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Young Writers Society


12+ Violence Mature Content

Caspian’s magic does wonders!

by vampricone6783


*This is the origin story of a character from my “Elsdale circus” stories. You may check out other stories that connect to this underneath my folder titled “Elsdale circus”. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*



Introduction

Caspian lived in his doctor’s office, sleeping on the patient’s bed, helping others when they came.

He was a witch, a master of magic. No one knew. No one needed to know. As long as Caspian helped them, all would be fine.

The people he frequently got were twin sisters Celia and Delia, both six years old and wanting to run away.

He, too, wanted to run.

But no one was supposed to run from life…

Chapter One

EARLY MORNING AT CASPIAN’S OFFICE

Caspian woke up to the daylight sun streaming in his eyes. The cotton curtains did nothing to cover up the blinding morning.

No matter. Celia and Delia would come again, as they did all the time.

He got up from the bed, rubbing the sleep off his eyes. There was much work to be done.

Chapter Two

A FEW MINUTES LATER

A knock came on Caspian’s door. Caspian opened it, already in his uniform, ready to greet his first patients.

Celia and Delia waited, each holding an arm of theirs.

They walked in, eyes downcast. It happened again. They had angered the wealthy and received bruises on their arms because of it.

“It’s alright. It will go away after this.” Caspian said softly, closing the door behind them.

He never asked for money from them. They sought refuge in his office from time to time, needing his help once in a while.

So why would Caspian ask for what they didn’t have? If they needed help, he would give it to them.

Chapter Three

Celia and Delia sat on the bed and laid out their arms before him. Caspian raised his hands above them and envisioned skin enveloping together, sealing the bruise, healing them both.

A soft green light emanated from his hands, healing their wounds.

“Can we stay here for a little bit?” Delia asked. They feared going outside and facing the anger of the public.

“Are you sure you want to stay here? I don’t have any toys.”

“That’s okay. We’ll be fine.” Delia said.

“Oh, alright. If you wish.” Caspian said. He wanted them to stay, truly, he did, but he wanted them to be happy, too.

In all the times they came to visit, he never imagined that they wanted to stay a little longer. He never prepared for it, didn’t even have a single teddy bear.

They didn’t have toys of their own, they didn’t have anything. They were raggedy, lonely children, just like he was, all those years ago.

No. That was the past. Caspian was all grown up and free.

Chapter Four

FLASHBACK-CASPIAN’S CHILDHOOD

Caspian stared back at the brick wall in front of him, where only a pile of trash lay. His little sister, Margot, sat next to him, fiddling with a string on her torn-apart dress.

She didn’t talk to him much, not after what he did. It hurt Caspian, but he deserved it. He deserved it after what he did…

Caspian didn’t mean to do it. Caspian didn’t want to do it. But their parents just kept persisting, on and on…

It was his fault that they were alone. His fault that they were lost.

It was all his fault.

Chapter Five

“What is that?” Celia asked, snapping Caspian back into reality.

“What is what?”

“Over there!” Celia said, pointing to the window.

Caspian turned around, facing the window.

Outside, with twinkling lights and tinkling music, was the one and only…

“It’s Elsdale circus. They travel around town with different shows. There are people who do things that you can’t do. Kind of like me. The way I heal you, most people can’t do that.”

“Really?” Celia asked, wide-eyed.

“Yes, really. There are people who can do extraordinary things. Sometimes, they have animals. Not all circuses have animals, but I think that this one does.”

“They have animals?” Delia asked. She loved animals with all of her heart, possibly more than any person on Earth.

“Yes, they do.”

The girls joined Caspian, each taking a hand of his.

“Do the animals and people live in the circus?” Delia asked.

“Sometimes. Depends on what the circus is. If it travels, like this one, then I think they do. If it stays in one place, they live in their own houses. It also depends on the situation of the performers. If they can afford their own place, they have their own homes. If not, they live in the circus. I don’t know everything, you would have to ask the ringmaster.”

“What’s a ringmaster?” Celia asked, furrowing her brows.

“The man who leads the circus. He’s the leader. The ringmaster. The entire act of a circus usually takes place in one big ring. It is the center of the circus, just as the ringmaster is the leader of the circus.”

Caspian knew what he knew about the circus far too well. So much so that he wished to forget.

But the girls were curious, so of course he would answer their questions. Who was he to keep knowledge from them?

“Can we join the circus?” Celia asked.

