This is part 4 of an 11-part series (click here to read the first blog in the series).
The tall crowd crushed in from all directions. A jostling melee of bodies. Strange faces jumping into her own. The world still spinning as she pushed through the scrum.
‘Well done, Sophie the Brave.’
A drunk, fat man clapped her on the back as she burst out of the crowd and staggered onto the grassy thoroughfare. Her legs seemed to be stuck together. Oh yea, the safety clip on her dress. She removed it, but still couldn’t walk steady. So dizzy! Really needed some water. She recalled a tap somewhere close by and began stumbling towards it. The atmosphere of the festival seemed more sinister now – stomping feet, shouting mouths, leering eyes. Everything jumping intrusively into her face. The water-point wasn’t where she expected, so she kept walking – not entirely in straight lines – for quite a long time. What field was she in now? Eventually, she found a tap and bent down to drink from cupped hands. The taste was fresh and clean, but everything still spun. The world had a greasy shine to it – patchy, oil-spill colours. She leant against a narrow tree and hung her head.
‘You having a good night?’ A geezer swaggered up with a cocky leer in his grin… oozing bad energy. ‘You alright? Wanna go somewhere we can chill out?’ There was no compassion in his tone. Sophie wanted him to leave, but could only point a confused squint. ‘Come on. I’ll look after you.’ He grabbed her around the shoulders and started to lead her away.
‘Get off me. Fuck off!’ Sophie squirmed free and stumbled clear.
‘Fuck you then.’
His caring pretence evaporated with a sizzle and he waved his arm impatiently as he stalked off. Oh God! What a vulture! She must look pretty fucked up if she’s attracting scavengers like that. Needed to find the girls. They’d look after her. Would be nice to be hugged up close to Tanya’s big, chuckling bosom. She needed to find the Ska Tent. Just up here and past the wicker sculpture on the hill… right? Sophie made her way through the festival. But had to keep going for longer than expected. It must be further than she thought… much further.
Eventually, she realised she’d gone the wrong way. Hadn’t even got back to the Circus Arena. Although she was pretty sure she knew where to go, now. Kept seeing places she recognised, although her brain wasn’t really putting things together properly. The world had never stopped swirling… and she remained swimming in sweat. The Circus Master’s spell still firmly in place. Black magic messing with her mind! The image of him lashing his whip, brandishing his machetes, taming his lionesses. Oh God!
Okay, where the fuck was she? She’d never seen this yoga tepee before. Had she ever even been in this field? She was lost. Needed to call the girls. Why hadn’t she done that already? Oh shit! No phone! No bag! Fuck! She’d given her bag to a woman, before going on stage. What did the woman look like? Sophie just remembered red hair and a big smile. Shit! She had to find the Circus Arena – see if the woman was still there… or had handed the bag in. How long had it been? Time had been warping weirdly ever since she fell under the Circus Master’s spell. It must’ve been at least an hour… could easily have been two. There was probably no one at the arena now. But she hurried along anyway. Should ask someone for directions, but she really didn’t want to.
The festival felt like a cruel place, now. Even cheery shouts rang hollow and sinister. What were all these strange people thinking, behind their funny, floating faces? Everything seemed grim. An evil carnival of intrusive colours – horror at the fun-fair. She was totally lost… and really needed a piss. Couldn’t see any porta-loos. She found a quiet corner and squatted behind a pile of technical equipment. Yet couldn’t actually piss, however hard she strained. So the ecstasy’s only effect was to stop her pissing. Typical! She staggered back onto the thoroughfare, feeling depressed. A man was looking as he strolled past. Thought it was her driving instructor, for a second, but obviously it wasn’t.
‘You alright?’ He seemed nice – not overly concerned, but at least he wasn’t visibly sizing her up for a sexual assault. Was with a group of student-ish guys drifting along in a loose, skirmish-formation.
‘No. I’ve lost my friends… and my phone… and my bag… and I’m lost.’
He looked troubled. Drunken face crinkling to concentrate. ‘Shit. Where’d you need to… get to?’
‘The Circus Arena… or the Ska Tent.’
‘I know where the Ska Tent is. We’re going near there now. Come with us… if you like. Just try to ignore Darren. He’s one of the good guys… but he’s fucked.’ He gestured towards a lanky, boggle-eyed man lumbering towards them. There was a slight slope and Darren fell towards his own footsteps with lurching momentum.
