Authors: Evenly Evans
The Newborn Vampire
2012 by Evelyn Evans.
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The much anticipated travelling circus was making a return to the small valley of Mystenshire, much to the delight of the local residents. It had been almost 17 years since their last visit and the whole village was buzzing with excitement. On account of the valley’s small size, there was not much available with regards to entertainment in the valley. Therefore the arrival of the travelling circus was a huge event to all generations alike and was greatly looked forward too.
Sixteen year old Catherine was particularly excited. Not a lot happened in this sleepy valley and more so for Catherine who had no siblings to play with and who lived alone with her grandmother. Her own mother had tragically passed away during her entry into the world. Catherine’s grandmother, Mary, had lost her beloved daughter that day, but in return she had gained a beautiful granddaughter to raise.
Whilst Catherine often wondered about her mother, it seemed a sore point to bring up the subject and the very mention of her name caused too much agony for Mary. On account of this Catherine tended to leave matters alone and had years before ceased to question her grandmother any further on the subject.
Catherine’s childhood had been lonely and uneventful, but she was happy and had been well loved and cared for. Mary had endeavoured to make Catherine feel protected from the world, something which Catherine had picked up on and offered her constant reassurance.
Mary liked to keep herself to herself and disliked change of any type or description. So, upon the arrival of the circus, Catherine often caught her grandmother eyeing it with great suspicion through her kitchen window. The circus was located on the back fields to the rear of Mary’s cottage and she could see the goings on if she looked of her kitchen window. She saw the lorries and stage trucks arrive, parking up and ready to unload. She witnessed the temporary board fencing go up, which prevented the locals from stumbling into the chaos and witness the initial process of putting up the tent and accompanying stalls. The clinks of hammering echoed around the valley along with the roars of lions and the trumpeting of two excitable elephants. An array of unknown noises was often heard creeping from beyond the secrecy of the board fence causing Catherine and many others to become impatient as their excitement took over. Mary, however, continued to eye the proceedings with a glare of dismay.
Catherine, however, was thrilled to bits and filled with a strong determination to be one of the first people in the ticket line at the opening night of the performance. A couple of days passed and after what seemed like a lifetime to a majority of the residents the board fence was taken down. A glorious vision welcomed everyone in Mystenshire Valley. As dusk dawned huge lights came on to highlight the newly appointed central point of the valley. A flow of people slowly started to ebb towards the direction of the light and towards the circus.
Catherine could not wait to see what the circus had to offer and spent a generous amount of time in her bedroom preparing herself. She combed her hair thoroughly and gazed at her reflection in the mirror. As she applied a light layer of eye shadow she noticed a slight tinge of red to her eyeballs. She hoped she was not coming down with an illness which would ruin her much anticipated evening. She felt ok in herself so choose to ignore this matter. Racing down the stairs, she grabbed her overcoat from the cupboard and was about to leap out of the front door, only to be greeted by her grandmother, who was already dressed in her outdoor clothes and clutching her sturdy hand bag. Her lips were thin and her face was serious.
“I won’t be letting you go alone,” stated Mary, firmly staring deeply into Catherine’s eyes. As she did so, her lips seemed to thin even more and Catherine noticed a slight tremor to them.
Catherine was not particularly disappointed with this statement. In fact she would be glad of the company and it was a rare occasion that the two of them got to do anything fun together. Catherine could not help but feel unsettled however, as she felt her grandmother did not seem like she really wanted to go, despite her insistence. She displayed a feeling of worry, if anything. Catherine tried to push this to the back of her mind, hoping it would not ruin her evening and pounded out of the front door like an overexcited puppy.
It was a cold dark night with a splattering of fine rain and the hint of a mist threatened the air. The atmosphere was electric, however and no one seemed concerned by the poor weather conditions. People queued up outside wrapped in many layers to block out the cold as they waited patiently for their turn to purchase a ticket.In Catherine’s haste and excitement, she and Mary were included as two of the lucky few people to get there early and bag themselves good seats. Catherine kept looking around in awe at the midst of chaos waiting to happen. People tumbled in and started to fill up the seats. The sounds from behind the scenes teased the audience as to what to expect and what was shortly about to unveil. Catherine strained her neck, looking and hoping to catch a peek of something, but all she could see was a man at the entrance to the ring looking out into the crowd.
