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Chapter Sixteen: Circus In the Park

It was nearing 2:45 in the afternoon at the Foxx house hold in Martin Illinois. There the seasons were of autumn as the leaves have turned colors of red, orange, brown and yellow, and have started to fall from the branches of the trees. School for Sierra and Trinity was still in session, and their Aunt Janice stayed busy at home doing chores and working on her latest writing project of a novel she dearly was dedicated in. Listening to her favorite pop artist Christina Aguilera, Janice dances to the beat as she is doing the dishes in her nice stainless steel kitchen. Minding her own business the doorbell rings.

Turning down the music Janice heads to the front door, “I wonder who that could be?”

Opening the front door Janice sees a man standing before her. The man was Caucasian, standing six foot four inches tall, with a skinny build, a long nose, and looks to be in his mid sixties. He had long white hair that covered the back of his neck, a pointy chin, and blue eyes. He wore a black top hat, a black and gold two tail jacket, with black pants with gold trim, and black boots. In his hand he held a ringleader’s cane with a skull on the top of it. The man stood there with a few shorter figures in which wore dark hooded cloaks covering their entire face and body.

Janice eyes the man and then the little hooded beings before, “Can I help you?”

“Is this the pleasant home of the Foxx family?” the man asks with a crooked smirk.

“Yes. What is this about?” Janice asks as she holds the door slightly closed peaking her head out.

“I am Valentine Kross, master of mystery and mystics. I own a small traveling circus near by and thought that I would offer you and your younglings a few tickets to my show. You see your name was drawn in a random drawing the other night and so I came to give you these.” the man holds out four circus tickets.

“A circus in town you say? My nieces would enjoy it for sure. Who may I ask put our names in such a drawing?” Janice asks.

“That I do not know my dear, but it seems your luck has turned for the better.” Kross grins.

“Yes I can see that.” Janice smiles. “When is the show?”

“There is one tonight. Come a little early and I will be glad to show your family a backstage tour. It would be my pleasure.” Kross tells Janice.

“Yes…I think I will do that.” Janice says looking at the tickets. “Um..but it seems you gave me four tickets. I only need three.”

“Oh…I was told you have three children with you. My mistake.” Kross nods as Janice hands one of the tickets back to him.

“Yeah only three of us.” Janice smiles.

“Very well. I assume I will see you around five o’clock than?” Kross asks.

“Yes. We will be there for sure.” Janice acknowledges and closes the door behind her.

A half hour passes and both Sierra and Trinity both enter the front door, return from another full day of learning at their school. Sierra was at the age of ten and had long blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy dimple cheeks, wearing a hot pink and black dress with fancy black boots. Trinity in the other hand was two years younger with brunette hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a sky blue dress with flowers, blue leggings, brown cowgirl boots, and a blue head hand holding her hair back out of her face. The two girls toss their backpacks on the couch and enters Aunt Janice’s study where she was busy typing away on her laptop working on her novel. Peaking over her reading glasses Janice looks up and smiles at the girls.

“Hey Aunt Janice.” Sierra walks over to her aunt’s side and looks at the laptop. “Working on your novel are you?”

“Yep, I think it is coming along very nicely.” Janice smiles, “Do I have a surprise for the two of you.”

“What is it Auntie J?” Trinity asks with excitement. “Are we getting a puppy?”

“No, but I have received these today.” Janice shows the circus tickets. “The ringmaster himself delivered them. He is giving us a full backstage tour.”

“I always wanted to go to the circus!” Trinity’s face glows with a large smile.

“Well now you get to see one.” Sierra smiles with a giggle. “I am sure it will be exciting to see. I remember my first time see a performance. It was neat.”

“Well we leave at 4:30 so we can arrive around five. The ringmaster wants us to be there then. So why don’t you two go get your homework done and we will head out in a bit.” Janice tells the two young girls.

“Okay Aunt Janice.” Sierra walks away out of the study.

“I can’t wait to see some elephants and monkeys!” Trinity skips out of the room with a huge smile on her face.
It was nearing five o’clock and Aunt Janice, Sierra and Trinity heads for Forest Park where the circus was all set up. Trinity’s eyes were so wide with amazement as she looks out her car window at the massive red and white striped tent with yellow flags. Once Aunt Janice parked the car, they got out and walked over to the center of the circus area. Looking around Sierra and Trinity saw many oddities of all kinds. But many of what they saw were much odder than the usual circus oddities that Sierra remembered. There of course was the medium woman with the crystal ball sitting in a small purple tent, but they also noticed humanoid beings that were kind of disturbing to see. If Sierra could compare them it would be of orcs or goblins she has seen on the Lord of the Ring’s trilogy. Actually they were very much like them, only dressed in colorful clothing meant for the circus. Colors of orange, yellow, greens, blues and reds. Many were dressed silly like clowns and jesters. They also saw what appeared to be an actual squid woman in which reminded Sierra of Ursula from the Little Mermaid, only this one was skinny with greenish grey skin, and was very pretty and sitting in a large pool of water. Near the squid lady was a giant rat man in a karate like robe of maroon who had his large clawed hands and feet wrapped in white bandages. It was not no normal circus of elephants, clowns and acrobats, that was for certain, but they were very excited to be there.

As they gazed around with their eyes, the old ringmaster approaches, he bows slightly, takes Janice’s hand and kisses it, “Greetings. Welcome to my circus.”

“Thanks so much for having us. It’s been forever since I have been to one, and the girls are very excited.” Janice blushes as she looks at the man.

“And these must be the lovely girls you were speaking of.” Kross smirks a grin at Sierra and Trinity.

“Sierra, Trinity this is Mister Kross. He is the ringmaster here.” Janice introduces Kross.

