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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1635305-The-Beasts-that-We-Are
Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1635305
Nothing is as it seems....
If there's one thing I learned about circuses, it's that nothing is as it seems. It's just too bad that none of us learned this until it was too late.

It was a hot, sticky day the day that the circus came to town. It came from a town that we had never heard of and was different from other circuses in just one way; the acts in it were done by insane human beings. Yes, the circus consisted of members of the Wembleton Mental Hospital. Intrigued, the members of my town waited eagerly for the arrival of this party. And when it arrived, it arrived with great pandemonium. Wagons and cages and big vans clanked as they drove by on the morning of the first circus. Hours later, a gigantic tent appeared. And then hours after that, the entire town found themselves paying $5.50 admission to see the freaks. that we were promised. Taking a seat in the third row behind the large ring, we waited for the show to begin.

Soon, a plump, awkward little man with brown hair growing out of the sides of his head stepped onto a pedestal in the middle of the ring. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he boomed, “You have come here to view beasts and freaks of nature. And I promise you that you WILL see them. But first, think about how inconsiderate you are all being. You come here to gawk at what you are afraid to become; to look at your fears, huddled in cages. Do you do this to conquer your fears? No, it is not that simple. You feel that the only way to overcome what you fear to become is to mock them. And what does this make you? It makes you the very thing that you all cower in front of. A freak. A beast. Your insensitivity is your downfall that has brought you to where you are now!”
At this point, everybody was left wondering at what point they are at that this peculiar ringmaster was speaking of. He continued to speak in his low voice, “I know that each and every one of you is unaware of what you are. So why don't we continue and show you the freaks that you have been promised?!” And with that, the tent came down, and there was only blackness.

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Coldness.

It wrapped all around me as I began to regain my conscience. Rolling over slightly, I hit a cool, hard surface, much unlike the cement or carpet that I was used to. Opening my eyes, I saw that I was on metal, and that I was surrounded my the same people who were at the show. Mostly everybody was stirring or already up and looking alarmed. None of us seemed to have the slightest clue as to what was going on.
Exploring the dark room with my eyes, I noticed that the walls that surrounded us were not walls, but metal bars. A cage. We were in a big cage, and there was a huge slip over it. I could feel vibrating underneath the floor. What was that? Putting my ear to the floor, I heard a sound similar to that of crunching gravel. Suddenly the vibrating stopped and the cage lurched forward and then backwards again. The sound I heard WAS crunching gravel. We were on a road, and whoever it was that kidnapped us had stopped driving. The sudden lurching of the cage told me that we were once again on the move. Not much longer, the cage tilted up and we seemed to go up a ramp of some sort. Now awake, everybody slid to the back of the cage as we continued up the incline. The last jerk of the cage told us that we had stopped.
A bang sounded, and I could only assume that it was a car door. Soft footsteps became louder as our kidnapper moved closer to the cage. Suddenly, the slip on the cage was lifted off and the darkness vanished. Temporarily blinded, we could not see the face of our predator, but we could hear the slow breathing and low chuckle coming from the edge of the cage. As my vision came back, I could see that the man who had imprisoned us was none other than the ringmaster from the circus.
“So here we have it. Has it been an impressive show? Are you enjoying yourselves? You've seen the freaks, have you not?” Our confusion gave us away through our expression, and the ringmaster smiled a pointy-toothed grin. “So you still don't understand? The freaks and beasts are right in front of you.” And with that, he pulled a small remote control out of his side pocket and pressed a button. Cables with shiny objects dropped down from the top of the cage. I cringed and waited for an impact and another black out, but nothing came. I opened my eyes and saw that the cables had nothing but mirror on them. I looked into the one in front of me, expecting to see some horrible change in my features. A little scratched up, but nothing major, I looked basically the same. People surrounding me were curiously studying their features in the mirrors, confused as to how this tied in.
The ringmaster sighed dramatically, “And you are stupid on top of that?! Can't you see? You are the beasts and freaks that were intended for today. I took advantage of the brilliant selfishness you all possess. Had you not come to the show, wishing to mock the unfortunate, dim-witted minds of the people that you really resemble, then you would have been safe at home. But no, your selfishness and insensitivity got the better of you, so here you are.”
A brave man with receding hair and horn-rimmed glasses stood up and began to speak slowly and carefully, “Wait, if we were all that was intended for today, then where are the real freaks that are from the hospital?” The ringmaster smiled a vicious smile, “Ah, but you see, there never were any freaks. The hospital is empty.....currently.” And suddenly, the man's plot was revealed. We were inside a garage at the “hospital.” We were being held hostage, and are meant to be the freaks to be gawked at for the next couple shows. Realization sunk into every person in that cage. A look of shock grew on their faces as the smile on the ringmaster's face grew bigger. “Getting there at last?” He snarled. “You look at me as though I was evil, but I am the protagonist. I swear I am” And then he opened the door on the cage. And so we were led out into the hospital.

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Coldness.

It's what we felt in our hearts as we saw more and more how we led our lives up until this day. As much as we hated to admit it, the ringmaster was right. We were beasts. And so we were merely given what we have deserved, no matter how harsh it seemed.
The hospital wasn't bad. We each had our own room. We were fed, and clothes were provided for us. It was warm and it would keep us safe and dry. The fact that we weren't really patients eliminated the whole purpose of the “hospital,” as there were not doctors or nurses. The purpose was simply to house us until we were instructed to pile into the cage to begin our torture.
The hospital wasn't empty, as we had thought. Much of it was already occupied by regular people such as ourselves. It appeared that the ringmaster had been collecting people even before us, and his intentions were not to use us as the freaks in his show, but to isolate us from the “more deserving” people of the world.. So with the people there before us, the hospital resembled a community, and we were all shut out from the real world.

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Looking back, my life would have been a lot different had I known two things. One, everybody is a person, no matter how our brains function. And two, circuses are never as they seem.
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