The Final act circus

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by October Knight, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Gale, Wisconsin: A small, clean-cut town in midwestern USA, safe from the crime of big city Chicago, to the south, and the wild unknown of the un-incorperated forests of the north. Aside from the surrounding residential and factories that dotted the out skirts of Gale, the town consisted of a main street, so properly named, 'Gale main', that ran smack dab through the middle of town and came to rest in a 10 acre abandoned field. During the darkest hours of the night, under a backdrop of tinted blue moonlight, the Final Act circus moved into this felid and set up shop.

    The inhabitants of Gale, still waking from the nights slumber, had no idea about the circus, but soon they would all be painfully aware.

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg Seth awoke from a deep sleep, not yet ready to face the day, but unable to lay in bed any longer. He kicked his blanket off and stood, clad only in a pair of Thundercats boxer shorts. Although he was 18, and entering adulthood at a furious sprint, he still had a love for cartoons, comic books and dime-store sci-fi novels. He hoped he would never grow out of these things as he felt they defined him.

    Outside a light frost sparkled, encasing the windowpane and reminding Seth that yesterday was the last day of September. Soon snow would fall relentlessly from the sky, an accepted norm for this part of the country. He picked up his jeans from the night before and dug through the pockets. Gum wrapper, empty pack of smokes, receipt for an energy drink, and a movie ticket stub. He was about to toss the jeans to the ground, where most of his cloths somehow ended up, when he felt something crumpled at the bottom of the pocket. It was a flyer, colored black with thick red letter that read:
    The Final act circus comes to Gale!

    "What the…."

    He stared at the flyer, confused. Where did I pick this up at? He retraced everything he had done the precious day, but could not remember where he had gotten the mysterious flyer. With it still clutched in his had he reached for his cell phone. Time to call the person he had spent all day with yesterday, maybe she would remember?

    ring ring ring....

    "C'mon, pick up.."

    A tinge of excite boiled up in Seth's stomach. Living in Gale was very routine, same difference, different day. So when something like this happened, mysterious flyer to a traveling circus no less! It was an exciting event.

    He waited for her to pick up, reading the fine print at the bottom of the Final act circus flyer.

    "An extraordinary event that will leave you breathless"

    ring ring ring...
  2. Ring, Ring, Ring!

    The shrill noise of her phone startled Riley out of sleep,
    and she slowly peeled one eye open to glare at the small ringing annoyance. Reaching out a hand, she padded aimlessly on her bedside table few times before finally managing to grab it, still half asleep as she checked the caller ID. The second she saw it was Seth, the blonde was sitting up, pushing a mess of hair out of her face and rubbing and her light blue eyes tiredly as she flipped the phone open.

    Its early." She stated in way of greeting. "Way early. Like-" A quick looked at the clock.
    9:21 "Before 10 early. What's so important?" Normally, the time wouldn't bother her- she never did have the best sleeping habits- but they had stayed out rather late last night. Deciding there wasn't going to be any way to fall back asleep, she shrugged off her blankets and slid off her bed. The carpet was warm against her bare feet, but the air wasn't so forgiving. Apparently someone decided not to pay the heating bill this month. Snatching a hoodie from were she threw it on the back of her computer chair last night, Riley slipped it on, shoving her free hand into it's pocket for warmth.

    She frowned as something crinkled against her fist. Taking it out, she noted it seemed to be a flyer of some sort. When had she gotten this? The bright red words stuck out rather violently against the black background.

    The Final Act Circus comes to Gale!

    Final Act Circus, eh? Blue eyes started skeptically at the page, noting that it seemed to be all the flyer said- excluding the smaller text at the bottom, reading "An extraordinary event that will leave you breathless". Frowning, the girl flipped it over in her hands, not seeing any sort of direction or map. Odd. Especially since it was already fall. Kind of cold weather to be participating in dangerous stunts and hosting games outside.

    A small grin tugged at the edges of her lips. Still, a traveling act coming to Gale? At least things won't be so boring around here.

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  3. "It's early"

    Seth could hear the sleepiness in her voice, and under normal circumstances would have never called this early, and while his own brain was still fuzzy and dehydrated from slumber, he needed answers.

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg "Yeah…but.." Seth breathed excitedly, trying to get his words out. He and Riley had an interesting relationship. It was never forced, it was never censored, they just clicked. Like a TV show friendship between to adorable actors playing pivotal roles in some 30 minutes drama, they just clicked.

