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Young Writers Society


12+ Violence Mature Content

Prudence’s story

by vampricone6783


*The origin of a character from stories under my folder “Elsdale circus”. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*

Introduction

MRS. MARGOT’S HOUSE OF HEALING-ROOM 216-3:25 A.M.

Prudence lay in her cot, looking out the window at the infinite pearl moon. The other girls were awake, she could hear them toss and turn every now and then. No one could sleep in the uncomfortable, scratchy cots.

Prudence wondered if one day, maybe she would have a warm, soft bed, a family who loved her, a place to call home.

It had to happen, didn’t it? That was what happened in every story. The lost found their way to a good place, a heavenly place.

That would happen to Prudence eventually, wouldn’t it?

Wouldn’t it?

Chapter One

THE MORNING-PILLOW FIGHT

Prudence sat upright in bed, watching the girls pillow fight each other. She didn’t want to join, they were screaming and laughing too much.

A smile crept upon her face. There was only one thing she did when everyone else was doing their own thing, in their own worlds.

Prudence would dance throughout the halls.

Chapter Two

IN THE HALLWAY

Prudence spun in circles, leaped in bounds, toes pointed, all across the halls. She was lost in a world of her own design. The hardwood floors and cement walls became a stage for all to see and swoon. Prudence’s white, raggedy dress was a ballerina tutu, sparkling and shin-

Her head hit the wall, bringing her back to dull, lifeless reality. Prudence rubbed the spot where it hurt the most carefully. Perhaps there was a bruise underneath her hair. An ugly, inhumanely purple bruise.

Three girls giggled behind her. Prudence turned around sharply.

It was Frances, Darcy, and Gertrude, peeking from the open door of their room.

“You looked so silly!” Frances said with a smile. The other girls giggled in agreement.

Prudence’s blood went cold. How long had they been watching her? How could she not notice? Why didn’t she stop?

“Go away!” Prudence yelled, shooing the three of them.

With mocking giggles, the three of them scampered back to their room.

If the people at the orphanage were nicer, then maybe Prudence wouldn’t mind their company. But no, they just had to laugh at her.

Why couldn’t anyone be a real friend? Why did she have to be laughed at for drifting away?

Why?

Chapter Three

“Come down, girls! We’re going on a trip!” Mrs. Margot called out.

Prudence rushed downstairs, ahead of the others, for she wasn’t with them for the pillow fight.

Where could they possibly be going? They never went on trips! The girls stayed in the orphanage, eating minimal meals and finding things to occupy themselves.

Were they…finally going home?

Chapter Four

IN THE SCHOOL BUS

Prudence squeezed past the bodies of many girls as she made her way to the back in the school bus, where Mrs. Margot sat.

Once she was seated, she turned to Mrs. Margot and asked with eyes full of sweet hope:

“Are we going to get adopted?”

Mrs. Margot smiled at her, but it wasn’t a happy smile.

“No, sweetie. I’m sorry.”

Prudence’s face fell, all thoughts of a warm embrace disappearing.

“Then where are we going?” Prudence asked, a crack in her voice from a sob that so desperately wanted to come out.

“We’re going to the circus! Isn’t that fun?”

Prudence crossed her arms. The bus started driving away, off to the circus.

What fun would going to the circus be if they weren’t going to get families?

“I know you really want to find a home. I do, too. For all of you. But that time hasn’t come yet. It will. One day.”

Prudence didn’t think so. One day was starting to feel like it would never happen, that it would be foolish to even wish for it.

Chapter Five

After a while, the bus came to a halt in front of a bustling, lively circus.

Prudence’s mouth dropped in the awe of it all, the splendor of it all. What was she so upset about again? The circus was calling out to her, begging her to enter.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!” Mrs. Margot said.

Prudence blinked back into reality. Mrs. Margot was standing up, patiently waiting for her.

“Can you hold my hand?” Prudence asked in a small voice. The circus just seemed so infinite for such a small thing like herself.

