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Cirque de la Lune

Modern France


a part of Cirque de la Lune, by DumbDora.


DumbDora holds sovereignty over Modern France, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

334 readers have been here.


Default Location for Cirque de la Lune
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Modern France is a part of Cirque de la Lune.

13 Characters Here

Fellini, the Bizarrist [2] They call him pure sin.
Rune, The Storyteller [1] Once upon a life, there was such a thing as death. Once upon a death, there was such a thing as life. They cannot live in sync in the same world. It is impossible to have both, for that we should be grateful.
Zalvema, The Ringmistress [1] Don't look her directly in the eye, or you'll feel the entire left side of your body completely paralized... Well, that's the rumor at least.
Louise d'Mont, The Runaway [0] I've heard this circus is magical. I could use a little bit of magic.
Akilah, The Trapezist [0] Some say her trapeze act is so graceful and extraordinary that it's hard to believe that she can actually do half the tricks that she does without hitting the ground, from that they think she can fly, but that's what rumors say.
Saint Shadows, the Boneless [0] Rumor has it Saint Shadows sleeps around with women to make up for the affection he never got.
Fisher "G" Harris,The Detective [0] It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell that this circus is no Barnum & Bailey.
Xavier, The Illusionist [0] Just as likely to shake your hand as make it vanish. Oh well, C'est le vie, I suppose.
Delilah, The Lion Tamer [0] I hear she has a maternal sensitivity to children all because she's never been able to have one.
Eyra "Lady Arachnid" [0] The rumors say she's so attached to her spider, she never leaves anywhere without him. Which means he's always around..

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Zalvema, The Ringmistress

"Ladies and Gentlemen! And children of all wonderful ages! Welcome! - To the most spectacular show on earth!" And the crowd roared, giving it's approval to the white-haired woman surrounded by freaks, performers and animals. An incredible sight in extraordinary amounts. Bright lights and outstanding costumes, "Behold an extravaganza so unique and immortal-- it's bound to take your breath away!" The white haired woman boomed into the microphone, lifting her thin, branch-like arms in the air as the crowd roared once more. Music drowned out the noise and the acts rolled in, one by one more spectacular than the other. It was a truly beguiling entertainment to behold.

Sounds of the show lingered in the air even as the last spectators got into their cars. Adult shows ruled the night when the last big-top show ended at 1am, that's when the men and daring women stayed behind to give away their hard-earned money to the ticket booth to see a naked beauty or stallion perform a few tricks of their trade. The cirque lived throughout the night, in bright lights adoring the sky above, each and every inch of the area with it's own personal show. For the crew itself, after-hours were a joy to behold, after almost an entire days and nights' work, they were given a chance to spend time among each other, drinking, singing, dancing, simply enjoying. And morning come, they either sleep or pack up.

Under a large gray awning, the crew gathered, music was only allowed to be turned on after 2am, drinks were handed around as soon as the show ended. Some were still in their costumes, others had changed into something more comfortable. But all were celebrating the same thing they did most nights, a successful show.

"Gather up everyone!" Zuzu called out, handing her glass of champagne to a nearby standing individual, then clapped her slender hands above her head to get each faces' attention. Her features held little traces of emotion except when she ruled the show, however, her words were emotion enough. "I'm glad to inform you all, that we're staying one night longer than planned, thanks to a truly successful show," the woman's voice carried even without having to yell or shout, and with that, she took her champagne glass in hand and disappeared out of the awning.

Delilah, The Lion Tamer

"Oh yay!" Delilah clapped her hands along with everyone else as Zuzu informed everyone of the change in plans. If a place was bringing in money, why not milk it just a bit longer, it was a smart choice. Immediately as the show ended, Delilah went back to her and Theo's cot within the train, changing into boot cut jeans and a low cut blouse, letting her twins have some air from the leotard. While Delilah loved to be in stilettos and pumps, she had to resort to flip flops since the circus was located on a field of glass. And as soon as she joined the others under the awning, she grabbed herself a bottle of tequila, making herself a highly spiked drink.

Picnic tables littered the area, tables with bottles of alcohol half full, others barely opened, food was laid out by the cooking staff, allowing the performers and the like some sustenance after the show. Sitting herself down at one of the tables, Delilah brought the whole bottle with her and a few shot glasses in case anyone wanted to join her. The show was a success, and although their performance wasn't the greatest, Delilah tried to throw in new things into the mix, but dealing with an untamed lion had always been a bit of a difficulty, especially when that lion was her husband.


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The night was cool and the wine tasted sweet upon his tongue as Xavier sauntered about the fairgrounds. Bottle in hand, Xavier wandered the circus, enjoying the smells of fresh grass, fried foods, liquor, and even a faint trace of blood (some of the acts got violent). Xavier had been part of the Cirque de la Lune for over two centuries, and yet the sights and sounds of the circus hadn't lost their charm. The news that they were staying another night didn't surprise Xavier, for they had a good flow of customers tonight. In fact, he wouldn't be surprised if they stayed for a week. Taking another swig from the bottle of wine, Xavier paused, trying to decide which way to go. He decided on west and walked off to see if he could find anything of interest. Shouldn't be hard, I am at a circus, after all.