“Maybe he is the ring master” she thought to herself whilst continuing to look in his direction to see if she could catch a glimpse of anything else. As she stared, she suddenly realised he was staring right back at her. Not just in her direction, but at her. She dropped her head feeling extremely embarrassed and after a few moments raised it again to see if her grandmother had noticed. To her astonishment, her grandmother was also looking straight at the same man. The look on Marys face was solemn with a hint of worry and anticipation. Her eyes were not blinking as she stared long and hard at the man. Catherine diverted her attention back to the man and sure enough he was looking at her still.
“Grandma, stop looking” Catherine whispered out of the corner of her mouth, “He is staring at us because we are staring at him, it’s rude. Let’s look away.”
Mary raised the corners of her mouth as way of a reply and Catherine was unsure if this was a smile or a snigger. Whilst Mary remained unsettled, Catherine temporarily forgot about matters as the show came into action. A variation of bright lights in many colours flooded the circus ring to a fan fair of music, which exploded in everyone’s ears. The bombardment of amazing sights and sounds began to blow everyone away.
The most amazing acrobats dived through the air at such a superbly impressive speed that they appeared to be almost flying unassisted. The art of trickery and illusion had certainly been mastered by this circus. Strong men single handily lifted double decker buses, leaving the crowd amazed as to how they managed to create such a wonderful illusion. Fierce lions were brought into the ring roaring and reaching out their paws in a vicious manner. However, one look from their masters calmed them completely as if they had been hypnotised.
Catherine could not believe her eyes. Boom – one fascinating sight which made the crowd think things could not get any more impressive, when suddenly Boom – another act would bowl the previous completely out the water and up the stakes.
A man and woman strolled around, licking a torch of flames as if they were ice creams. A woman danced seductively with a mountain bear. Acrobats would catapult through the air and then vanish in front of everyone’s eyes with no explanation. Catherine devoured every single second.
As she looked on, she noticed the actual appearance of the performers. Due to being so engrossed earlier she had failed to take proper notice. Behind all the heavy makeup and extravagant costumes it dawned on Catherine that these performers were all relatively young, only 18 or so, if that. They were all very beautiful and striking and seemed to have a slight resemblance to each other, thus creating the impression in Catherine’s mind that they must somehow all be related to one another. This was feasible on account of this being a travelling circus and communities such as these tended to stick together and intermarry. Catherine particularly liked their eyes, stunning bright eyes which shone out as if they belonged to a greater existence.
Catherine looked enviously at the females and lusted over the men. She felt her face flush and then a wave of embarrassment hit her for a second time that evening for having such thoughts whilst sitting next to her grandmother.
Catherine tried to regain her focus on the performance itself but was further distracted when she noticed her grandmother was still staring towards the entrance of the circus ring. Her gaze had not moved once since the performance had started.
“What are you staring at Grandma?”
“Oh you know me,” said Mary “I am not fond of surprises. I just like to be prepared and see what is coming next.”
Catherine was not convinced, but decided to ignore her odd behaviour so she could enjoy the remainder of the show. So far there had been everything and more you could possibly dream for from a circus show, so Catherine was looking forward to the finale, which was a theatrical piece with a circus twist!
The lights dimmed and the ring had emptied. Ropes fell from the ceiling, which were highlighted by dark red spotlights which shone in their direction. Acrobats all dressed in black with long capes and hoods began to filter into the ring and crouch down on the floor.
Then, as if from nowhere, more acrobats appeared from above and tumbled down the ropes effortlessly. The acrobats crouched down and began to sway in a rhythm with one another. A further acrobat entered the ring with the grace and finesse of a world-talented ballet dancer balancing a table on one hand. He placed the table in the centre of the ring and a bright light shone down on it, thus singling it out as an item of great significance.
The acrobats began to circle the table and were accompanied by a beautiful operatic piece of music which had a calming effect on the crowd. They became entranced with the performance. The tempo of the music was very slow and dictated the speed of the movement of the acrobats. Suddenly, a further light shone right across the centre of the ring and towards the entrance. There stood a beautiful girl dressed in a flimsy cotton gown, barefoot and with her long hair loose around her face and back. The acrobats turned to glare at her intensely, which made the girl incredibly nervous.
She looked into the crowd from face to face as they all stared at her with anticipation. Her eyes appeared to plead with them, yet her mouth said nothing. The crowd really believed in her performance and considered her to be a fantastic actress and revelled in this theatrical piece and the tension which was being created.