2017 -THE SHOW
A fine line exists between a performer’s need for the crowd and his hatred of their desperate fascination with his oddity. Once that line is blurred…the roles of the performers and audience can be twisted.
Conrad had lead his troupe for over 30 years, but now America was done with the freaks, done with the spectacular, done with the show. Once, the crowd admired his circus of freaks, but that over time had turned to disgust. Soon that revulsion turned to fury and the troupe watched in horror as the big top and carnival grounds turned to ash.
Having lost all, and being left in total despair the troupe turned to Madame Anouska, the fortune teller, to guide them forward. She consulted her cards to find their way. Hereafter, the fate of the troupe was forever twisted. This was how Conrad and his family of freaks and performers found their way to the forest.
Something about the land and the deep well they drank from was a balm to every soul. The swordsman was magnificent, the clowns made people laugh until they cried, the ringmaster seemed to hypnotize the crowd with his voice and the freaks… the freaks were no longer pitied. They were worshiped and feared in equal measure. The crowds grew, eager to view this carnival of unimaginable oddities. Word spread from one small town to another, and people came in droves to see this bizarre show. No one believed it to be true. Things like that don’t really exist. It was all they had dreamed for, but the forest required a price.
One evening after an especially rousing performance by the clowns, Conrad and the others found a man outside laughing, laughing hysterically, unable to stop. His eyes pleaded with them for help. Conrad heard the voice in his head; he felt the hunger of the forest and knew this man had been chosen. He walked toward him and marked his forehead, then motioned his men to take the man to Madame Anouska.
Under her guidance, they fed him to the evening bonfire while the others watched in shocked silence. “Now we are in this together,” she thundered to the assembled. “We protect one another, and we reap the rewards as one.” The troupe roared with approval as he burned and the forest pierced through their ever-darkening souls. What Madame Anouska had seen in the cards was now upon them.
As the land continued to poison their souls, the required sacrifices weren't enough. The freaks became tired of the gleam of superiority in the eyes of those who paid to look upon their misfortune. With each new sacrifice their bond deepened and their horror receded. In truth, those chosen for sacrifice were the fortunate ones. Some unlucky patrons were tortured, mutilated, or dismembered so they could revel in the misfortune of being a freak for the troupe’s amusement.
Maybe you think I am just trying to scare you, as you step into this twisted forest. Perhaps I am just weaving a spine-tingling tale. The Troupe awaits. Will you be entertained or become the entertainment?