The fat man in an ugly big mustard-yellow hat, more wide than tall stood on a large box beside the entrance to a circus tent.
“Step right up ladies and gentlemen. A world of wonders and horrors, an alternate universe where pain is pleasure and pure putrid deformities are considered beauty. Don’t be afraid of them. To them, you people are the freaks.”
The seats were full and show had started. Lights were directed to the stage. The open theater area let the light shine down as the music played, a seemingly happy carnival tune for the terrible things about to be shown. The crowd held on with bated breath as a soft breeze blew through the outdoor theater, creeping down the backs of the nervous yet excited people sitting in the crowd. The freak show was about to begin.
A small midget made his way unto the stage, looking out at the people. He smiled, exposing a vicious set of fangs. He grinned evilly as the crowd looked on. Then, he turned around, giving them a glance at the two, deformed wings and the small tail hanging there. He looked over his shoulder and laughed as the crowd gasped.
“Welcome to the stage ladies and gentlemen, The Imp!” the announcer yelled over the loudspeakers.
The audience applauded as the grotesque little man took a bow. Music picked up again as two ladies walked out, dressed in very little, but a red bikini with fake wings and a fake tail. The music changed to a more entertaining type song as the little man started to sing.
“The devil is coming for your souls and you cannot stop him. So just sit on back and watch the show as his minions parade in sin. Join us, it feels so good, to forget the right and wrong and live how we were meant to live, praising him who created us with sinful dance and song!” the man said as he danced to the lively tune with the two ladies on the stage with him.
The crowd glanced around in disgust at the little man’s song and dance, but then again, wasn’t that why the freak show was there? To shock and appall? The Imp finished his dance and gave a little bow, still grinning at the crowd with his fangs exposed. The two ladies exited with him. Music returned to its carnival theme. The lighting changed to a pale blue-light shining on the stage.
An elderly looking lady walked out unto the stage. Her face looked weary and tired. Her back was bent and she hobbled along slowly, but the most notable part of her appearance was her right eye, which looked like it had been crudely sewn shut. The audience broke out into whispers as this old lady stood silently in the center stage. She then lifted up her left hand, and everyone got quiet.
“Welcome to the stage ladies and gentlemen, The Fire-starter!” the announcer yelled.
The old woman held her hand palm up. The audience stared in amazement as a green flame erupted from her palm, dancing in the air above it. She lifted her other hand and its palm erupted into green fire too. She smirked at the crowd, then shrugged off the costume she was wearing, pulling off the face mask too. Her right eye was still sewn shut underneath, but she looked about half the age as she did, wearing the costume.
She smiled, now wearing only a green one piece leotard. She started dancing with the fire in her palm. She was graceful, the carnival song turning into a slow drumbeat that got faster and faster as she started to dance wilder, the flames held in her palm flickering wildly and sending up sparks whenever she moved her hands close enough that the green fires touched.
Suddenly, she clapped her hands together over her head, sending a shower of sparks over the stage and the people in the front row. She took a bow. The audience, excepting this as their cue, broke into applause among whispers of, “How did she do that?” and “I’ve never seen green flames.” It was apparent the audience had enjoyed her performance as she made her way off the stage, careful to collect the elderly lady costume she had been wearing.
The stage lights went out, leaving only the torchlight from around the edge of the small tent theater to light the stage. The crowd anxiously awaited the next performance as they were thrown into almost total darkness. The stage stood empty. Then, suddenly, some of the girls from earlier, wearing nothing but loin cloths, walked out onto the stage, pulling two cages with large sheets of deer skin covering them into the middle of the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the prehistoric woman and the missing link, Cave-woman and Sasquatch!”
The audience, still disgusted by the half naked women were shocked when they pulled off the cage covers, letting them see the people inside. In both cages, the creatures were banging on the cage, hollering in unidentifiable tones. The music switched again from carnival to a tribal type tune as the audience stared in wonder.
In one cage, the lady was also almost completely naked, wearing only a loincloth. Her face was disfigured and had short, curly, dirty hair all over her body. She roared and threw herself at the cage bars, shaking them wildly. The ladies giggled and watched the cave-woman try to break out of the cage.
In the other cage, a creature stood around seven feet tall. His body was completely covered in long, straight hair, like in animals. His fingernails were long and yellowed claws. His face was also disfigured, and two long saber-tooth type fangs gleamed as they extended from his lower jaw to just beneath his eyes, which looked angrily out at the audience, some of whom had gasped when he was uncovered. The ladies giggled and poked sticks into the cages, which only angered the two creatures even more and they bellowed like wounded animals and tried to break the cage bars. The girls laughed and smiled and recovered the cages, wheeling them offstage.
Suddenly, three more freaks stepped out onto the stage. One had his entire body covered in scars and his flesh looked like it had been peeled off in places. The other had a tall, hulking body, but a tiny head, about the size of his own palm. The last was a regular looking man. They all started to act out what seemed to be a silent sketch scene. The one with the small head sat in the middle of the stage as the other two laughed at him silently, pointing at his disfigurement. The man looked up at the one with the scars and stood, lifting his hand moving them to mime him lighting a match. He sets the imaginary match on the burned man, who silently screamed and moaned in pain as he slowly collapsed to the ground. The audience sat horrified. The small headed man turned to the normal looking one. The normal man smirked. The small headed one mimed picking up a large blunt object and trying to beat the normal man. The normal man bent his body in amazingly strange ways to avoid the hits. Still silently laughing at the astonishment of the crowd as he bent backwards and grabbed onto his ankles, then rolled around the stage away from the frustrated small headed man.