    "Way early like"

    'Yeah, yeah. I know my pocket" Sputtering, Waving the flyer in his right hand, eyes wide, brows arched.

    "Before 10 early, what's so important?"

    "Circus…" Was all he got out when it hit him like a ton of bricks: A sensation of knowing so strong it was in the borderlands of certainty. He searched and racked his memory for answers, but came up empty. Something wasn't right, something didn't feel right. Seth felt panicked now, a slow churning of anxiety whirl-pooling in his chest.

    "You have one, too, don't you?" His arms went limp at his sides as trickles of water began to melt on the cold windows with the rising sun.

    She had one, too.

    Riley had the same mysterious flyer. He didn't know it, he felt it.

    "Look, I don't know what's going on, but can I come over? I need to talk to you."

    Seth was already throwing clothes on before he hung up the phone.
  4. "You have one too, don't you?"

    Riley's mouth clicked shut, knowing he meant the flyer without even having to ask. Something in his voice installed a sort of uncertain fear in her, and she was nodding before he had even finished his sentence.

    She was about to tell him to come through her bedroom window, as called for when the hour was undesirable- a practice they were well familiar with- but hesitated. It wasn't actually all that early, meaning her dad was already off to work and she wo
    uld be left home alone for a better part of the day.
    "Front door's unlocked. See you in a few." Clicking her phone off, the blonde moved over to her window, noticing it was still cracked open from where she had snuck in last night. At least that explained why it was so cold. Moving over to it, she inhaled the crisp October breeze with a small grin. She had always loved the fall, for everything from the beautiful colors to the small nip in the air. Halloween only added to the excitement, the whole month taking on an aura of eeriness in anticipation for the holiday.

    Now her excitement could only grow with the knowledge that a circus was coming to town. If it's flyer was anything to go by, it would also prove to be more then a 'fun for all ages' activity; it could bring some adventure to their dull little town. Finally, something to do. How the flyers mysteriously ended up with both her and Seth did arouse slight suspicion however. Then again she wasn't one to dwell too long on things, leaving that to her black haired counterpart and preferring to dive straight in, whatever the situation may be.

    Blue eyes traveled down to her outfit. Sure, Deadpool shorts and a tank top weren't bad for sleepwear, but she should probably throw on some jeans to be safe. The Marvel themed PJs were probably just another reason her and Seth were such great friends, both enjoyed things others thought of as 'childish' or 'geeky'. Shutting the window, she swiveled back to her room.

    Freshly dressed and hair thrown into a messy pony tail, Riley headed down her stares and into the kitchen. Grabbing her black and white cat off the counter with a firm 'No Casper', she started a pot of coffee and grabbed a bowl of fruit loops. Sliding onto one of the breakfast bar's seats with her breakfast, she looked over the odd flyer again as she waited for Seth.

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  5. Cell phone, smokes, wallet and house key, check. All tucked into the pockets of faded-black Levi 501s. A leather belt, with an over-sized novelty buckle reading ‘Megadeth’, in honor of his favorite band, held them in place over his narrow hips. People were always telling Seth he should eat more, and the thing they didn’t know is that he did, it was just an ultra high metabolism that kept him looking like a starving skeleton. After his ritual ‘before leaving the house pocket check’ Seth threw a black and red zip up hoody over a plain white shirt and headed out the door.

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg Outside it was a typical fall morning, cold with clear skies, the hint of burning wood drifting through the air. He walked to the end of his street and made his way across an abandoned field. An easily hopped fence and near collision with the ground later, and Seth was smack dab in the middle of down town Gale. A quick look at Gale main, the main drag that connected the south and north ends of town, and the anxiety came rushing back. The streets were empty. No cars parked on the sides of the road, no Saturday morning crowds standing in line at the local Starbucks, hell the Starbucks wasn't even freaking open. Seth cut a b line towards the coffee shop and looked in the window. Empty. Deserted as a school yard play ground in mid July. He took a step back and reached into his pocket for a smoke when he saw it. His jaw dropped open.

