Circus Parade – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s photo by Jennifer Pendergast shows an idyllic scene of a park bathed in sunshine, grass, flowers and a child playing hide-and-seek.
What can possibly go wrong?
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Jennifer Pendergast

Click here to hear me read this 60-second story:
Circus Parade

The circus is in town.
We take two very excited kids to see the parade.
Elephants, dancing horses, clowns in ramshackle cars, great trucks with big cats in cages, all trundling up Main Street.
We meet a friend, she also has two children.
The two women chat while I herd four squealing wriggling whirlwinds.
The three-year old stumbles, grazes a knee.
I try to pacify her, call my wife, but the crowd has moved around us.
The others dart through legs, disappear.
I lift her, push people aside.
I see a little leg, a giant wheel.
I hear the screams.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
This entry was posted in Sound Bite Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Circus Parade – Friday Fictioneers

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Oh no this is heart wrenching CE. Kids and puppies you can’t let them die or be horribly injured.😥

    Like

  2. Oh my…you’ve made me gasp!

    Like

  3. Damn you CE. Just damn you. Not even the charming brogue can redeem you from this one.

    Like

  4. Wow, this is fantastic! I love the way you have put this more into poetry style. Also great idea to record your voice! 🙂

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I call this style Sound Bite Fiction, short and snappy.
      Well that is the idea!
      Glad you like the reading, you can find more from my book in Current Story and Other Readings up at the top of the page.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting so charmingly.

      Like

  5. YIKES … my nightmare has come to life. This hapened while on my watch. My daughter and a friend were on a ride that went terribly wrong. She was left with an amputated leg. It was the ride not me but I felt horrible for years. PHEW … I’m better now. The nerves have settled.
    You do have a way of making a fun day into a very serious catastrophe. Well done …
    BTW … our circus – I live in the town where the ‘Ringling Borthers Barnum & Bailey’ circus resided for many years … anyway, they’re closing the circus. There will be no more circus. It will be a story that we will tell in the future to those who never experienced it.
    Have a great Sunday, CE.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Your story has me cringing, Isadora, because it is true.
      I am sorry to have taken you there.
      I have written circus stories before now, and I will again, I don’t doubt. But I expect you to create some too!
      Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • No problem, CE. Life isn’t always pretty. We just need to accept and move on. I think it’s called life. : )
        I hope I can come up with something one day. : )
        Have an incredibly wonderful week for of adventure and new journey’s.
        Isadora 😎

        Like

  6. subroto says:

    The ending is stomach churning, nicely done as usual.

    Like

  7. Oh what a terrifying moment. A parent’s worst nightmare.

    Like

  8. Circuses, fairgrounds – no place for kiddies. Well illustrated.

    Like

  9. You have a knack of conveying particularly gruesome circumstances without going into any detail whatsoever!

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      That, dear Clare, is because you have an imagination that can paint pictures I could never write.
      I just give you a tiny clue to start you off…

      Like

  10. rgayer55 says:

    As you say, “What could possibly go wrong?”
    Masterfully constructed as usual. I suspect the elephant had something to do with it.

    Like

  11. That’s a wheely sad story. Fun though!

    Click to read my 100 words!

    Like

  12. Rowena says:

    You can always turn a perfectly sunny day, joy and happiness into sadness, murder and atmospheric gloom. My son has been a runner and unfortunately it wasn’t round the track.
    What’s struck me is how everything can change, for better or worse, in a split second. We keep our eye out for the big disasters. Are concerned about terrorists. Yet, how often is it that a seemingly innocuous moment suddenly turns into heaven or hell?
    Very well written and much enjoyed as usual.
    xx Rowena

    Like

  13. HonieBriggs says:

    That’s a fine day gone to hell in a hurry. If anyone asks what’s not to love about a parade, you can sure tell ’em.

    Like

  14. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A gut wrenching end. The strength of the vivid imagery you used through the whole poem created a devastating impact at the end.

    Like

  15. Michael Wynn says:

    Very tense with a killer end that really jabs you in the stomach

    Like

  16. This is so sorry. As usual superbly well written, Ceayr.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My daughter used to run off like that. She got bitten by a Shetland pony tethered up behind a circus tent once. The circus people weren’t at all unsympathetic and said she needed keeping on a leash. They were probably right! I’m surprised she made it to adulthood with her escapades, but fortunately she did. Your story demonstrates so well how quickly a fun day can turn into a nightmare. It makes me think of the tragedy at Alton Towers in the UK, where a rollercoaster crash left five young people with life-changing injuries, two of them with amputations.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lynn Love says:

    I agree with the others – tense and terribly sad, a horror scenario. How often we don’t realise how perfect our lives are until the dreadful happens. Nice take, C

    Like

  19. Good God! “I hear screams”. I am not a parent but it’s making my lunch churn and my hair to stand. You wicked man, always wicked with your words!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Vaidehi Soni says:

    You turn fun places into horrific ones by just choreographing words. Gave me chills. Great story.

    Like

  21. Great build of tension.

    Like

  22. What could go wrong, indeed! How horrifying for all involved. Such stark imagery. I can see him pushing through the crowd, terrified… and finding an image that was probably worse than what he imagined.

    Like

  23. Scary take on today’s photo prompt. A parent’s nightmare to lose a child.

    Like

  24. Jade M. Wong says:

    Oh my goodness and here I was expecting a fun circus. Horrifically good tale!

    Like

  25. Sandra says:

    The stuff of nightmares. Seriously shocking.

    Like

  26. Rommy says:

    My children are older, but I still can so relate to the fear of losing them.

    Like

  27. Mandie Hines says:

    The moment you said, “What can possibly go wrong?” I knew we were in for some trouble. I’m going to go find some sunshine to try to melt these chills.

    Like

  28. Iain Kelly says:

    My worst nightmare – why do they insist on running off and always manage to find the most dangerous places? Also, never leave Dad in charge. Top quality as usual CE.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The stuff of nightmares! As a mother of four wriggling whirlwinds it send a chill down my spine and made me smile at the same time – well told!

    Like

  30. James says:

    That escalated quickly.

    Like

  31. jellico84 says:

    Didn’t see that one. Hit me right between the eyes. Good shot! Loved it!

    Like

  32. Tamal says:

    Ok, didn’t see that coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Dale says:

    Having searched for a son at a zoo… I am only too glad we found him in one piece and not in the mouth of a lion…

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Oh my, this rings so true. And I thought you would surprise is all by writing a sweet, sweet story. 😀 Horrifically good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Dear C.E.

    You do know how to take idyllic and turn it into mayhem. The frightening thing is that this scene feels all too real. Great description of little ones–squealing wriggling whirlwinds. I raised three of those. Good one.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  36. michael1148humphris says:

    Dangerous places circuses, if the tiger does not get you, the big top surely will. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  37. neilmacdon says:

    You’re a great one for finding a paradise and poisoning it. Loved it

    Liked by 1 person

Leave your Sound Bite here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s