Untill your feet bleed.
Untill I say stop.
I remember for the longest time, I was without a purpose. What was I to the world? What impact had I made? When I died, who was going to remember me? I had asked myself these questions over and over, so many times, but I never had my answer.
What did I posses?
I was a wealthy man, a Lord. I was invited to all the parties, events, and functions. I was held in high regard in society as a well respected and honorable business man. To say I lived comfortably would be quite an accurate statement.
But I was never happy, was I?
I never felt as though I was complete.
And neither did that little boy. That little boy and his wonderful, spectacular doll.
He came to me one night, in rags and covered in dirt from head to toe. He was running away from his small village on the outskirts of the city. They thought he was a demon, a monster. And perhaps he was. But I took him in anyway, and never had my life changed so drastically.
Then, others started to come.
They were monsters, just like him. They were damned with these strange and cursed abilities that caused everyone around them to shun them, defile them, degrade them, and eventually, seek them out and kill them. But not I. No, I loved them. All these wonderful, gifted, and beautiful children. I loved them, and that's why they stayed.
And, that's how their chains started to form.
I knew now that my money was meant for another purpose. That I was meant for another purpose. And that's how the carnival started.
Oh, but it wasn't as great a carnival as it was now. No, at first, it was a small show. The children put together little acts, and the crowds loved them, especially the little boy and his wonderful little doll. Gradually, we become more known in the area, people started to talk and we gained more and more publicity.
We were a hit.
Soon, we got larger and larger. We had huge tents, caravans, props, animals, and everything a normal carnival had. I hired help and a few everyday performers to blend help us blend in with the surroundings. After all, we couldn't have people beginning to become suspicious, could we?
People adored us, love us, loved what we did to them. They loved the joy, the thrill, the chills that we made run up their spine. We were amazing, horrifying, disgusting-
We could make them bleed inside out.-and in an insain way, beautiful. That was what my little children felt. Beauty.
And that why my lovely little performers stayed. Because they were loved again.
And the chains became stronger and stronger and-
Now, as famous as we were, I still had not thought of a name for our wonderful little show. I was perplexed by this; and I needed to think of the perfect thing, the right words that could truly describe the utter terror and evil that masked our carnival.
And then, I heard the sweetest, most beautiful sound.
The shrill voice of a wailing child and the cries of its pathetic mother. The child was so frightened and traumatized by the scenes before him that he couldn't stop screaming no matter how gently he was consoled.
The mother, distraught and humiliated by her child, almost lost her mind and screamed before everyone around her.
"This...This show...its, its...Unearthed!"
That was it. As the child poured its salty-sweet tears and continue with the wails and pleas for salvation, I knew what we were to be called. For we were not the greatest show on earth, no, we were far, far more magnanimous then that. We were the Unearthed. The damned, the deformed, the hideous, the underworlders. We were The Greatest Show Unearthed.
And that day I laughed. Laughter could be herd mixed in with the screams from the excited crowds, the shrieking women, the sickening music, and the crying child, but most of all, my insane, sadistic laughter dawned over all. For I knew that day that I was the lord of these damned, the king of the shunned, the ruler of the daemons, and never would I let any one of my little minions free from my hot, steel
The Greatest Show Unearthed
The big top was empty. The stadium seats were vacant; the arena was without a performer, the air clear of any carnival music. All was quiet and undisturbed. Undisturbed, but for three lone souls.
The first was an older man, probably around his thirties. He sat casually in one of the stadium seats with his feet propped up and crossed. His silvery hair shone in the little light that passed through the tent and his masked face only showed one eye, giving him an air of mystery.
The second was a young woman who lay on her hands and knees panting heavily in the center of the arena. Her dark red hair was long and in disarray on one side, while the other was short and nicely kept. Her face was covered in sweat and her thick rimmed glasses were dirty and looked ready to fall off her face.