After walking for a few minutes, Xavier happened upon Delilah sitting at a table, a bottle of liquor and several shot glasses next to her.
"Bonsoir, ma chère! And how are you on this delightful night?" Xavier sat down near her at the table. He took one last swig of the wine, emptying the bottle. He tossed it into the air, dramatically pointed at it, his hand in a gun gesture, and the bottle disappeared in a puff of smoke along with a small pop. Xavier looked back at Delilah, With a slightly devilish grin on his face. "I seem to have run out of wine, would you be willing to share some of your fine-looking liquor with a poor, still sober soul?"


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Character Portrait: Fellini, the Bizarrist Character Portrait: Rune, The Storyteller
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Fellini and Rune
The Bizarrist and The Storyteller
~A collaborative post~

Through the haze of cigarette smoke, he had fallen in love all over again. But this was brief.

He saw the purest of bliss in that sea of faces, the grace of their mistress and the family at her back. All was great, all was well. He watched the world safely from behind squared lenses, nestled under the shadow cast by the brim of his hat. Mystique had not yet gone with the wind; the cape remained draped round his shoulders, still tattered beyond repair, still evidence of a show gone terribly, terribly right. Blood dried his upper lip. Hands were steadied, but his feet dared to move. His eyes drifted across each and every member, observing. And his heart left with the exhaust fumes as the crowd dispersed, leaving the Cirque and its merry band to get intoxicated from another round of success―and Fellini had lingered there after his peers, too, had gone, and the ghosts, now alone with their master, took the opportunity to tug at his back, always so restless.

"Basta! Ma ora basta!" he whispered, the accent rolling smoothly from his tongue. He need not face the specters to emphasize his words. They quelled almost instantly in the fairgrounds, now one with the growing silence. A dozen of the ghoulish figures hovered about him, not yet ready to come down from the highs of the night, but it was nothing new. Stars need no rest, they said; they completed his act, and they deserved to mingle among the extraordinary folk. Fellini tensed. The cigarette was thrown away, crushed under the loafer sole. Stalking from his cast, he knew no further disputes were needed. Sans their weeping, he would not hear word of them nor catch sight of them until they were summoned once again, and he silently prayed that they would learn their place.

So it went. A breeze carried remnants of the hours gone by, and the buzz in the air was not far behind. It was infectious, this feeling of another victory. He could look skyward and become lost in starlight. The performers were gathered ahead, and he heard the last of Zalvema's announcement as he reached the celebration. To him, it did not matter how long they stayed here. It simply was.

Signora Delilah, of course, was likely the first to get shit-faced. The lioness had perched with Xavier, whose ability to waste alcohol was in top form, and whose eyeliner grew more garish by the second.  

Fellini intervened, tossing the cape over his shoulder with a lackadaisical flair. "Monsieur, you must learn how to hold your liquor," he said in earnest, and, motioning toward where the wine had vanished mere moments before, somehow brought the bottle back into its humble existence. A trick of shadows, that. He poured them both an even amount, then set aside the wine, tipped his hat, and added, "Delilah, you were exquisite tonight. But it seems as if your cat is becoming harder to tame. Perhaps you should consider this next time before you take to the stage."

And he was off and away. Not feeling particularly enthused for drink tonight, he would not laugh, nor would he dance. He would seek the sole member of Cirque de la Lune who, outside the confines of her sanctuary, did not flaunt, prance, leap, strut. He would seek Rune.

Eastward, the black tent loomed above him like a blemish on the earth, and for the countless times he ventured to this oddity, it never failed to draw hesitance from him at the entrance. So stoic, so otherwise unmoved in the face of everyone else, Fellini then shrunk in its presence. His breath hitched. Immense forces of magic beckoned him forward, and yet, for each second that he did not act, he felt the urge to retreat, to cower. He stepped once, twice. Unsure at first, then quickly gaining confidence, he walked into the darkness once more.

The shifting pictures did not faze him. The warped, bloodied tree, once an acute source of interest, only sparked faint curiosity. No, he had seen what this mystical space had to offer, and what drew his attention was the goddess at her center. Although she was featureless for now, something about her spoke to him with infinite beauty―the fragility with which he held herself, and the balance that threatened to creak in an interval; the fabrics that surrounded her, eerily pristine in spite of their supposed age; the candles, thousands of them, that illuminated her form, and, through her powers, would burn brightly for ages to come. She was comfort; she was fear. She was the pinnacle he sought to reach, though he knew that getting there would be nigh impossible. In her realm, shadows billowed about him, weakened and hushed by the light.

What did the words matter if she did not respond?

"I suppose you've no affinity for drink." His voice held a hint of contempt, though it certainly was not aimed at the storyteller. "If only you could have seen them tonight. According to my audience, I might have performed my best. So tell me, Rune, why must I be such a bother to you? We know you have no answers, and if you do, then you're doing your damnedest to keep them away from me."

As usual, it was akin to speaking with an ancient wall. Still, he persisted, and his voice elevated with each breath, and he slipped, though unaware, into his native language. If it sparked no reaction, there was nothing much else to be done.

