You had only seen him in the local newspapers.
Bolded headlines making out words that you could barely make out, given your poor education—and the constant bickering of your mother to find a good husband and lay low in Derry. Screw them all, you thought angrily, I’m worth so much more than that. You traced the fine ink that read “CIRCUS RETURNS IN DERRY! WELCOME BACK PENNYWISE THE DANCING CLOWN!” and looked at the picture of the man behind the fine circus: Mr. Robert Gray. He looked a bit old, mid-to-late thirties, with light skin, dark hair, strange dark eyes and an eerie smile to match with them.
You let out a huff of air and rolled up the newspaper: throwing it into the furnace.
You were too old for the circus anyway.
But your little brother of twelve years thought differently.
“Can we go to the circus?” You remembered him asking you one a hot July afternoon.
“Pleeeaaaase? Momma didn’t wanna take take me n’ she told me to ask you!”
You were about to decline, about to tell him that the only money you had was being saved to move out of Derry. But then he gave you puppy eyes and you felt compelled to listen to his request, hoping to make him as happy as can be.
Times in Derry were hard when you were working day and night to make sure that food was on the table, even if that food was the same meal of bread and butter. If you were lucky one some days, the man you had worked for had allowed you to bring lamb stew back home.
But those days were rare and far from your reach now that summer was ending.
You took off your apron and offered your brother a hand, giving him a smile.
He took your hand excitedly and practically dragged you out of the house and through the dirt streets. You apologized as you nearly bumped into carts, wagons, and others who were going about your day. You couldn’t scold your brother, how could you?
He had never gone to the circus before.
You knew you had arrived at the circus as soon as the rank smell of dung and popcorn had mixed in the air; the odors only intensifying with the temperature being so hot in the summer. You scrunch your nose up and almost laugh at the ticket attendee’s expression, which was that of boredom and exhaustion, the smoke from his cigarette mixing with the air.
“Two tickets,” you gave him the money and he, your tickets.
After that soon became one of the most surreal experiences in your life. You took it all in: sights, smells, and sounds. Strange men balancing themselves on long sticks as they walked through the park, the trumpet of an elephant’s cry, bearded women and beautiful young girls who danced and toured the guests around the circus.
You bought cotton candy and shared it with your brother; a bit amazed at the sugary taste that dissolved on your tongue.
This was your first time to the circus as well.
“Be good, won’t you?” You ruffled your brother’s head and gave him the remainder of your money and cotton candy.
“Meet me back here when you’re done.”
Your brother nodded happily and as soon as he wandered off into the circus you made your way around the tents and booths. Everything was so beautiful and wonderful. Somehow you found yourself passing through the performer’s wagons and carts: their stage names written in funny text with a painted logo of their face on the side.
Your eyes briefly met the wagon with a clown’s face plastered on it, that must’ve been Mr. Gray’s wagon.
I shouldn’t be here too long. You mused and returned to the liveliness of the circus.
It didn’t take too long to find your brother on his own accord, you simply followed the collective laughter of children and find yourself staring at a whole crowd of them. They were all crowded around a clown: who wore a silver costume with red accents and pom poms on the front. His face—you assumed it was a man from his height and features—was covered with white-cracked greasepaint and red paint that covered his whole nose and red lips. His hair was dark brown, that was tinted with strands of orange and grey, and the wispy look of it reminded you of your mother’s when she combed it a little too much in one sitting.
You watched as he performed all sorts of cute little party tricks and games.
Pulling long strands of colored fabric out of his ear, making pennies come out of little girls’ ears, blowing balloons and turning them into red animals. It wasn’t long before he was done though, and all of the children—disappointed—dispersed and you embraced your brother when he returned to you.
“Did you have fun?” You quietly asked him. He nodded in response; and you were going to leave as soon as possible when your vision was filled with reflective shades of red. Two gloved fingers holding a long white string perfectly still in front of you.
“A pretty balloon for a pretty girl,” A high-pitched voice said.
You turned your head paused when you saw that it was the clown from before.
You graciously took the balloon and gave him a sweet smile.
“Thank you,” you grabbed your brother’s hand. “We must be on our way now, though.”