“Of course.” Mrs. Margot said with a smile. She extended a hand for Prudence.

Prudence took her hand.

Chapter Six

IN THE CIRCUS

As they walked throughout the circus, Prudence noticed that there were human performers. In the magazines she read, there were human performers as well as animals.

But there were only lions, elephants, tigers, horses…so many animals, Prudence couldn’t keep track of them all!

They were adorned in bright cloth and dazzling jewelry, a true sight to behold.

There was a circus tent in white and red stripes, bigger than the others. The girls were headed to the tent and from where Mrs. Margot was taking her, it was where Prudence would be headed.

“We’re going to see Mr. Leopold Shapcott. Are you excited?” Mrs. Margot asked.

Mr. Leopold Shapcott? The Leopold Shapcott, who dared to dream? Him? The glorious man himself?

“Yes, yes I am!” Prudence squealed happily, jumping up and down.

Who wouldn’t be?

Chapter Seven

THE SHOW

When Mrs. Margot and Prudence were inside the circus tent, they pushed past the crowd of people searching for a seat, for a viewing of the show.

After a while, they joined the group of girls on their own seats, all sitting together.

The lights dimmed, the audience hushed…

“Greetings, my dear friends!” A voice boomed eagerly.

But there was nothing. Only darkness.

“Oh, pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself!”

A spotlight shone on the one and only, the magnificent, the wonderful…

“Tis’ I, Leopold Shapcott! And you are my honored guests!”

Maybe it was just Prudence’s imagination, but did he…wink at her?

“Witness the many ferocious, fearsome animals and fantastical, truly unique people you can only see here, in Elsdale Circus!”

So there were people?

Prudence didn’t know how, but it was comforting for her to know that people would perform. It made her feel…safer.

“Now, let the show begin!”

The drumroll was but a small pitter-patter, then grew into a crescendo, and finally…

The fun commenced!

Chapter Eight

Prudence watched with wide eyes as the fire breathers lit the room, the lions jumped through hoops, the trapeze dancers leap through the air, legs long, toes pointed elegantly.

But most of all, above all, the animals struck through the stage. A collective gasp of oohs and aahs, not a word from Prudence.

Only stunned silence, for her young eyes had never beheld such sights before.

Chapter Nine

THE END OF THE SHOW



When the last of the animals had come upon the stage, Mr. Leopold thanked the audience and sent them off.

As Mrs. Margot was getting up, her hand holding Prudence’s, Prudence thought about coming back to the orphanage…possibly never going to Elsdale circus again…pillow fights…never finding a home…

She let go of Mrs. Margot’s hand, running past the breathing bodies of many people.

Prudence had to see Mr. Leopold one more time.

Chapter Ten

Prudence kept track of Mr. Leopold’s black velvet coat, running outside the tent, unbothered by the blast of cold air.

After what felt like forever, she made it close enough to tug on his sleeve.

Mr. Leopold turned around, eyes flickering with whimsy.

“Ah! It seems to me we’ve got a lost chi-“

“I’m not lost! I was looking for you! I just wanted to tell you that you’re really amazing and-“

“I thank you for your compliment, but really, you should get home. Now, where are your parents?”

Home. That sounded like such a faraway place, a fantastical dream.

Prudence looked around her, at the other kids with their families. They were all cheeky and cheerful, holding treats or balloons in their hands. There were skips in their steps, laughter in their eyes.

“What’s wrong, little one?”

Prudence shook herself into reality, away from her daydreaming.

“I…I don’t really have a home. I live in a big house with a lot of girls. Mrs. Margot said that…that one day, I’ll go home…but…but it hasn’t happened.”

Prudence looked down at her gray, blank boots, overcome with nervousness and embarrassment. Who was she to talk to him about her life? He didn’t care, he had better things to do than listen to someone like her ramble on.

“Would you like to live here?” Mr. Leopold asked softly.

“Here?!” Prudence asked, lifting her head up.