“Yes, can we? Can we all go live in the circus? It sounds wonderful!” Delia agreed.

Caspian sighed. The poor girls, they all wanted a place to live in, but Elsdale circus wasn’t it.

If circumstances were different, then Caspian would let them stay at his office.

But there would be other patients around, other patients who wouldn’t be so kind to them.

“No. The circus is not as wonderful as it seems. I lived there. I know it.”

“You lived there? Tell us everything!” Celia said.

“It’s not important. Now, what games do you and Delia like to play?” Caspian asked.

He wouldn’t utter a word of what happened. Ever.

Chapter Six

FLASHBACK

Caspian held Margot’s hand tightly. They had been running for days, scavenging for food, sleeping under broken roofs.

The sky was crying, pouring its heart out. In front of them was the one and only, Elsdale circus, the big tops covered with rain droplets, twinkling lights hung on a thin wire.

Both kids were cold, lost. Needing a place to stay.

They headed to the circus. Even if they couldn’t stay forever, it was a good place to start.

Chapter Seven

Patients had come in and out, none of them like Celia and Delia. The poor girls were outside, in the grimy, unpredictable world.

Caspian looked outside the window, to the dark sky lit up the moon and the lights of the circus.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it changed. Maybe things were better.

Maybe he and the girls could run there together, away from the woes of the world.

Chapter Eight

No, that was a selfish thing to do. Nothing got better, nothing ever really did.

A knock came on Caspian’s door. He looked out the window and saw a young man, anxiously waiting.

Caspian opened the door. For some reason, he felt as though everything would change and not for the good.

But that was absurd, right?

Chapter Nine

“I’ve been coming down with a terrible fever, I think. I don’t know. All I know is that I feel exhausted and cold all the time. My friends referred me to you, and-“

“That’s alright. I can help.” Caspian said with a warm smile.

He gestured for the man to sit down on the bed. The man did so.

Caspian noticed that his eyes were tired and his skin had a sickly paleness to it, as though all life had been sucked away from his body.

But that was okay, because nothing was too hard for Caspian.

He closed his eyes and envisioned the man’s skin having color, his feelings of exhaustion taken away, his eyes clear once again.

“What are you doing?” The man asked, frightened.

Caspian opened his eyes. The man’s eyes were no longer tired, but shocked beyond belief.

Caspian looked down at his hands, which were raised in front of the man, as he had to do for every healing spell.

Except…he forgot to calm the man down before doing the spell. When his patients were calm, they wouldn’t worry about him using his powers.

“You’re…you’re a witch!” The man sputtered, spit flying out of his mouth.

“I-I can explain!” Caspian stuttered. He didn’t want the man to be afraid of him. Caspian wasn’t trying to hurt him.

“No…you…you stay away from me!” The man yelled.

“I just want to help!”

But the man had already run out the door, leaving behind a stunned Caspian.

Chapter Ten

Days had passed since the incident. No one but the girls came to his office. He suspected that the man told people what about him, and they told others, and so on. But Caspian couldn’t be sure, because he never left his office.

Caspian sat on the patient’s bed, staring at the dismal white walls. He wasn’t a doctor, not really. No one had hired him. No one wanted to. His “office” was really just a small, unassuming brick building offering help to people. He didn’t care about money or living properly. After what he had seen at the circus, he just wanted to help others.

The Elsdale circus was still there, as festive and inviting as ever. Caspian knew better, though. He knew the truth about the circus. He knew of the horrors, the evil.

But was it so bad? Didn’t it change? Wasn’t it better?

Could Caspian really spend another day in his “office”, waiting for people to come to him?

Chapter Eleven

Night had fallen. The circus was still there. Celia and Delia were sitting on the bed together, staying for the night, as the world outside was unsafe.

“Say, what if we did leave for the circus? Right now?” Caspian asked.

“Do you mean it?” Celia asked.

“Yes, I do. Do you want to leave?” Caspian asked.

Both girls got up and joined him at the window.

“Yes!” They said in unison.

Together, they walked out the door to a brand new, glittering life.

Chapter Twelve

FLASHBACK

“Why did you do it in front of those people? Why?! You know you’re not supposed to use your powers!” Dad yelled at Caspian.

Caspian was going up the stairs, his parents pursuing after him. They had just left the ice cream parlor early because he had healed Margot’s knee when she tripped on the way there. He had healed her with his powers. Everyone stared, everyone whispered.

