Thursday, 19 September 2013

Death at the Circus



Roll up, Roll up.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Boys and Girls.
Roll up,
We bring you,
The circus,
The world’s great company of human freaks,
Acrobats and jugglers, a girl on trapeze, tightrope walkers and bearded ladies,
Musicians in top hats and clowns with unchanging grins,     
The strong man, the tall man, the lion tamer and me…
The ringmaster.

Now listen carefully and I’ll tell you a secret,
This show is not want you think.
For tonight one of you will die.
Right here in centre ring.
It could be you, but you won’t leave now, for as they say;
The show… must go on.
But that’s the attraction of the circus to the crowd. There is always the hope that something might go wrong.
You are all invited to run away and be one of the funny people.
I was a kid when I joined the circus.
But it's not like you think.
Every man gets the circus he deserves.
And all these years later I still always have a smile for high-flying peacocks.
So tonight one of you dies and the others will cheer, then go home.

To those who survive;
Just remember,
Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.
And tomorrow the local papers will read:
“A patron died in centre ring, the clowns all blamed the elephants but no one thought to call off the circus.”
Come again, folks. It really is the greatest show on earth.
Come again.

by B. Wheatley