Mysteries At Sunset

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Ms. Parks Language Arts P1-2
A boy finds a cursed circus in a clearing in his woods, and he must break the curse to set his new found friends free.

Submitted: March 22, 2016

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Submitted: March 22, 2016

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Long ago if you asked me if I believed in magic, I would say no. I know I work at Disney, but I never believed in real magic myself. Of course I made everything magical for the children, but I always believed that was fake. If you asked me now, well my answer would be quite complicated. Basically I would say yes. But how I came to know, well that’s a story you will have to hang on for.

“Mr. Husk, we need to talk to you.”

Ugh. Why! Why Trinity?

“Daniel Husk?

“Yeah, what? I’ll be right there.” What could she possibly want now. It is time to go home.

“Hello, Mr. Husk. He is right back there.”

“Hey Trinity.” Who? Who is back there what is going on?

“Hello Daniel.” Agh! Woah who is that! What’s with the long white beard!

I am Rehginal. I have come to talk to you about what you said.” Wait, what did I say?

“Mr. Husk?”

“What? Oh sorry. Yes?”

“I understand that you are 18 years old. And that you don’t want to work here anymore.”

“Yep! You are correct.”

“Go home tonight and there will be something waiting for you.”

I went home and there was an empty, red and white, hard back book on my desk, with a note that said to “write it all down”. So, I laughed. I’m not an author. How could I write something? Then a cool breeze blew into the room, and flipped the paper out of my hand. When I bent down to pick it up it said something else. It said, “It doesn’t matter. Write it down.” Now that was pretty amazing, so yes I started writing it down. I read the finished product to myself later.

“Something amazing and magical happened to me. You might think i’m crazy if I told you magic was real, but I want you to give me a chance and read this story. First I want to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Daniel Evans. I am 18 years old and I have blond hair, blue eyes, and a lot of freckles. I work at Disney World, and before you get all riled up, I am talking about real magic, not just the kind everyone says Disney World gives. Anyway I love my job and I think it might have something to do with why this special thing happened to me. Well here I go.

I heard strange music from somewhere behind my huge, old, amazing farm house. I was going on a walk in my woods with my dog Fido, and we knew something was wrong right when we stepped foot into the forest. It was eerily quiet, which is very unusual, since there is always noise being made from everything. The leaves, insects, streams, creeks, and squirrels. But there was nothing. So we went to check out the largest stream in the forest, because you can always hear that. But it was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. I was about to walk around some more, when all the sudden I heard something behind me. Strange music. I quick turned around but only pine trees and dirt was there. I was starting to get a little more careful, and I turned around and the creek was back! But frozen? Something was surely wrong with my eyes. But no there wasn’t. It started to snow. Fast, hard. Soon the ground was covered, and I was shivering in my sweatshirt. Just then Fido started barking. His bark is low, and it scared me so bad I almost died. I seriously felt like I was dying. I turned around once again terrified of what I might find. There were footprints (big footprints) leading to…where exactly? That’s strange. There is no human here but me and I never went that way. And it just happened since the snow is fresh. So I would have heard it. Wouldn’t I? I followed the footprints warily. While I was investigating I found a red nose. Something a clown might wear. I picked it up and kept going. I soon came to a clearing, and I never dreamed that I would see what I saw.

A red and white circus tent, in the middle of a clearing in my woods! I had never seen that before in my life. It was a little scary, but I had to check it out. It sounded like a real circus. I crept up, being as careful as I possibly could. Now I know people say they are scared of clowns, but I think that is just not right. I’m not scared of clowns, I love them. Except for that night. I almost had a heart attack when a clown lunged out at me. He was dressed in every color, with big red shoes (no big red nose), and a wig. He looked nice enough though, so I stood up slowly. He held out his hand. I took it, and asked his name.

“Oh, I’m Bert. You?”

“I’m Daniel.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Daniel.”

“Hey you found my nose!” He took it and fixed it onto his face.  He invited me inside. We walked around to the front (I was at the back) and went inside the flap. It was amazing. The top was open a little and everything was sparkling in the moonlight. It was pretty big inside, but there were no seats. Dirt in the middle, packed with people and animals, and smelled of delicious food. Hmm, no seats was a little odd though I asked Bert. Just curious.

“Well Daniel, you will just have to talk to Oliver. Here he is now! Oliver!”

He walked over and introduced himself. He said he wasn’t really sure himself why their were no seats.

