Showtime

Originally published in Dark Moments by Black Hare Press

Deke woke from a dream of his life before the circus. He had been roaming under the endless Montana sky. A blinding light shone from above. A watery, gurgling voice spoke.

“This one.”

Then, darkness.

Deke’s eyes fluttered open. He was in a box of frosted glass, naked and cold. The lid opened. He squinted up at his captor, at its four tentacled arms, its translucent head, its singular yellow eye. Deke had learned that the least painful option was to simply comply. Perform his routine. Entertain the crowd. Survive another day.

His captor spoke. Its voice was liquid.

“Showtime.”