Finally, the last of the three. He stood hunched over with his hands on his knees and, like the woman, was in the center of the performing arena and panting. His dark messy hair covered his eyes and his pale skin was adorned with beads of sweat.
The arena was filled with thousands of empty seats, food items and wrappers discarded all over the cold floor. The top of the tent was a thick material cloth but so strong that it could practically withstand any manner of ailment. Strings and vines hung from this tent and long nets and poles adorned the corners of the stage and in the center of it all. The younger boy, the air-deprived boy, still grasping for air as dust begun to clear from his previous actions. His head still hung low.
Finally, the lone sound of deep intakes of breath was broken.
"Hm, that was good..." spoke up the masked man, "Really good... So... how'd you do it?"
The boy stopped his panting for a short second upon hearing his comment, but then went back to his usual rhythm. He gave a slight smirk, still not looking up from the ground.
"You know the magicians code...Never reveal your secrets..." responded the boy with a snort.
The man gave a lazy, sarcastic chuckle, "Hm, funny, really, but I been there kid, and I know every trick in the book, but never in my years have I seen that. Now, you can tell me how it's done, or you can leave. Your choice."
The boy's smirk just widened, "So you're telling me that all the acts in this joint are all a bunch of bullshit? If you're asking me how I do my act, then you must already know the secrets to all the others. So it's all just a lie then?"
The older mans eyes narrowed dangerously. This kid was playing with him, trying to out-smart him into something. Trying to make a fool out of him.
And he didn't like it.
"No, not entirely true. Some of the people in the place are nothing, worthless, replaceable. But, believe me when I say that what you see from the real performers is no joke. So, tell me kid, how's your little trick done?"
The boy said nothing for a short time. Then, he slowly raised his head, chuckling, with a smirk plastered across his face. But, what alarmed the older man so much more was the fact that his eyes were flashing red in a dangerous pattern.
Its no trick, it's the real shit.
The grey haired man's one eye widened for a split second but then slowly dropped. He examined the boy in front of him again and then stiffened for a moment.
"So, your one of them, then? One of the real damned..." said the older man in an almost accusing tone.
The boy chuckled again, "Heh, believe what you want, old man, but I came here for my own purposes, not for some cheep magician bullshit that I see pulled here."
The older man was silent and contemplated on his words for what seemed to be an eternity. Finally, he looked up at the two people, practically kids, in front of him, and came to a decision.
"You have one shot, if the crowd likes you, you're in. If not, then you pack up and head somewhere else. Come tomorrow night and see the show, get to know the style of each performer. Stay behind after it ends and I'll introduce you. The following day will be your shot, got it?" instructed the man.
"... So when do I get to meet the real man behind this? The real ring master." questioned the boy.
The grey mans eye narrowed as he thought carefully how to answer the boy's question. He placed he feet off the chair that propped them up and onto the ground, keeping his arms folded and his eye still locked with the boy's.
"No one see's him unless called, and you're usually only called if you've had a connection with him in the other life, if you're lucky that is. The only person he speaks to him directly is me." answered the older man.
"Other life?" questioned the ebony haired boy.
"The life before the Unearthed was formed, the past life. Before..." trailed off the grey haired man.
The older man got up from his position and casually made his way over to one of the main exits with his hands stuffed lazily in his pockets. He almost made his way out the exit when he casually tuned his head back to the boy. The boy's body was still recovering and he was still propped on his knees, hair still covering his dropped face.
"You sure you want this? Because once you're in, in for real that is, there is no turning back, especially for our kind. We see too much, we know too much, we can do too much. Once you're in, there is no out. Are you ready for that, kid?" asked the lazy man, not really expecting an answer.
The boy smirked, "Yes."
"Aww! Dammit, it's raining! I was hoping Ring Master would let me do my routine without the top off; it would have given it such a crazy effect. Fuck."