“More room, I guess. Anyway, welcome!”

He wanted to know the same things I did. How did I get here, and why have I come? I asked him what this place was.

“This is the Magical Magic Circus!” I snorted.

“Nice name.”

“Thanks!”  Oh. He wasn’t joking. He said that from what he can remember (which isn’t much), he has been here his whole life. That this circus meant a lot to him. He almost started crying, (little did I know he was just a good actor. He knew about his curse.) so I asked him if I could meet everyone.

“Yes! Come along.” I followed him down the aisle, or whatever it was. No seats remember?

“You may not be able to meet everyone but whoever meets you, you can meet.” Ohhh K. Thanks captain obvious. I snorted, and to cover it up, I saluted when he turned around. We continued.

After what felt like hours I had met almost everyone. Only three people left to meet. Oliver said they were all 18 like me, so I didn’t know what to expect. We couldn’t find them anywhere but when we did my heart almost stopped. There were two girls, and one boy. When we walked up, I probably looked really awkward. One of the girls had beautiful red hair, shockingly green eyes, and a lot of freckles. I soon learned her name was Piper. Beautiful name really. I don’t really care about the other two, but i’m sure you do, so I will tell you. The other girl’s name was Lea. She had brown hair, and brown eyes. The guy’s name I had to learn from Piper, because he wouldn’t talk to me. His name is Timmy. Piper said he wasn’t ever friendly to strangers, because they never meet new people. Just then I realized that I had to get home. I had stayed the whole night, and it was almost morning! I quickly said goodbye, and ran to the tent flap. I was almost outside when something shiny caught my eye. It was a glossy, polished crystal ball. I scooped it up, and almost fainted. Everything went fuzzy, for a few seconds, then I was totally fine. I put it down quickly and started towards the house with Fido. I looked back at the circus when I got back in the trees, but there was nothing there. I figured that I was still in a trance from that crystal ball, so I didn’t think much of it. The sun was up, so I walked home cheerfully.

***

I replayed the last night in my head. I remembered it so clearly, I knew I had to go back. It couldn’t have been a dream. I hiked into the woods with Fido, the same way I did yesterday. I could hear running water, the birds were chirping, and the leaves were rustling. Unlike yesterday there was sound. There was no circus music though. I could smell the spicy pine needles, that poked me when I walked by. And unfortunately I could taste them too, when my mouth was open as I strolled by.I came upon the big stream, and I could detect it clearly enough. I saw it rushing by, swirling around Fido’s feet, who had gotten in. I could see fish swimming by. I could feel the cool, fresh, water running off my hand. It seemed that all was well. The stream was there. It wasn’t frozen, and everything was making noise. I walked to the clearing, but there was nothing there. No red and white striped circus tent. No circus music. But there was something shiny down in the middle of the trees. I stepped down to examine it, and it was the crystal ball that I had seen last night. So it wasn’t a dream. I bent down to pick it up, but I got closer and remembered what happened last night. “Oh no way am I picking that up!” I ran away to go on a search for the circus, only to find an invisible barrier between me and the trees. I walked all the way around the large clearing and sure enough, it went all the way around. I was trapped.

Fido was sniffing around the crystal ball. The crystal ball was bluish and faded. It was cloudy and from what I knew from last night, surprisingly light. After a very long while, I crept up to it and thought, “I guess it won’t hurt once more.” I picked it up and I heard a “zip!”. I didn’t know what happened. I walked over to examine the tree line and before I knew it I was in the woods! The barrier was gone! Oh the sweet smelling pines, and pokey pine needles. The cool stream water running down my throat! Just then I remembered work. I was late. Very late! I ran out of the woods everything rushing by me. I jumped into my car and, sorry to say, went past the speed limit a little. Ok maybe a lot, but it was a dirt road. There was no one on it.

My work day was kind of boring. Nothing new, so I won’t tell you about it. When I got home it was dark out. I went to the woods just to see if the circus was possibly there. On my way, I saw something glowing in the trees. I moved through all the trees and saw that it was the crystal ball! I must have dropped it when I ran from the woods to get to work. I picked it up and walked down to the clearing. The circus was there! But everyone was in a frenzy. I ran down to the big red tent. Piper was standing to the side. I asked her what was going on.

“Oliver lost his “crystal ball” but no one believed him. He says it is what keeps the circus alive. He had to give a reward to whoever found it. Everyone heard that, and got to work looking for it.”

