"Fine, be a coward!" Cheshire yelled at Mason before walking away into the darkness. Chesire kicked a rock angrily and hissed in his cat-like way as he strode down the path towards the Mistress's tent. He had a feeling Mason was rather smart tonight in not going to see Mistress Nightshade with him at this time of night. But unfortunately, Cheshire couldn't wait till morning. He needed answers now, or he was afraid he wouldn't get them. For the past two years Cheshire had been here, he has never really asked questions as to how the circus functioned. Not until now anyways. Ever since the beginning of this month, December, strange things had been occurring. It all started when Cheshire mentioned to the Mistress he had been forgetting things. It was only simple things at first, like leaving his earring on the table next to his bed, or forgetting to pick up Mason at his tent on the way to dinner. But as the days had progressed, he was forgetting things that were were important. Like his past. Last week, he couldn't remember his parent's names. He couldn't even remember his last name some days now.
But forgetting things wasn't the only thing odd that was happening. A man named Anthony Dyson had shown up at the circus around the same time Cheshire had been forgetting things. Cheshire didn't think much of him, but it was odd considering he had never seen anyone come into the circus at random. Even if he showed up, people were disappearing. Cheshire wasn't close with anyone at Cyanide other than Mason, but that didn't mean he hadn't met the other masters. In the past two weeks, the Magic Master, Damion, and the Clowns Master Fergo had mysteriously disappeared. He wasn't sure why, but being Cheshire, he needed to know. He had been mustering up the courage for the past four hours, since before his show and after before he met up with Mason. He knew now that if he didn't ask her now, he would never ask her.
After about five more minutes of walking, Cheshire came to an abrupt halt in front a HUGE tent. It was bigger than his performance tent. He gulped down his fear and poked his head in. It was nicer on the outside than the inside. The outside was large and lavish. But, the inside was rather plain. Or at least from what he could see. He cleared his throat and said, "M-Mistress Nighshade? Are you p-present?" Cheshire waited for what felt like years before he decided that he would come back another time. He turned around, but before he could take a step, a cool hand was on his shoulder. This almost made him jump. As he turned, he saw her. His Ringmistress, in her usual Turquoise and Black dress, he black curls tied to both sides and her bangs covering her eyes. Like always. Something about her always took his breathe away, not in a love sense, but fear. She grinned at him and said,
"Cheshire darling, what a present surprise." She spoke in a cool tone, "What brings you hear at this hour?" She had added a bit more emphasis on the this hour part of her speech. Cheshire gulped,
"Well Mistress, I have s-some questions is a-all." Cheshire stuttered. Just as he had said that, the Mistress had seemed to have stiffened. As he body went ridged, she seem force the words out of her mouth,
"I'm sorry Cheshire I am very busy and don't have time for your silly questions. Now be gone with you!" She waved Cheshire away and he had no choice but to obey. He turned around a left the tent. When he turned back to see if she was standing there, he could have sworn he saw a yellowish tail with a light brown tuff at the end. Almost like a lion's tail. This worried Cheshire, and he broke out into a run back towards his tent where Mason was supposed to be. No one was supposed to be out at this time of night. Mason had stayed out to late once and he was tortured by the Mistress's minions. Cheshire knew he wouldn't have dared stay out again. Mason had also told him that he would be waiting at Cheshire's tent when he came back. But as Cheshire rounded to corner to his tent, he knew something was wrong. For when he opened got inside, Mason was not there.