Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
TITLE: What a Circus!
By Pat Guy
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The Big Tent! The circus was in town! And he was going to watch!
He laid as flat as he could and poked his head through the slit between earth and tent. (his friends said to suck in his belly) The ground reverberated with the cantor of horses around the ring. He couldn’t see them yet. He’d have to make it under the stands first. His heart was beating so fast it felt squished!
He stretched out his arms as far they would go to grab some grass so he could inch his way in. The bellow of the Ring-Master got louder and the tingles all over him got even more tinglier. Elephants were rumbling somewhere behind him in the dark, donkeys bayed their screechy cries — the mingle of corndogs, popcorn and cotton candy made the growls in his belly hurt some. He had no money. No time to save up his meager allowance. But, what the heck! He was almost in!
Ooooooo’s and Ahhhhhh’s from people mesmerized urged him on. He didn’t want to miss anything so he stretched and scooted, digging and pushing off with his toes, trying to grab a hold of a steal beam supporting the seats. He’d have to come up with an excuse to explain to his mom why his shirt was so dirty.
Jospeh pushed that encounter with his mom out of the way for now.
Scoot, scoot …
Someone grabbed a hold of his ankles and yanked him all the way out! His belly scrapping against sand, dirt and pebbles. Ouch!
Joseph was scared. Too scared to say anything.
Whoever it was, grabbed of fistful of shirt on his back and pulled him up forcing him on his feet. There wasn’t much light to see who this person was, but he knew it was a man. Joseph tried to get his balance but the man was shaking him, not saying anything. The man held onto him and pushed him forward to walk toward the lights and circus excitement at booths trying to win prizes or ride the terrifying rides.
Joseph was terrified too. He didn’t dare look behind him. He thought maybe he could break free and run away but the man held on tight and just kept pushing him toward a certain booth — not saying anything. He could hear the man breathing fast, Joseph grunted with each push.
As they walked up to a certain booth, the man reached out toward the worker and put up three fingers. Jospeh saw a white glove and a mangy coat. The way the man held his three fingers was a familiar way — Joseph tried to peek to the side of him. A clown. A clown? A clown was doing this to him?
The clown took the three balls and slammed them on the counter and pointed to Joseph to hit the mound of wooden milk cartons. The clown poked him to get going. Joseph looked at the clown, then looked at the mound. The man looked and dressed like a clown, but not a scary one. But he didn’t look happy.
This was his lucky day, though! He was a pitcher on his ball team! If he wins this, he’ll get to go inside! It should be easy.
On the second try, all the wooden cartons were knocked down. Jospeh stood there not knowing what was going to happen next. Nothing had been said so far, but he believed he won something. He was hoping for a free pass into The Big Tent! He turned towards the clown, not daring to look up, waiting. His shirt was stained and dirty. Circus music blaring all around him.
The clown said, “You’ve won, boy.”
Jospeh knew that voice. Now he was really scared.
“Dad?” What … ?
“I’ll explain later, son. I do this, sometimes. There’s a reason why you feel you need to be here. Now go home.”
“But Dad! I won! What did I win?
“I won’t tell your mom.”
Joseph looked at his shirt. I can use the bar of soap in the bathroom.
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