Mr. Leopold couldn’t possibly be serious. Was she imagining? Could she really live in the circus?!

“Yes, here. Would you like to live here?”

Prudence imagined a life performing at the circus…having fun every day…being friends with everyone. Everyone would be nice to her, everyone be sweet to her. It was a circus, for goodness sake! Nothing bad ever happened in a circus.

“Yes! Yes, I would love to!” Prudence said eagerly, jumping up and down.

“Prudence! Prudence, where are you?” Mrs. Margot called out.

Out of instinct, Prudence ran towards her voice.

Chapter Eleven

“Where were you? Why did you run away? You can’t leave the group like that, you know. There’s a lot of bad people out there.” Mrs. Margot said.

Prudence had found her standing in front of the popcorn popper, with all of the other girls.

At the moment, she and Mrs. Margot were sitting in the back of the bus, going back to the orphanage.

“I…I wanted to see Mr. Leopold. He said that I could live with him! That I could perform with him!”

“Did he, now?”

“He did!”

“Hmm…”

“Oh Mrs. Margot, can I please live with him? Please? Please please?”

Mrs. Margot turned to Prudence, eyes full of woe and worry.

“Though the circus may look shiny, there is hard work involved. I’m certain of it. Any place where people have jobs, especially in the entertainment industry, have grueling work to do that no bystander sees. I don’t want you to work like an adult.”

“But-“

“This discussion is over.”

Circus work couldn’t be that hard. Just performing in front of people? Prudence could do that! All she had to do was pretend that she was that she was alone. No problem at all!

Perhaps Prudence could come to him…by herself?

Chapter Twelve

IN THE ORPHANAGE

Prudence stared out of the window, sitting upright in her cot. The thought of going to Elsdale circus by herself flashed in her head for a bit. The main question was: Could she go by herself?

Wouldn’t Mrs. Margot miss her? Wouldn’t there be a lot of bad people waiting to take her away? People who weren’t good like Mrs. Margot and Mr. Leopold?

But what if Prudence wrote a letter to Mrs. Margot? She would understand then! As for going to Elsdale circus by herself, she could do it! She just had to run far enough and then she would find it.

Prudence got out of bed, excitement in her veins.

She was going to live in the circus!

Chapter Thirteen

Prudence walked over to the wooden desk in the room and sat on the chair. On the desk was a stack of paper and a single pencil, the point slightly dull. Mrs. Margot left it for them in case they wanted to draw.

But Prudence wasn’t going to draw anything.

With the pencil and paper, she wrote:

Dear Mrs. Margot,

I’m going to live in the circus! Don’t be sad.

-Prudence

Prudence studied the letter, trying to decide if it was good or not.

After a few seconds, she placed the letter down with a wooden paperweight.

It was fine. It was perfect.

Chapter Fourteen

A FEW HOURS LATER

Prudence walked through the woods, pushing back leaves. She had slipped through her open window without waking anyone and was in the woods behind the orphanage. Though Prudence’s eyes were heavy with sleep, she had to keep going.

The circus was around somewhere, wasn’t it? Waiting for her…hiding out…

There it was! With twinkling lights and tents, it was sitting patiently.

Prudence smiled.

Her new home was better than she ever imagined.

Chapter Fifteen

Prudence ran towards the circus, the morning sun rising, tiredness in her eyes, but purpose in her steps.

When she made it to the dazzling circus, the living dream, she spread her arms wide, reveling it all.

The splendor, the glory. It was all there, all there…

“I knew you’d arrive.”

Chapter Sixteen

Prudence turned around to face Mr. Leopold, smiling down at her.

“Come on, let’s go. I have the perfect role for you.” Mr. Leopold said.

With that, he took her hand and they set out to Prudence’s new life.

Chapter Seventeen

“Here’s your trailer! Just go inside and you’ll see your costume.” Mr. Leopold said.

