The Star of the Circus

Image of RRRadan


42 readings

0 vote


The stars were mere pinpricks of silver light dotting the dark canvas of the night sky. These ancient sentinels stood steadfast in their guard over the sleeping Earth, seeing all but rarely intervening in the fleeting lives of the mortals below who nearly all had stopped looking for their guidance in understanding wisdom and knowledge. But they were always listening and attuned to the raw emotions pouring forth from the beating hearts of men and desperate desires on the minds of the innocent as they confessed their wishes upon a falling star. Regardless of faith, creed or superstition, this primal act remains a final hope for those lost in the world. After all, even science states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form of energy to another. And on this night the desperate wish of a young boy alone at his bedroom window staring at the sky rose to the heavens where it intermixed with the primordial cosmic dust of creation and, catalyzed by the kinetic energy of interstellar collisions of wandering space debris, the realization of his desire became manifest.

"I wish to be alone no longer," pleaded the boy.
"And you will no longer be alone," the stars silently promised.

He was alone, as always, on another sleepless night staring into the darkness but only seeing the emptiness of his lonely mind. His father was working the night shift and his mother had long since passed out in exhaustion from her 12-hour day shift. Unlike the constant and dependable cycles of the stars, the cycles in this boy’s life were always upturned and uprooted, fluxing and grating against each other in disorienting discord. Before finally obtaining steady jobs and settling in their current country cottage, where the commute inhibited causal outside socialization, his life had been a blur of alternating jobs and locations transitioning too fast to develop an anchor to any person or place. Between resource constraints and allergy concerns, the possibility of a pet to fill the boy’s need for companionship went unheeded and he was forced to scavenge scraps of comfort from the natural landscape surrounding his home. But flowers quickly withered as the seasons changed, wild animals never truly lost their wariness, and nothing else he found in this place could fill the gaping need for friendship that pressed deeper on his heart each passing day. The ache flared again as the fire of the meteor reflected in his glistening eyes and his desperate wish crossed his mind.

"I wish to be alone no longer."

The boy’s eyes trailed the falling star as it raced across the sky and, without realizing it, so did his feet. He found himself propelled forth from the house, across the field and over the hill bordering their property as though he was searching for the elusive pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He felt a sense of warmth and safety knowing that the one constant in his life, the stars, were watching over his every move and guiding him forward with the light of their presence, urging him to follow the path the falling star took down into the neighboring valley. Upon cresting the hill, the boy looked down and was astonished as the meteor seemed to explode into a cacophony of sparkling lights illuminating and emanating from both outside and within a large peppermint striped tent. Their hypnotic dance beckoned him closer until he found himself slipping through the canvas flaps and into an what seemed like another world within a wonderful dream. In a daze from the sudden overstimulation of dazzling lights, unreal colors, incomprehensible movements and a palatable excitement of noise, the boy shuffled closer to the action before being caught up in the crowds and whisked into the stands.

A man in a black tailored coat and top hat introduced and commentated on the incredible feats which sent waves of awe through the mesmerized audience. Acrobats, jugglers and magicians boggled the mind, while clowns brought forth real laughter that hadn’t escaped from the boy in ages. Exotic animals did tricks alongside their handlers as lively music filled the tent and dancers in glittering, intricate costumes spun about the arena. Everything moved so fast, seemed so unreal, and the boy prayed to the stars that brought him here that this dream would never end. The excitement and wonder never faltered as the night wore on and, just when the boy thought it couldn’t get any better, the ringmaster requested a volunteer and he found himself no longer as an outside spectator but as key part of the show itself. He was the magician’s assistant, the elephant trainer, the trickster to the clowns...and it all felt so natural, so anchoring to be connected and accepted as a part of this chaotic embodiment of family. When the show inevitably came to an end and the cast came to bow as a group, the boy found himself in the center sporting a smile as bright as a sun lighting up the night, which was immortalized in a commemorative polaroid.

The boy woke the next morning with a smile on his face, the remnants of the best dream he’d had in as long as he can remember fresh on his mind. Flashes of an impressive show of talent linked to lingering feelings of belonging from participating in the acts with the circus family warmed his being. Sighing wistfully, he vowed to never forget this dream and hold it close to his heart every time he felt lonely. He began to pull off his pajama top when he saw something flutter to the floor out of the corner of his eye. Turning slowly his breath caught as looking up at him was a reflection of himself in the happiest moment of his life, when he had become the star of the circus and the center of their family. The moment his fingers touched the polaroid he was met with an intense rush of images, sounds and smells overpowering his senses as he came to the realization that last night wasn’t a dream. It was real; for one glorious night he hadn’t been alone.

Flipping the photo over he found contact information written in elegant script:

Nowhere and everywhere
That’s where we’ll be
Spreading hope and excitement as we please
When you need an escape or a new family
Call 1-163-836-7483
~Polaris Entertainment Enterprises

Over the next year, whenever loneliness overwhelmed the boy he would pull out the photo and relive that night once again in his memory. When his parents gifted him a cell phone, the first number he called came from the back of that polaroid. He held his breath as the phone rang once, then twice...“Hello, this is Sirius DeVega of Polaris Entertainment Enterprises; how can I be of service today?”

“About a year ago there was a circus in Crestview; I was wondering when it might be back in town or nearby,” the boy politely asked.

“Ah, yes; our circus is currently touring abroad fulfilling our mission to spread wonder and joy to all, irrespective of borders,” came the jovial response followed by, “What is it exactly that you desire, my friend?”

"What do I desire?" he thought. "To have an attentive family, to have fun and laugh with true friends, always knowing I belong and that I am an integral part of the group. To never be lonely again."

But the boy must have thought out loud because the man on the other end said in a soft voice, “How about this son, if you leave your contact information with me I will ensure that you are the first to know when the circus is back in your area. And if you truly are interested, they are always looking for new members to join and would be happy to welcome you to the family. In the meantime, there is an orphan boy who recently joined the circus who could use a pen pal. You both can live vicariously through each other and I’m sure you’ll be best friends by the time you meet in person. No matter the distance, you no longer have to be alone.”

And that, as the saying goes, was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” born from a seed of hope planted on a night when a lonely boy dared to wish upon a falling star.


Image of A Night at the Circus


A few words for the author? Comment below.

Take a look at our advice on commenting here

To post comments, please