He concluded: "Rune, I need guidance. I need my magic to inspire again."

No words of wisdom passed through her lips and fell upon his ears after he finished speaking to the quiet shadow in the center of the tent. The veil she wore this night was the color of onyx, starless in its obscuring beauty. The fabric's stillness was broken as it began to ripple, as though tickled by an imaginary breeze that coiled around Rune playfully. Even after several seconds that seemed like years of silence, she still did not speak.

She was the epiphany of solitude and peace. Cloaked in darkness, masked within an obsidian wasteland yet still burning with vibrant shades of the world's true colors. Silver bells gleamed and hung from the edges of her veil, but despite the movement, they did not ring. It looked as though she had not acknowledged his presence, but indeed she had. From the slightest shift in her stance, to the way the shadows differed in their subtle dance.

Rune. Ah, how simple the life of a storyteller is. To sit upon the ground each night and tell what few people that find their way into her tent, stories of the world that even the ancient gods in the heavens have forgotten. She creates art, painting a picture before their very eyes without a brush. Using words instead of color, but words are color in their own way. 

It would seem almost as though she were not listening to his words as he confided in her. He could not see beyond the inky veil that hid her closed eyes, and the face beneath the mask of the storyteller. As the silence finally settled and became still, her eyes opened. The shadows jumped and danced across the walls of the tent, and the tree of words shifted above their heads, stretching its branches, leaving it engraved with story upon story rustled with soft laughter as the shadows continued to gracefully sway to their own rhythm. The candle light flickered in thousands of different colors, causing the air in the tent to pulse with the beat of the shadows.

And then, the silence was broken. The fragile bridge, more fragile than a snowflake to the world of silence was shattered at the sound of tinkling bells. It was like hearing the first laugh of an infant, the sigh of the world as the sun crooks its golden fingers and first touches the ground, and the sound of the stars singing above you in the night. The bells continued to ring for a split second more. There was only one meaning to this: the storyteller had come alive once again.

She had shifted. She had altered the very fabrication of reality itself. No longer was the tent darkened, and dim. No longer were they both surrounded by flickering candles, and dancing shadows. The tree had disappeared, and all that surrounded them was darkness. An ebony abyss that was filled with the echos of the bells. A different kind of light would illuminate the tent, and slowly, they began to twinkle, to fill the empty space between Rune, and Fellini. They flickered like a thousand white candles, burning with a beauty like no other. They gleamed like the full harvest moon, careless and free. They sparkled like the last smile of a person of this world, happiness and joy emanating around them. The stars bobbed and hovered around Rune like bits of ice, dazzlingly bright, yet dim in comparison to a pale, silver disk that hovered just behind the storyteller herself. A streak of light stretched across the tent's far wall, disappearing as soon as it had appeared.

Even if he could not see past the veil, he would know that her eyes were open, and that she was looking at him. Truly, staring past him into his own mind. Her eyes were the color of the stars, a dark grey. Deep, but transparent. Simple, but complex in their own way. Never before had the galaxies, nor the universe spread itself before a viewer within Rune's tent. But there was a first for everything. Perhaps she was the only one who could fathom, and envision it within her own mind.

She was a master of illusions. Her words fooled reality itself into thinking it was whatever she wished it to be. And now, it was theirs, and theirs alone to remember, and to forget. 

“Darkness and light weave themselves together to create the fabric of the universe. Apart, they are useless and immaterial. Together, they become what was, what is, and what always will be.” A voice, a voice like no other vibrates through the tent. There is a sweetness to the voice, a silvery sincerity that is weaved into it with a sharpness that suggests complete confidence in what is being said. It is almost as if they are both submerged beneath the waves of moonlight as the chiming tones of the storyteller fade completely. She says no more, for there is nothing more to explain, there is nothing more to say.

As soon as the vision of peace, and the symphony of wonder appears, it fades with the voice as well. The stars fly back to their places in the sky, and the moon that hung without a cloud in the sky dissipates into silver smoke. The candles flicker innocently, and the shadows are still for a moment, before they resume their intricate dance. And Rune? Rune is silent once more, it is almost as though she never spoke. Perhaps he imagined it all. It all depends on how much he believes.

Fellini believed. He believed as if she spoke the only truths in the world, as if her message was gospel, divine and almighty. Had he merely imagined it, it was a dirty, cruel trick of the mind. Had he merely imagined it, the natural world made him despondent, and he soon yearned for that sensation of light and sky. It was so surreal, it would have sent Dali into a coma.

He did not understand, however and, realizing this, he struck out aimlessly, hoping to grasp onto even the smallest amount of her energy. It did not come. They had driven on a roundabout, only to stop at the very beginning. The tent, for all the rhythm that ebbed and flowed throughout, now paled in comparison to her brief display, but the vigor was unmistakable. She was resurrected, after all, albeit for a sweet, short time, and he would be in denial if he ignored the change that ate away at him.

His skin tingled, electric. His weary face was fraught with awe, irritation. "Please... will you speak again?" he asked of her, at a loss, lacking the conviction that made him whole. He felt so meek before her. As he left in uncertainty, he knew the response: there was to be none.


