Limbo

The circus came to town while Maggie was asleep. A ringmaster stood atop a charcoal colored, oversized bucket in the center ring and shouted, “Come one, come all.” They did. They came from near and far. The people filled the grand stand seating until only one little seat was left way up high above the rest. Tucked back in the corner, where it was impossible to see the ringmaster shouting from his perch in the center.

But, Maggie was asleep. Wildflowers painted across the sky bleeding through clouds. They poured down onto the pirate ships where swashbucklers looked up caught off guard. A mop in one hand, Roger cried for his sword. What were these abominations falling from the melancholy clouds? Maggie cried, “I will save you!” She took the wildflowers, knelt down and dug in the fresh dirt that now covered the non-existent pirate ship. The flowers took hold and grew tall. Maggie looked up to Roger, but he no longer stood scared with a mop and sword. He had left the flowery ship and so did she.

Lions pranced across the circus arena chasing a terrified tamer. He led them dancing through hoops of flame. The audience roared and came to their feet with applause. The lions took little bows one by one; their manes drooped and dragged across the ground. Still, one seat remained empty not a shadow of a person to be seen.

Maggie snored soulfully, but her arm seemed to be missing. She was racing down a speedway. One hand on the steering wheel, the other had been removed from her body. The car whipped around a corner and through a hole into the space continuum. Driving onto a large sapphire space ship that glittered with glass paneling, she skidded to a halt and hopped out of her car. “Captain, the asteroid will collide with us at any moment,” A short man in a turquoise uniform approached Maggie. She gave the order. They would have to self destruct and use the escape pod.

The audience turned to the empty chair. Whispers echoed through the stand,”Where is Maggie?” They said, “Where, where, where…” Clowns took the stage, suits oversized and brightly colored. They clomped in their giant red shoes, gagging and giggling with silly faces. An audience member was chosen for a prop. Into the cannon he was loaded and shot from afar. Plop. He landed in a pool of pudding, vanilla.

The pastures were green as envy. Maggie’s palomino galloped uncontrollably barely touching the wild grasses. She clung to his hair leaning forward as the sunlight streamed across her bare back. They burrowed deep into the earth and she looked at her body which was no longer her own. Her head was attached to a small thorax from which extended six legs. Maggie was suddenly two times as strong as she used to be. “Help us!” Ahead of her, a small pebble was crushing two of her fellow comrades. She loaded the pebble onto her back freeing the miniscule ants, who thanked her profusely.

The circus was leaving town, while Maggie slept. Onto the trucks the lions leapt. Clowns crept quietly into the night. The ringmaster thanked his audience. They clapped and left to near and far. Maggie did not know of the circus. Although they whispered her name, she slept, attached to machines. In a bed soft, with blankets warm. The stillness did not disturb her dreams. Machines sounded. Beep. Beep. Beep. Her mother wept at her side, head in her lap, for her daughter to wake.

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