As the girl said, it indeed was raining, pouring actually. Dark clouds hung ominously in the sky and the only lights allowed through the mess were the few lightning bolts piercing through. The dirt road they traveled on by at least a hundred caravans was covered with sticky mud that clung to the wheels of the wagons and the hooves of the horses of the horses that pulled them.
Two girls were sitting in a small caravan with one side exposed so the rain and damp air could be felt. The dark skys and blackened mud on the ground gave off a chilling omen.
The second of the girls was sitting against the cloth wall of the caravan and had her eyes transfixed onto the chilling atmosphere outside her, like she was hypnotized.
"I don't know why you're always so upset when it rains, Ms. Ino. I would love to just go out there any day and feel the water on my skin," sighed the second girl in a bitter tone.
The blond girl referred to as Ino turned around and gave the second girl a cold expression. She was one of the only ones not to pity this girl because of her...predicament. She would not feel sorry for her so easily.
"I don't like it when it rains because it's so dark and nasty outside, I prefer it when it's sunny and pretty out," snapped Ino as she gave the rain and the other girl cold glares.
The second girl gave a light snort, "So says one of the damned. I think that you need to be a bit more optimistic about the rain, Ms. Ino. The Ring Master wouldn't let you do your routine in the sunny outside anyways because it would take away from the spookiness of the carnival. Maybe if you did it at night, or in the rain, then it would give off a really chilling touch."
"Ugh, I don't want to do my routine during the fucking night or in the fucking rain. I hate this whole dark fucking place, I swear, one of these days, Sakura, I'm gonna-"
"Corrupting my cherry blossom's mind again, are we Ino?" spoke up a new, deep voice.
Ino visibly stiffened and her eyes widened slightly as she turned her sitting position to look out the exposed side of the caravan. There, riding on a horse, was a clocked figure with a dark hood covering most of his face. Ino gave off a cold glare to the figure where as the other girl referred to as Sakura just flashed a light smile.
"Good evening, Master. Enjoying the rain?" Sakura questioned.
Ignoring the girl's question, the cloaked man shifted his gaze to the still glaring Ino and then back to the smiling girl.
"Sakura, why do you insist on spending you time with this free-loading pig anyways? Could you not find something more productive to do during your leisure time?" questioned the deep voice.
Ino's glare increased as she let out a low hiss.
"Free loader? I'm one of the star attractions! Your little 'blossom' here would do well to learn some knew tricks from me, or it should be you who should learn from me seeing as you're always the one pulling the strings," she retorted sharply.
The man on the horse chuckled, "I believe, my dear, and the correct term is 'one of' the main attractions, whereas Sakura and I are the main attraction. I believe you would do well to remember that and to mind your tongue."
Ino gritted her teeth in a warning tone, "Why you-"
"Ms. Ino, look, were almost at our new site! Please don't be too angry. You're due to perform in a few hours," coaxed Sakura as she reached over to gently take hold of Ino's shoulder.
"...Fine, whatever, just get that freak over there out of here. Now," hissed Ino as she folded her arms in a huff.
A slight smile graced Sakura's ivory skin and she turned her head to meet the covered face of the horse rider.
"I'll fix Ms. Ino up and then meet you once the big tent is set up. Don't worry; I'll have her take me. But, please, Master, you mustn't be so rude to Ms. Ino all the time you know." giggled Sakura.
A very faint smile could be seen on the exposed part of the man's face before it disappeared. He gave a light nod and redirected his horse away from the girl's caravan. Ino, still sulking, snapped her head around to see if he was gone and gave a huff.
"I really don't know how you can tolerate him, Sakura. You must have the patience of a saint," she grunted.
The girls felt the caravan come to a stop. Shouts and loud voices could be herd all over as the other caravans begun to unload by strong men and tents being set up all over. Sakura smiled and turned to answer Ino.
"Thats odd, he says the same thing to me about you."