“Hello.” Sierra nods, “Odd is your circus. Where did you find them all?”
Kross chuckles, “Oh my, aren’t you an observant one. Well my dear Sierra I have traveled all across the world and found many of them as I travel. All alone and needing someone to give them a home.”

“That is so sweet of you Mr. Kross.” Janice smiles big at the man.

“Well Should we get started my dears? The show will be starting soon and I think we should show you around before hand.” Kross suggests.

“Lead the way. We will follow.” Janice tells Kross.

Kross with a large evil grin upon his face walks in front of Janice and the girls leading them towards one of the medium size green tents. As they enter, The first thing they noticed immediately were many cage wagon with different creatures inside. Although they were creatures, they were not of what Aunt Janice, or the girls would have expected. One creature was a very large snake with yellow eyes and fangs that had to stand up to fifteen feet tall at the most. The others were of hybid creatures in which seemed to be mixes of different animals, chimeras, manticores, and other hybrid creatures of the kind. Lastly they looked upon the largest of the beasts which was a mighty dragon that seemed to be sleeping all curled up. It was glimmering with maroon and orange scales, with ridge spikes down it’s back, long serpentine tail and neck and an long snout full of sharp teeth.

“Whoa! Is that a real dragon?” Trinity asks.

“It sure is my dear Trinity.” Kross grins.

“But dragons aren’t real.” Sierra comments.

“Sure they are. They are as real as you and me. They have just been dormant for so long in this world, many died off. Some would say your dinosaurs are types of dragons no?” Kross asks.
“Yeah I guess so.” Sierra sighs as she now felt off about the whole circus thing. Looking around she began to wonder who Kross was, and then remembered Damien’s letter she found on her window. “Oh my. I don’t think this circus is from here.” Sierra tells herself.

“This is very impressive Mr. Kross.” Janice grins.

“Thank you milady. I have put a lot of work in my business.” Kross states. “Perhaps you would like to see more?”

“Yes…I think I would love to see more.” Janice says. “Come on girls, Kross is going to show us more.”

Kross leads Janice and the girls out of the green tent and over to a row of trailers and wagons where he begins walking behind them. As Janice and the girls turn the corner and walked behind the trailers, they saw many of the orc and goblin creatures not dressed in bright colors but in their dark black gear of armor.

“Grab them!” Kross orders the orcs and goblins.

“No!” Sierra yells.

‘What is this Kross? What is the big idea?” Janice yells.

Immediately the grotesque humanoids surrounds Janice, Trinity and Sierra. Three of the goblins grabs Janice, as the other went for Trinity and Sierra. Acting fast, Sierra grabs a mallet and swings it at one of the orcs that came at her, The orc was immediately knocked out. Looking at Trinity she swings the mallet again and hits a few of the other goblins and orcs.

“Run Trinity! Run!” Sierra yells as she continues to swing around the mallet to keep the orc and goblins back from her and her sister.
“Get out of here girls! Go find the police!” Janice yells out. “Run girls! Run for help!”

The ringmaster stomps his cane upon the ground and a sudden cloth appears and ties itself around Janice’s mouth. “Quiet you.” He looks at the orcs and goblins, “Seize those children!”

With one more swing of the mallet, Sierra knocks one of the goblins to the ground. She then turns and begins to run. Running as fast as they could Sierra and Trinity flees out of the park and down the street where they turn down an alley. There they duck down behind a dumpster and waits, as several hooded orcs and goblins run by the alley. There they stayed for a few moments in silence hoping that the creatures would not find them. Slowly Sierra stands to her feet and walks towards the end of the alley.

“Careful Sierra.” Trinity calls out. “They could still be out there.”

“I have to check.” Sierra creeps up to the alleys entrance and peaks her head around the corner. “I think we are good. I don’t see them anywhere.”

“What do we do now?” Trinity asks as she slowly comes out from behind the dumpster.

“We find help.” Sierra tells Trinity.

“The police?” Trinity asks.

“No. They won’t know how to handle this. We have to find someone with magic. Someone who may know more about this guy and his circus.” Sierra tells Trinity.

“But who? We don’t know anyone like that. Wish Damien was here.” Trinity comments.

“Yeah, I wish he was here. He would know what to do.” Sierra agrees.

“Perhaps I may be of assistance.” says a small twittering of a bird.

Turning around Trinity and Sierra spots a robin sitting on the dumpster.

“Did you just say something?” Trinity asks.

“I sure did.” the robin answers. The bird suddenly flaps up into the air and it suddenly morphed from a robin into a man. The man was in his early thirties, standing around 6 feet tall, with an athletically build, and an Indian skin tone. He had a pointy nose, and brunette hair that slicks backwards, brown eyes, and wears a blue dew-rag on his head, a white and blue striped shirt, black knee length pants, and black boots. He wields a pirate’s scimitar sword. “I’m Bates. I am a friend of your brothers.”

“Have you been following us?” Sierra asks.

“I have. Thought I would hang around a bit after I dropped off that letter to you. Glad I did. Kross is not a kind man. He is a warlock of torture.” Bates comments.

“What do we do now? Our Aunt has been taken by that man.” Sierra asks.

“We head to Granderhill. I’ll make sure you two are safe first and then report what happened to your brother. I am sure he would want to know and would want to make a plan to find your aunt.” Bates tells Sierra.

“But how do we get to this Granderhill?” Sierra asks.

“Flight of course.” Bates grins, as Seamore appears and lands in the alley behind the dumpster.

Gazing at a griffon for the first time Sierra had a worried expression, as Trinity looked frighten of the large winged hybrid.

“Don’t fret little ones, “Seamore walks forward. “I am a friend. I am here to take you to the White Pearl where you will be safe from harm.”The gryphon lies down and smirks a grin, “Now climb aboard. We have a journey ahead of us. We must make haste.”

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BJ Swabb
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