Nights at the Circus – Donna Matthews

About 2a, amid the eerie quiet that falls on the land, sometime between midnight and dawn, a shadow creeps down the silent, dark midway.

Nights at the circus in this small country town is a big deal. Like, shut the post office down big deal. The kids unable to sit still for their final lessons are excused early as the teachers are just as eager for the first shows. The notices around town proclaim a new oddity on display this year. A woman who can tell the future! Old ladies call it blasphemous and of the devil but most cannot wait to meet the gypsy from the playbill.

Upon arriving, the line of town folk line up outside her tent, stretching beyond the Ferris wheel and slithering in between the other rides. Laughter, lights, and game bells keep the line company. Kids with sticky cotton candy fingers running in and through the line are grabbed up by parents as they near the fortune-telling entrance.

As the line progresses, time seems to slow down, the music slower, fewer kids, the rides moving as if on reduced power and the lights dimming until you can barely see your hand in front of your face. Finally, the last patron steps inside the tent and the circus comes to a complete stop. No more festive noise, no more running around, no more lights. Only a cool breeze, a few leaves and the shadow spreading along the midway ground.


Painting by Donna Matthews with a Let’s Make Art Tutorial

Donna Matthews started writing a couple of years ago when her children started leaving her nest. She enjoys writing poetry, prose, and short stories.  In addition to writing, she also loves to read, paint, take pictures, and explore the world on foot. She is passionate about helping others find their voice in both the writing and art communities.

Read more of Donna’s writing at DJ RANCH

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