They had been walking for a while until they reached a pink trailer with painted on, lavender letters that read: “The dazzling ballerina: “

“I was going to paint your name on it, but the only trouble is…I don’t know what your name is.”

“It’s Prudence.” She said with a smile.

“Prudence. Ah. It’s perfect.”

“Thank you.”

Mr. Leopold thought that her name was perfect! He liked her!

“It’s time you get to bed, we have quite a day tomorrow.”

Chapter Eighteen

MORNING

The first  licks of morning light hit the window of Prudence’s trailer. On her bed was a sparkling pink tutu and matching tights. On the floor was ballet slippers and a jewel tiara.

It was time. Time to perform. Time to show that she would thrive, no matter what.

Chapter Nineteen

Prudence stepped out of the trailer in her costume, shielding her gaze from the sun with her right hand. Goodness, it was so bright out! Did Mr. Leopold want her to perform that early?

Yes, he did. She had to listen to him, he was the ringmaster, after all.

Prudence ran past the crowd, towards the wooden stage.

…………………………………………………….

Prudence curtsied to the onlookers, all watching her with eager eyes. It began with one swoop of her right foot, and then, she was gliding throughout the stage, just as she had back at the orphanage, to pass the time, to dream away, and then…

She couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t move. Everything was so tight, so unbearably tight…

Why was it all blurry? What happened? Why couldn’t she…why couldn’t she move?

Was that…was that blood in her eyes? No, blood wasn’t supposed to be in eyes, it was supposed to be inside, that couldn’t be possible…

Prudence tried screaming, but only a throaty, guttural sound escaped from her lips.

What was that noise? It…it sounded like laughter…but it couldn’t be laughter…could it…no…they were laughing at her…laughing at her…laughing at her…

Prudence’s eyelids went heavy with exhaustion, sealing her off in quiet, peaceful darkness.

Chapter Twenty

Prudence opened her eyes. The sun was still out, but slightly setting into the afternoon.

A clown was holding her, helping her walk.

“What…what happened? Why did…how did…”

“Mr. Leopold did it.”

“What?” Prudence asked, not quite understanding. How could he have done that? He wouldn’t have…he couldn’t have…

“I’ll explain more later. Just relax as best as you can for now.”

Chapter Twenty-One

Prudence opened her eyes. She felt more restored than she did earlier. But…where was she?

Prudence was lying in a bed, in a trailer she hadn’t been inside before. The clown sat in a chair, watching her.

“You’re finally up. How are you feeling?” The clown asked.

“Fine…fine, I guess. What happened?”

“Mr. Leopold happened.”

“What do you mean?” Prudence asked, sitting herself upright.

“He’s…how do I say this?” The clown pressed his hands together, eyes far off into thought.

“He’s a life stealer. If the thought of death ever crosses his mind, others around him die. It just so happens that you were the one performing. He stands in the shadows, watching us. If I didn’t pull you away, then…you would have…”

“I would have died?!” Prudence asked with alarm, heart racing within. To think that she was so close to death…so close to…no…no, it was too terrible to think about.

“I tried calling his name, that usually works. But he was so far gone. I had no choice but to take you away.”

Prudence nodded slowly, processing the gravity of his words. In her mind, the audience’s phantom laughter creeped in.

“Why were they laughing at me? I was…I was hurt.” Prudence said. It reminded her of the orphanage, when the other girls used to laugh at her for drifting off, particularly Frances, Darcy, and Gertrude. They always laughed at her, they always made fun of her…

But they were in the orphanage. She was in the wonderful, beautiful circus.

The circus she almost died in. The circus Mrs. Margot told her not to run off to. Why did she leave? Why couldn’t she stay? Why…why…why?

“They can’t help it. He makes them laugh. His powers make his audience amused when they see death.”

They…they liked death? They liked seeing people suffer? They…they…

Tears pooled out of Prudence’s eyes. She left the orphanage, the safe orphanage, with Mrs. Margot, for a circus that wanted to kill her. A circus that hurt the performers. Why couldn’t she wait? She didn’t listen and she…she was going to die.

