The Flyers

Daily Prompt – Circus

Delilah closed her eyes and went over the routine through her mind. Swing, legs, catch, flip, fly, catch. She had done the routine hundreds of times and could recite the layouts backwards and forwards, but she could never shake the fear that consumed her before a performance. She heard a voice from down the hall give the five minute warning. She opened her eyes and did one last look over herself before she went on stage. Her teal leotard clung to every inch of her body, and her faux diamond studded headdress sparkled in the light. She felt the bobby pins in her hair to ensure their were secure and sprayed some more hairspray over her head. She was ready.
She opened the door to her room to be greeted by Fernando, one of her partners. He was always fond of her, but she didn’t have time for flings or relationships. Her whole world was her job and her performance. She expected perfection, not only from herself, but from her partners as well. They had to have total trust in one another or the routine wouldn’t work. Fernando flashed a smile at her as she opened the door, revealing his unpleasantly brown teeth. His hair and beard were covered in grease and his leotard pants matched her body suit perfectly.
“Are you ready, my darling, for another amazing performance?” He held out his hand to hers, impersonating the perfect gentleman. Delilah smiled and nodded. Fernando was a nice enough man, but he usually gave her the chills.
“I’m ready, but let’s go get Arturo too.” Fernando rolled his eyes, but nodded in agreement. The two of them started down the hallway to Arturo’s room, Fernando chattering about his weekend the entire way. Delilah would nod on occasion and make the usual “mhm” or “oh” as he talked. Although Fernando was crazy about her, he was crazier about himself.
Arturo was already leaving his room as they got to the end of the hallway. His blonde hair was styled like Fernando’s but it appeared much cleaner and his blue eyes matched his leotard. If Delilah were to date anyone, she would choose Arturo. He held out his arm for Delilah, so she could be between him and Fernando. “Familia! Are we ready?” Arturo hugged Delilah closer and gave Fernando a high five with his other hand. The three of them heard the crowd cheering as they walked toward the entrance. They prided themselves on being the best. They put in countless hours of work and the crowd loved seeing their performance. They added an element of suspense by performing without a net. They never made a mistake and trusted one another fully. The cheering became louder as they neared the entrance. They were about to perform.
Fernando, Delilah, and Arturo stood behind the curtain waiting for the ring leader to announce their entrance. Delilah felt as though her heart would beat out of her chest. She was nervous, but held confidence in herself and her partners that they could, once again, put on another great performance. When they heard their names announced, the three friends strutted out behind the curtain to a thunderous applause. Besides the elephants and tigers, the trapeze artists were always a crowd favorite. Arturo and Delilah headed to the far side of the arena and Fernando started up the latter closest to the entrance. When they heard the music begin, they started their routine. Delilah felt butterflies in her stomach as she went into her first stunt – swing. It was perfect. She reached out towards Fernando as she let go of the trapeze into a flying somersault. She felt his hands connect with her ankles, showing another stunt of perfection – legs. Hanging upside down she saw Arturo starting his session of the stunt. He stood on the trapeze and let his body begin to fall downward until his feet were his only connection to the small bar. As Fernando and Delilah swung toward Arturo, she reached her arms out toward him. She felt Fernando’s grasp loosen, but it wasn’t the right time. She wasn’t going to make it to Arturo. Delilah tried to push her body through the air, but she soon felt her body falling.
The ground got closer and closer. She closed her eyes, trying to think of what she did wrong, but it didn’t matter anymore. She felt her last breath escape her lips as her body hit the ground. The crowd began to scream and people began ushering out. Fernando and Arturo ran towards Delilah’s lifeless body. Arturo began to cry as he knelt over his friend. “What happened? Why did you let go? It wasn’t time!”
Fernando looked at Delilah and shrugged. “It’ll be fine. We will get a replacement and our show will be better than ever. The people come to the circus for a show, and after that performance, these stands will be packed. Arturo, aren’t you dying to see what happens next? I know Delilah was.” With a smirk and a spin on his heels, Fernando left the tent.


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