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Eyra, Olaf, and Oleg

Collab Post

There was always a certain joyous feeling after Eyra completed a show. Almost as if a small fire was building up inside of her, gradually releasing it's flames until she would combust with happiness as soon as she lept off the stage. The roaring of the crowd, the intense and excting waves that would pass through her, producing shivers down her spine . Living and performing in the Circus were the two things the young insect manipulator loved most in the world.
As Eyra watched with glee as her darling Zalvema spoke, she couldn't help but feel at peace as the audience members become entranced by her. It was easy to lose yourself when Zuzu spoke, her voice as mesmerizing as a sirens call. Of course Eyra eventually became use to it, so it was always amusing to her to see the male audience members gaping like idiots at the ring mistress.

"I'm glad to inform you all, that we're staying one night longer than planned, thanks to a truly successful show,"Eyra's nose quivered in excitement, her hands clasping together as her body bounced up down. With her two thick braids slapping her petite shoulders, she knew she probably looked silly, but the excitement of staying another night overulled looking foolish. "Buttons! Did you hear that? We get to stay another night!" Several onlookers couldn't help at stare at her, seemingly talking to herself . They probably thought her to be insane , or at least they did before they saw the dazzling blue seven inch cobalt tarantula that was Eyra's dearst companion. The large spider would creep out of her pocket and onto her shoulder, perching itself there as if it was interested in what was happening as much as Eyra. Button's would clack his mandibles together at several people in the crowd, creating a few screams and several people running away from Eyra's direction.

"Oh you did it again you little minx! Keeping a low profile in crowds does not mean scaring other people." The fuzzy tarantula would click several times in an eerily responsive way to it's master , causing even more people in the crowd to back away from the strange girl.

Olad and Oleg clapped quietly, without the enthusiasm most of their peers had as Zalvema gave her speech. So they would be spending an extra day here. Big whoop. "Das ist mir furzegal. As long as the money keeps rolling in, not much else matters does it brother?" Oleg would comment, his raspy voice filled with distaste as his blue eyes continued staring at the spot Zelvema was standing in minutes ago.. Olaf's shoulders would shrug in response to his brother's words. He never had much to say about the situations the circus put him in. As long as he was able to pull off his acts and eat as much food as he liked, he was happy.

Turning his attention from his twin and the stage, Oleg would be surprised to see the crowd spreading slightly thin around the northern area of the camp. Once a few more people had back away, he was given a clear view of one of the circus's younger member's standing by herself. Of course, he only assumed she was alone until he spotted the reasoning behind the sudden thinning of the crowd. Button's, as it's master affectionately referred to the little monster was sitting rather cheerfully on Eyra's shoulder, almost as if it was purposely keeping both males and females alike away from the girl. Oleg himself had no such fears of spiders, even poisonous ones like the very specimen Eyra kept as a companion.

"Shall we go say hello Bruder?" The eagerness of his voice alerted Olaf that his twin was interested in Eyra, for whatever the reason may be. Another shrug from Olaf was all Oleg needed before sauntering off towards where the little dame was chattering to her eight-legged friend. "Good evening Mademoiselle. Eyra and Monsieur Buttons. We do hop you're both doing well this evening." Oleg would smile as gently as possible, though with his blood stained shirt and several cuts on his neck and arms, it was a bit hard for him to look anything but menacing.

In mid convo with the spider, Eyra's eyes suddenly widened and her mouth dipped open in surpise. The two twins, known better as the Macabre brothers, were walking her way with a determined look in on of their eyes. She assumed the one staring at her was Oleg, seeing as the other never really talked or really seemed to care about much other than his shows. When a greeting passed through his lips, Eyra did all she could to form something of a smile and to try and not looked completely freaked out. "Bon soir.." Eyra would mumble quietly, her eyes darting around them to look at anything she could focus on that wasn't bloody or bruised on their body. The ground seemed like the only option, and it's what her eyes stuck to staring at.

While Olaf would release a small sigh and kick at the ground beneath his feet, his brother would inch closer towards the girl and reach a pale bony finger out to brush away a piece of hair from her eyes. Obviously he made sure to keep his hand a reasonable distance from the spider next to her, but since he was still alive and without any bite marks, he assumed touching was allowed. " Eyra, would you mind so terribly if we joined you this evening? We could...go for a drink? What do you say?"

The only thing going through her mind while the man's slim finger moved to touch her was how much she wanted Button's to attack him. A shiver passed down her spine as his cold fingertip briefly made contact with her skin before brushing away the stray hair. The only words she would have used to describe the situation would have been fucking creepy. Throughout all this, Buttons had crawled back into her pocket , the air beginning to grow a bit chilly around them and the tarantula disliking it more than his master being touched.

"A...a drink? W-well ..." She looked for a good excuse, ANY excuse to get her out of the predicament. She didn't want to anger him, but she certainly didn't want to hang out with the guy either. There were limits to her kind nature, and this was way beyond them. Where the hell was any of the other circus freaks when she needed them?