He had been dragged away, away from the ice cream parlor, away from the sweet treats, all because he used his powers.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to, I was only trying to help!” Caspian said through sobs. When they were mad at him, it felt as though the whole world wanted him to shrink away into a little black dot.

“You’re sorry? YOU’RE SORRY? Sorry doesn’t cut it. The only thing people will think of when they look at us is you, you with your powers, with your curse.” Mom said.

Caspian had made it to his room. He closed the door softly behind him, tears running through his eyes. He knew that it was bad to use his powers. He knew that it made Mom and Dad look bad in the eyes of others. They kept telling him how it was bad.

“When people see you, they’ll think that we’re monsters. You don’t want us to be monsters, do you?” Dad asked.

Monster? Was that what he was to them, a monster? No, that couldn’t be true. They cared about him and Margot.

“Do you think that I’m a monster?” Caspian asked.

“Well, there’s nothing else to call you, is there?” Dad asked.

Nothing else to call him? Caspian was a monster? Really, was that what they thought?

They pretended to love him. They pretended to care about him. They were lying. They thought that he was nothing but a monster.

Caspian opened the door and faced his parents, who had fear in their eyes. Sickening, putrid fear. How could they be afraid of their own child?

“Well then, if you think that I’m a monster…”

Caspian raised his hands in front of him and envisioned their limbs twisting towards the sky, blood seeping from their bodies, screaming and writhing in agony.

“S-stop!” Mom cried out, choking through blood.

They were both in pain, his parents. Both were dying right before him, twisting and bleeding away.

Caspian didn’t smile, didn’t laugh. It wasn’t funny to him. It hurt him deeply, that they thought he was a monster.

But people like them didn’t deserve to live. They had no love in them, they would only hurt others.

His parents fell in a heap on the ground, twitching pathetically until they could not move at all.

Caspian stepped back, the weight of what he did sinking within. He never thought of himself as someone who could kill. To see them lying on the ground so broken, so lifelessly, was…jarring.

No. He did a good thing. He protected himself and his sister. He would bury them in their backyard and then they would leave for a new life.

Caspian would protect Margot from the evils of the world.

Chapter Thirteen

It was night when Caspian and the girls left the sad little brick building. Rain was falling gently from the skies. The only lights were from the circus, bustling with life and noise. Caspian was reminded of days in the past, when he was but a small child, navigating through the crowds of the circus.

He looked around, searching for the other performers, but to his surprise, no one was there. Not even the animals were present. There were only food stands selling sweetened or greasy treats.

Was it even really a circus anymore? Why were there so many people? They couldn’t possibly have come just for the food.

In a wooden stage sitting in the middle of the circus was a young girl in a bright, flower pink ballerina tutu, leaping on the tips of her pointed toes, arms raised up with elegance and grace.

But Caspian could see the defeat in her eyes, the utter hopelessness of life, because he had seen it in his own eyes so many times in the mirror, too many times to count.

He looked down at the girls, who were watching with big, gleeful eyes, jumping up and down a little with excitement. He didn’t want to put out their light, watch their innocence crumble away. They were at the young, optimistic age where even if things were going down horribly, they’d try to look at the bright side.

Caspian didn’t want them to lose that.

As soon as the show ended, he would take them back. He would look for a new way to live a life with them. Perhaps he’d find a job where he would actually be paid. He would be just like everyone else! He would be normal. If Caspian was normal, then the girls would have normal lives and nothing terrible would ever happen to them again!

Yes, that was perfect. That was what he would do.

Chapter Fourteen

The performance of the ballerina had ended. Caspian turned around, grasping their small, soft hands in his own. They were going to brave through the crowd and make it out undetected.

“Caspian! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Mr. Shapcott asked.

He didn’t turn around. He held on tight to their hands and trudged on through the sludge of the audience. Caspian couldn’t acknowledge Mr. Shapcott. He just had to keep walking and they would find freedom.

Why did he even think of coming in the first place? Why did he think for one second that things would change for the good? Nothing ever got better, it only got worse.

A hand pressed on his shoulder.

“You should stay the night, Caspian.” Mr. Shapcott said.

The girls squealed with excitement at the prospect of staying in the circus, but his own throat dried up, words lost within.

It was too late to run.

Chapter Fifteen

FLASHBACK

Caspian walked through the crowd, holding tight to Margot’s hand. All they needed to do was find the leader of the circus, someone who they could trust.

“Are you lost?” A voice asked behind them.

Caspian and Margot turned around.

