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Not My Circus: Chapter 13

by GengarIsBestBoy


Chapter 13: Watching and Dreaming

Keith slowly opened his eyes. Relief washed over him when he realized he was still in his bedroom and not in a maximum security federal prison.

He got out of bed and put on his slippers. The world still looked quite hazy, but it was probably nothing to worry about; maybe he just slept for too long.

He opened his bedroom door, only to find that there was no door at all.

Huh? The door had been there just a moment ago, but now it wasn’t. There was no doorknob in his hand, no doorframe to hold the door, and he wasn’t looking into the hallway like he logically should have been.

Instead, he was in a field of purple grass. Yellow orbs of light floated around everything. There was no clear end to this field; it looked like it went on and on forever. Everything was still hazy.

One of the orbs, which was much bigger than the rest, flew right past his head. It made a sparkly, magical sound as it did so.

He wasn’t quite sure what it was, but Keith immediately felt compelled to follow it.

He ran through the endless field, reaching out to catch the orb. The grass seemed to move out of his way, even before he had stepped on it.

But something happened. A thought crossed his mind—a voice that wasn’t his own spoke to him.

You are dreaming.

All of a sudden, the world became much clearer. He could see every individual blade of grass; he could see mountains in the distance; he could see gentle fog rolling over the field.

Keith scanned the field, looking for the source of this mysterious voice, but he was met with nothing.

Instinctively, he looked down at his hands, but they didn’t look quite right; his fingers were much too wavy, and some looked like they were melded together. Apparently, this was a tell-tale sign that you were dreaming.

Huh, okay. Keith didn’t have lucid dreams often, but it was more likely to happen when he took melatonin.

His attention shifted back to the orb. It had stopped moving. When he tilted his head to the side to get a better look, it seemed to rotate along with him. It was much more detailed than any of the other orbs—he could see individual flecks of color on its surface.

He took a step towards it, and it moved away. Perhaps this was not quite a lucid dream, because he could not control the orb no matter how much he concentrated on it.

Soon enough, he was back to chasing after it; he got the vibe that it was important somehow.

He followed it for a little while longer, but stopped again when he realized a change in his surroundings. The purple field was no more—now he found himself in a red forest. It had happened when he wasn’t paying attention.

The ground underneath his feet felt light and airy, like he was standing on a cloud. He blinked and found that he actually was standing on a cloud now. His hands were still doing weird things—his right hand was a teapot and his left was a pair of scissors. When he shook them, they switched places. He sighed.

The cloud seemed to stretch across the sky. He ran along it and continued to chase the orb. He hadn’t really gotten a good look at it, but at some point, he thought it grew eyes and blinked at him. But the eyes were gone as soon as they came.

He had traveled through countless settings, and it felt like he had been there for a long time. Despite this, he had never felt compelled to wake up; he wanted to see where the orb went.

At some point, he thought he heard familiar giggling. His head shot behind him, and he found himself in an abandoned house. It wasn’t like any one he had been in before, and yet there was something familiar about it; he couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.

The architecture made no sense; the walls bent and curved in places that would be physically impossible. There was a trail of purple goo on the floor, that conveniently followed the trail of the glowing orb. The giggling continued, but even as he went further and further into the house, Molly was nowhere to be found.

In the blink of an eye, he was back in the forest, but it was a different one this time—it had blue trees and red soil. There was a lake right in front of him. He looked in, but his reflection was obscured by large ripples.

For a few seconds, though, it became clear. For a few seconds, he saw himself.

In a cape and a blue spandex suit.

He stumbled back, almost screaming. Hesitantly, he looked back into the lake, and his reflection was once again unclear.

No…

The faint sound of galloping caused Keith to do a double-take. He thought he saw bushes rustle in the distance, but he quickly told himself it was another trick of the mind.

He looked back, and now he was in front of a house.

It was a blue two-story house that overlooked the sea, with large rose bushes and an even larger yard. The house seemed a lot more blurry and dull than the rest of the dream.

There were faint sounds of children playing, but there were no children to accompany these sounds.

