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Circus of Sorrow/The Spirit of the Circus

by Sureal


Circus of Sorrow

or

The Spirit of the Circus

Leone walked on, shoulders drooping, eyes down and hands in his pockets. He didn’t belong here any more, he was too old. Far too old.

Really, he should have left long ago, but seeing all those people’s smiling, bewildered faces had kept him going. They had given him all the energy and youth he had needed, but now he could no longer see them. At least, not properly.

The circus was ending and everyone was filing out in groups. Families and friends and lovers, all chatting amongst themselves excitedly over what they had seen that night. Leone smiled sadly and trudged on. He didn’t mind the wind or the cold any more. It seemed to blow right through him but at least it made him feel alive. His sad eyes watched as the last few scattered groups got in their cars and drove back to their homes.

The circus looked so different after everyone had left. It always did. During show time it was full of chatter and life, but at night it was as quiet as death’s embrace, punctured only by the occasional animal in the distance or the chattering of the performers.

Leone found himself walking towards the big tent, feeling as though it was drawing him to it. Perhaps it would be best to get inside. It should be warmer in there, if only slightly. Out here, his features were slowly being frozen into a permanent grimace.

The entire thing was fuzzy and shaky in his eyes. He hadn’t been able to see anything properly ever since the accident earlier that year. From that day forth he had no longer felt at home at the circus. Leone had already made up his mind by the time he had made it inside. In the morning, he would leave forever.

Inside, all the largest lights had been turned off. The darkness made his lonely heart feel at home. He looked up at the stages, where crowds of people would sit, gasping and laughing. But now, it was all devoid of life. Leone laughed quietly at a joke only he could hear.

The old man carried on in his determined course. Now he was inside, he felt an incurable urge to go back outside. Carrying on in a straight line, Leone walked out the exit opposite the way he had come in. It felt special somehow. Like only he could see its true meaning.

Outside, it had begun to rain gently. The cold water fell onto him and made him shiver as he walked on in the darkness. He knew he was close to his aim and destiny and it scared him. When he wasn’t out around the circus, no longer to even do his own jobs, he would be there.

His already bad eyesight strained in the growing darkness, trying to mark out the place. It was certainly nice how everyone had treated it. It made him feel needed and loved by his adopted family. But at the same time, the terrible sadness was there. It always would be. That was why he had to leave.

He was there. Kneeling down, he placed his hand against the gravestone and smiled. He looked around at all the flowers that had been placed by crying performers, some uttering his name. He had tried to comfort them, but he knew that they could no longer see him.

He ran a withered finger along the words etched into it and shuddered ever so slightly as he did so. Taking a big breath that was purely metaphorical; he stood up and walked. Where he was going he had no idea. But he would walk until he reached his destiny.


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Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:46 pm
Sureal says...



Really? I like the sentence. You're the first person to complain about it, and my reviews from other sites seem to like it. So, I guess I'll keep it ;).




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Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:47 pm
lin night wrote a review...



"Taking a big breath that was purely metaphorical; he stood up and walked."

I hate this sentence.
Other than that, you have some pretty descriptions and a cool setting that unfortunately doesn't seem to have been taking full advantage of. The concept isn't bad but you could definitely expand on the imagery and make it a richer, darker experience. More ideas should be communicated per paragraph.




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Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:09 pm
Sureal says...



MPWS: Really? I've never read/seen anything like this :/.

Inertia and Tonten: Thanks :).




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Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:15 pm
tonten says...



good usage of third person point of view to portray the protagonist's feelings. I like the concept/idea of the story.




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Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:22 pm
Ohio Impromptu says...



That was awesome dude. I love it that you didnt fully explain everything and left it to our imaginations. I cant think of a way to improve it because it was that good. Keep up the great work.




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Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:06 am
MichaelPlaysWithStars wrote a review...



Yes, creepy, but I enjoyed it.

It's an idea I've heard a few times before, but I like that you added the circus factor, shakin' it up a bit ^-^
My suggestion would be to add some more, for lack of a better term, circus-y stuff. I think that would help it stand out more... yeah.




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Sat Feb 12, 2005 6:30 pm
Sureal says...



Well, glad you liked it :). As for the strangness... meh ;).




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Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:29 pm
Sam wrote a review...



It's actually quite good. :D

No real critique...I thought it was great. A little on the strange side, but that's OK.

If i think of anything later, I'll tell you.




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Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:39 pm
Sureal says...



Gee, is this really that bad?





A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases...
— John Keats