Thanks for this drink buddy. I guess I better make with the story, huh?
So, the geese.
Yeah, like I said, they were weird but harmless. Good kids even, and utterly devoted to one another. You’ve never seen a pair of closer sisters. They finished each other’s sentences, as well as each other’s bird feed.
That’s why we were all so shocked.
As day broke, I was doing my rounds, waking up the freaks and calling them to make a start on breakfast, when I saw Lolly wandering out of her trailer. She was in a daze, tripping and falling as she walked, her eyes vacant and her hair a mess.
Her nightdress… Oh God. I’ll never forget the sight of it. It was tattered and torn, like she’d got into it with the strongman and his woman, and it was absolutely drenched in blood. The whole thing, from top to bottom was ruby. She tottered towards me, blood smeared across her face and hands, and fell into my arms, falling unconscious.
I called over the freaks I’d woken and had them carry her to the food tent so that they could clean her up and try to wake her, and headed on to the trailer, with dread doing double summersaults in my stomach. Something was deeply wrong.
As I approached the trailer, I gulped, gazing down at the side of trailer where a trail of blood dripped onto the overgrown grass that rested underneath.
“Molly?” I called out to her but there was no answer. The blood dripped and dripped, louder and louder with every step and as I opened the door to the trailer, I prayed I wouldn’t find Molly.
God hadn’t been taking my calls for a while, but that day, I guess he was feeling generous. I opened the door and all I found was the angel, staring out from behind the bars of her cage. She began to sniffle, and I could hear that tears were coming, so I backed away, closing the door and ran back towards the food tent to find the others. The angel began to shriek, but soon, she was drowned out by the screams coming from the food tent. I ran as fast as I could towards the screams and found my freaks crowded outside, Lolly lying on the ground, pinned to the floor by the strongman and strongwoman, hollering her pretty little head off.
A few of the freaks were sobbing, a few comforted each other, but I couldn’t get a word of sense out of any of them, so I headed inside the tent, ignoring their cries for me not to.
God’s generosity ended there.
Spread across the table were bits and pieces of poor Molly. Her body had been torn to pieces and rearranged in some kind of crude display, like a little doll. Her head was hollow, and her eyes were empty and almost sad.
I backed away, my hands covering my mouth as I fell among my freaks, horrified by what I’d seen. One by one, they all rounded on Lolly, who was still fighting to get free. She began hooting and hissing, clearly panicked and afraid, but as she tried to stand, they pushed her back to the ground. I tried to hold them back, calm them down and break it up, but there were too many of them, and they were too angry, too frightened.
Mob mentality. It’s a real thing, you know. If you get enough people spooked and give them a target, carnage is going to unfold, no matter what you do to try and stop it.
I tried to tell them to wait, but all they could see was poor Molly, and Ricky before her. They ripped little Lolly to shreds. Beat her to death, the poor kid. It seemed to go on forever, and all the time, she just called out to her sister. Like I said, you’d never seen a pair of sisters more devoted to each other. Molly was Lolly’s whole world, until, of course, her whole world died. She wasn’t far behind her beloved sister.
The freaks seemed to get it out of their system after Lolly. They were more at ease, and the show that night was the best it had been for a while. The world’s tallest woman went in with the angel next, and… well, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now. Right? You know what we couldn’t figure out? See, when it’s all laid out in front of me like this, it seems so obvious, but in the moment, when I lived it, I couldn’t see the grass for the trees, and I couldn’t see that angels don’t just fall for no good reason. They fall because they’ve been banished.
Like I said, there are things that find their way into this world that just don’t belong here, and that angel was one of them. I kept making money, of course, the crowds adored her, but the freaks started getting uneasy after the world’s tallest woman was cut down to size. They’re freaks but they’re not dumb, you know?
They all thought it was Lolly, that the poor kid had snapped, but in her golden cage, fluttering her wings and smiling like butter wouldn’t melt was the real culprit. I’d try and send one in to room with her, promising that they’d be checked on every few hours, but they wouldn’t have it, so we stopped giving her roommates. She’d shriek and sob all night, but be nice as pie for the audience.
We managed at first, but after a while, my freaks started to argue, trying to force one another to go to the angel and give her what she wanted. Like I said, mob mentality. It gets people the worst when they’re made selfish by sleep deprivation, I guess.
Then they came to me, demanding that I get rid of the angel, and even with all the money, I had to admit, the argument for getting rid of her was strong. I was losing freaks and losing sleep. The angel had an insatiable appetite, and I knew I’d run out of freaks eventually, so I promised them that I’d get rid of her.
I didn’t know how, of course. I still wasn’t clear on how I’d got my hands on her in the first place.
I looked it up in the bible and found nothing. I asked around at the local church and just got funny looks from the priest, so I decided to just give my best guess a shot and hope it worked out.
I took her to the bridge across town on the back of my truck. She sat peacefully in her cage, and didn’t even bat an eyelid when I began pumping cement through the bars. She just smiled sweetly until her face disappeared behind the wet cement, and didn’t make a sound as I nervously sat around waiting for it to dry.
She made a large splash as I shoved the cage over the bridge and into the river, and I watched the cage plummet down below the surface.
I must have stayed there about an hour or two, just waiting for her to come up, but thankfully, she stayed put, and I drove home, ready to sleep peacefully for the first time in weeks.
I slept like a baby, and when I woke up, for a second, it felt like it was going to be a good day.
Then I heard the angel sobbing.
It seemed to be everywhere, all through the camp. I stumbled out of my trailer, barely dressed, and was met with a massacre.
My freaks were scattered across the ground, the grass soaked in their blood, their bodies torn apart, and each of their heads, lined up by my trailer, hollow, with empty stares. Christ, even the bearded baby.
Right at the centre, in her cage with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen in your life was the angel. Sobbing and smiling as she stared round at what she had done, almost as if she was asking for my applause.
I knew I had to get her off my back, but there just wasn’t a way, you see. The only thing that keeps her happy is a hot meal. She likes ‘em live. Something about the chase does it for her.
God knows, I always think it will be the last time, but then I wind up in a bar with a nice kid like you, and out of the corner of my eye, I see her out the window, pointing out her next meal and licking her lips.
It’s been years and she just won’t leave me alone, and I hate to ask, because you seem so nice, but hey, you’re already pretty woozy with what I slipped in your drink while you were at the bar, so it seems a shame to waste good drugs, you know?
I’m real sorry, kid. You seem swell, but she’s real hungry, you see. I’ll tell her to be gentle, seeing as you were so nice, but she’s never listened to me before, so… good luck!