‘Fuck you, Mark! Don’t bad mouth me. I’m top of the fucking world.’ Sophie stepped back, in case Darren collapsed forward and accidentally head-butted her. But he managed to keep his feet. An excited flash of recognition as his bleary eyes settled. ‘Hey! It’s Sophie the Brave! Cool man… you’re fucking cool. Legend! Fucking legend!’ Darren jawed his arms wide to present Sophie to an un-watching world. She flustered with pride. She was a legend – a fucking legend! ‘This is the feathery, mermaid chick from the show, I was saying about… got strapped to the wheel with the crazy fucker chucking the knives and shit. Lugged one right out of the fucking arena man… could’ve hit anyone!’ Miming the incident. ‘Fair play for holding it together. I’d have pissed my pants.’
‘Better than pissing the fucking tent.’ Mark put in with embittered passion.
‘He was a proper head-case – scary fucker! They’re all crazy. Their camp’s fucking weird… all chains and cages and shit!’
‘You’ve seen their camp?!’ Sophie blurted excitedly.
‘Yea, on walkabout last night.’
‘He took three tabs of acid and jumped the fence… out of the festival.’ Mark whirled a finger by his forehead. ‘Ends up on a golf course… fucking miles away. No one knew where he was. This is the kind of shit I have to put up with.’
Darren shone with pride. ‘Was practicing my stroke. Found a club and all… and there’s loads of balls all over the place.’ He swung his body to mime a golf stroke.
‘Where are they camped?’ Sophie locked onto his eyes.
‘The circus you mean? Out in the woods… outside the festival… long way out.’
Darren squinted at her, warily. ‘You don’t want to go there. Some seriously weird shit going on down there. I heard him whipping… and a woman screaming… like she was proper loving it, mind. Proper weird… BDSM shit. You don’t want to go there.’
‘That’s where I lost my bag.’ The perfect excuse just popped into her head. ‘But I’m not going there anyway. Just interested… in… where it is?’
He paused, expression faltering as he attempted to concentrate. Could hear his brain sloshing about inside his skull. ‘Past the Fairy Woods with the giant spiders. I’ll show you.’ He pulled out a scruffy, little map. Peering at it, blearily, until he suddenly seemed confident. ‘You know where the big lake is?’ Sophie nodded as he pointed with a flap of his arm. She did remember – she’d just walked past it. ‘There’s a little, Japanese bridge over it. Cross that… then past the Penis Totem Pole… and the Fairy Woods is straight ahead. In the woods, there’s a spider… tangling up a velociraptor, right by a meditation… place… and that’s where the hole under the fence is. Then it’s through the woods… directly away from the festival. They’re camped by a road… like, a little, shitty, country road. Miles away.’ He peered intently at Sophie. ‘Don’t you go there, though.’
‘I won’t. But while you were talking… about places… I remembered where I put my… errr… so I’ll just…’ Sophie began walking away. Mark was going to try and talk her out of it, so she kept rambling to smother him. ‘I know where I’m going. Someone’s waiting for me actually. I’ll be fine, now. Thanks for your help.’ She waggled them a little wave. Mark looked disappointed. Darren was absently rocking back and forth on his heels. ‘What time is it, by the way?’
Sophie smiled appreciatively, before turning and stalking off into the night. Heading towards the lake. She knew where she was going… and who was waiting. Didn’t know what would happen to her, of course. Chains and cages… lashes and screams. A ticklish flutter of excitement. Sophie had never had any experience of sexual domination before, but had long fantasised. Could imagine the Circus Master reducing her to a beast, like he did to the lionesses. Dominating her with his powerful hands… stroking her wildness away. Taming her. His Little Bird. Caging her. She saw herself in a gilded bird-cage, naked except for her feathered jacket. Perched on a little swing with her plump, round buttocks perking out behind as she swings back and forth. Him sitting close by, in a big chair, smoking a fat cigar.
Or maybe there’s no cage – just the little perch. His strong hands slapping her ass on each swing – spanking her cheeks sore. Or perhaps they’re both sitting still, his hand raised to clutch up around the bauble of her buttock – holding his little bird in the palm of his hand. Or impaling her on his walking cane – sticking it up her ass… making her into a lollipop. Imagine the ball-shaped cane-handle sliding up inside – cold metal plugging her. Or maybe he’d give her a beautiful bird’s tail – insert a bouquet of long, yellow feathers up her ass. She’d look so good with the colourful plumage bursting out of her. Would feel amazing! She couldn’t get the Circus Master’s hypnotic swirling eyes out of her head. This was obviously a terrible idea!