    In the window of the Starbucks was the same mysterious Flyer, but this one was large, the size of a poster. The thick crimson lettering ‘Last act circus’ stared down at him from behind the double-paned glass. Seth wasn't sure, but it was highly unlikely that a chain store such as Starbucks would allow advertisements like this on their windows. Then the realization hit him that the poster ad was inside the building, indicating that an employee or manager had put it up…before closing up shop and heading out for the weekend? No, it didn’t make sense, just like everything that had happened since he had woke up this morning, it didn’t make sense. The jolt of anxiety was back, and Seth was getting an eerie feeling, standing in front of the Starbucks. It was as if someone was watching him, but it was more than that, it was as if someone knew what he was thinking, was watching him from the inside.

    fuck this, Seth thought, I'm out of here.

    And without even lighting a cigarette, Seth took off, running, towards Riley’s.

    When he got to her house, out of breath, he bent down putting his hands over his knee caps. He hadn’t ran that long or hard in years. Without knocking he walked in and saw Riley at the kitchen counter.

    he gasped. Once he saw his friend, some of his fear left him, after all, being scared was one thing, freaking out everyone around you was another. "Morning, Casper" he said to Riley's cat, reaching down to scratch behind his ears. Seth sat down at the table, still partially out of breath, but doing much better.

    "So, you wanna go to the circus tonight?" Smiling wickedly at her, then adding as an after thought "I think we must have picked up these flyers from one of the vendors down town last night." Said Seth as a shiver went down his spine as he remembered what downtown looked like just a few minutes ago. He was acting a lot tougher than he felt. He put his own flyer on the table then added as an after thought.

    "Do you remember where we got these?"
  6. One pot of coffee later found Riley sitting cross legged on top her barstool, laptop sitting on the counter in front of her as she searched for anything even remotely related to the 'Final Act Circus'. There wasn't much.

    Quite honestly, there wasn't anything.

    She held her chin in her hand as her eyes gleaned over the page in mild frustration. She had to modify her search several times to exclude odd results, and then to only show actual happenings or reviews. The effect was less links, but still nothing to do with her topic. Right up until she ventured through another website- something to do with myths and urban legends- which told the story of a small journalist company that once printed a newspaper article telling of a small Circus. The company's building was burned down days later, everything but it's employees lost in the fire- the article quickly all but forgotten.

    Riley.jpg Frowning thoughtfully, Riley adjusted her position on the seat, interest suddenly caught. Luckily for her, the written piece in question seemed to have made it to the internet before it's untimely death. Even more fortunately, the website provided a link.

    Final Act Circus Comes To Bridleway

    The title was accompanied by a small picture of the happy town, a few of it's patron's smiling face staring at the camera. The article itself just seemed to be an overview of the Circus- how it was "fun for all ages!" and "An experience anyone could enjoy."; complete with a variety of 'freak shows' and 'amazing acts' guaranteed to wow audiences of any background. An icy chill ran down her spine as she looked at the town's name again.

    Bridleway.. Why did that sound so familiar?

    The swish of her door opening brought her out of her musings, and she let a soft smile form when she recognized her friend's footsteps echoing down the hall.

    Turning back to her laptop, all ability to breath seemed to abandon her. The page displayed an error 404 message, claiming the article she was just reading had never existed. The message in itself probably didn't warrant any fear, but more, the way in which it appeared.

    Riley suddenly felt as if she was being watched.

    Her blue eyes snapped up to the entrance of her kitchen, attention diverted from the page as Seth entered. For a moment she just stared at her friend, taking in his panted breath with a sort of curious amusement and perhaps just a bit of concern.

    What happened to you?" She asked, stifling a giggle and letting his presence dissipate her fear. Sliding off her seat, she poured two cups of coffee, setting one down in front of Seth and leaning forward on the counter across from him. Her eyes lit up when he mentioned going to the circus, and this time she didn't bother hiding her wide grin. "Ah, you know me all too well!" Her eyes flickered over to her own flyer as he set his down, picking it up and pursing her lips.

    Probably.." She reasoned as he debated where they got it from, flipping the paper over in her hands. "Maybe we could go back there and ask them where this thing is suppose to be.. they don't seem to have any dire-" Oh. Printed on the back page in a way Riley was positive hadn't been there a few moments ago, sat a map.

    Fitted with directions.

    That led straight from her house.

