My Gypsy Queen.

The moonlight broke through the clouds illuminating each step I took as I strode towards my beloved. We met at the same place what felt like every night but was truly once a week. I came here more often during the day to see her though we can barely share a few words before she must get back to work and attend to the curious children and their skeptical parents.

The lights of the main tent light up the sky as I close in on the circus. Just as I begin to see the lights of the smaller tents and caravans, my love comes into view. Standing in the middle of the bridge and looking out over the moat as usual. The circular moat surrounding the circus looks like an amazing coincidence to most, but once you get to know the circus folk and study the waters carefully, you’ll know it’s not just a coincidence. After all, the circus has been in this very spot for longer than anyone realises.

Hearing my footfalls as I stepped on the bridge, my love spoke to me softly; her words carried to me by the gentle breeze.

“Things are changing, my love. I fear the circus may not survive here much longer.”

Startled by her words, I quickly replied,” whatever do you mean Esmeralda? The circus has been here for centuries!”

She turned to face me, her words as gentle as the last. “That is has, but things are changing. They sky is darkening and it would not do us well to remain here as we are.”

“What do you mean? Where will you go if not here? Will you take me with you?”

My love drew closer and cupped my face in her hands. Titling her head upward to meet my eyes, she gave me a warm but strained smile. “You know I could not take you with me wherever it is we go. I do not even know if we will leave this place; our home of so many years. But, my love, if I must leave, we will be no more.”

I studied my darling Esmeralda as her words settle in. Her deep green eyes staring at me so lovingly, yet if trouble befell the circus she would be lost to me forever. Drinking her in for what felt like the last time, I noted her dark skin set off by the array of colours that clothed her body. She was wearing her favourite ‘gypsy costume’ a full skirt of several different layers and materials of various shades of greens, blues, pinks and purples complementing a corset style top with green and yellow ribbons creating a criss-cross pattern across her chest and pieces of black lace draped haphazardly over her arms.

My love was beautiful. But I was going to lose her! To whatever it is that is threatening the circus.

“Let me leave with you, my love! Or at least let me fight whatever it is that’s coming so you can stay. I could not live if we were to part ways!” I pleaded.

With a slight laugh, she replied, “ah, my dear. Ever so brave and willing to fight for me. But I’m afraid that if something comes, you will be no match for it. Which is why we, the circus, would be leaving.” Esmeralda paused. “I love you dear Alfie, but it is time for me to retire to my bed. Goodnight, my love. We will speak again.”

The last words she said to me before she retreated back into the circus encampment.

I went to visit her the next day, to see her smile; a smile that could light up the room. I reached the bridge to find the circus was gone. And with it, my love. My Gypsy Queen.

Amber. xx

Thanks to my friend Harriet for the prompts: colourful, gypsy and bridge.
This one was finished after my usual bedtime so the writing got so much worse as it went. And rather obviously too, I must say! : P

My Mother Always Told Me Not To Play With Fire…

… but that’s a little difficult when you’ve inherited your father’s passion and talent for fire-dancing. Fire-dancing. Using that term makes it sound like a circus trick and to most people, that’s probably all they think when I perform on the street. But to me it’s so much more, runs so much deeper. To me, it’s more magical than anything else.

When I was younger, I’d always wished I was a fairy or a princess, or something that I knew I’d never be. When I was eight I finally got my wish. Well.. sort of.

Just after my seventh birthday, my Father began to take me with him to his street performances. He used to ask me to help him with props and the like. He could do with a ball of fire what no other could do with a small flame and I was in awe. After a few months he began explaining to me how he created such stunning displays of flaming art. And on my eighth birthday, he began to teach me how.

After a month or so, I was creating fire from nothing. Not a candle, not a match nor a speck of ember.

“It’s magic!” I exclaimed to my father the first time I achieved this incredible feat.

“That it is, my child.” He replied.

For months we practised together, him teaching me all he new, and me with my wild, young imagination creating pictures and dances the likes of which he’d never seen. Then one day it all stopped.

Mother told me my Father was killed by fire whilst practising his dancing out in the field. Which was, in part, true.

Though my Mother knows not, I was there that day and I know exactly what happened. My Father wasn’t killed by his own fire, nor was he killed out in the field where he was found. No, he was killed in a warehouse down by the docks and the deed was done by two cloaked men and a cloaked woman. They were fire-dancers also; at least, that’s what I thought at first. But their fire was not the bright warm colours my Dad and I danced with, they were a deeper, darker shade of red and muddy brown and were tinged with a rich purple. They could not create fire themselves either, they had small viles hanging from their necks containing a small flame of the same threatening colour.

These were not friends to my Father nor I. They murdered my Father, and for that they will pay.

After my Father had passed, I took to the streets performing on my own to help my mother keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. It was then that she first began telling me that I should not to play with fire anymore; scared I would suffer the same fate as my Father.

I did not heed her advice, not for many months. Until today. While my Mother and I were out of town visiting her sister, our house was burned down and many of the townsfolk were harassed with questions about our whereabouts to which no one could answer.

They were looking for me. The three people in cloaks. Looking for me to finish the job they failed to do when they killed my Father seven months ago.

Today, I’m finally taking Mother’s advice. There will be no more playing with fire, no dancing with my dear friend.

From today, I fight with fire.

Amber. xx

Thanks to Writer’s Digest for the prompt.