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Suitable for 12+
The Circus - Part 1
My friends and I were standing outside the circus. It was nightfall and the wind was blowing through my hair and whistling menacingly in my ear, making me shiver. I pulled my jumper closer to my chest. It was cold and my hands and feet were numb with lack of warmth. I blew hot air onto them and walked on the spot. I desperately needed a fag. I thrust my hand in my jeans pocket and felt around, but my efforts were fruitless. I shoved my hand in the other pocket but my efforts were again in vain – there was only a crumpled, empty packet of ready salted crisps. Panicking, I spun around to face my “friends”, half of which I did not even know. “Anyone got a fag?” I asked hopefully. I watched optimistically as Rachel rifled in her pocket only to pull out an empty packet of matches. She shrugged and turned away. I sighed and then remembered the pack I had hidden in my bra. I carefully took it out and opened it. I grasped the end of a cigarette and pulled it out feeling the smooth paper under my fingers. I hurriedly lit it with my lighter and breathed in the smoke. It swirled around in my mouth and I instantly felt relieved and happy. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I swivelled round and exhaled the smoke in a steamy cloud.
“What?” I said, angry that someone disturbed my moment of bliss. It was Rachel.
“We,” she said, a smirk on her face, “want you to go into the circus.”
I spluttered and coughed, throwing my fag on the ground. I stamped on it angrily, the stub still glowing slightly, and retorted;
“Why don’t you go in?”
Rachel looked surprised. I never turned down a dare. I was the rebel, the tomboy, the daredevil. I thrived on adrenaline and I was always looking for a new way to get a thrill. I turned my nose up at Rachel’s surprise, only to hear a faint whisper of “chicken” behind me. I whipped around and caught one of the gang sniggering. I sighed. I did not want to be a laughing stock.
“Fine,” I said, crossing my arms. “I’ll go in.” One of my true friends gave a little cheer, before stopping abruptly at Rachel’s gaze. I began walking towards the tall iron fence that surrounded the circus. I wrapped my hands around the freezing metal and slowly began to climb.
Eventually, I managed to jump down from the fence. My friends were standing there watching me, silently egging me on. I turned around uneasily, not sure whether to go through with it, but Rachel’s hard, smirking eyes pushed me forward.
I began to walk to the Big Top, my hands shaking under the sleeves of my jumper. I had never liked circuses. The clowns scared me with their exaggerated make-up; hiding their true emotions...you could never tell what a clown was thinking. I pushed my intense fear aside and quickened my pace. The air suddenly got colder. The wind blew more fiercely around me, whipping up the dirt path and swirling around my face. I spluttered and coughed, my throat hurting from the poisonous smoke I had been inhaling a few minutes ago. I kept walking. Soon I could see the Big Top looming in front of me, casting a shadow on the dark ground and luring me inside.