Jimmy, The Glue Factory and Mad Mr Viscous

Mad Mr Viscous, the owner of a glue factory, is hell-bent on making his fortune from selling glue made from his secret ingredient - horse. Determined to stop him, Jimmy, and his best friend Eric, set off on a fantastic adventure; discovering a world of witches, warlocks and animalistics that up until then they had no idea even existed.


4. The Circus of Grotesques (it will change your life forever)

The Circus of Grotesques was in no way your usual, run of the mill type of circus. No. It was more akin to an exhibition than a circus. To Jimmy and Eric, however, as they sat in their seats, waiting patiently for the performance to begin, it was already everything they had imagined – and then some. Looking around the huge marquee, at all the people who were also waiting patiently for the show to begin, the boys could hardly contain their excitement. The air was alive – electric with anticipation. 
“Eric,” said Jimmy. “Look!” He pointed to an opening to the rear of the circus ring. “I think someone’s coming!” Moreover, he was right; in the shadows, someone was moving.
Then they saw him; they saw the ringmaster, a small, rotund individual, wearing a garishly coloured tailed jacket, an even gaudier pair of trousers and the biggest top hat they had ever seen. Making his way out, he smiled and waved at the audience.
“It’s the ringmaster! “Eric yelled, so excited he was, poking Jimmy hard in the ribs, trying to get his attention.
“Shush,” Jimmy chided. “Take it easy, will you?”
 In silence, Eric watched, his eyes never leaving the ringmaster, as he made his way across to the centre of the ring. When he arrived there, cracking his whip, the ringmaster looked up at the audience. After what seemed like an eternity, he raised his hands high into the air, calling for quiet. The audience fell silent. He began speaking. “Ladies and geeentlemen,” he said, “Welcome to the Circus of Grotesques – perhaps the Greeeatest Show on Earth!” On hearing that, the audience erupted into applause so loud the boys’ eardrums actually hurt.
Raising his hands for a second time, the ringmaster beckoned for silence. “Thank you, thank you,” he said modestly. “I can see that you are looking forward to our little show.” Another round of applause almost as load as the first erupted across the huge marquee.
Scratching his chin, eyeballing the audience, the ringmaster said, “Can I take it that you – none of you – have ever before seen the show?”
No one answered. An eerie calm fell across the huge marquee.
“Scratching his chin, the ringmaster, making doubly sure that no one had seen the show, said, “Let me put it this way… Has anyone of you been to this circus before?”
No one spoke, no one said yes.
“Excellent!” he said, smiling capriciously, seemingly satisfied. “Let the performance begin!” Cracking his whip, the ringmaster signalled for the first act to come on.
From out of the shadows, a man and a boy, their heads lowered, made their way slowly, tentatively across to the centre of the ring. After whispering a few words into the man’s ear, the ringmaster departed the ring, disappearing into the shadows from whence he had come.
There was no applause this time, when the man and the boy entered the ring. Their plain, nondescript, low-key appearance left the audience far too unimpressed to offer any.
“What are they supposed to be?” a boy sitting close to Jimmy and Eric, shouted.
Another one (Jimmy presumed he was the brother), joining in with the first child’s rude behaviour, said, “Laurel and Hardy, by the look of them, HAH, HAH!”
From the circus ring below, the man, lifting his head, stared up at the rude children. When they saw them, his eyes, his piercing red eyes, the rude boys became decidedly uncomfortable. “Mum, tell him to stop,” said the first boy, squirming in his seat.
“Yeh, mum, tell him to stop,” the second one implored, tugging at her coat sleeve.
The mother said nothing, not a word, because she too was feeling decidedly uncomfortable by the piercing red eyes. She tried to ignore them, but it was impossible, for his eyes kept drawing hers, to his.
“What’s happening?” Eric asked.
Shrugging, Jimmy replied, “Dunno – but whatever it is, it’s good!”
Speaking, slowly deliberately to the boy accompanying him, the man with the piercing red eyes, pointed to the rude boys, above. Having listened to his words, the boy, his accomplice, began to make his way up the steps, towards the bad mannered children.
As he climbed ever higher, there were gasps of shock and horror from the audience as his full, true appearance became manifest. You see, this boy, this child was so incredibly white; in truth he had all the appearance of a corpse.
Whimpering, watching the corpse-child getting closer and closer, the rude boys begged their mother to stop him. What could she do, short of shouting, telling him to leave them be, that they were there for the show, not for a scaring?
As if he heard her very thoughts, the man standing below said, “I thought that was what you came here for – a fright?”
Whimpering almost as much as her unruly children were doing, the woman said, “No! Not this!” With that, she whisked her two boys down the steps, past the corpse-child, and out of the marquee.
Seeing this everybody was stunned, nobody dared look at the corpse-child again. In silence, the corpse-child returned to the circus ring, to the plain looking man, apart from his piercing red eyes, that is. Then, without as much as a by your leave, man and boy exited the circus ring, disappearing once again into the shadows. 
“WOW! WOW!” said Jimmy, ecstatic with excitement, “That’s what I call spooky!”
Eric, getting goosepimply all over, wishing he had stuck to his guns, when he said that he was having second thoughts about going to the circus, made no reply.
 “That was really good!” Jimmy continued, oblivious to how his best friend was feeling.  “It was really, really good!”
The audience offered the man and child no applause when they left; what they had seen had scared them far too much do chance doing that. 
Thirteen other acts, performances, followed the man and corpse-child, all of them appearing from deep within the shadows, all personally introduced by the ringmaster, and all of them as strange and bizarre as the first. After each act had finished, having frightened, scared, sickened, tormented or tortured the hapless audience, they too returned to the shadows from which they had come.    
Finally, the ringmaster returned for the last time. Cracking his whip, he said, “Ladies and geeentlemen…” The audience, exploding into spontaneous, rapturous applause, cheered and shouted their approval. Eric and Jimmy’s eardrums ached all over again.
Raising his hands, the ringmaster called for calm. “Ladies and geeentlemen,” he said, “I am so happy to see that you have enjoyed our little show. The Circus of Grotesques – Perhaps the Greeeatest Show on Earth?” Applauding like mad, everyone in the audience stood up on their seats, cheering wholeheartedly for the show they had seen, the scariest circus in the world, as the fat, little man exited the ring for the last time.




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