The Circus-Fair

“Ay, Ay, Ay, please step right in, don’t be too loud, don’t spill your gin!” The conductor of the circus-fair said this with a grin.

His legs, his lips, his moustache thin. His tall hat pinstriped with a circular brim. Red and white like a peppermint, eyes dark not dim, eyes sharp and alive, and I do not trust them.

“Please step inside, ladies and germs, you all move faster than a bunch of dried worms” 

In we went, sheep into the pen, none of us strangers, none of us friends. Just a crowd of eyes and ears, bobbing heads, listening to what the conductor said. 

Somehow he was now sitting on a cow, the largest cow in this one cow town. The cow and the conductor both wore a frown, but the conductor’s frown quickly turned upside down. Not into a smile but a upside-down frown, which to many is a smile, but to me is a lie.

He was lying to us all as he cackled, “Welcome folks” and lying as he told us three straight jokes.

One about a prince whose trousers were tight, one about a king who couldn’t talk right, and one about a marriage that ended in surprise, I forget all the punchlines, but they were all still lies!

And when the show started, we gasped and cheered, we spilled our gin and even our beer. Our feet soaked in alcohol, our brains not clear, we didn’t notice our bodies were filling with fear.

Because lights were out now, and the doors were locked, and the conductor of the circus-fair no longer talked. And wasn’t there a lion free out of his cage? And wasn’t there a mischief-monkey loose on the stage? And when the conductor had spoken was it with excitement or rage? 

10 minutes up, that's the end of the page.


Montreal, QC, Canada