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Not My Circus: Chapter 9

by GengarIsBestBoy

Chapter 9: Cheap Sunglasses

People screamed and fled the streets as inhuman grunts and shrieks filled Keith’s ears. The ground shook as the sound of hooves on the pavement got closer.

A red bull three times the size of a regular one ran down the road. Its body was covered in indecipherable black markings, similar to crop circles. Its horns glistened in the sun, and its eyes glowed with actual flames. Keith did not know what angered it, but it was enraged, knocking anything in his path.

Everything was telling him to run away, to flee for shelter like a sensible person.

But he had a gut feeling telling him to run toward the bull.

This was not his voice of curiosity that had gotten him in trouble in the first place. No, this voice was not even his own. It was like some external source, some being just beyond his comprehension, was wordlessly implanting the request into his brain. He was not being forced to do as it said—it was merely just a suggestion—but he felt compelled to do it anyway.

He left his groceries behind and ran down the street. He was facing the back of the beast, but he could see someone lying in the road: an old woman. Her walker had fallen out of her reach, and she could not seem to get up. There was nobody in sight; they all ran away.

The beast did not seem to care. It was headed straight for her.

She was surely going to be trampled on.

Not on his watch. He ran as fast as he possibly could, somehow outrunning the beast. He swooped in and picked up the old lady with ease, just before the bull reached her.

Keith landed on the sidewalk. He set the old lady on her feet as the bull ran past them. “Are you alright ma’am?” He asked, scanning her for any injuries. The few people who were still around clapped for him.

“Oh, thank you, young man!” She exclaimed, hugging him and squeezing him tightly without warning. “If it weren’t for you, I would have surely been a goner!”

He looked down at the lady, unable to believe he’d saved her. Had he always been so fast? Had he always been so strong?

“Oh, um, you’re welcome, ma’am,” he replied.

Now that the danger had passed, he noticed something was off. He felt a cold breeze on the back of his head. The world was suddenly a whole lot brighter. He could actually breathe.

His disguise had fallen off! He looked around for his hat, sunglasses, and mask, which were all conveniently scattered on the ground. Hastily, he put all of them back on, pulling his hood over his head, and darting off. The old lady called out for him, but he didn’t look back.

He initially ran past the grocery store, but he went back when he realized he forgot his groceries. Oh. Right. He bent down and picked them up one by one.

A sudden gunshot made him drop them again.

He quickly dropped to the ground. Through his covered ears, he could hear several more gunshots as well as the roaring of the bull.

When it subsided, he walked a little farther down and peeked around the block. A couple of streets down, the bull lay on the ground, dead. Several officers held smoking guns. It would’ve been the perfect photo-op if not for the confusion and fear he felt.

The spider-goat was one thing, but the giant bull wrecking the city was a whole different beast—literally. Where were all of these monsters coming from?

He couldn’t stay here any longer. Who knows what other kinds of dangerous creatures would show up?

There was no way he was going to walk home; that would take way too long. He pulled out his phone and began to call an Uber to pick him up.

After a couple of minutes, he had secured a ride. The driver was in a blue 2007 Honda Accord. Admittedly, he didn’t really know what a 2007 Honda Accord was supposed to look like, but at least he knew that it was blue.

Keith stood there on the corner for a bit, hoping that whatever horrible creatures were lurking around would leave him alone as he waited.

In this moment of quietness, he looked around at his surroundings. Mayday City was devoid of everything that made it Mayday City; the sounds of feet shuffling and people talking; the ringing of bells as doors were opened; the cars that filled the streets despite the lack of parking spots.

He had never seen the city like this. It felt strange, almost wrong.

He started to get that weird, unnatural gut feeling that had been present earlier. He was filled with sudden anticipation, like he was waiting for some unknown event.

What is that? He wondered. How had he known about the old lady on the road? Was it pure coincidence, or was there something bigger going on?

He was snapped out of his thoughts as the world suddenly got brighter. He heard inhuman giggling. Someone—or something—had taken his sunglasses! Was that what he was anticipating?

“Hey, come back here!” He shouted, chasing after whatever it was.

He turned the corner and found that he was chasing after a tiny goblin—the kind with green skin and a long nose and a loincloth. He stopped for a second, surprised, but he quickly continued running to get his sunglasses.

The goblin was much faster than Keith. It continued to laugh at him as it ran off. He had to dash through trash cans and between buildings all over Mayday City.

There was nothing special about these sunglasses. They were cheap and could easily be replaced. But Keith persisted. His hood and hat fell off in the process, but he had a hard time getting them back on while running.

He chased the goblin deeper and deeper into the city until he finally chased it into a corner. When it realized there was no escape, it pressed itself against the wall and shook. Its long ears were pointed downwards.

Keith held out his hand. “Give them back, please,” he said.

The goblin hesitantly handed it over, running off as soon as it did.

Keith put them back on. Only then did he realize that he didn’t know where he was. He looked around. This didn’t look like Mayday City at all. In fact, it didn’t even look like a place on Earth.