Standing before them was a man in a bedazzled black suit with a burgundy shirt underneath. His hat matched his suit perfectly, as though he were a wax figure.

“Yes, we’re lost.” Caspian said.

“You’ve come to the right place: Elsdale circus! I am Leopold Shapcott and you are?”

“Caspian. This is my sister, Margot.” Caspian said, gesturing to Margot.

“Come on in.” Leopold said with a grin.

The children followed the man to a brand new, glittering future.

Chapter Sixteen

Caspian and the girls were taken to an unmarked trailer and locked in “for protection”. They all sat upright on the bed, not quite sleeping.

“We’re in a real circus! A real circus! Can you believe it?” Celia asked.

“I know, right? It’s so nice that we’re here and we get to perform! Everyone is going to love us!” Delia said.

“Thank you, Caspian!” The girls said simultaneously.

“You’re welcome.” Caspian replied distantly. They had no clue of its secrets, no clue of its truth, and they were trapped inside.

All thanks to him.

Chapter Seventeen

The morning sun had simmered in. Caspian was leading the girls to the gates of the circus, in an attempt to escape with them. They followed, but asked confused questions of “why” and “what for”?

“Just trust me.” Caspian had said.

They were almost there until-

“You can’t leave, you’re part of the show! Little girls, come show what you can do!” Mr. Shapcott said.

Celia and Delia turned around, all too eager, and sang with the sweetest, angelic voices:

“No matter where you go

No matter where you stay

I’ll see you

I’ll find you

And I will love you always

Forever and ever

Me and you will never part

I will always be in your heart”

“Mommy sang that song to us!” Celia said brightly.

“It’s a beautiful song and you both have beautiful voices. Now, follow me. I’ll introduce you to Prudence.” Mr. Shapcott said.

“Girls, just wait a minute…” Caspian trailed off. His words were lost as the girls ran towards Mr. Shapcott, hand in hand, blond hair bouncing on their heads.

Mr. Shapcott smiled at Caspian as he placed a hand on each of their shoulders, leading them away.

“Aren’t you going to come?” Mr. Shapcott asked him, still smiling.

Caspian looked back behind him and then at the girl’s expectant faces. They wanted him to come. They wanted him to stay. Besides, he couldn’t leave them alone with Mr. Shapcott.

“I’m coming.” Caspian said, joining them.

Chapter Eighteen

FLASHBACK

It was the first day at the circus. Caspian and Margot stood before Mr. Shapcott in the circus tent. Mr. Shapcott sat on a wooden chair with his left leg crossed over his right, looking up at them expectantly.

“What can you do?” He asked.

Caspian closed his eyes and imagined the brightest flowers blooming on his face, around his eyes, as if it were mere face paint.

When he opened them, he could see the blue flower petals at the corner of his eye.

Mr. Shapcott’s jaw dropped, his eyes went wide with excitement.

“I’m a witch. I have powers.” Caspian said.

“That’s…that’s wonderful! Now, you.” Mr. Shapcott said, facing Margot.

Margot shuffled her feet and looked down.

“What is it?” Mr. Shapcott asked.

Margot looked up with worried eyes.

“I can’t do anything. I’m not like him.” Margot said.

“You can’t do anything?” Mr. Shapcott asked, bile in his voice. Caspian stood close to Margot and held her hand, reassuring her that everything was fine.

He never had time to ask Margot if she had powers, but the possibility nagged at the corners of his mind, bore into the seams of his brain. He didn’t want her to get yelled at like he did.

It relieved Caspian deeply that she wasn’t like him.

“I can’t take you if you can’t do anything. You’re going to have to leave. I’m sorry.” Mr. Shapcott said.

“Leave?! LEAVE?! You can’t make her leave, she’s too young!” Caspian argued. Margot blinked back small, soft tears.

“I’m afraid that’s how it has to be.” Mr. Shapcott said.

“Then I’m leaving too.” Caspian said. He turned around, taking Margot’s hand, but then-

Blood spurted from her mouth, her eyes went white with shock.

Caspian had a notion to turn around. Right behind him, Mr. Shapcott was bleeding from the mouth, his eyes were pure white. He shook violently, desperately.

Caspian turned to look at Margot. She too was shaking helplessly.

Just like the notion inside that he had to look at Mr. Shapcott, Caspian picked Margot up in his arms and ran as fast as he could, holding her tightly.

He wouldn’t let her die.

Chapter Nineteen

“What are your names?” Mr. Shapcott asked the girls.