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#, as written by Artik
Theo, The Lion

The sound of popping joints, and cracking bones rang loud in Theo's ears. Some sort of internal body clock had signaled that it was time to shed some fur and grow some opposable thumbs. The painful and relatively loud battle began with a disgruntled roar as beast fought to retain control over man. Instinct wrestled with rational thought as the over-sized feline's thick mane and layer of tawny golden brown fur began to shrink back into invisible pores. Meanwhile the cat writhed and thrashed about as if being overpowered by some unseen enemy. More growls of protest's were emitted from deep within Theo's chest until finally humanity broke through and conquered the animal. Animal reluctantly admitted defeat in the form of more snaps and cracks. Feline form transitioned ungracefully back from four legs to two leaving Theo on his knees, panting, sweating, and butt ass naked.

"Well...fuck." He rumbled, pushing himself to his feet slowly but surely and stretching out to full height. "Never do get use to that." He muttered to himself with a steady exhale as he ran a hand over his face, rolling his neck and shoulders around a bit to loosen up tense muscles. After a few minutes of adjusting, he meandered over to the door of the cage, unlocked the lock, and ducked out before pulling on the pile of folded clothes that was always reliably waiting for him thanks to Lilah. He could hear Zuzu's voice some ways away where the members of the cirque were sure to be celebrating and long legs carried him towards that intended destination. Unlike most of the others tonight, Theo wouldn't drink. Hell, he was still recovering from the desire he had to maul his wife and the various paying customers in the stands of the circus. This was a normal night though, and he'd be perfectly back to normal in about a half an hour or so.

Striding over to the table where Xavier and Lilah were perched, he slid into the seat beside his wife slipping an arm around her waist glad to see her without a visible scratch, or worse. "Hey babe." He began, turning to look across the table and flash his pointed pearly whites at Xavier for a moment. "How'd the rest of the show go? Did I miss anything important?" The question being posed to either of the two. In the moments between responses, Theo's blue eyes flickered around in search of who else was still lingering around in hopes of some fun for the rest of the night. Almost instantly he spotted Eyra and habitually the left side of his of his mouth curled up in a mischievous manner. Naturally schemes to tease the female began to form in his head, the cogs turning forming an idea until a set of bloodied twins strode into his peripheral vision. He watched with a faint amusement as the small group briefly conversed, Erya squirming about as she attempted to be polite it seemed. With a gentle squeeze to his wife's side he motioned subtly with his head over towards the means of his entertainment as she looked around for some type of rescue. "Looks like our little insect charmer could use some help." He said letting out chuckle before bringing his fingers to his lips and whistling. "Hey Spidey! C'mere when you get a moment." He called, waving a hand in acknowledgement to the twins before turning back to the conversation he'd put on hold.


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Xavier's conversation was cut short at the appearance of Fellini. The bizzarrist approached, a bottle of wine in hand. The bottle had supposedly not existed a moment ago, appearing in a puff of smoke. Although Fellini said it was Xavier's bottle, Xavier knew otherwise. Fellini might be good, but the man isn't Christ- he cannot make an empty bottle of wine be filled. Fellini left as quickly as he had came. Xavier ignored the wine and took a slug of the tequila instead. Xavier waved in the general direction of Fellini's fading figure, letting out a flurry of French. "Bon débarras, ma nuit est mieux sans toi."

Xavier's good mood quickly returned when Theo approached the table. " Ah, Bonjour, homme-lion!" Xavier took another drink of the tequila. "And in response to your question, MY show went fabulously! We laughed, we cried, Audience members were set alight- A fantastic night indeed!" Xavier took one final shot of the liquor, and let out a contented sigh. He began to hum the tune to an old song, oblivious to whatever conversation Theo and his wife were making. Noticing a bowl of grapes, he picked up four of them and began to toss them into the air, making them arch and twirl around and among themselves. The trick was fairly simple, and yet Xavier sat, entranced by the fruit's dance all the same.


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Delilah, The Lion Tamer

"Bonsoir, ma chère! And how are you on this delightful night?" Xavier joined Delilah as soon as she had sat down, and although she knew the man well and enjoyed his company, she was more so waiting or her lion to return to her. "I seem to have run out of wine, would you be willing to share some of your fine-looking liquor with a poor, still sober soul?"

"Drink up, it was a good night for all of us," the woman replied, pouring Xavier a shot of tequila, and after she set the bottle down, she folded her arms atop the wood table.

"Monsieur, you must learn how to hold your liquor," Fellini joined them only briefly, and Lilah immediately noted the battle between the two men. However, she wasn't expecting the bizarrist to acknowledge her at this time, "Delilah, you were exquisite tonight. But it seems as if your cat is becoming harder to tame. Perhaps you should consider this next time before you take to the stage."

"That's just how I like 'em," the woman grinned, wrapping her fingers around the wine glass Fellini had just poured for her. It was enough of an answer for Fellini for he stood, 'flapped his wings and took off'. And just like that, Theo finally joined them, wrapping his heavy arm around her waist, to which Lilah leaned into him, a smirk curling her lips. She pushed a shot glass towards him and filled it with the hard liquor. "We wouldn't be celebrating if the show didn't go well," it was simple conversation, much of which would dilude into different branches, others spoke of the show, gossip among the crew, and eventually the night would shift towards interesting rather than mundane. At Theo's squeeze, Lilah glanced at him, and then at Eyra as he motioned towards her. Delilah didn't see anything out of place like Theo did, she saw two boys talking to a girl, it was a regular sight, or it was simply what Lilah longed to see, regularity.