The trees were bare, there was garbage everywhere, and the sky was a sickly green-grey. The ground was made of red dirt, with a tumbleweed rolling past in the wind. The buildings were all abandoned, with their windows smashed in and their walls covered in graffiti. The architecture was cubed and geometric and unlike anything he had ever seen on Earth.

He wasn’t so much scared as he was fascinated. It was a ghost town; a place forgotten by all; a place forever stuck in the past. He wished he had his camera with him.

Just for the moment, he forgot about anything that had happened today. He forgot about the bull and the goblin and the strange unnatural feeling he kept getting. This place was just that beautiful.

The snap of a twig made him jump. He scanned the area in front of him, only to look down and see that he had stepped on a twig. Okay, so he was a little bit scared.

There was something else on the ground: a purple crystal necklace. Hesitantly, he picked it up to get a closer look.

The crystal was a teardrop shape, enveloped by metal branches and flowers with a circular symbol in the middle. The string was a thick green vine.

He wasn’t entirely sure why, but he put it in his pocket. Maybe it was the mysterious and prophetic guidance he kept receiving, or maybe it was his own decision; he wasn’t so sure.

There was another sound that caught Keith’s attention, but this time much less threatening. It was a muffled sob.

Keith followed the sound. He walked through the ghost town and stopped in front of an abandoned building, where the crying was coming from. There was no telling what it could have been. If there was once a sign, it was long gone; the only thing that remained was a dark imprint.

He went in. He still had his surgical mask on, but it wouldn’t offer the protection that a respirator would. He could still smell the old paint and must. Because had explored abandoned buildings many times before, he was careful not to step on or touch anything.

He looked around, seeing old pinball machines and buckets of tickets, and he realized that this must be an arcade. There were faded coupons scattered about and posters on the walls, but they weren’t in English.

He saw a head poking out from behind an arcade cabinet. The person was bent down, feeling around for something on the ground and crying.

He came closer, but he soon realized that this person was not human. Large deer antlers protruded from his scalp, and were adorned with jewelry. He had the upper torso of a human, but the rest of his body was like a deer, with brown fur and hooves. He was like a centaur, but as a deer rather than a horse. Keith knew that this was called a cervitaur, due to his interest in mythology in high school.

He was definitely not from Earth.

Keith wasn’t really sure what to do. How would he help him? He didn’t know, but that magical and unnatural feeling was back; it felt like something was gently nudging him forward. Even though he had no idea what it was, he felt like he could trust it.

Keith was right next to the arcade machine. “Umm, hey,” he said gently, “are you alright?”

The cervitaur’s head shot up. He didn’t answer, but he stared at Keith in a mix of awe and relief. He had a green shirt, which looked like some sort of uniform.

Keith sat down in front of him. “Are you okay? Are you looking for something?” He asked again.

The cervitaur began to speak, but stopped himself mid-sentence. Keith was not sure what he was saying, because he was not speaking English.

The cervitaur hesitated for a little longer, looking like he wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it. There was a minute of uncomfortable, awkward silence between the two.

Eventually, the cervitaur held out his palms. At first, nothing happened, but soon the air above his hands began to wiggle and change.

The air continued to wiggle and waver until it formed a solid image. The word “Lost” materialized out of nothingness. It was purple, and looked almost solid.

“Whoa,” Keith muttered. He could feel the presence of an exclamation point above his head, but he ignored it.

Another image formed just above the words.

It was the purple necklace he had found earlier.

(I used a character maker to make this image, here it is: https://picrew.me/en/image_maker/287350)


Previous: Chapter 8

Next: Chapter 10

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124 Reviews

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Stickied -- Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:36 pm
GengarIsBestBoy says...

Future gengar here with some image IDs!


[Image ID: a digital drawing of a cervitaur. He has tan skin, bleach-blonde hair, white freckles, and green eyes. His ears and nose are deer-like. He has large antlers with golden jewelry hanging from them. He wears a green shirt with a yellow badge and brown belt, as well as grey leather gloves. The deer part of his body has white spots and grey leather leg coverings. /End ID]

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211 Reviews

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Reviews: 211

Wed Aug 23, 2023 4:15 pm
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...

Hiya! This is Orabella here with a review.

I'm just laughing at the fact that the chapter is called Cheap Sunglasses, and then you start it off with, "People screamed and fled..." Those are so different and it makes that so silly.

Looks like Keith is no longer on Earth. Or Earth has been changed slightly. I hope that Uber driver won't wait long - I get the feeling no one's coming to ride it.

I hope Molly won't be waiting long either. Maybe she followed him though, who knows.

He's now beginning to find and use superpowers! Speed, strength, a kind of sense that helps him know if something bad is going to happen... I wonder what else?

Keep writing!

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Fri Aug 18, 2023 2:54 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...

The cervitaur looks so cute. :> I feel bad for him…What if the necklace is what he needs to come back home? Is Keith in Earth? I think that he might have gone to another dimension. I wonder, is Molly back home? She could have gone outside, with Lucy. Or just by herself. More of the multiverse is breaking away.

I hope that you will have an amazing and awesome day and night.

Chickens are honestly little dinosaurs. And they know it.
— ChieRynn