“I’m Celia and this is Delia!” Celia said enthusiastically. Again, Caspian could not stop her from speaking.

Mr. Shapcott grinned his familiar, jagged grin.

“Great.” Mr. Shapcott said.

The four of them had made it to a trailer with pink letters painted on it that read: “Prudence: The dazzling ballerina.”

“Come out, Prudence! Greet your new friends!” Mr. Shapcott said.

From out of the trailer door, the ballerina that Caspian and the girls saw the other night stepped out, her tutu truly dazzling in the sunlight.

Wait, did Caspian see her before?

“This is Caspian and these two lovely girls are Celia and Delia. Caspian can do magic, the girls can sing with such beauty. You can dance. You’ll get along quite nicely, I think.” Mr. Shapcott said.

“Mr. Leopold, I-“

“Mr. Shapcott.” Mr. Shapcott said, cutting Prudence off.

“You will all address me as Mr. Shapcott.” Mr. Shapcott boomed, spreading his arms out wide, as if he wanted to envelop them all into oblivion.

As Mr. Shapcott lowered his arms and walked away, Caspian couldn’t help but wonder if he had seen Prudence some time ago…

“Come inside.” Prudence said, interrupting his train of thought.

Chapter Twenty

FLASHBACK

As Caspian sat on the floor of the old, brick building, he thought about the time he and Margot barely escaped alive from Elsdale circus. Mr. Shapcott was dying and infecting Margot with his curse of death. They had lived in darkness, eating the meager scraps that were given.

When they had grown up, Margot built an orphanage. Caspian had run off to an abandoned building.

He thought of making it a doctor’s office, where people would get healed, but he never had the right idea on how to start…

But he didn’t need to. He was a witch.

Chapter Twenty-One

“There was more than just me here. There were other performers and an abundance of animals. But Mr. Shapcott…it sounds crazy, but it’s true.” Prudence said.

They were all in Prudence’s trailer after she told them that Mr. Shapcott had a terrible secret.

“What is it?” Caspian asked. He would be ready to listen, no matter what kinds of words spilled from her mouth.

“Mr. Shapcott has the power to die instantly, in front of anyone. If he does so, then the people around him die forever. He sucks lives away.” Prudence said with such clearness that he knew she was hiding a deep sadness.

“He…he sucks lives away?” Caspian asked. He knew that Mr. Shapcott was awful, but he never imagined that Mr. Shapcott would suck lives away, but it all made sense when he thought about Margot’s close call at the circus.

“He does. It sounds far-fetched, but you have to believe me.” Prudence said, a look of desperation in her eyes. She wanted to be heard.

Celia and Delia had their fists in their mouths, eyes wide with fear. For the first time in their lives, they were truly frightened.

“I believe you. I myself can do magic. Magic is real.” Caspian said. She shouldn’t be worried, he would fix it all.

“Then you’ll know to be careful.” Prudence said.

Chapter Twenty-Two

FLASHBACK

A knock came on Caspian’s door. He got up from the ground and excitedly ran over to answer it. Perhaps it was a new patient?

No, no it wasn’t. It was Margot, looking as grave as ever.

“I need you to come to the orphanage. Watch over the girls. It will only be for a little while.”

“What’s-“

“It’s about Elsdale circus. Mr. Shapcott has got one of my girls. I just need to bring her back home. Can you please do this for me?”

Caspian looked at Margot’s desperate, sad eyes. The last time he saw her like that was when they were running for their lives.

“Of course. I’ll do it for you.” Caspian said.

Margot sighed with relief.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Caspian opened the door to the trailer, letting the girls run out to play. He warned them to stay close to the trailer and never leave.

When they were outside, he looked at Prudence and said:

“I remember you. You were in the orphanage group photo, right?”

Prudence blinked with surprise.

“How did you…wait, you’re Margot’s brother, aren’t you? She said that you were going to look after the orphanage.” Prudence said.

“How is it?” She asked.

Caspian sighed heavily. He didn’t want to tell her, but she had a right to know. The orphanage was once her home.

“You may want to sit down for this.” He said.

Chapter Twenty-Four

FLASHBACK

“Girls!” Caspian called out. They were running around the orphanage, wildness in their eyes, until Caspian spoke.

They all stared at him with wide, interested eyes.

“My name is Caspian. I’m Mrs. Margot’s brother and I will be here only for a little bit.”