The audience laughed at the comical rolling man as the small headed one silently cried out in frustration. The burned man then stood up from where he had fallen and dusted himself off, also pointing and laughing without noise at the comical scene of the rolling man being chased. The small headed man finally seemed to give up as he slumped down, seemingly tired. The rolling man smiled and bent himself into the shape of a chair. The burned man picked up the tired one and sat him in the chair. The bendy one and the burned one walked off stage, the bendy man carrying the tired man on his stomach. The audience broke into laughter.
“Please, give a round of applause to the comical sketch by Rubber-man, the Human Scar, and Dr. Shrink.”
The crowd was still laughing when another of the assistant type ladies walked out and smiled at them. They grew silent. She wore a leopard spotted leotard and carried a whip. She held her finger to her lips to signal for them to be silent, then walked back off the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please remain quiet and calm during the final act. Don’t make eye contact and please, please, get rid of ANY open food containers you have. Also, please, do not scream. Now, welcome to the stage, Leopard Girl!”
The crowd stood, a little nervous as they heard the announcer’s warning. The people in the front looked anxiously towards the stage, wondering whether they should move. The lady that was wearing the leopard suit pushed another cage up unto the stage, along with the help from two other ladies. The cloth covering this one was leopard spotted. Suddenly, the creature inside gave a defining roar and a claw slashed through a part of the cloth in the front, without ripping it totally open wide.
A few people shifted in their seats and stared as the ladies looked to one another, as though unsure whether to uncover the cage. They nodded, then reached up, taking hold of the tattered and thin cloth as the creature inside gave another roar. They yanked and the cage stood on the stage, open and exposed. The creature inside snarled as the audience gasped, horrified. The creature inside was a young lady, around the age of 17 or 18.
Her teeth were sharp and her nails were each about three inches long. Her body was covered in light yellow fur, not even an inch long. The fur was yellow and spotted, like in leopards. A long, furry tail flexed behind her. Her face was human with a feline type nose and eyes. Her forehead was weird and her hair seemed to run from that. Her hair was long and blond, matching the golden fur covering her body. She stood on all fours, staring out of the cage. She snarled.
Growling, she rammed into the bars, her hand reaching out from between them as its claws raked at the air and she growled at the crowd. The slit pupils of her green eyes opened as she sniffed at the air, snarling at the audience who watched her with such intense terror. She could smell the terror. She wanted out as she roared again, reaching through the bars for freedom.
The lady with the whip had backed away a little, but she stepped forward bravely and lashed out, the whip stinging as it hit the Leopard Girl’s wrist. The Leopard Girl let out a yelp of pain and pulled her wrist back into the cage, cradling it as she hissed at the lady with the whip, turning her attention from the crowd. She leaped at the bars, again trying to break free.
The crowd gasped, terrified. Another lady walked onto the stage, holding a small puppy in her hands. She nodded at the other one and turned to the snarling beast in the cage. The crowd watched, mouths agape as the small mutt was shoved roughly through the bars of the cage. The Leopard Girl turned her attention to it and growled hungrily, placing one hand forward as she eyed her prey. She stood on all fours, stalking her prey as a leopard would. Some people in the crowd gasped.
It was over in a moment. She leaped on the puppy. The people listened as it squealed, frantically trying to get away. Then, they heard the loud, SNAP as she bit down on the back of the puppy’s neck, breaking it. She started clawing at the dead puppy’s body, slashing open its stomach. She bent her head down to taste the blood and guts spilling from the puppy. A few people in the audience vomited and some ran out, other sat and watched in fascinated horror. She feasted on the dead puppy.
The ladies glanced at the audience and covered the cage back up. They wheeled it off stage, letting the audience alone with their still fresh memories of the squealing and crunching and slurping noises that had come from the grotesque scene in the cage.
“And that completes our show for this evening folks. We hope to see you again soon. We’ll be waiting for you.”
The friendly carnival music started playing again as the lights came on. The people wasted no time in leaving the open theater, knowing they would not soon forget the horrifically wonderful things they had seen this evening.
I've always been a jack of all trades. I've been a poet, author, social commentator, comedian, online gamer, pod cast host, and Youtuber. I've had a class A license to drive semi truck over the road. I've worked as a chef, manager and all kitchen positions in hundreds of restaurants over the years. I've traveled in Mexico, Canada and through 37 of the 50 states. I've been a volunteer firefighter in Florida, where I grew up. I've fished the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and saw the far distant coast line of Cuba before its recent opening to the west. I've married, had 4 kids, divorced, got CKD stage 6 (end stage renal failure) Survived a stroke, mild heart attack, MRSA, blood clots and now chronic heart failure. Fully disabled and home bound, the internet is my social outlet, and window on the world. I go to dialysis three times a week, I watch movies, play video games and chat with people on social media. Writing is my catharsis for a life that is now spent measuring the time I have left, less the tomorrows that may never be.