His eyes widened. It was his childhood home. He had lived here his entire life… that is, until they had to move closer to the city to—

Keith.

A gentle voice interrupted his thoughts. It felt like it was coming from everywhere and nowhere all at once.

He thought he recognized it. “M-mom?” He called out. He used to visit her often, but that all changed after the factory. “Mom, is that you?”

Keith.

With another swivel of his head, he was in a cold, white hallway. The doorways were lined with blue, and some medical machines were lining the walls.

The door he stood in front of was labeled 304.

Daniel Wiggins.

Keith knew exactly where he was. He felt something warm and wet drip down his face. He stroked his cheek, to find iridescent, opaque tears.

Keith.

He jumped. The voice seemed to come from the room. It was scratchy and quiet, like the person speaking could barely breathe.

Keith.

It got louder, and was accompanied by another sound—the sound of a heart monitor.

Keith.

He had to cover his ears. He didn’t want to be here any longer.

But in all of his other lucid dreams, he had woken up naturally. How could you purposely wake yourself up?

Keith.

The voice was different this time.

He opened his eyes, to find himself in a white room. Could you even call it a room, though? It was more of an endless white void; there was a floor, but no walls that he could see.

Slowly, he took a few steps forward. He didn’t cast a shadow. “Hello?” He called out.

Hello, said the voice, startling him. There was no adjective in the English language that could perfectly describe it, but “ethereal” was the closest that he could think of. It felt as if they were talking inside of his head.

The empty space in front of him began to waver, and something—or someone—began to materialize.

He immediately recognized the puffy blue hair and red nose, but he wasn’t looking at himself. The being had long, noodle-like limbs, and their head was much rounder than a human’s. They wore colorful clown clothes, but something told Keith that the clothes were a part of their body.

Sorry if I caused any confusion, the being said, not opening their mouth. I was trying to reach you, but I got a little lost in your memories.

Before Keith could even react, they walked over. Their gait was bouncy and animated. They stuck their hand out. You may call me Avery.

Much to his surprise, Keith found that he was already shaking Avery’s hand. He had no memory of actually lifting his hand—it had happened in an instant.

He pulled away. “What… are you?” He asked. “You look like me, but… you’re not.”

I am a spirit, said Avery, tilting their head up. I am also the prototype design for experiment #515—I believe Molly has told you about it, yes?

Keith didn’t really understand. Wasn’t Molly the experiment? “Molly? But I thought—”

Avery interrupted. It is a bit confusing, I know, but allow me to explain.

With a flourish of their arm, the white void changed. They were now in the factory basement—although, it looked a little different than Keith remembered. There weren’t any notes scattered on the floor or mildew on the walls. It looked new.

A silhouette of a man became visible. He looked two-dimensional and a little bit blurry.

I was Harrison Sullivan’s first attempt at creating life, said Avery.

The scene changed. Sullivan’s silhouette stood over a lab table. He was carefully dropping some sort of chemical onto a sheet of paper.

He wanted to create the “perfect lifeform”: a companion who can assist, comfort, and protect.

That last part stuck with Keith. It might explain Molly’s draw to violence and fighting.

The paper had a drawing of Avery on it. Once the droplet fell, the whole room was filled with otherworldly smoke.

I was given a soul, but never a body.

Once the fog had cleared, Keith could see that the paper was blank. Something flickered in the background—like floating eyes.

The scene changed to one of the big, gooey chambers. There was something round inside.

Molly was his second attempt; she was given a soul and a body, but was unable to retain any desired traits.

The surroundings faded back into a white void.

Avery looked Keith up and down, although not disapprovingly. You seem to have taken on my characteristics.

Keith paused, trying to take this in. “How do you know who I am?” He asked, changing the subject.

Simple, they replied. I followed you home from the factory—mostly just to look after Molly. She is like a little sister to me. But you seemed like an interesting individual; I’ve been following you around ever since.

He thought about the strange and unnatural feelings that occurred whenever someone was in trouble. Was that Avery?

Yes, that was me, they responded. Keith jumped back a bit. He knew that they could talk into his head, but he didn’t know they could read his mind!