Caspian imagined flowers growing on his face, just like he did back at the circus.

Sure enough, flower petals crawled around the corner of his eyes.

“How did you do that?” One child asked.

“Magic. I’m a witch.” He said.

There was a gasp from them, and then, one voice asked:

“Witches are real?”

“Yes, they’re real.“ Caspian replied.

They ran up to him eagerly, excitement on their faces. Caspian smiled softly. They must have never seen anyone like him before.

Suddenly, the whole place was enveloped in a bright, white light. It clapped with a universal intensity, the screams of the children synchronized.

When the light disappeared, what surrounded Caspian was ruins and the bodies of decayed, weak children.

At the center of it, like a bad omen, stood Mr. Shapcott, grinning as he always did.

Chapter Twenty-Five

“Mr. Shapcott killed them all?” Prudence asked, eyes full of fear.

Caspian nodded.

Prudence’s face hardened, she sat up straighter.

“I’m not surprised anymore. He does a lot of horrid things without reason.” Prudence said.

Caspian wanted to reassure her, to comfort the child, but nothing came to his mind. There was no bright side, no way out.

“Come, let’s go.” Prudence said, getting up.

Chapter Twenty-Six

A FEW MINUTES LATER

Caspian stood behind the curtains, watching Prudence dance. The girls stood next to him, waiting their turn. Watching Prudence made him think of Celia and Delia, made him fear what they would be when they were older. Would their eyes be filled with secret hints of sorrow? Would they loathe those more fortunate than them? The thought was terrible, like cold skeleton fingers gripping at his brain.

“It’s good that you’re back, Caspian.” Mr. Shapcott said, slapping a hand on his shoulder.

Caspian didn’t say a word, only stiffened at his touch.

“You’re up next.” Mr. Shapcott said before walking away.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

FLASHBACK

Caspian followed Mom and Dad to the ice cream parlor, Margot by his side. Every Saturday, they went out to get ice cream together. The sidewalk was full of cracks and crevices. Caspian watched Margot closely, for he didn’t want her to fall. He tried to hold her once, but she pulled away, declaring “I can walk myself!”

In a few minutes, they would arrive at the ice cream parlor. Caspian would get chocolate, as he always did and Margot would get strawberry, as she always did.

“Ow!” Margot cried. She had fallen over a particularly large crack on the sidewalk, eyes in tears.

Caspian lifted a hand to help her up, which she accepted. His heart had almost exploded, he thought that her knee was badly bleeding from how she sobbed, but thankfully, it was only a little scratch.

“It’s okay, Margot. It’s just a scratch.” Caspian said.

“No it’s not! Make it go away!” Margot screamed through choked tears.

Mom and Dad didn’t notice a thing. They just walked straight into the parlor.

“Come on, we’re getting ice cream. Ice cream will make it all better.” Caspian said.

Margot held his hand tightly, but still, she sobbed violently. She never fell before, so it was all new to her. She had seen Caspian heal a hurt animal, so she always asked him to heal her when she was hurt. Caspian usually said no, but she was crying on a Saturday, when they were getting ice cream. No one deserved to cry on a Saturday, especially when ice cream was involved.

Caspian took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He blocked out Margot’s crying, the whispers of people around him. He imagined the skin on her knee coming together, covering the blood. He imagined her healed, safe.

Caspian opened his eyes.

Margot had stopped crying. The scratch was gone.

“Thank you, Caspian!” Margot said, hugging him tightly.

Mom and Dad looked at him with eyes that could have seeped into his soul. Everyone else stared, even the ice cream woman.

“Caspian, what did you just do?” Dad asked.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Standing in front of the audience, Caspian placed both hands in front of him and imagined them completely disappearing, leaving the sight of the world.

Just as that time he helped Margot, everyone stared when he opened his eyes. It was a mixture of amazement and disgust, just like last time.

And just like last time, there was nowhere to run.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Caspian went to the back, the girls waiting behind the curtains. Celia and Delia grinned widely as they ran up to the stage.

From their lips, they sang:

“Home, we found

A place to stay…”

Their lips grew pale, pale as death. The poor girls…they looked as though they were going to faint.

“Never will we leave

This home behind…”

Their voices, still heavenly and gracing the ears of the audience. Their eyes were distant, their legs were limp.

Caspian reached his hands out in front of him, imagining the girls being pulled to him, away from the stage, away from the noise.

But something was stopping him. A force that threatened to rip and tear him apart, split him up into the bitter end.

