Friday, November 12, 2010

Curiosity Caged the Cat

Category: Issue 21

    “And now, let the show begin!” a rather grandiose voice bellowed throughout the stadium.  Miss Madeline lifted her eyes to the skies, enjoying the juxtaposition of the vibrant, neon arena around her against the vast, placid void above her.  How magnificent a sight it was, a realm wholly unfamiliar to her which contained and endless array of unexplored worlds, teeming with life and power; yet how splendid a thought that nary a soul in the universe, no matter their power, could ever exercise complete control over her.  This thought occurred to her quite often, and she loved nothing more than to display to the world her freedom to do as she pleased.  There were, of course, those who believed themselves to have some primitive control, punishing her and attempting to contain her impulses, but it was no matter to her.  She knew full well that her mind was her own, and never ceased to appease its desires. 

    A sudden explosion drew her attention back to the spectacle below her.  Hard as she tried, she was unable to make out what the source of the commotion was through the haze rising up into the night sky.  As the smoke began to clear out, the stadium fell as silent as the sky itself.  A thousand pairs of glassy white orbs peered down in awe at the beings beneath them.  Seven bodies swirled in intricate patterns on the stage, leaping over each other and nearly colliding as they ran frantically about.  These beings would at first be seen as nothing of particular interest, merely wild beasts tamed for a simple circus act; however, upon further analysis, it appeared that they were not wholly wild, nor were they wholly beasts.  The figures sported distinctly human traits, such as the fact that they were all standing on their hind legs and appeared to have the musculature of men rather than animals.  It was something of the devil’s work, a clever use of smoke and mirrors and make-up and acting which portrayed the men as something from beyond this world.

    The show lasted what seemed like ages as the beast-men demonstrated a plethora of acts devised to inspire shock and awe from their unsuspecting audience.  The final acts had all played out well, and the crowds slowly began to siphon out to return back to the realm of reality, sad to leave after their brief journey into the unknown.  Young Miss Madeline, however, found her appetite for the imaginative world of the circus far from sated.  She flung herself down the stairs until she was face to face with a large glass wall.  This wall, built to protect the audience from the beasts as much as it was built to protect the beasts from the curious hands of the audience, was an infuriating obstacle for her.  She did not care for the safety of such fickle creatures, bound by their precautions and fears; she wished only to be free from the restrictions placed on her by society.  It was not their right to decide where she could and could not go, so she gave herself to looking for some entrance to the inner circles of the stadium. 

    After a brief search, the gateway she had been searching for was within her grasp.  She hesitated momentarily, questioning her motivations.  It was no secret that her hunger for the unknown ran far more rampant than would be considered healthy, and that this boundless curiosity lent itself so nicely to danger.  Her doubt was quick to fade, however, and quickly gave way to an even greater thirst for adventure.  Young Miss Madeline drew her cloak tighter about her, took in a triumphant breath, and valiantly announced her presence to the world behind the glass. 

    Her eyes swept over the room and the world of her imagination crumbled before her.  The primitive cages she envisioned were instead highly advanced cells, and there was more technology about her than she knew existed.  There was a single cell at the back of the room left uninhabited.  Miss Madeline walked into the cell, and examined the walls around her.  The sleek, off-white interior seemed to exist only to prevent her cheerful aura from escaping her confinement.  Suddenly, the door to the cell closed behind her, everything went pitch black, and a hissing noise rained down from the ceiling.  Miss Madeline fell to the ground, unconscious before she even had time to worry.

    Some weeks later, the show was making the final performance of its tour, and the ringmaster stepped forward to address the crowd.  A huge following had developed for this circus, showcasing the most bizarre creatures known to man.  Rain began to pour outside, so the large iron roof had been brought over the stadium to protect the crowd.  The beasts paraded out, completely terrified and humiliated.  The ringmaster offered a few shallow utterances to the audience before their ears were met with the ferocious cracking of a whip and an irrepressible cheer erupted.  Young Miss Madeline and her seven companions began their routine, showing off like dogs for the crowd above them.  The lioness raised her eyes to the sky in search of the free world above, but all that met her gaze was the cold, unrelenting steel.

Posted by Redorigami on 11/12 at 01:35 PM | Permalink
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