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.
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