  7. About the time Seth crossed the threshold into Riley’s home, the Final act circus was in full swing and all the amenities were present. Mid-way games, featuring but not limited to, spin to win, balloon pop, that impossible to win water gun game and everyones favorite ring toss. Across from the mid-way were the concession stands. Deep fried goodness of all varieties, cotton candy cones slightly larger than a bowling ball, turkey legs, smoked of course, and all the other foods made famous by county fairs across the country. And what would a circus be without a big top? Standing in the middle of everything, like a beacon visible from space, was the main tent; A huge red and white striped structure that surly took more than a single night to erect. And yet less than twenty four hours ago it was an abandoned lot.

    From a passing glance all would appear normal, but something was off. Something was way off.

    There were no excited voices. No cheering. No children laughing. No music. Only the gentle hum of an early fall breezed discreetly accompanied by a light chime from a classic carnival type organ.

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg "What happened to you?"

    Seth silently debated telling Riley about how main street had been a ghost town, about how he got the feeling of being watched, but again held his tongue.

    Sipping coffee averting her eyes “Just felt like running.” An uncomfortable laugh.

    "Maybe we could go back there and ask them where this thing is suppose to be.. they don't seem to have any dire-"

    Seth followed her eyes to the flyer, one identical to the one that was folded in the back pocket of his levi jeans. There was a map drawn on it, but Seth was positive the backside was blank. He stood, reaching into his own pocket, pulling out the folded flyer. On the back was an identical map. The chills again gripped him. He could hold his tongue no more.

    “Look, Riley. I don’t whats going on, but this shit isn’t right.” He took a seat next to her, scratching the back of his neck as he spoke.

    “When I was downtown, no one else was there. I mean no one. It was like a freakin’ cemetery, for reals. And I got this weird feeling like I was being watched. And honestly, I can’t remember where the hell I got this flyer, I mean, can you? Something is going on with this circus.”

    He glanced again at the map.

    “And now this……”

    “Ri, we gotta check this out.”

    Outside the sun had begun it’s slow but steady climb to the peak of the sky, but it did little to warm the earth.
  8. “Ri, we gotta check this out.”

    A trip to the circus didn't seem like such a fun option anymore. In a sort of ironic sense, Riley was reminded of all the Twilight Zone episodes they watched together when they were younger. Curled up on whose ever couch was available at the time with as many snacks as they could find and the original first three seasons of the show at their disposal. At the time, she was happy enough to poke fun at them. Never believing something like that could become a reality meant there was nothing to be afraid of. Now though..

    Riley_zpsf4906b77.jpg She hesitated, not at all liking were this was going. Now that he mentioned it, she had no idea where they'd gotten the flyers. It just seemed to.. appear in her jacket pocket this morning. What had they done yesterday? Saw a movie, stopped at Starbucks, and hung out at the park to stargaze for a bit. Nothing really deviating from the usual Friday schedule, considering neither of them had classes that day. She gave him an uneasy smile, accompanied by an apologetic shrug.

    "Don't suppose someone sneaked into our houses, bypassing our respective family members, all in the dead of night just to give us a flyer..?" If nothing else, at least the Circus had a great advertising technique.

    The joke did little to calm her frayed nerves. She defaulted to taking a sip of her coffee.

    Riley frowned, remembering something else Seth had mentioned. "
    There's really no one downtown? That's.. There's always people downtown. Even this early." It was one of her favorite things about their small town. No matter what time of the day it was, some one would always be doing something. Saturday mornings usually found Mr. Springer- the town's resident baker and owner of Half Baked- up before dawn, baking fresh bread and pastries alike; the wondrous smell traveling down the streets for the whole community to enjoy.

    Seth was right. Something was most definitely off about this Circus.

    Taking a breath, she nodded slowly. "
    Yea, suppose we should go down there." She hesitated a moment, blue eyes traveling down to her coffee mug. Should she tell him about the computer search? There really wasn't a reason not to.

    I was attempting to research this Circus when you came," The blonde motioned over to her laptop, "And.. I don't know maybe it's nothing.." She sighed, brushing a hand through her hair. Then again, what if it was something? Biting her lip, she finally met her friends gaze, blurting out her findings. "There's nothing on them Seth. I mean nothing. No newspaper articles, or advertisements, not even a shout out in a blog! It's like.. It's like they don't even exist."

    Under normal circumstances, she would have marked all these abnormalities down as just random occurrences and coincidences, but this was different. This felt different. And while Riley may be a skeptic, she wasn't stupid. Her eyebrows knitted together as another thought occurred to her. If both her and Seth had a flyer then..