Avery smirked at him, before putting on a more serious face. It is in my nature to help people; I cannot sit back and watch as others are in danger. Alas, I have no body, and therefore cannot help anyone. I had to trust that someone else would take my place.

Keith’s eyes widened. He looked around and gestured to the void they were in. “So, why are you here?”

You were catching onto my signals. I figured it would be rude to leave you in the dark. Also, I cannot appear on the mortal plane; this is my only method of communication.

Keith rubbed his temples. This was a lot to take in, and he wasn't sure he understood it all. "Let me get this straight: you're one of Sullivan's experiments?"

Mm-hmm.

"And you were never truly 'born,' so you're just a spirit now?"

Mm-hmm.

Keith looked down at his hands. "And now I'm... you?"

They shook their head. Not quite. You just happened to stumble into chemicals that held my genetics.

Keith looked into their eyes. All of this was getting really weird. First the mutation, then Molly, then the world possibly ending, and now this. Could his life get any stranger?

A loud ringing interrupted their conversation. It seemed to come from all directions.

Oh, it seems our time is up. You should be waking soon.

Keith looked down only to find that his feet weren’t on the ground. He was slowly being dragged upwards.

“Wait!” He called out. There were still so many unanswered questions racing through his mind—some old, some new—, and it seemed like he would only have time to ask one.

What had Sullivan used to create life, twice? How was it possible to do that? How had Avery and Molly given themselves names and learned to talk? Why did Sullivan abandon them both?

“How can I be sure you’re even real?” He asked.

Trust me, you’ll know when you wake up.

Keith was about 15 feet off the ground when he suddenly stopped floating. His vision was really blurry, but he could see Avery holding their hand up.

One more thing, they said. Please take care of Molly, will you? She doesn’t know it, because she could never see me, but I’ve always taken care of her.

Avery put their arm down.

Keith shot up in his bed, clutching his blanket. Cold sweat dripped down the back of his neck as his morning alarm rang out from somewhere.

There was something orange blocking his vision. He put his hand on his forehead, to find that there was a note stuck to it.

I’m real.

—Avery

~~~

Previous: Chapter 12

Next: Chapter 14


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Stickied -- Mon Sep 18, 2023 10:01 pm
GengarIsBestBoy says...



I keep forgetting to say this, but:

The website I made was made BEFORE i started writing, so some things on there may not be story-accurate.

——

Future gengar here with image IDs!

Image

[Image ID: A digital drawing of a cartoony clown. They have dot eyes, chalk white skin, a red clown nose, and two cyan hair puffs. They wear a blue and red vest, with one green sleeve and one yellow sleeve. Underneath is a polka-dotted jumpsuit. They stand with their hands behind their back and have a smile. Their body proportions are thin and noodle-like, like a cartoon character. /End ID]




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Tue Aug 29, 2023 2:06 am
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hello! Orabella, here to review.

You know, I usually don't like reading dreams in stories. I find them cliche and repetitive. It's typically some warning to the character or hidden fear. But this is different. And sure, there are lots of dreams where two beings talk to each other, but this one is actually interesting and unique. I don't see dreams described they way you do; honestly the hands in my dreams are always there. I really like this.

Now we get more information - Avery is the one who's been helping Keith!

Also, I get how a scientist could create life. It's science. But a soul? Ooh, now that's talent. Or luck. Or magic. I don't know. Point is, it's actually really scary to think about someone creating a soul...

The note saying, "I'm real," is real creepy. But it's nice to know that they exist! And now they can continue helping. Hopefully they won't turn out to be evil.

Keep writing!




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Mon Aug 28, 2023 2:06 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



This…this is sad. I didn’t think that there was any other experiment besides Molly. Why would Sullivan just leave them behind? These living beings, with thoughts and feelings. Why? It doesn’t seem right. The reason Keith wanted to save everyone was because of Avery all along. Avery wanted to help…

Perhaps some peace can be sustained in this story. I’ll see.

I hope that you will have a very wonderful day and night.





Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
— Mark Twain