The crowds cheered their as the young blond girl smiled and bowed. She blew out kisses to the happy people and they begun to cheer louder and louder. The girl wore a tight body suit that looked much like a swimsuit with long sleeves. It was white and sparkled in the light, with one blue streak down the center. Her hair was in a high pony tail and she wore a blue bandanna tightly wrapped around her head.
Roses and all manner of flowers were being thrown towards her in the performing ring. The girl in the center flashed her smile brighter and brighter and soaked up the crowd's praise.
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, EVERYONE, ONE LAST TIME FOR MS. INO YAMANAKA, THE DISSAPEARING TRAPIEZE ARTIST," screamed a new voice.
A young blond boy ran into the area with a large voice projector in his hands. He stood next to the blond woman and held her hand high up in the air for one last bow. The crowds cheered louder and more and more flowers were thrown.
"Naruto, I told you I wanted another encore..." gritted the girl through her smiling teeth.
"Well, I told you that you have to stop parading your ass around here like its Cirque de Sole. We're a dark carnival, not the fucking ice capades." gritted back the blond boy while maintaining his fake smile.
Ino gave one last smile and gently hit the boy on the back of his head, causing him to flinch. She picked up a few red roses and with one last kiss to the audience, Ino strut her way out of the arena. The large crowd begun to quiet down and slowly the bright white lights begun to die down into a musty grey so only the center of the circus arena could be seen.
Naruto was now standing in the very center of the performing arena with his head tilted down ward. His eyes looked dark and almost demonic as he slowly brought the voice projector up to his lips. The crowd was still, silently anticipating the arrival of what all were waiting for.
"We have traveled all over the world... This carnival has seen things from every corner of the globe..." started Naruto, his voice echoing throughout the tent. "...But, the most amazing thing that any of us had ever seen comes in the form of..."
As Naruto spoke, one by one, little torches of fire began to light up around the floor of the area, lightly lighting it up but still dark enough to hide most of the arena in darkness.
"A little wooden puppet."
The crowd was on the edge of their seats, anticipating what they all knew was going to happen. No one ever comes to The Greatest Show Unearthed without knowing about this one very special act... That's what draws people here... This one, act alone... Is what makes the skin on their body's crawl.
"A puppet... And of course, its master... A man who is known to have the hands of a magician, skillfully crafting his toys to replicate that of the human body... A man whose strings are stronger then iron... Whose ability rivals that of a god... A man, who can make puppets that almost look...
"MAKE WAY FOR THE PUPPET MASTER!"
Naruto crackled a loud, menacing laugh and threw his arm, as a large puff of smoke to appear. The crowd gasped and when the smoke cleared, Naruto could not be found, but in his place was another man...
The man wore a black velvet cape with a hood that covered most of the top half of his face. His visible mouth was in a strait, emotionless line that adorned his pale, untouched skin. He stood dead center in the arena with only one large light shining down on him and the little bits of fire torches outlining the circle.
The man drew his cape open slightly to reveal a large, black box wrapped in red chains.He drew the box from out of his cape and placed it so the audience could have a full view, only increasing their growing curiosity.
The crowd was on the edge of their seats. Everyone knew of the Unearthed Carnival, but what made it so famous itself was this one show... The puppet master and his special dolls...
Soon after the large box was placed on the ground it begun to jiggle, causing the crowd to stir. It sat there, shaking, before finally snapping open. There, in the open box was a life sized puppet with…
The puppet's hair was long, reaching its waist and looking as if it were made of strands of silk. The puppet wore a long, white dress with a layer of black lace over it. It was cut off at the shoulders and was very long, almost too long for the doll. The sleeves were long as well, coming past its hand and to mid-thigh. It seemed to be a perfectly proportioned woman.
What seemed to frighten and yet excite the crowd the most was its face. Its lips were a blood red, in contrast with its pale ivory skin, and its eyes glittered brighter then emeralds. Plastered on its face was a happy, almost chilling smile that seemed to have so much to say, but was silent.