The woman lifted the wine glass to her lips and finished the intoxicatingly sweet liquid, moving on to a shot of tequila. The woman liked her liquor, it washed away any doubts and fears from her consciousness.


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Character Portrait: Fellini, the Bizarrist Character Portrait: Zalvema, The Ringmistress
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Zalvema and Fellini
The Ringmistress and The Bizarrist

Departing on unsteady feet, he walked aimlessly. Had any of the others taken heed of the abrupt shift in the air? Fellini shook his head as if to answer himself, slowly removing his hat and any trace of doubt that still plagued his features. Color returned to his skin, spring to his step. Dark eyes were set ahead, authoritative. What had occurred would not be acknowledged in vain, and for now would remain a discourse between the two of them, he and the Storyteller. And if the time came when their curiosity was piqued...

Darkness and light. Archetypes to the end. He shrugged it away. His head needed to be at its clearest, for whom he must speak to had little tolerance for folly. Performances had ended for the night, reality taking helm. Little was more frightening.

It was not as if there were no opportunities to evade the Ringmistress: the gattino was about, as were the deranged boys and Signora Arachnid, who seemed to want nothing more than the company of her spider. In the direst case, the magician would make a decent drinking cohort. But, no—if he did not confront her about his recent decline, then she surely would eventually, and she would be merciless.

Her tent was the grandest. Inferiority claimed him once again as it had done before Rune. He rid the ethereal woman from his thoughts and spoke with utmost respect, daring not to tread inside without her permission. His voice was leveled, but strong: "Buona sera, Zalvema, e come sta? Are you there? I know we've some matters to discuss—might as well get on with it now." Despite the echoing sounds of the jolly crew in the distance, it was silent in Zalvema's tent, and after a long moment, she spoke.

"Come in." A voice of heavy disinterest. She stood tall at the farthest corner of her makeshift home, pouring herself a glass of fragrant liquor.

Fellini obliged, crossing what felt like an immeasurable length to stand in her presence. He kept a few feet away from Zalvema. A low bow was his greeting, his grip tightening on the brim of his hat. "Ringmistress, I must apologize for my..." The words were forced. "For my subpar showings as of late. I'm sure you were the first to notice. Call it a creative drought, if you will."

"And what do you plan to do about this... creative drought?" the woman asked, turning her willowy frame around to watch him. Her thin fingers entwined about the glass she held in front of her. "Have a drink with me," she purred, curling her lips into a brief smirk.

How he wish he knew. Sharply, he rose, and it took a few intervals for him to accept her offer. Her tone had never put him at ease; this time was no different.

"Si," he replied, smirking in return with a sly arch of his brow. Quivering fingers round the bottle, then glass said otherwise. "Patience, Zalvema. You shall see, and you shall be amazed! A work in progress, we'll call it. Beautiful beyond all belief. But we must wait, you and I."

Sipping at the liquor, he downed it quickly. He never ceased pacing. The brief confidence that found him left as soon as it came, and he immediately regretted his words. The woman's gaze sharped as she was told to be patient, and were she with any other crew member, she would have grown impatient just for the purpose that she was told to be otherwise. This was, however, the bizarrist she was in company with. Taking two long strides towards a cushioned seat, Zalvema made herself comfortable. "Tell me more about this work in progress," she muttered, setting her own glass of intoxicating liquid atop her bony knee.

Yes, tell her more, talk carefully. Fellini tensed as she moved, bracing for an earlier punishment. But, at least for this moment, he was spared. Yet he was still expected to describe a spectacle he had not yet considered. Pouring another glass, he put his stagnant mind to work, widely gesturing as he detailed the impromptu performance: "Well, there is a girl—no, a woman. And she is pure, pure like nothing else in this world. She is young, but timeless, and her power?"

He drank, never shifting his heated gaze from the Ringmistress. "Her power knows no bounds. And I seek this power. I need it to... to become whole. Without it, I am as useless as any passing mortal. But this is all I know. I must continue to learn."

"I don't suppose we're talking about Rune, are we?" The woman knew her members, even Rune, from top to bottom, in and out. However, when Zalvema had taken over the attraction, Rune had already been a part of it, and she was one of the only ones that Zuzu didn't dare dispose and replace. "If she is sparking your creativity, I see no problem here, then."

"Ah, thank you, thank you," he said, exhaling a sigh of relief. With good graces, he decided to tell her: "It is Rune, and I only mention her because she finally spoke to me tonight. I have never been so thrilled. But... you know how she can be. She's cryptic, introverted. As I said, it will take time."

"She spoke to you?" Now Zalvema looked more than interested, maybe a bit jealous at the discovery, though there was the unmistakable pride for Fellini, even if it was drowned by her own selfishness. The woman straightened in her seat, those cold pools displaying something other than indifference for a rare occurrence. "What did she say?" Zuzu inquired, stone gaze locked onto the man.

