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I never thought I would live to see the circus again

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I never thought I would live to see the circus again. That wasn't saying much since us in Imus didn't live long too begin with anyway. I heard once we lived as long as the Aetherians, but now, we are lucky to make it past twenty-five.

The circus would come around once every twenty or so years. No one knew why they waited so long between visits, but when they did come, the show was always spectacular. I would have been barely six the first time I saw the circus. At the time, I thought I would be too old to make it to the next visit, but it seemed they had arrived a few years early.

Ellinder must have had similar thoughts as we walked along. "I wonder why they came back so soon. It's only been... fifteen years?"

Silently, I counted back the years. "Yeah, only fifteen. Perhaps they'll tell us during the show."

I smiled at Ebba as she turned back to look at us, before skipping on ahead.

"I truly never thought I'd get to see the circus again," Ellinder said with a shake of his head.

A long forgotten memory stirred, bringing a grin to my face. "I wonder if they still have the dragon?" I glance sideways at Ellinder, whose cheeks had reddened. "If I remember correctly, a certain someone found it terrifying when we were little. Led dad on a wild chase through Imus, screaming all the while."

"It breathed fire," Ellinder grumbled. "It was scary."

"Uh huh, yeah, sure." I nodded, still grinning.

"Hey, don't think I won't leave you here on your own. Try walking without- woah."

Ellinder stopped in his tracks as we looked at the Heart. It had been completely transformed. A circular piece of striped material with two peaks in the centre floated above a small stage as if suspended in the air. Over the heads of the crowd gathered around the stage, little orbs of light hovered about, casting a golden glow through the street.

I watched as Ebba jumped, reaching for an orb just above her head. "Do you think it's a glow stone?"

Before Ellinder could reply another voice called out.

"Ebba! I've been looking everywhere for you."

Sylvie rushed past us, crouching in front of Ebba. "What have I told you about running away?"

"To not to," Ebba replied, looking down. She kicked a stone across the pavement. "I just wanted to tell Aeris and Ellinder about the circus."

Sylvie sighed. "I know. It's all very exciting." Ruffling Ebba's hair, she stood up. "Please, just tell me next time before you go running off, okay?"

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