“It’s alright. We’re going to get out of here.” The clown said.

“W-w-we are?”

“Yes, we are. It’s okay. I told the others. We’re all going to leave.”

Prudence didn’t want to speak anymore. She just wanted to cry until she slept, wake up when they would get out.

But before she did that, she needed to know,

“What’s your name? I…I’m P-P-Prudence.”

“It’s Aarin.”

Aarin…Aarin helped her. Aarin saved her.

Aarin would get them all out.

Chapter Twenty-Two

LATE AT NIGHT

Prudence spent the rest of her day in Aarin’s trailer. He healed her with just his mind! Aarin said that was something special he could do. He said that there were probably others like him, but he didn’t know anyone else.

Night had fallen after a while. Prudence, Aarin, conjoined women Circe and Eris, and Ascelin, the snake man, had all grouped together, towards the animal cages.

It was agreed upon that all would be freed, even the animals.

Prudence held Aarin’s hand tightly, looking behind her every few moments, dreading the worst.

Chapter Twenty-Three

“This isn’t what I think it is, is it?”

Prudence jumped at the sound of Mr. Leopold’s voice. Ascelin had just opened the tiger’s cage, but it was being pushed back by something.

“I care for you. I love you. I don’t mean to hurt you.”

Prudence almost turned around, to look at Mr. Leopold, but Aarin turned her head back to the cage.

“I’m truly sorry that this has to happen, but if you can’t trust me, then I must.”

All around her, the performers screamed. Their bodies twisted, bled, and rot before Prudence’s very eyes. Aarin’s hand went lifeless and limp in hers.

She had never heard adults scream. She had never seen them in such immense pain, weak and whimpering, decaying away.

They fell to the ground, still bleeding, still screaming, until finally, they stopped.

Some of their skin and hair was still attached. It would have been less painful if they were skeletons, human features gone.

But no, hints of what made them alive was still there. They looked up with glassy eyes, mouths still opened in screams.

The tiger was curled in a corner, big eyes wide with fright. Even the tiger was scared.

Prudence couldn’t cry. She stood where she was, staring at the bodies in horror.

Just like that, they were all gone. Just like that, all dead.

Aarin…Aarin. Her first friend she made at the circus and Mr. Leopold just…just killed him! Like he was…nothing.

“I’m sorry, Prudence. That’s just what happens.”

Maybe it was one long nightmare and she would wake up in the orphanage, away from Mr. Leopold and his circus where people died and where animals were afraid.

Perhaps she wasn’t in an orphanage at all! She was in a big house, with a family, and everything was just one long, scary dream, and Prudence would wake up to sun climbing through the curtains of her window and the smell of eggs being cooked.

“Go inside your trailer, we have a big day tomorrow. It’s the last day here, in this part of Elsdale. We move to another part the day after.”

No, it wasn’t a dream. Prudence tried blinking and pinching herself, but still, she was in the circus.

No one was around to help. It was just her, Mr. Leopold, and the scared animals.

No one would come.

Chapter Twenty-Four

THE NEXT DAY

“It’s going to be just you, me, and the animals for a while, Prudence. For a long time. That won’t be too bad, right?” Mr. Leopold asked.

Prudence stood next to Mr. Leopold as he greeted the guests at the entrance, fidgeting with the tulle on her tutu. The sun was always shining, it never rained. It seemed to be laughing at all of her troubles, her woes.

“I guess not.” Prudence said glumly. The circus seemed fantastical and magical at first, a place she could call home.

“Right!” Mr. Leopold said, smacking his hand on her shoulder. Prudence winced at the impact.

It was a prison, a Hell.

Chapter Twenty-Five

A FEW MINUTES LATER

Prudence wandered throughout the circus, waiting for her name to be called. At the moment, Mr. Leopold was showing the audience his animals, his animals that were starting to weaken. Soon, she would have to perform and-

“Prudence?”