He ceased his pacing as if the emotive response in her eyes had frozen him in place. The sight struck him like a physical blow, relentless and unexpected. Her curiosity was more than welcome, but what lay behind it and what may come of it had him on edge. There was the sudden urge to keep Rune's advice to himself, even if he barely grasped her wisdom. "Nothing."

That wouldn't suffice.

"Nothing at all," Fellini echoed. "She speaks in riddles I've yet to understand. They would be of no interest to you, Ringmistress, I assure you that."

The woman sat motionless in response to his words. She didn't quite believe him, yet she could hardly believe Rune speaking to him.

"Leave." Zuzu, freshly frustrated, flicked her wrist towards the entrance of the tent.

For an instant, silence was not an option; he must speak. She was fascinating. Defiance wrought his expression—it was the satisfaction of knowing that kept him lively as he set the liquor glass from where it had been. It was the knowledge that he could keep between he and the mythical woman, to discover amongst themselves. But his lips were shut. Once more, he bowed deeply before the lady of the Cirque. Respect was planted on the back of her hand in the form of a kiss.

With that, he spun on his heel and left. She would not see the tenacity draining from his face. Her persistence alone was enough to scare him, and the inevitable grudge quickened his pace. Did I strike a chord, Zalvema?


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Sssssssss. A single candle, with an eerie flame that looked to be made of onyx itself slowly disappeared, as though being eaten by the air within the tent. There was no wind, nothing that had brought on this distressing and slightly frightening occurrence. The entity that sat in the middle of the tent made not a sound, not a movement. It was as though the Storyteller was a statue, rather than a living, breathing being. The room seemed to dim, as soon as the licorice colored candle sank into darkness. The other holders of light flickered dangerously, and the shadows on the wall began to dance in a frenzy, as though they were afraid that they too, would soon disappear if the candles were to give away what they held, the light. To quench themselves in the thirst of sleep, to forget what they once were. These things are inevitable, but they are also things that can be rectified if she were to sought out the cure.

Ssssshhhhhh. The sound was much deeper, and it felt as though the candles were telling her to hush, not to speak in this event of unexpectedness. As the tent slowly began to darken, ever more swiftly from the candles that slowly let their life fade away, Rune continued to sit, moving not a single inch from her silk pouf. It was not a simple thing that was being done. The remaining flames flickered and swayed, lighting only one part of the tent. It was like an afterglow, like the sun had already slipped back into his well needed slumber, when truly it was only the beginning. The shadows had been thrown into oblivion. To join the mass of darkness that crowded over the tent's wall. She did not seem disturbed. She seemed at peace in the dusky gloom that had slowly clung to her tent, like a fog. She was helpless to stop it in her own way, and relished the feeling of it all the same.

The shadows, the shadows were the key. The shadows that had disappeared under the dark, under the ebony air of the tent. You could smell their songs, you could taste their distrust in the matters of darkness. Shadows were odd creatures. Their minds filled with bleak, wintrey despair, and yet they could not live or dance without light that would define who they were. Illusive, deceptive. Aggressive, passionate, and yet oddly silent and endearing. Their eternal, tormented cries for mercy were brushed away by the veil of oblivion that fell on both the shadows, and the domain of Rune, the Storyteller.

"Come, children. Move freely. The enchantment that keeps you hidden has gone with the unforgiving light. You are free." Yet again, the voice strung with a billion stars that swayed against each other tinkled and swished through the air. As though the sound of her voice coaxed the tree who's branches covered the walls to come to life, the tent was covered with light once more. But a different light.

A single spot of dazzling brilliance centered itself in the middle of the sprawling branches. Above the head of Rune, it glowed with a violet perfection. The taste of the color seemed citrusy, sweet and yet tangy. It spread along the branches quickly, pulsing with its own light as the tree lit the way for the shadows. The arms of the tree seemed to move, rustling the leaves who's words were more intricate and misunderstood than the lone shadow.

Each branch, each limb of the tree seemed to sing its own song. The beauty of it all converged and escalated into a song so sweet, that it rivaled the voice of Rune herself. The shadows that had nearly been vanquished by darkness leap from the walls and move around the room within the light that stays bright, cheerful and yet somber. The shadows quiet, and stand still, like statues themselves. They are no longer shapeless, their bodies have become what they were meant to be, what the shadows of Rune look like.

Their faces, were nothing. You could not see anything that showed any amount of emotion. They were beautiful in their own terrible way. Opaque, and yet solid at the same time. Their arms were willowy, and their legs slender. Their bodies held no features, and yet you could tell that each one was different in its own way. They were blacker than the coldest, longest night. Rune did not seem to suffocate in the presence of these merciless entities. In fact she seemed rejuvenated when they came to, floating off the walls and flickering in the dim light of the wishing tree.