I showed her the crystal ball that I still had in my hand. The look on her face made me laugh. Her eyebrows shot up and her mouth opened wide.

“It’s real?” she asked.

“I guess. So yesterday morning, where were you guys?” She stiffened. I didn’t know what was going through her head at the time, but later I was told by a very trustworthy source, that she knew if she blew the circus’s “secret” she would be in terrible trouble.

“I guess… I don’t know. We never left. We were always here.” she said very quickly.

“Ok.” I wasn’t going to get anything out of her so I might as well not waste my time.

I walked away to give Oliver the crystal ball. I smelled burnt food. I had to think for a minute before I figured out that the vendors must have left their food to burn so they could look for the crystal ball. Eww. I found Oliver in the middle of the commotion and absentmindedly pulled out the crystal ball. All the sudden the tent shook, and I think I lost my hearing. Oliver jumped for joy and screamed with delight. I also lost my breath because he hugged me like I was getting squeezed by a hungry boa constrictor. Just then Timmy walked up. Timmy looked really upset. He stormed past me, and I suddenly got really cold. Everyone else patted me on the back and congratulated me. I wonder why Timmy was so rude. I get how he might have wanted the reward, but everyone else did too. I ran after Timmy, wanting to talk to him, but he was nowhere to be found. I went home sulking that night. I didn’t even say goodbye to anyone. On my way through the woods, I had an idea. I shot through the forest, back to the clearing.

“Hey, Oliver! You guys want to come over tonight? Play some games?” I asked. Piper stepped in.

“We can’t. All I can tell you is that we can’t leave here. The rest you must figure out on your own.” she said. Well ok.

“Alright. See you guys later.” I walked away pondering what Piper had just said. Can’t leave here? Figure it out on my own? Figure what out? Oliver caught up to me.

“On behalf of the circus,” I almost fell over. “ I’m giving you this crystal ball to thank you for returning it to us.”

“Oh, I don’t want that. Keep it.” I said.

“Take it” He shoved it into my hands and then something weird happened. The sun was coming up, and when the sunlight hit Oliver he… disappeared. I panicked, and ran back to the clearing. There was nothing there. My heart was in my throat, when I started to go in the clearing. I then realized, what happened last time I was in there when nothing, but the crystal ball was there. So I backed up. The circus… it disappears every morning. That’s what I had to figure out. I need to set them free! I was about to walk back home, when I saw something faint next to the clearing. I warily went up to it. It was Timmy! He was laying on his back with his eyes open and looking into the sky. I jostled him around and he looked at me with shaking breaths.

“Why,” I asked. “Why are you still here?” He just stared at me. Like I was a ghost and he could see right through me. “You,” I said. “ are about to disappear. The sun hasn’t hit you yet. That’s why you’re still here.”

He nodded. “I didn’t want to disappear from existence again, so I ran.”

“To hide from the light.” I finished his sentence. It seemed hard for him to talk. Almost as if he was dying.

“Yes.” he added. “Could you maybe help me? If the sunlight never hits me I will… I will die.”

“Of course.”  I answered dumbfounded. “Of course I’ll help you.” I started to drag him, while he half crawled to the clearing. Just before the sunlight hit him, he said,

“I’m sorry. For treating you poorly.” then he disappeared. And with him the crystal ball.

***

I don’t know if he went back to the circus, but it never came back. I met new people that appeared as co-workers one day that reminded me so much of them, but they couldn’t have been. They were real people. I hope to see them again. Just not in a cursed circus.

***

I remember the day I finished the book, and I was quite proud of myself. As the years went by I realized that it was friendship that saved the circus. Saving Timmy was the greatest decision I ever made. I discovered what happened to the circus ( I freed everyone) , and that those new people could be my friends, but I will never know. Regardless, I still can’t be around the word circus, without a sharp memory stinging my head. I add a bit to the ending of my story. I am now 62 years old, and I still work at Disney World only now I am the assistant manager. You might not remember, but earlier I mentioned I wanted to quit my job when I was younger. I stayed and look what it got me! A great life with a side of a great job.

I realize now, that I set the circus free, by saving Timmy. I don’t know if I have seen my friends (without a memory) at work, and I never will.  Like I said those people have no memory. I sometimes imagine being with them again, at the circus tent, but those few days are over. I know it was a nightmare every morning for them, to know that they will be zapped from existence. I guess they finally were for the last time. Hopefully forever.

 


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