The Circus – Flash Fiction

AnElephantCant spell Coulrophobia
It is a new-fangled Greek-based compound noun
But put down the dictionary
This is a  short fiction story
AnElephant explains that it means ‘fear of clowns’

AnElephant is invited by the lovely, and Priceless, Joy to write a piece of Flash Fiction for her challenge, here.
The inspiration comes from the photo provided, below.

Free from

Free from

The Circus

I feel again the childhood thrill when the circus comes to town.
But I am a mother now, husband gone, so I worry that my children will be tempted as I always was.
For years I dreamed of that romantic life, the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd.
So we visit, the three of us, and I keep them close.
They love the clown most of all and, as we leave, he reappears without makeup.
His eyes are so sad, so beseeching, that I am afraid.
We visit every night.
He finds us prime seats, free of charge, enchants my darlings.
As the circus pulls out of town I have tears in my eyes, wondering if I will ever see them again.
But I have to go with him.

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17 Responses to The Circus – Flash Fiction

  1. The romance of running away. Will she like the mobile homes and life on the road? That’s not the question of the heart, but the question of the pragmatist.


  2. afairymind says:

    The draw of the fair and the sad eyes of the clown are too much to for her to withstand. I hope she someday sees her children again. Good story. 🙂


  3. M says:

    You should read the night circus. So good.


  4. emmylgant says:

    Eyes to drown in.
    Eyes that make her forget everything and everyone that meant everything to her until she read in them what she needed.
    The circus is the ultimate escape from reality, I think.
    Excellent story. Quite disturbing.


  5. milliethom says:

    I got the feeling that the clown was the husband, but I know I could be wrong. Some lovely descriptions of greasepaint and the pull of circus entertainment on the crowds. The story leaves us with some unanswered questions. 🙂


  6. Her dream of joining the circus, in a way, finally came true. The trouble is she was romanticized by the circus that she was trying to protect her children from. Is she following true love or just a creepy clown? Excellent story Elephant!! It leaves a lot of questions in my mind. (hugs!) xox


  7. yeseventhistoowillpass says:

    I don’t hate clowns but they are freaky


  8. Tastyniblets says:

    Great take on the prompt – I have to ask.. who is the clown meant to be? her husband? someone else?


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