Dustbowl circus started life as a 500 word short story i wrote for a BBC writing compendium I have taken the idea and intend to make it into a ten part story, it’s set in a fictional circus troop in the mid west dustbown, the time and location are deliberately ambiguous and vague, the one constant is the circus ring which is in the shape of a big clock face, and the time shown is approaching midnight, I hope you enjoy
Mr name is Doctor Orial, now let me set the scene for you;
The first thing you notice is the dust, sinister, swirling filling your lungs, they say rain can go to your bones but it holds nothing to the dust.
Circus has arrived on the edge of a nondescript mid west town. The tent doors fly open and you are met with a carnival of light and sound, you sweep into the faded glory of Circus Ronalli and marvel at the clock face on the floor of the ring, but we don’t stop there we venture beyond the glitz to to the back of the ring.
That is where I come in, Dr Orial sat in a backlot trailer looking into the soul of the Great clown Gensi, he looks into my eyes and speaks carefully “ it’s an old joke, man walks into the Doctors ‘you have to help me’ he says ‘ I am so depressed , so sad’ the doctor smiles ‘ that’s easy’ he replies ‘ the circus is in town, go and see the clown Devin, he is guaranteed to put a smile on your face’ the man looked broken, with a slump and a sigh he wipes a tear from his cheek , ‘you don’t see’ the sadness echoes in his voice ‘ I an the great Devlin’ “.
Gensi looks down again, “is it that bad?” I ask. He points towards his face “ behind here I am anonymous” he adds “people only see the chalk”
We are interrupted by a rap on the door, “Ready Doc” I watch as the image of The Great Gensi dissolves into the dust.
I walk out of the caravan, yesterday’s newspaper blows across the dust bowl ‘GREAT GENSI SUICIDE HORROR’ ‘CLOWN TAKES LIFE ON NEW YORK STAGE’
The curtain draws back, I put on my nose and adjust my wig’ time to disappear behind the chalk again.
The dust swirls