Prudence looked up. Rubbed her eyes. Made sure that she wasn’t seeing things.

It was Mrs. Margot, waiting for her.

“Mrs. Margot?” Prudence asked.

Mrs. Margot nodded.

“I put up as many missing posters around town as I could, but no one had found you. So I took the liberty to go to the one place where I’d know you would be.”

“Here.”

“Where are the others?”

“The girls? My brother is taking care of them.”

Mrs. Margot spread her arms out, for an embrace. Prudence ran towards her, not caring for the dirt on her ballet slippers.

She was free! She was going home! She was-

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Chapter Twenty-Six

Prudence froze. She knew that voice. She knew it as well as she knew her own skin.

“I-I want to leave!” Prudence said. Mrs. Margot frowned at the presence of Mr. Leopold.

“Why are you bothering the performer?”

Mr. Leopold put his hand on Prudence’s shoulder.

“She is my child and I have the right to-“

Mrs. Margot’s skin cracked, blood seeped into her eyes, she fell to the ground, weak.

“Well. That was easy.”

She was gone. Prudence’s one last lingering hope, gone. Her one way to freedom and it was…was gone.

“Come now. We have a show to do!” Mr. Leopold said.

No more wandering. No more waiting.

There was nothing, truly nothing, she could do.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

AT THE STAGE

Prudence stared at the audience, unflinching. She knew what they wanted. She knew why they all came.

Prudence danced throughout the stage, losing herself in her own world, a world where only she existed.

If only that world were real.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

YEARS LATER-SIXTEEN YEARS OLD

It had all been the same thing day after day, month after month, year after year. She started at six, she had become sixteen.

Prudence would dance for an audience that watched with such intensity it made her want to puke, she would almost die, the audience would laugh, the animals  would get weak, no one was around.

Prudence stared out her window, the sun shining like always. Every day was a “big day”. A day of twisting limbs to nothingness, all the time, never stopping to rest until there was no light in the sky.

She squinted her eyes. Prudence wanted to be certain that she wasn’t just seeing things.

Mr. Leopold was talking to a young man with two little girls, all three blond. The man had blue eyes, the girls had green eyes, one had a shade darker than the other.

Were they his children? Why was Mr. Leopold talking to the three of them so enthusiastically?

Could it be that…he found new people to perform with her?

Chapter Twenty-Nine

“Come out, Prudence! Greet your new friends!” Mr. Leopold yelled, banging on her trailer door.

Prudence scrambled out of bed and rushed to the door. She turned the knob with one hand, smoothed out her tutu with another.

Mr. Leopold, the man, and the girls were staring back at her, eyes full of brightness. Only Mr. Leopold had an evil glint to them.

“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. Leopold said.

There could be a good chance that only Prudence would feel pain from Mr. Leopold, but she knew that it wasn’t true. He was going to suck the life away from them, just as he did with the others.

Perhaps she could change his mind?

“Mr. Leopold, I-“

“Mr. Shapcott.”

Prudence blinked back in shock. What? He never asked for her to call him that. Somehow, it felt wrong, like he was a title and no one else. Like things from then on would become worst than Prudence ever imagined.

“You will all address me as Mr. Shapcott.” Mr. Shapcott said.

With a grin and a nod, Mr. Shapcott was on his way.

Chapter Thirty

“Do you like it here?” Caspian asked. He seemed like he genuinely wanted to know if Prudence liked being there.

Prudence shrugged.

“I thought I did, but then, Mr. Shapcott showed his true colors.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come in and I’ll tell you.” Prudence said, gesturing the three of them in.

……………………………………………………..

“He…he sucks lives away?” Caspian asked after Prudence finished telling them her story. The girls had their fists in their mouths, their eyes were wide with fear.

It reminded Prudence of when she first learned who Mr. Shapcott really was under all of the glamour..

“He does. It sounds far-fetched, but you have to believe me.”

