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The drop

A fiction story written by a mother and her daughter

By Karen CavePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
The drop
Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash

She felt a million eyes gaze upon her in the ring. Spotlights and camera lights flashed before her eyes, as she prepared for the performance of a lifetime. She adjusted her peacock-feather eye mask and shut her eyes for a second, to take in the adrenaline burst and channel it into beauty and grace.

The swing rushed towards her, and she braced her arms for the grab. A bead of sweat dripped off her forehead. It all happened so quickly; the sudden flash of a camera, blinding her, the way her foot twisted as she tried to leap from platform to swing. And then she was gone from sight, plunging through the moonlit sky. Her leg cracked as she made impact with the floor, and suddenly the blue-purple sky went black.


When she next opened her eyes, the world looked dark. She didn’t know how much time had passed. She was confused, and squeezed her eyes shut again, seeing purple and orange dots, and wincing at the pain all over her broken body. Voices sounded too loud, making her head hurt, and her eyes closed again. When she opened them, faces were hovering over her, looking concerned, including the circus manager who looked white as a sheet and stricken with guilt. She heard hushed voices, saw tears in eyes, hands raised to faces in shock. She was their star trapeze artiste; what on earth would happen now?

Through her delirium she saw flashing ambulance lights, and gentle, assured hands manoeuvred her onto a stretcher, securing her in place. She could sense their professionalism, and she felt safe and swaddled, like a baby, as the straps were fastened firmly and snugly. She thought back to the many hundreds of magnificent jumps and catches she had completed over the years; how she had twisted and contorted her body into impossible shapes, demonstrating incredible physical strength and courage, how renowned and respected she was; how dedicated to her artistry.

How far her reputation stretched, drawing people from all over the world to come watch this diminutive performer defy gravity and the sky. She had drawn gasps of awe and amazement from presidents and rock stars. She had even performed a special set for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. She still remembered the costume she had been wearing, it had been made especially for the occasion by a top designer. The glorious colours of red, white and deep blue reflected the Queen’s British heritage, as well as Prince Philip’s Greek background.

After that magnificent show; one of the few she had been nervous about beforehand; both Royals had come to shake her hand, and both were very gracious and amusing. The Queen stated dryly that she was a ‘braver person than me, getting up there!’

Prince Philip, with his tall stature and face full of amusement designed to put her at her ease, quipped that with her ease of heights, perhaps she should have been flying the fighter planes instead of him.

That thrilling memory dissipated as pain took hold once again. What a shock this was, she thought to herself, because no matter how dangerous your job is, the simple truth is that you never think that this will happen to you. How surprising really that it hadn't happened before.

Her body ached, her face bruised, several bones broken probably, or at least fractured. She knew she was in pain, and would need a lot of healing, painkillers too, physiotherapy probably. But thank God, she thought to herself, thank GOD that her right leg had taken the brunt of the impact.

She would hopefully be on the mend soon, and within time, be back on the ropes to dazzle the awestruck crowds once more.

After all, she couldn't let her audience down, especially as she was the country's first ever trapeze artiste with a wooden leg.



Short Story

About the Creator

Karen Cave

A mum, a friend to many and I love to explore dark themes and taboos in my writing. I am an optimist with a dark side...

Hope you enjoy! I appreciate all likes, comments - and please share if you'd like more people to see my work.

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