“Hurry!” The Ringmaster shouts.
You rise to your small stature, but pause to dip the brush in black. Draw tears down your cheeks–little diamonds.
You slip inside the circus ring, knees shaking. In the years you’ve performed, it’s your first routine with a tiger. The Ringmaster thought it’d be entertaining, mixing fear and funny.
The animal roars. You flinch. The audience laughs, oblivious. They can’t tell what a joker is feeling. The smile on your face is forever, your fear just another act.