“This wonderful, beautiful home of ours.”

Both girls fell to the ground, like puppets being let go. The audience clapped without a care in the world, the curtains closed.

“Can’t have you messing it all up like you did last time.” Mr. Shapcott said.

Caspian’s muscles tensed, his hands balled into fists.

All those years, Mr. Shapcott had wronged him. All those years, Mr. Shapcott was waiting to snatch those he loved, to twist them into monsters.

Well, no more.

Chapter Thirty

Caspian punched Mr. Shapcott on the cheek, warm blood exploding from his skin, grinding his own teeth. Mr. Shapcott stood completely still as Caspian punched, only one thought in his mind:

You destroy everything You destroy everything You destroy everything You destroy everything You destroy everything

Something hugged him on either side. Caspian looked down, bloody, shaking hands raised.

Celia and Delia were on different sides, still holding their complete and utter trust for him.

Caspian looked back up. Though Mr. Shapcott had blooming bruises on either side of his cheek, he still smiled at the three of them.

Epilogue

No matter what, nothing worked. Caspian tried to escape with Prudence and the girls, but Mr. Shapcott was always one step ahead. Caspian did his best to give the children a good life, despite the circumstances.

Celia and Delia were easier to cheer up, but Prudence, poor Prudence…

She was just like him.


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Tue Mar 12, 2024 6:05 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next story in this collection! As always, I'll be using my Familiar method today. Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh…

What The Black Eyes See...

At first, I didn't have a particularly favorite character, but this story just made Caspian a good candidate! Oh, this story is so sad, but I really loved Caspian's character all the way through, as well as the little revelations that further connect the dots in the preexisting story. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No corrections or recommendations to make here! Nice writing job!

Why The Grin Widened...

I really like how there were more flashbacks in this story, tying in with the present and forming a sort of story-within-a-story. Along that note, I loved learning more about Caspian's magic and all that he's capable of. Seems like, beyond healing, he can manipulate and control almost anything within the human body, which is an awesome ability, from the grizzly death of his parents to blooming little flowers on his face for the girls.

Caspian's character was handled very well, you showed a very great and consistent trait of his -and I have seen bits and pieces of it in prior stories, but here it really shone through. And that is his desire to protect and help others; his integrity. This almost fatherly concern he has for Celia and Delia, with their safety and best interests in mind, which seemed to carry over into his interactions with Margot and Prudence.

Speaking of Margot, did not expect Caspian to be her brother! What a revelation!

This scene really hit hard:

Caspian opened the door and faced his parents, who had fear in their eyes. Sickening, putrid fear. How could they be afraid of their own child?

“Well then, if you think that I’m a monster…”


The deaths were gloriously gruesome, but Caspian's pain, feeling of betrayal, and the conflict of emotions following what happened came through well. It made it clear that he is capable of going to the extreme to protect those he cares for, but he's not a bad character -certainly not a monster!

A similar moment that I thought was awesome was this:

Caspian punched Mr. Shapcott on the cheek, warm blood exploding from his skin, grinding his own teeth. Mr. Shapcott stood completely still as Caspian punched, only one thought in his mind:

You destroy everything You destroy everything...


Ah, the fury! The pushback that even Prudence and Percy couldn't manage, and Caspian did it to protect the girls -as cool of an antagonist Shapcott is, it was really exciting to see him get punched! At the same time, Shapcott just smiling through the bruises was so unexpectedly creepy. Big props there, well done on both ends ~

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, LOVED this one --all the Elsdale Circus stories have been great of course, but just on a personal level, this one is probably my new favorite. Nicely done! :)

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Sat Dec 30, 2023 1:10 am
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chrysanthemumcentury wrote a review...



Hey hey! tea here with my bubble tea reviewing method, Happy review day~☆
Tea Base: The first impression. What did I think about this when I read it first?
I always love reading- but never find myself reading chapters or novels. However, I love the idea of magic, and should probably check the actual story ehehe... This was quite the interesying read too! The shoeter chapters in the whole thi reminsed me of like... a poetry book. Anyway, the whole idea of escaping once then failing really made me feel bad for Caspian. Poor boy got stuck in the place he ran from.
Add-Ons: What could be added, what could be changed that would improve this work?
Not much to say, brilliant tragic writing, that really got my gears grinding. Only one question: I might be missing something, but how does Mr. Shapcott have his power? Did he inherit it? Did he nmake a deal? I don't know honestly.