    "Do you think anyone else in town woke up to a mysterious flyer this morning?"
  9. "Don't suppose someone sneaked into our houses, bypassing our respective family members, all in the dead of night just to give us a flyer..?"

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg It was unlikely, but what IF? Seth made a ‘who knows’ shrug and sipped at the coffee he had procured for himself. He was never much for coffee, but he liked caffeine enough to tolerate the taste. The thought had briefly ran through his mind that someone did sneak into his house at night and stuff the flyer into his jeans pocket, but that was crazy. Wasn’t it?

    "There's really no one downtown? That's.. There's always people downtown. Even this early."
    “Yeah, I’m tellin’ you. It’s deader than a cemetery down there. I got chills just being there. It was like everyone just up and left.”

    Seth visualized the scene in his mind as Riley spoke, telling him that there was nothing about the circus on the internet. Just like downtown had been abandoned, this Final act circus seemed to be nothing more than a apparition. A fog that some how blurred reality and took all the people in town with it. Seth shook his head, inwardly telling himself that he was freaking out over nothing.

    "Do you think anyone else in town woke up to a mysterious flyer this morning?"

    Seth looked at his friend, his number one confident, the person he shared most of his deepest secrets with and would do nearly anything for, gravely.

    “I think they are at the Circus right now….”

    He felt the anxiety that had been bubbling in his stomach pop into silvery shards of panic that lit up his senses. He was all too aware of the fact that they were the only two people he had seen since waking up this morning. His mom, who would have been just getting home from a graveyard shift at the factory, was no where to be seen. He over looked that at the time, thinking she might have stopped for something on her way home. But his father, Who never slept past 8, and who religiously had MSNBC blaring on the TV when Seth would walk up in the morning, was also absent. Seth walked towards the window, lifting the slatted blinds and peering out. Dead, abandoned.

    “Riley have you seen your parents today? Or anyone at all for that matter?” He walked back towards his blond friend “I think the sooner we get going the sooner we’ll figure out whats going on…”
  10. “I think they are at the Circus right now….”

    Riley did not like the ominous feeling she got as Seth said those words, a icy chill running down her spine. In a strange way, she knew it was true. Even now she could feel the Circus calling to her, beckoning for her to come join them. She had managed to View attachment 16489 ignore it at first, shrugging it off with the excuse of exhaustion and October eeriness. The feeling had only grown stronger once they pulled the flyers out. Some how, she didn't doubt the rest of the town had felt it too.

    Riley.jpg It didn't feel natural. It didn't feel human.

    “Riley have you seen your parents today? Or anyone at all for that matter?”

    Seth's voice brought her out of her thoughts, and she frowned in thought for a moment. Her dad had left before she had woken up, which wasn't uncommon for the hour of the day; her mother, however.. The blonde had just assumed she had left to pick up some groceries, a usual scheduled for her considering she was the very definition of a morning person, both her parents were actually. Sadly this trait did not carry on.

    But if what her friend said was true, and down town really was deserted, then where could she be? It wasn't at all like either of her parents to skip out on their daily routines- and especially not to visit a circus. They were much more the prim and proper type. Workaholic, no-nonsense, prim and proper types that definitely did not go to the circus.

    No.." Riley admitted with a sigh, worry etched into her features as she stared down into her coffee. It was one thing when the place just held an air of mystery to it, but taking family members made it all to personal. All too real.

    “I think the sooner we get going the sooner we’ll figure out whats going on…”

    Downing the rest of her coffee in a quick gulp, the girl straightened from off the counter and turned to Seth with a look of utter
    determination. No matter how creepy this place might be, it was only the circus. Just another mystery to solve, on just another thrilling October day. They would be fine.

    Let's go."
  11. Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg Outside, the sun had begun it’s westward decent from the horizon as twinkles of frost melted on the neatly trimmed lawns that sat in front of each house on Riley’s street. Gold, brown and orange clumps littered the side walks as trees shed their summer coats. Although a northern breeze had picked up, bringing with it a deep chill from Canada, it was not at all an unpleasant day.

    The two friends walked down the street, cut across town heading west, and ended up at the south end of main street.

    Seth took a second and stared down Gale main. Holy hell, he thought, it really IS deserted. This time he knew he wasn’t dreaming as Riley stood next to him. He gave her a strained look, as if to say, this can’t be real, then grabbed her gently by the arm.

    “Let’s keep going. This shit is off the hook, and I’ll bet both our parents are at the Circus…along with the rest of the town, apparently.”

