by C. L. Sidell
The house erupts in applause as a top-hatted performer steps into the arena, handling three hoops of fire.
On the sidelines: a monkey escapes its cage, pilfers blades from the knife-thrower’s stash, surreptitiously drops them into the cannon.
In the spotlight: the golden-maned cat growls and pounces; the startled entertainer drops his flaming rings.
From the shadows: the oldest elephant charges forward, trunk collecting and flinging each fiery hoop with practiced precision, igniting the cannon’s wick.
An explosion of blades pierces human flesh.
Among the chorus of screams: screeching, trumpeting, and roaring of long-suffering animals now free of their tormentors.
C. L. Sidell
A native Floridian, C. L. Sidell grew up playing with toads in the rain and indulging in horror stories. She holds a master of arts in both English and library & information science, moderates two creative writing groups, and reviews books for the Florida Library Youth Program. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in 34 Orchard, 805 Lit, Dark Moments, The Dread Machine, Frozen Wavelets, opia, Quarantine Quanta, Spark: A Creative Anthology, and others.
Twitter & Facebook: @sidellwrites