The 9/11 Circus

A short story I wrote about 9/11, told in the style you would describe a circus.

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1. The 9/11 Circus

Do you see me? 
The tightrope walker trying to keep his balance
Trying not to teeter off the edge.
My pole of balance is leaning to the left, off the sheer drop side of the rope.

The fire-eaters fire produces smoke, making an eclipse.
The white shirt behind the black cloud.
I cannot see the crowd of the spectating audience, standing in their invisible seats.
They didn't buy tickets, but there weren't any on sale. It was a public event, for all to see.

The weightlifting man - or shifting in this case - opens the blocked door behind me. 
"Come through here, you're going to fall!" 
Me and my clown feet, I can't get past the obstacles in my way.
This isn't a good show today.

The crowd beneath are waiting, holding their breath.
There is a bar, in the corner.
If I can jump to it, I can pull myself to the weightlifter.
He's struggling with his weight on the floor, he could fall too.

I jump for the bar.
I manage to hold on.
I juggle with my weight.
Shouts and screams are heard from the tense audience. 

They worry about my trapeze act. 
I try to swing to the platform, and the weightlifter can grab my ankles, and swing me to him.
It fails.
The floor collapses beneath me.

My muscles scream for me to release my hold on the bar.
I obeyed my ringmaster.
The fall was unplanned, I didn't rehearse this, but I should have.
But being the tumbler that I am, I continued with my fall, as the show must go on.

The circus ring was not so much a circle,
More of an oval.
As the two towers, or beams as the boss told us,
Occupied  a lot of the space. 

The crowd gathered round,
Now their show is ruined
Because I fell
And now I am damaged, not able to perform again.

The crowd demanded an explanation.
They weren't given one,
So they just left the stalls,
Gossiping about the shocking show and performers that couldn't even perform their acts properly.

While I was just left there,
Until the people backstage,
Took me away.
And I became known as the falling acrobat of the worldwide tour of the disaster circus, with my new job as a tumbler. I wasn't any good at tightrope walking. I kept on falling.

We weren't hired, we just appeared when there was a show to do. We are always there.

 

 

 


 

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