    Another quarter mile or so and something came into view. The structure stood about 50 feet high. It was a red and white striped dome, but not a pleasant red and white like a barber shop pole. It was more like dried blood on old canvass sheets. The peak of the dome, or “big top”, was flared out and had a series of sharpened wooden stakes that curved up towards the cold October sky. It was a monstrosity, pitted against the calm solitude that was Gale Wisconsin. A beacon of something yet to come, something foreign, not just to Gale, but to the world. Surrounding the Circus, a gothic looking iron-picket fence had been erected, where it met in the front of the entrance was a large archway and a plat-from where a man stood. An usher of sorts.

    Seth felt a shiver run down his spine as he reached out and involuntarily grabbed Riley’s hand. They were approaching the gates. The man on the plat form, under the archway, bowed deeply at their arrival.
  12. For a few moments, Riley could only stare. Mouth slightly agape as she took in the complete and utter emptiness of their small town. It wasn't that she hadn't believed Seth when he said the street was desolate, she just had never- could never have imagined it being this.. abandoned. Tugging her coat a little tighter against her person, the teen gave a shiver, though not because of the cool breeze rustling the leafs down the road. Nothing living stirred, no sounds of the birds chirping on the electrical lines, or squirrels chasing each other through the branches of trees. It was like a ghost town. No.

    It was a ghost town.

    Riley.jpg Admittedly, she jumps slightly when Seth's hand grabs her arm, wrenching her from her thoughts. She blinks owlishly at him, before it registers that he's saying something, and she manages to catch the gist. Keep going. Nodding, the teen swallows thickly. As much as she hates to say it, he's right.

    It's not long before they reach the ominous topic of all their bemusement this morning, an illustrious- and rather eery looking- Circus. It almost looked as if it was created with a sort of dark theme in mind, if the spiked fence and muted colors was anything to go by. A lengthy, and rather boney looking man stood just outside the entrance on top a platform. Upon seeing them, he gave a showman's bow, a glint of something Riley didn't at all like shinning in his eyes as he welcomed them.

    Ah, and our last patrons now do arrive. We have been expecting you, though no malicious reason we hope you do derive! Good to see you, please come on in! The main attraction is about to begin."

    His voice was smooth, honey-like actually. The type that any con-man would kill to have, and one she was sure had enticed many before them. To her, it only brought an icy chill through her insides, clawing at her stomach in a way that assured her this man was not someone to trust. Taking a deep breath, she scolded herself for such thoughts. It was probably just paranoia, all of it. Gale was always searching for new forms of entertainment, so it wouldn't be so far off base to think they'd flock to a Circus.

    Yet a small voice reminded her that her parents were also missing, and they weren't the type to enjoy 'fun', let alone travel to a Circus. It reminded her how most of the Gale community wouldn't just shrug off their duties to take a trip to something as taboo as the Circus; in the towns mind at least. That small voice also talked of the mysterious flyers this morning- and what of that disappearing article? That small voice was saying a lot of things, and the teen promptly ignored them all. Paranoia, that's all it was.

    Still, Riley wouldn't deny the feeling of relief that flooded her as Seth's hand slipped into her own.
  13. Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg The was no awkwardness, at least on Seth's part, in holding Riley's hand. It was just an act of friendship, also from being on edge and frightened, but still, in the back of his mind, he couldn't help but wonder if they're friendship would ever be something more. Fighting off a light blush in his cheeks, he quickly thought about baseball. He hated baseball, and it was the perfect mood killer.

    As they walked through the gates, past the creepy usher, and into the mid-way of the Final act circus, the faint sound of an ancient organ could be herd. It wasn't a cheery sound, by any means. It was low and churning, like someone had taken the sound and played it in the fog on a dark stormy night. However, the mood wasn't all dark, concession stands operating, with the sun shinning and…people!

    "Look! There are people here, and they are from Gale!"

    Seth could feel the chains around his stomach loosen. FINALLY they would be able to ask someone what the hell was going on. Occupying various areas of the circus mid-way were citizens of Gale. Seth scanned the faces until he saw someone he recognized. Ray Miller, a checker at their local grocer, who was rather friendly and knew Seth's parents well.

    "Mr. Miller!" Seth yelled as the man turned around. He looked oddly vacant and although he usually always had a smile for Seth, today he just stared blankly. Seth pulled Riley with him towards Ray Miller, not taking a chance at being separated from her.