Toppings: What I loved about this work, What do you think was so genius?
I loved the ending. A dark, bittersweet epilouge, as all good stories should have. Especially at the end with "She was just like him." Mic. drop. I loved it.
Straw: Finish off your drink! Any other quips or questions?
Always good to read some new material that's not poetry ehehhe... Happy review day~☆
Truly,
-tea




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Fri Dec 22, 2023 10:57 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello yet again, friend!
I saw your work in the Green Room and figured I’d check it out.


Per my interpretation, this was yet another great origin story! It seems to be something you're really good at—writing tragedy that completely changes a character. And this was definitely a good one!

This time, we learn about Caspian and his desperate attempts to escape the Elsdale Circus. His life was filled with devastation; everywhere he turned, something went wrong or someone looked at him like he was a monster. So he tried to start a new life, but ended up getting himself trapped in the circus. And the first time he tried to escape the evils that were within the circus, he was able to, but the second time, he wasn't so lucky.

This was a great story that tied everything together really well and was generally just a lot of fun to read!


If I could offer any sort of advice, it would be two small things, both just small fixable errors.

The first is in Chapter Ten, when Caspian was worried about the man spreading the fact that he was a witch. You said,

He suspected that the man told people what about him...


I just don't feel like "about" fits here in this context. It makes it a little bit clunky and kind of doesn't really make sense at all with what you're trying to say, but it's a really small thing that can easily be looked past.

The second is in Chapter Eighteen, when Mr. Shapcott was asking Margot what she could do for the circus. You said,

Mr. Shapcott sat on a wooden chair with his right leg crossed over his right, looking up at them expectantly.


I believe it should say "right leg crossed over his left," but hey, it would be really impressive if that was something anyone was capable of. But once again, it's a really small error that can easily be fixed, unless that's what you meant to say.

But, obviously, these are just suggestions, and it's always up to the writer, so please take this criticism lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by it—only trying to provide a somewhat useful critique.


If I had to pick my favorite part, there would be a few! I really liked several parts of this and found them a joy to read!

The first thing that occurred that I really liked was in Chapter Eight, when Caspian was talking about running away with the girls. You said,

For some reason, he felt as though everything would change, and not for the better.


I felt like this was really great foreshadowing for what was to come in the rest of the chapter! He was looking at the circus, thinking about it, and just had a terrible gut feeling about what was going to happen to him and the girls. It gave a really nice glimpse into the future of the story, which I thought was really cool!

Another thing that I really liked was in Chapter Twelve, when Caspian killed his parents and was in utter shock at what he had just done. You said,

Caspian stepped back, the weight of what he had done sinking within. He never thought of himself as someone who could kill. To see them lying on the ground, so broken, so lifelessly, was…jarring.


This is kind of just my interpretation, but I feel like this is a really good background for why he became a doctor. He was incredibly devastated by killing people, so he decided to start healing them instead. This may not have been the message you intended to send, but nonetheless, I thought it was a really great addition to the overall story.

Another thing I thought was really great was in Chapter Nineteen, when Mr. Shapcott snapped at Prudence for calling him "Mr. Leopold." You said,

“You will all address me as Mr. Shapcott.” Mr. Shapcott boomed, spreading his arms out wide, as if he wanted to envelop them all into oblivion.


Reading this, I felt I could truly understand how controlling and menacing Mr. Shapcott really is. It also did a good job showing his true colors without him outright murdering someone, which I found to be an amazing representation of him. It showed that he's evil all the time and truly has no compassion for anyone other than himself and the show he puts on in the circus, so kudos to you for being able to make such apparent character qualities!

The final thing that I thought was absolutely fantastic was in the epilogue, when Caspian was talking about the girls and Prudence. You said,

Celia and Delia were easier to cheer up, but Prudence, poor Prudence...

She was just like him.


This was an outstanding way to end an origin story! It did a phenomenal job tying everything together and connecting with the overall plot of "Elsdale Circus." It also did a really good job of showing how similar Caspian and Prudence are, especially in regards to their backgrounds and why they're main characters.

There were a lot of really excellent things in this, but these were just a few of the things that really stood out to me as a reader!


Overall, this was remarkable! It was a really great origin story, as all of your origin stories have been so far, and I am excited to read more from you!

Thank you for taking the time to write and post this, and I hope this review is of some use to you!


Goodbye for now! I hope you have a magnificent day (or night) wherever you are!





Stupidity's the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.
— William Gaddis