Hello there, dear readers, and welcome back to another Creepy Samples Offering. Today, I'll be presenting you with an excerpt from a story called The Amazing Dragos, which, of course, appears in my latest publication entitled A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales.
Ordinarily, I give a bit of background before going directly into the meat of the story. Today, however, that won't be necessary as I'm going to start right at the beginning. So then, with0out further ado...
Vasile and Mihaela gazed at the mysterious woman intently. With only five minutes to go before show time, she had walked into the tent unexpectedly, making them an incredible offer.
The Amazing Dragoș, as they liked to call themselves, had been traveling the country with McKenzie & Sons, a carnival that for years had played to various county and state fairs. They were an aerial act, trapeze performers, who had never advanced to the circus; a life-long dream.
As luck would have it, the two had crossed paths at a local bar with a troupe of workers for a well-known circus, which had been setting up outside a nearby city.
“Management doesn’t know what to do,” one of the circus personnel had told them. “Our trapeze act is down with the flu or something. Perhaps you could help them out.”
This was the chance of a lifetime for the couple. Finally, their dream of performing for the circus might become a reality. They had met with management the following morning, and were given an opportunity to fill in for the sick performers. The Amazing Dragos had been scheduled to perform that very night.
In spite of their good fortune, Vasile and Mihaela had concerns; serious concerns. Both were approaching 40 years of age, and the ravages of time were beginning to take a toll upon their bodies. They desperately wanted to hit the big time, to travel with a nationally known circus, to perform as a couple on the top of their game. Yet, age was slowing them down. They were past their prime and they knew it.
The two had been attempting to soothe one another’s nerves when the strange woman approached them.
“I can make your every dream come true,” she told them. “I can give you the youthful vigor you need to succeed beyond your wildest expectations.”
“And how can you do that?” Vasile asked with skepticism.
“The details are unimportant,” the stranger responded. “You’re running out of time. Accept my offer and you’ll have a stellar night. After that, you must accompany me to my private theater and perform for my associates. Those are my terms.”
“May we speak about this privately for a moment?” Mihaela asked.
“Of course,” came the response, “but I wouldn't delay for long, if I were you. The act you're following is about to finish.”
The two stepped outside momentarily. Mihaela covered her mouth to hide her giggling as she began to speak. “Where did this woman come from?” she asked. “She can't really be serious.”
“She has got to be crazy,” her husband responded. “But let's humor her and accept her terms. It will make for a most interesting evening. Are we agreed?”
“Yes, let's do it.”
The strange woman greeted them impatiently when they returned inside. “What is your answer?” she demanded.
“We agree to your terms,” Vasile informed her.
“Yes,” Mihaela added, “we would like the stellar night you speak of.”
“Then you shall have it,” the stranger said with a knowing smile on her face. “Look into my eyes, both of you, and enjoy the sensation as the vigor of youth once again flows through your veins.”
As they gazed into her dark eyes a strange esthesis overtook them. An energetic flow of invigoration began spreading from the centers of their bodies outward—outward toward their limbs, energizing their every muscle—their every cell. Yet, there was something else as, during the passing seconds, they continued gazing into the woman's eyes. Her dark orbs seemed to them as bottomless pits, black holes leading into some unfathomable place. Her eyes seemed to hold a power over them; they could not avert their gaze. She held them fast.
After a minute or two, the stranger turned away from them. The dark spell seemed broken. In place of the temporary discomfort the two had experienced, there was only the feeling of youth. They could barely contain their energy. Their earlier feelings of doubt had been replaced by self-confidence and a sense of certitude. Tonight would be their best performance ever. They could feel it in their bones.
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time under the big top, we present to you The Amazing Dragos!”
The announcement had been made. The audience cheered and applauded as they climbed the ladders leading to their respective trapezes. The spectators laughed as clowns commenced with funny antics while the couple made their way to the tiny platforms near the top of the tent. Each of the Amazing Dragos took hold of their trapeze, and the crowd hushed. The performance was about to begin.
Well, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed it, and we'll see you again in a few weeks. Until then, keep it spooky.