    "Mr. Miller, It's Seth. Have you seen my parents, or Riley's?"

    He looked at the teens, eyes unblinking and fixed.

    "Yes, we are all here. We all came for the Final act." And with that mysterious quote, he walked off in a daze.
  14. Whereas Seth seemed relieved at the mob of people, Riley could only feel a growing sense of dread. Something wasn't right. They were the missing towns people, that was for sure. The teen recognized almost every face her gaze passed- friends, relatives, associates, acquaintances; all of them loyal residents. Yet there was something.. off about them. Their eyes were transfixed on nothing, glazed over in a distant look. She had seen that look before- in movies and tv shows, her minds eye when she read a particularity engrossing novel. It was the same look one who wasn't 'all there' wore.

    It was the look of a zombie.

    Riley.jpg Then Seth was suddenly pulling her along, out of her own darkening thoughts and towards someone she instantly recognized as their local grocer- Mr. Miller. He wore the same vacant stare as the others, same slightly agape mouth and glazed eyes. It scared Riley more then she was willing to admit. Shaking her head in frustration, she scolded herself. Scared of her own friends! How foolish could you get? She should be thankful that they finally found them. Yet..

    "Mr. Miller, It's Seth. Have you seen my parents, or Riley's?"

    She winced. Quite visibly. Side-stepping so she was partly covered by Seth, she tightened her grip on his hand. All she could think about was how wrong this whole situation seemed, her gut screaming at her to run, run, run! She wasn't one to over think things- preferring to just go with the flow, live and let live. Thus why she relied on gut feelings and intuition to warn her against things. In some ways, it was more useful then the ability to analyze everything in sight.

    Seth, maybe we should-" She started, uncertainty making her tone much quieter then usual. Very uncharacteristic for the blonde. Before she could voice her fear, Mr. Miller's gaze had slid onto them. Icy fear clawed at her stomach, unlike anything even the scariest of horror movies could instill.

    "Yes, we are all here. We all came for the Final act."

    And then he was walking away. Before either teen had the chance to process that, the old and slightly decrepit looking speakers sounded, the usher's voice sounding over them. Something about how everyone should now report to the main tent, coming up next is the main event. Riley barely heard it, attention grabbed instead by the mob of their town's people moving as one towards the Big Top.
  15. report to the main tent, coming up next is the main event

    Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg Like sheep following a Shepherd's bell.

    Seth had time to briefly flash back on that story his Grandma had read him as a kid, the pied piper who led rats through the streets; the circus folk were like mindless minions called to attention by there masters voice. Seth took immediate note to the way they walked. It was kind of a shuffling, labored walk. Hands cemented to their sides, or held awkwardly in front of their bodies. It looked to Seth like pictures he had seen of shell shocked war veterans, or brain dead accident victims. The lights were on, no one was home.

    Seth Looked to Riley after Mr. Miller had left, off to walk the walk of the creepy towards the circus tent.

    "This isn't right, I have no more question in my mind that something is god-awfully wrong." He paused, looking towards the gates from which they had entered "I want to just run, steal a car, get the hell out of town, but I think we owe it to the people of Gale…It seems like we're the only ones left"

    There wasn't anything on earth that Seth wanted to do less than 'act' like one of them to get into the tent, but if they did not, whoever -or whatever- was doing this would pick them out in an instant.

    "I think we should follow these people to the big top, blending in with them wouldn't be a bad idea either."
  16. There seemed to be a sort of looming fog descending over the Circus. Not quite tangible enough to obscure the teen's vision, but thick enough to distort the sunlight, forcing broken strands to slip past and fall in odd places. It gave the entire place an added dose of spine-chilling potency. It was like nature itself knew this place wasn't right, as if the sunlight didn't dare enter its realm. Like this place was unnatural.

    Riley.jpg But what was so wrong with that? Riley's eye lids suddenly felt much heavier, a numb sleepiness fogging over her mind. So curious about the world. Why not just relax, stay for a while. Sleep. That sounded nice. Perhaps they could follow the others into the tent, surely there would be somewhere to stop and rest there. She would be safe- Seth was there after all, and she trusted him. He would protect her.

    "This isn't right, I have no more question in my mind that something is god-awfully wrong. I want to just run, steal a car, get the hell out of town, but I think we owe it to the people of Gale…It seems like we're the only ones left."