“I believe you. I myself can do magic. Magic is real.” Caspian said. The girls seemed to believe her too, from how they looked at her.

Prudence sighed in relief. At least they believed her.

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

Epilogue

The circus was the same. All couldn’t stop performing, all had to stay sealed away.

It pained Prudence that there were others around, experiencing the same pain as her, but what was she to do? She was powerless against Mr. Shapcott.

The animals were getting weak and thin, the audience seemed to enjoy their suffering more and more. The whole world seemed to be going mad, day by day.

But did it matter? No, because no one would leave.

No one would ever be free again.


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Fri Mar 08, 2024 4:12 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 great collection! As always, I will be using my Familiar method today. Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh…

What The Black Eyes See...

I was really excited to read Prudence's origin story, and it didn't disappoint! I found myself sympathetic to her situation, being an orphan in a place with no color or life, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well Mrs. Margot treated the girls, especially Prudence. Strict, but she clearly cared about them. Prudence's experience in the circus, from the initial wonder to the shock of realizing Shapcott's true nature, was all very well-paced and delivered. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put in here, I don't have any recommendations for content! I did notice two very minor errors toward the end of the story.

Prudence would dance for an audience that watched with such intensity it made her want to puke, she would almost die, the audience would laugh, the animas would get weak, no one was around.


Minor typo with "animals" in this sentence, just missing an "L."

It reminded Prudence of when she first learned who Mr. Shapcott really was under all of theglamour.


Missing a space between "the glamour" here.

That is all, good writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

I really liked how you captured Prudence's daydream, how she fantasized about being a performer even before she met Shapcott. It added to the intensity of the moment, her discovering the circus and feeling connected to it. Especially as you tie in Prudence's desire for some semblance of family, it also gives understanding and justification for her running away. So that part of the story was built up very well.

It was very interesting to learn about some past performers of the circus, that there was a clown before Percy and even some more traditional acts, like trapeze and the snake man. Aarin seems like a very likable character, and it was a sweet moment, watching him look out for Prudence (but I know better than to trust tender moments in your story lol).

Naturally, the fact that Shapcott was so quick to kill them all in front of Prudence really furthered his crazy, heartless demeanor. Same for killing Mrs. Margot.

Along those lines, I did really like the substance of this line in describing Prudence's years growing up in the circus:

Prudence would dance for an audience that watched with such intensity it made her want to puke, she would almost die, the audience would laugh, the animas would get weak, no one was around.


Great theory material! It gives me the impression that Shapcott needs at least one performer alive, so he can keep up his act of death. With no one else to kill, he just has to keep *almost* killing Prudence to make it work, which is why she's kept alive unlike the others. Also why he killed Mrs. Margot, as she threatened to take away his only victim. So creepy and malicious!

Though Shapcott may be crazy, he is an awesome antagonist lol.

Finally, ending with the introduction of Caspian and the twins to the circus -and Prudence becoming the bearer of that harsh truth- felt like the perfect link to the story we know already, with Percy and "Matilda."

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, awesome story, nicely done! :)

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172 Reviews

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Reviews: 172

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Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:21 pm
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Roxanne wrote a review...



Aloha!



Beyond my beloved rose garden, I spy with my little eye…

Something absolutely intriguing! An eerie tale titled “Prudence's Story”

Alright, no more delays! Let’s put these review skillz into action, shall we?
Ready, set, let the reviewing begin!

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I. First Things First
Very first of all, I must say that I quite enjoyed reading your story and I read it all the way through without stopping for a single moment. I'm always amazed by the fact that you are able to find just the perfect and unique names for each and every character of yours. I absolutely loved Mr. Leopold Shapcott's name, I just love saying it out loud :D

Since Mr. Shapcott caught my attention, I've decided to dive in the character's development of your story. But before we dive in deep, let's see what's on the surface;
Prudence, our innie, minnie, little protagonist, lives in an orphanage. Her dream is to find a family where she will be loved and cared for, but instead (*cue the TWIST) she meets Mr. Evil Sheep- (*clears throat), I meant, Mr. Shapcott, and ends up living a horrifying life.
Woah, that sounds so intense now I've written it all down.. Let's dive in now, shall we?

