I cleared my throat, sure it was just nothing, and thought of the song she always recommended I sing. I was doing well, had gotten out the first verse, when my voice cracked and, it was suddenly gone.
Silence met my ears.
My eyes widened as I tried again. This time I got a few bars out, then my voice broke. People started screaming at me. I tried once more, but it wouldn't work. I wouldn't work.
My legs felt life rubber and I fell to my knees. What was wrong? Why wasn't I working? I tried once more, and failed again. Tears started falling down my cheeks as kept trying to perform, all the while I thought about her. She was the reason it wasn't working. Where was she?
Shouting bombarded me, profanities and insults assaulting me like rocks, bruising my skin and mind. I looked up hopelessly, hoping to see her, but she still wasn't there. I couldn't seem to move anymore, even when they did start throwing things.
The first thing I felt was a bag of popcorn. It didn't hurt, but then they started throwing harder things. I just sat there and took it, crying and wishing for her to come back.
Eventually, I felt someone grab me and take me offstage. They dumped me backstage and I continued to cry.
"Shhh, it's alright." Someone stroked my soda soaked hair.
Hope bloomed in my heart, making it soar.
"Gu-" I looked up into a pair of blue eyes, not the green I had been expecting. My overjoyed heart now deflated and I was back to my depressed state. What I was looking was not my Ringmaster, but a tiny girl with hair of gold and feline ears hidden in the strands. She couldn't have been over the age of 15.
She was wearing a simple black dress, but there were manacles on her wrists and ankles without the chains. She seemed not to notice it was there, along with the '02' branded onto her right forearm.
"Let her be, Rina." A boy was standing behind her, identical to her in almost every way, except he was in a pair of black slacks and a black, short sleeve dress shirt. There was a metal collar around his neck along with the manacles, which led me to believe that he caused more trouble than the girl beside him. I noticed they were both bare footed, as I was.
"Don't be rude, Allen," she looked over her should at the boy, "she's scared and alone."
"Don't meddle, or there will be hell to pay."
'Wha-" I started to ask, but was hoisted up to my feet. I was whirled around and staring into the eyes of the infuriated Ringmaster.
"What was that?!" he screamed at me, his voice hidden by the applause the next act.
"I-I-I-" I stammered, terrified by the rage in his eyes. I looked over at the lions and the boy was dragging his sister away. I could see a tear fall as she turned away and let her brother lead her away. How I wanted to follow them.
"Look at me!" He grabbed my chin and forced my gaze back to him, "What. Was. That?!" he yelled again.
"I tried! I'm sorry!" I cried out. His grip on my arm was excruciating. It felt as if he were trying to grind my bonds together until they turned to dust under my skin. I could feel each of his fingertips squeezing my chin and arm and knew there would be bruises when I woke up in the morning. He seemed to notice my discomfort, but just squeezed harder.
"You're pathetic." He looked at me with disgust and threw me to the ground. The air was forced out of me with the impact and I couldn't move for a second. I could taste blood in my mouth.
"Get her out of my sight." I heard his cold voice above me and two sets of hands grabbed me and drug me back to my cage.
I cried out for help, pleading with them to let me go home, but they didn't acknowledge me. They just threw me in the cage, locked the door, and walked away. I continued to scream at them, at anyone for that matter, but that did no good. No one came to help me. Not even when the show ended.