    Seth's voice cut through her stupor, yanking her back to reality. Riley flinched. For a moment, she could have sworn she heard someone calling her, the sickly sweet honey-like voice transfixing her. Running a hand through her blonde hair to try and quell her racing thoughts, Riley gave an uncertain nod. He was right, something was affecting their friends and family, and they were the only ones who could stop it. If the situation had been any different, she might have been able to laugh at how clique that sounded- ironic too, considering when it came to heroes, Riley doubted Seth and herself would be anyone's first choice. Still, something else bothered her about what he said. They were the only ones left.. How? Why weren't they the lumbering zombies the rest of the town had become?

    "I think we should follow these people to the big top, blending in with them wouldn't be a bad idea either."

    Riley's gaze switched over to him, a sort of hesitant gleam of humor in her eyes. "Yes, lets follow all the stupefied sheep right to the slaughter. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan." She deadpanned, smiling in spite of herself. "'least all those zombie movies we watched will finally pay off. Take that overbearing parents with an objection to all things fun." Despite her snarky attitude, she was rather curious about what they were keeping in there. Something told her it wouldn't be pleasant- not that they had much of a say in the matter. If they wanted to figure out what the hell was going on, the big top would be the obvious choice.
  17. Coral_Fang__by_lavostra.jpg Seth forced a smile at his friends sarcastic answer. Though Riley, as usual, was right. It was a bad idea. They should run. Get as far away as humanly possible. Sean only let himself linger on the thought for a moment before turning to follow the lumbering masses. It was apparent where they were all heading. Like a lingering nightmare perched in the center of the circus was the big top. It's gothic spires cast long fingers of shadow arose the dead winter ground. To Seth it was anything but inviting, and nothing like he remembered any circus he had ever seen.

    Just outside the entrance, where two solid walnut wood doors stood open, a man in a black cloak encouraged all to enter with an out stretched, nearly skeletal hand. The hood of his cloak was pulled tight around his head and neck, so that only the tip of his pale nose was visible. Seth wasn't even sure it was a man, but tall and skinny nonetheless. They walked past and into the big top, Seth held his breath for fear of being discovered. Once inside they were greeted by silence and dim candle light. It was a large room, filled with church pew like seating and a single lonely stage with crimson red curtains drawn. Seth found two unoccupied seats and took his next to Riley.

    Seth allowed himself to be scared now, because there was no turning back. Whatever was going to happen now was unavoidable. Seth wanted a cigarette, but the urgency of his need was stomped out by the fear of being discovered.
  18. Sliding into an open seat next to Seth, Riley gave an apprehensive look around them. Every eye was on the luscious blood red curtains flowing down at the front of the room, their gazes wide and intense as an excited buzz humming in the air around them. Not a single one seemed to notice Riley and Seth, nor did any of them seem to care. If the usher who had escorted them in observed the odd pair of teen- and Riley didn't see how he couldn't have- it must not have bothered him very much.
    That was probably cause for alarm.

    Perhaps they should have followed Seth's first gut instinct instead. At least then they wouldn't be crammed in a rather uncomfortable pew and stuffed in a very twilight zone-esque circus.

    And just with that, the candle's lighting their room went out, surrounding them all in an over looming darkness. Riley would have been lying if she said her hand hadn't grabbed at Seth's. In the next second, the blinding shine of spotlights assaulted them, swerving over the undaunted crowd in a way much akin to that of a real circus event.

    Laaaadies and Gentlemen! Boys and girls! Welcooome to the Final Act Circuuus!" The announcer's deep voice rang through several megaphones, meticulously placed to wash the charismatic sound over the audience. "We have a special treat for you tonight," Riley really didn't like how that part sounded, but apparently every one else in the crowd did.

    Their memorized gazes had been revitalized, the zoned out expression being replaced with vehement gazes and eager grins, brimming with anticipation. The quiet buzz of exci
    tement had slowly grown into an overwhelming chat, the townspeople hollering out in claps and whoops. The big top leader clearly was not one to disappoint, bursting out from behind the curtains with all the flourish only someone of his stature could manage. The cheering intensified, making the teen wince and scramble to shield her ears.

    With a flick of the grandmasters hand, the room went dead silent.

    But first! We're going to need a couple volunteers.." As one, each head swiveled around, their hawk like eyes turning on to Riley and Seth.