The light of the branches stopped pulsing, but did not fade completely. A single branch began to move outwards, buds and leaves alike grew atop the small top of the branch. The slowly growing arm seemed to be pure white at first, as white as a dove's feather against a cerulean blue sky. A dot of shadow dripped down onto the white, staining it with the stink of the gloom. Slowly, the pearly sheen was taken by the glossy coating of Never. The tree shook violently as words slowly purged the darkened branch. The tree seemed to tremble with fear as an invisible hand penned the words that were meant to be seen, not to be heard. A smaller, slender branch began to grow at the tip of the newly created addition. A bud made itself known to the world, and began to open. What happened next, will remain a mystery.

Despite it's loving ebony black branch, the stalk was pure white, gleaming and glistening like a new day in the world. As its petals opened, you would see that within there was nothing but a silvery, glass blue. Diamonds sparkled at the edges of the petals like dew in the morning. It glowed with gentle light, and it was a wonder that such a beautiful thing could grow out of something so dark and treacherous. When the flower had finished blooming, all was still, the tree continued to glow, and it ceased to shake in fear.

And then, only then, did she move. It was not a subtle motion. There was no hesitancy in her graceful, flawless dance. The shadows bowed, and the light flickered with joy as the Storyteller entered the world that did not belong to her, leaving her own domain to its doings. Elegance. Beauty. Mystery. These words cloaked her like the shadows did as she took one slow step at a time, nearing the slit in the tent's far walls that glowed with reality instead of candle light. Shadows dragged at her feet, silently pleading for her to stay with them, but she took no notice. Her head moved to the left, ever so slightly, and the shadows obeyed her unspoken wishes. Without another motion they sprang towards their mistress, coiling around Rune like a deadly snake. It slid across her body, flowing across the colorful garments that had once bedecked her body. They had become a sheath, a cloak to keep her from the other world. To shroud and help her escape the vision of all who tried to see.

She continued to walk, taking no notice of anything except the freedom she could taste on her tongue. The tent seemed to flex, and contort around her, attempting to keep her hidden, selfishly trying to keep Rune away from the dangers, and from the wonders of the outside world. It gave way, soon enough. A hand slipped out from the rippling cape of Shadow People, the hand was encased in black as well, with a single silver ring that looked as though it were made from melted moonbeams. A finger crooked, before touching the folds of black velvet that kept the two worlds from combining. There was the briefest moment. The tiniest thought, the smallest twinge of fear beneath the cloak, before she pushed it open and slipped into the dark, early morning.

Upon the raspberry colored silk pouf lay the midnight blue veil that had hidden her face. It billowed lazily through the air for but a few moments, before becoming deathly still. It had been replaced. It had been forgotten, but it was still cherished.

She had been ready, a long time before.

The Storyteller had not left her tent in many moons. Many years ago she once roamed freely, but someone had taken that away for her. She walked slowly, in a regal way through the smoke tinged atmosphere. She was unknown to anyone, and would most likely be thought a straggler that had managed to evade the circus' closing hour. She moved swiftly, weaving through the tents as though they were not there. The shadow cloak moved with her, clinging to her every motion as though its beloved mistress was the only thing on its mind. It murmured words of comfort to her in its own language, and she responded in her own way.

There was an aura of chaos in the air around it. A cold wind nipped and butted its head against the cloak to no prevail. Her movements were quick, and sharp, nothing could be seen except the murky darkness of the cloak. Her eyes moved from one sight to another, absorbing, taking in everything she had not seen for herself a long time. Once upon a time, the mistress of shadows had left her tent. Once upon a time, chaos and misfortunate reared its beastly head... The mistress of shadows never left again, the end... Until now.

A figure in the distance. A lone shadow. The lone shadow Her pace did not quicken, but slowed. The cloak recoiled at his presence, pressing back against her as though begging her to turn around, but she did not. The hood pulled down, to hide her face completely as she neared him, closer, closer...

Please, do not. You will regret it...

Just a bit closer... closer...

A touch, blue sparks flew off of cloak. Invisible to anyone but Rune. As her body brushed past the bizzarist's, he would have felt something enter him. Devious thoughts, deadly joy. She continued walking past, when the unthinkable happened. Unfurling from its place, moving away from her neck, where she had cradled it lovingly within her garment of shadows came a simple piece of cloth. The same color of her veil. It slipped and shimmied through the air, shameless and happy as it roped around Fellini's arm and shifted up towards his shoulders. She stopped, fearing that the scarf would be tugged free. This was the first emotion she had felt, in such a long while.

Fear. Panic. She was overcome with the temptation to run, to disappear, to sink into the shade. And yet she stood her ground, her back to Fellini, as his was to her, with only the scarf holding them together. He would be able to catch a glimpse of it. The midnight blue rippled and wavered, embedded with precious stones. Moonstones glistened at him, and diamonds winked. Silvery runes swirled around the scarf, seeming to move without any coaxing, without practice, and without... fear.

The end of the scarf brushed against his cheek, softer than a star, brighter than the moon, gentler than an infant. And then, it disappeared, curling back around Rune's neck as she continued to walk away. It had marked him, she had not meant to mark such a person. She had to come to her senses, she had to be rational. She did not acknowledge Fellini, the bizzarist. In fact, she did just the opposite. Her first mistake in this new life she had begun without knowing it.

She ignored the inevitable. She ran from fate.

It will happen.