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Have you ever been to a circus performance? If not, then you won't understand some of the trauma I've been through. First off, my name is Abercrombie Dalton, but you can call me Abe. This is heart-wrenching for me to try to recount this, but it's the only way I can get my story across.


It was the May of 2004. Me and my family were in Dallas, to celebrate Dad's 34th birthday. The day we arrived, the 25th, I noticed a large poster for something called a circus. I was turning 5 at the time and had no idea what a circus was. Mom explained it was a fun place, with clowns, acrobats and animals. It sounded like fun to them, so Dad announced that they would celebrate his birthday there, so I could experience the 'joy of the circus' he felt when he was my age.


Oh, if only it was joy I felt instead of gut-wrenching terror. I might as well try and describe the events I witnessed. The entrance way was a magnificent sight. An ornate metal sign with 'De-a-min's Happy Circus - where you'll never want to leave!' written in bright red paint on a white background. I stared at the strange name, and blank. For a second, the image warped. The sign was bent and rusty, the paint peeling away. A picture of a frowning devil covered in blood had spontaneously appeared. And the name, it changed to 'Demon's Hell Circus - YOU CAN'T RUN!' I rubbed my eyes and everything changed back to how I first saw it. "C'mon Abe, we'll miss the show if you don't hurry!" Dad's voice cut through the crowd. He was 30 feet in front of me. I bolted towards him, and crashed into a man wearing a devil costume. I apologized for the collision and continued ahead. I could have sworn I heard him say, in a gruff voice: "It's okay kid. After all, you'll be staying here forever!" I shrugged it off, saying I was hearing things. I caught up with Dad, who told me Mom was buying tickets for the three of us. She appeared about 3 seconds after he said that. "Speak of the devil." Dad muttered as Mom handed us our tickets. When we entered the line to get in, I noticed no one exiting the tent. "Mommy, why is no one leaving?" I asked curiously.


Mom shrugged. "I don't know, honey. Maybe the slogan's true. Maybe they just don't want to leave." About 20 minutes later, we reached the front of the line. Another man in a devil suit, like the man I ran into earlier, asked for our tickets. We handed them over. Before entering the big top, I said to the ticket collector: "Nice costume." "What costume?" was his reply. This scared me a little, but I ignored it, assuming it was a joke. When I entered the tent, I felt my jaw slacken and my stomach tighten. The stench of death hung in the air. Corpses littered the stands. I couldn't take a step without touching one. My parents were sitting in the front row. Mom ushered me over, the show having apparently already started. I sat down next to Dad. My seat felt sticky. Dad said it was probably cola from someone who sat there before me. But the sticky seat and corpses were only second banana compared to the show.


The current act was a tightrope walker. One of my friends did this for fun and knew how difficult it was to do it unassisted. However, what she did still astounds me today. Halfway across, she jumped off of the wire, and crashed to the ground, her head tearing off on impact. Everyone gasped, except for me and Dad, opting to hurl our guts out instead. But amazingly, her 'corpse' just grabbed her head and put it on her body, then walked offstage like nothing had happened. Everyone stared, then applauded. Next was a magician. I still love magicians to this day, although I questioned my love for them after what this one pulled. It was a simple 'sawing a woman in half' trick, with him choosing Mom to be the volunteer. However, after the magician started to 'saw her in half', Mom started to scream in agony. As he went further down, blood started to pour out onto the main ring. Mom's eyes paled as she started to succumb to the blood loss. She died in the box. Once again, me and Dad started to literally puke our stomachs out for a good minute. When we eventually stopped, the magician darkly stated: "And now for the grand finale: taking the souls of everyone watching and taking them to HELL! So, who's first?"


I stared, horrified, as the magician's body started to bulge. He grew larger and larger, larger than the center ring. Horns spouted from his - no, ITS - head, and wings from its back. The magician had transformed into the Devil himself. Dad got my signal of fear and we both got up and started to run. But fate decided to be cruel to Dad, as he tripped over a mere 2 feet from the exit. Some sort of tentacle wrapped itself around Dad's ankles and pull him back in. I turned around just in time to see the devil suck the life out of Dad, and discard of his corpse like it was nothing but trash. I bolted outside as the first screams erupted. Devil men chased me as I continued to make my escape, but I didn't get caught by them. As I fled towards the hotel and out the entrance gate, I turned around and watched as the whole circus was pulled into a hole. I didn't know where it leads. Maybe to Hell, maybe to the moon, but what I did know is that I'm never going to a circus anytime again.


So that's it. The story of how I escaped a hellish circus and became an orphan. I have one warning, so read this well. If you ever see a poster for De-a-min's Happy Circus and if you've got tickets, tear them into ribbons. That way, you will dodge the fate of my parents.

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