II. Character Development
So we've got a lot of characters who all play their part, but the significant ones are Prudence, Mr. Shapcott and Mrs. Margot.

Prudence
Firstly, Prudence, the protagonist, has many character traits and her character has experienced a drastic development. Even though she already felt sorrowful and her life wasn't as great as she wished it would be, it turned even worse when she started performing in the circus.

However, her character didn't seem quite realistic, though her decisions seemed impulsive enough for her age, the fact that she already started performing in the circus with the age of six didn't really seem to fit.

Perhaps you could consider making her a bit older. Another suggestion is providing the readers with a few more unique personal traits of Prudence herself, this will let her stand out as protagonist but also as another character from your "oh so amazing" stories.

Mr. Shapcott
Despite the fact of him being the villain, Mr. Leopold Shapcott is my favourite character of this story and my all time favourite bad guy. His name is absolutely incredible and his role is a perfect cliche.
Though there may not be much for me to say about this character, I would suggest maybe kind of adjusting his personality. He seems like this really really bad guy, and perhaps you could change some of his dialogues (when the reader has already discovered his bad side) to show off more of his true nature.

Mrs. Margot
Lastly, sweet Mrs. Margot. She seemed like this really nice lady who seemed to care a lot about Prudence, it's absolutely devastating that she got killed. But I feel like we haven't been able to learn much more about her even though we've got the entire story here. Maybe think of incorporating the scene where Mrs. Margot discovers Prudence's letter?
But other than that, she is a lovely character in the midst of all tragedy.. And she will be missed!

Do remember that these suggestions are given with the intention of boosting your story's impact and depth, so I hope they are helpful.

III. Seek Inspiration Beyond
Feel free to check out The Gift and the Ghostspeaker by @Voidsoul for some extra inspiration and ideas to spice up your own storytelling!

IV. In A Nutshell
Everything in all and all in everything, it was a genuine pleasure to dive into this story. The story, though somewhat similar to others of yours, was quite intriguing and lovely in a kind of way.
And now I've noticed you like all your chapters in one post, maybe using spoilers is an options for the many chapters? But that's entirely up to you.

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

With Rose-tinted regards!




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151 Reviews

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Reviews: 151

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Sat Nov 18, 2023 6:39 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



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


On first impressions, this was a backstory about a girl named Prudence, who ends up trapped in the circus. There seemed to be a clear plot with an obvious main character and antagonist. There was a lot of suspense and a genuine build-up to the climax, with a somewhat relieving end to the chaos of the story.


If I could offer any sort of advice, it would probably be to break this up into two or more parts. There's just a lot to read, and the time it says it might take to finish it could be very discouraging for some readers. However, it is nice that you broke it up into chapters. It makes it a lot easier to find a place to stop if you need to and pick it back up later.

But, obviously, this is just a suggestion, 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, it would have to be the way you described the main characters feeling throughout the story. You did a great job showing exactly what she was feeling, not just through her words but through her body language as well. A great example of this is in chapter 8, when the narrator said,

Home. That sounded like such a faraway place, a fantastical dream.

Prudence looked around her, at the other kids with their families. They were all cheeky and cheerful, holding treats or balloons in their hands. There were skips in their steps, laughter in their eyes.


Clearly, I pulled this quote out of context, but there were other parts that did this even better. This is just the one I picked out. So kudos to you for being able to express and show emotions so vividly!


Overall, this was a really great story with lots of lucid details and a fantastic plot line. It made for a terrific backstory and was quite entertaining as well. It was also quite captivating and fun to read, which is always a plus for a reader.
Thank you for taking the time to write and post this, and I hope you continue to put out great works like this one!


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





Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book.
— Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves