Flyers had been posted around town for the last month.
"Come one, come all! Karvotich's Astounding Travelling Circus returns Midsummer's Eve, now featuring the shocking Dr Don "The Reanimator" Romero!"
The circus was always highly anticipated, The Dancing Mushrooms in particular were a delight to behold, however the excitement this year revolved around the new star act. Tales of The Reanimator filtered through the townspeople in the run up to the event, tales of horror and miracles. Some said he could make a skeleton jump up and dance with a snap of his fingers, others heard he could commune with long dead ghosts. Whatever the case, it was certainly going to be a show to remember.
The night of the show was upon the town, and sure enough the spectacle was bigger and grander than ever before. The Rubber Brothers astounded, The Scholarly Lion bemused, and sure enough The Dancing Mushrooms delighted. Anticipation buzzed through the crowd for the final act, the death defying doctor himself.
The lights shut off, and for a moment the crowd were fearful. A single spotlight suddenly illuminated a lone figure, dressed in undoubtedly the finest and most unusual suit any of them had set eyes upon. The whole piece were various copper colours, the tails on the jacket were long and curled, and his top hat was crooked. In his gloved hands he held a gun metal cane topped with the emerald head of a raven. He looked up at the crowd though small, round and tinted spectacles, and flashed a smile.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the greatest show you will ever witness!" He called out to the audience. He paced the ring a short while before continuing.
"What is magic? Why simply it is science that we cannot explain, is it not?"
Murmurs from the crowd.
"I have been called many things. A magician. A warlock. Even a necromancer! All of those claims? Utter NONSENSE ladies and gentlemen. I am merely a scientist and a scholar looking to share this discovery with the world, to prove it's worth! BEHOLD!"
A second spotlight is activated, and illuminated a figure slumped in a chair.
"Lucy Thorne; retrieved from the hospital morgue, with the reimbursement and kind permission of her family of course. As I'm sure many of you are aware, this poor girl lost her life in mysterious circumstances. I seek to lift that veil!"
The audience gasped, and whispered amongst themselves. Some of the crowd looked disgusted, others couldn't tear their eyes away in fascination.
"I will breathe life back into this woman, long enough to ask her what truly happened. This will not be permanent, I neither have the ability nor the inclination to return her to life for good. As tragic as her end was, Lucy's time had come. What I can bring, however, is closure."
The audience is silent at this point. There's the unmistakeable pitter-patter of rain on the giant tent roof. Then the sound of thunder. The Reanimator walked the to centre of the ring, raised his cane to the air, and waited. Observers in the very front row could see him brace himself. Then all of a sudden there was a great flash and an almighty crash, and The Reanimator spun on the spot with lightning crackling around his cane and then himself. He swirled the lightning around like a ribbon before unleashing it upon the body in the chair.
The audience followed suit.
The din was almost unbearable. The roar of lightning and the screams of terrified people reached a crescendo before everything fell deathly silent. Soon, everyone was focused on the dead girl. She was standing.
"Now" The Reanimator began "We much be quick. Your link to the mortal realm is delicate, and won't last long. What is your name?" There was a pause.
"LUCY THORNE". She answered.
"Thank you, thank you. Lucy, your death was sudden and unexpected. What happened? How did you die?" There was no answer, and so he pressed harder. "How did you die Lucy? We need to know. Your family needs to know."
The pause that followed felt as though it slowed time itself. The air was thick with anticipation. Finally...
"KILLED. KILLED BY THE LOVER. THE ROTTEN HEARTED DEMON. I WAS WITH CHILD. MUSTN'T LET THE WIFE KNOW..." She pointed to a man in the crowd. "...EH?"
Everyone turned to the accused. He was almost paler than Lucy. Faces of horror and fascination slowly turned into disgust, and rage.
He was hung that night, largely by the will of the angry mob. In the chaos, everyone had lost track of The Reanimator. He had simply... disappeared. Some say things got too hairy for his tastes. Others say he knew exactly what he was doing. The Reanimator hasn't been seen with the circus since, or even in town. Who was The Reanimator, really? The town will likely never know.
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