exasperation.

Molly poked his cheek. “I have an idea! Open your hand!” She said, jumping off his shoulder and doing a flip in-air.

When she landed back in his hand, she was different—she was shaped like a plastic megaphone. He held her by the handle. “Go on,” she whispered.

He took a breath. “Hey!” He shouted. He recoiled back as the sound echoed through the whole street. He hadn’t expected it to be that loud!

Every head shot in his direction.

Keith gestured to Flax. “Were you looking for someone?”

~~~

Previous: Chapter 14

Next: Chapter 16


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Stickied -- Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:06 pm
GengarIsBestBoy says...



Fun fact: if you’re wondering where exactly Mayday City and Ganymede are, they’re near Salem, Massachusetts! (They’re fictional cities btw)

Also, I imagine Keith having a light Boston accent because… it’s funny




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Mon Sep 11, 2023 8:36 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Keith likes himself! Yayyy! I’m so happy that he’s accepting his clownliness, because it is AWESOME. Of course Molly was the only one who wasn’t scared of the wvyern. Classic Molly. :>

From what I read, Flax’s squad seems nice, but has a dislike towards Earthlings. Whatever happened to make them hate Earthlings? I wonder…

I enjoyed reading this chapter. I hope that you will have a great and lovely day and night. :>




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Mon Sep 11, 2023 12:30 am
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hiya! This is Orabella here with a review.

Yay! Another two chapters! I can't wait to read the next one. But first I need to review this one. (Also, do some things in real life.)

I miss the old days when it was summer and there was still plenty of time to write. *sigh* (I don't mind waiting for more chapters, by the way. Take however much time you need) Now, it's a special pleasure when a new chapter of yours comes out. I'm truly loving this story, and I can't wait to see where it goes.

A thing that almost made me burst out laughing in the middle of an empty room:

Everyone screamed—except for Molly, who was actually quite delighted about almost being cooked alive.


It's so nice when a character keeps being who they are and retains their traits -- even if that trait is a love of violence. I wonder if, one day, she won't react like that. Maybe if Keith get's really hurt somehow or something. I'd guess that if she understood the gravity of that situation, she wouldn't be jumping for joy.

Also, is that a familiar outfit I spy? Oh yes, it must be! The same outfit Keith is wearing in the cover is now on him! Colors are great and I'm so glad he's out of that gray!

He lived there? Hmm. So, his mother had cancer? Is she gone now? Poor thing. I'm so sorry Keith. I wonder what trouble and hidden trauma this will uncover.

I just hope this won't go terribly wrong. But knowing stories and authors, that's probably not true.

I love this story so much, and am completely enchanted by it. Please, keep writing!

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GengarIsBestBoy says...


Hey there! Thanks for reading! But there%u2019s just one thing I need to get right:

So, his mother had cancer?


(It%u2019s actually his father who has cancer, but I%u2019ll be developing that more later ;))



OrabellaAvenue says...


Ah. Alright. I dunno why I assumed mother.
I can't wait to read it.




I know where the wall goes.
— Creed, the Office