by Pauline Yates
Teaching a monkey how to strike a match was a clever trick. It required the use of electric shocks to his fingers, but when he lights the ring of fire for the Bengal tigers to jump through, the crowd applauds me as the greatest animal trainer in the circus’s history.
However, I underestimated the monkey’s cleverness. He can also wield a whip. Biting it from my hand, he directs one tiger to herd me from the left, another from the right. The third tiger crouches beyond the flaming ring, mouth open, fangs dripping saliva, waiting for my leap of death.
Pauline Yates is an Australian author of horror and speculative fiction. Her short stories appear with Midnight Echo, Metaphorosis, Redwood Press, plus others, as well as several anthologies including Mondi Incantanti, published by Riflessi di Luce Lunare (RiLL), Italy. Links to Pauline’s stories can be found at https://paulineyates.com/