He gave you another smile, this one actually genuine when you noticed that he didn’t do the lip thing that he had advertised so often in his photos and posters, and sent a wave your way as you and your brother left.
The second time you had gone to the circus was through the back, having memorized that the performer’s tents were near the forest and completely unguarded. You had come on your own accord this time, without your brother and on a Sunday no less. Still you pushed your worries on the back of your mind and quietly slunk past the wagons and carts, hearing laughter in the distance where the circus was at.
And in those sounds was the sound of music.
It was the rich sound of a trumpet that attracted you to the main performer’s wagons, a quiet serenade calling you closer. It was coming from Mr. Gray’s wagon.
You allowed curiosity to get the better of yourself and you pushed the wagon’s door open, which was already ajar when you saw it. The door creaked and a man’s voice, smooth and soft, called out.
You timidly looked at him when the door was pulled away completely, revealing your embarrassed and bashful form when you see the man behind the clown: and this time you could get a good look at him without the make-up and costume.
He wore a beige shirt with dark pants and black suspenders.
“I-I’m sorry!” you apologized profusely and turned around.
Hurried footsteps led to a firm hand around your forearm. You turned around and looked up, Mr. Gray still managing to tower over you, he had a spark in his eyes when he looked at you—a rush of familiarity.
“I remember you,” he says and lets go of your arm. “You’re the one who I gave the balloon to.”
Even though you remembered him giving balloons to everyone, you also remembered how you were the only one that didn’t ask for one.
“Yes,” you stammered out, “I still have it.”
There was a look of hope and appreciation in his eyes.
“I was hoping you’d come again but,” he gestures to himself, “I’m not exactly in costume.”
“I can come at a later time!” You were about to leave.
“No! No, it’s fine, miss,” he gestures to the stool at the end of the wagon. “I hope you don’t mind if we talk here.”
You looked at him, shocked, before giving him a smile and walked over to the stool.
The twelfth—fifteenth? time you visit Mr. Gray, Robert by preference, he has his fingers through your hair, mouth capturing yours with a heated passion. Your mouth mimicked against his as you wrapped your arms around his middle, a low heat pooling in your stomach and lower . You could smell the greasepaint that covered certain parts of his face, smearing against yours as you pressed your face against his.
The phonograph played a soft tune in the background and you had allowed yourself to fall into the bliss.
His fingers suddenly intertwined themselves into your hair and he pulled.
You took this time to gasp for air, eyes trained on the wooden ceiling before rolling to the back of your head as Robert attacked your neck. He left sloppy kisses all over your neck, sucking and tugging at the soft flesh and letting his tongue do the rest. He left a trail of saliva across your skin, leaving your breathless and cold when the chill of outside would slip through the cracks of the wooden boards. You tugged at his suspenders and he let out a shaky laugh in response, getting your message. Within moments the both of you are nude and fighting for dominance, but you allowed Robert to take over when he grabs your hands with his own and drags them against the sheets until they’re over your head.
Sweat and other bodily fluids pooled between the two of you, making the contact of your bodies hot and slick. You felt some of it pool on the arch of your back underneath, soaking the sheets with your passion.
Robert captures your bottom lip between his teeth and he finally enters after minutes of kissing and groping. You moan and shudder at the feeling, toes curling and head falling back against the pillows, grabbing his hands tighter as you adjust to the heat and thickness of his length.
And when he did move, you thought you were going to die.
It felt so amazing, sliding in and out of you in a manner that sent waves of pleasure that thrummed and pulsed against your sex. Wanting more, you wrapped one of your legs on top of his back, and you swore to God that he went deeper at that moment. The only sounds that filled the wagon was the phonograph, the sound of skin against skin, and the moans that left your mouth every-time Robert had thrust into you.
Sweet release came faster than you could comprehend and you shuddered as you felt yourself clenching up, the heat subsiding that left you feeling content. Robert had given a few shaky thrusts before he allowed himself to be lost in his own release, resting his forehead with yours; slick warmth filling your insides.
“Be mine,” he whispered against your lips, you let out a dazed hum.
He gave you one last kiss and pulled out of you, falling beside you in relieved pleasure.
I'm already yours. You thought to yourself before letting sleep take over.