Creaking timber, and grumbling wheels rolled over the dirt road as we set off on our slow journey onto the next town. I settled back in my cushion bed, safe against the rolling motion of the cart as Black Bessie pulled us on into the future. Leaving Martin riding on the hard seat. Replete I closed my eyes.
In the shadows of the wooden caravan I dozed as the rest of the weary troupe followed Bessie’s lead. Martin knew where to go and what to do, so I left him to it. The sounds of the lively conversations from the followers drifted towards us, muted slightly through the timber, accompanied by the steady patter of the young children of the village running alongside as they made their repeated farewells. Every year, we had to turn people away who wanted to abandon their tedious life for one perceived as exhilarating. The circus with its daring exploits, bright colours, and outrageous clowns always seemed inexplicably attractive. Maybe having grown up with it I had lost, or perhaps never gained, that sense of delight and wonder. Of course, they never see the unexciting work, only the chance to flaunt themselves in front of the public; a different town each week.
For one girl the attraction had been too great, and despite many refusals, had persisted in taking her interest to the top. She came to me, as ringmaster and offered herself to the circus, her determination new no bounds. I accepted and she jumped into my arms. She smelt so sweet, so fresh that I had fight to hold on to my resistance. Early dusk light coated the vibrant colours with a muted grey light. The timing was all wrong.
In the security of the caravan I hid from the bright sunlight streaming across the countryside taking us far away from the village and the girl. The travelling life of the circus suited me just fine; they wouldn’t find her body for many months. It isn’t often a meal throws herself at you; what’s a vampire to do?