The man raised his right hand in the air horizontally and kept it there for a short period of time. He then made one quick jerking movement and the doll jiggled again. He moved his hand again and the doll replied with another quick movement. The man paused for a moment and then made one slow sweeping movement with his hand. The doll slowly rose in an ungraceful, almost lazy manner and stood crookedly before the audience.
Both the doll's upper arms were horizontal but the forearms dangled vertically. Its back was hunched slightly and its head was crookedly looking up to the roof. The puppet's legs were crooked and looked unstable, with its feet pointed in the opposite direction of its legs. The crowd was still silent.
Breaking the silence, the hooded man snapped his fingers and the doll immediately straightened. Its arms rested at its sides and its back was no longer hunched but upright and poised. Its head was perfectly centered and the doll's legs were in a proper line.
Then, the real fun began.
The dark man begun to sway both his arms from side to side, causing the puppet to also move its body to the rhythm. Slow, soft music begun to play, growing louder and louder with every movement of the dolls body. The man's skillful fingers begun twisting and turning in all different ways and directions, making the pretty little puppet dance around and around.
The music was like that of which you heard at a ballet or opera, soft but powerful. The puppet's body was able to move more beautifully then any other living dancer known to man.
As the music grew louder, little puppets that seemed like small children began to come to life out of nowhere, dancing a beautiful ballet, just as the main doll was.
The puppet master's body twisted about to control the hundreds of little dolls around the arena. The motions looked tiring and difficult, but at the same time he, too, looked as if he were also a part of the disturbing, yet addictive, dance.
Under the master's breath you could hear him mumbling little chants that could not be understood. If anyone was truly close to him you could assume he was muttering some type of curse or spell.
And then, in one swift motion, the pink haired doll's dancing body begun to float up into the air, followed by the little dancing children. They hovered above the audience, dancing their masters will, but no matter how many puppets were up there the whole audience was entranced by the single emerald-eyed beauty.
They were mesmerized, hypnotized even, by that one little doll. It was perfect, flawless, beautiful, but the only thing that gave it away that it wasn't real, that it really wasn't human, was the doll's smile. It wasn't real, no, the audience wanted to see the real smile that was hiding behind the plastered fake expression. That's what mesmerized them so, waiting to see her truly smile.
But they never would.
The music ended in one loud note and in that very split second all the dolls stopped and begun to float back onto the floor. The lights dimmed and, in a flash, all the puppets disappeared, except for the pink-haired dancer. It hung lifelessly in the arms of the masked puppet master; its body motionless once again, with the disturbing smile still hovering on those perfect lips.
The crowed was silent for what seemed like years, still trying to absorb the thrill that they had just experienced. In one quick jolt, the entire audience was on their feet, screaming and clapping, whistling and howling, high off of the entire dance itself. The women in the audience envied the doll, but yearned to just get up close to look at it and touch it. All the men fell in love with the pink puppet, longing to hold it and just be swept away again.
The puppet master nodded his head in thanks but he knew that it was not he who they cheered for. It was not he, the man behind the magic, that they praised. No, for true to their screams and pleads for more, it was the little doll that slept lifelessly in his strong arms that they were really admiring.
He did not envy his doll, though, nor did he wish that it was really he who received the praises from the audience. No, because he knew that in the end, when all was done, he was still the puppet master, and she was still his doll. She was still the one who clung to him for life, and he was still the one who held the strings.
And that was all he needed.
"THANK YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ONE AND ALL! PLEASE, ONE MORE TIME FOR THE PUPPET MASTER AND SAKURA, THE HARUNO DOLL!" cried the boy down in the center of the arena.
As I sit here and watch the idiotic blond boy rant on and on, asking for more cheers and praise for the last act, I can't help but smirk.
These idiots here are buying into this, aren't they? The magic. The beauty. They're so captivated by that one doll and its master that they're practically ripping out their limbs for another performance.
That's what they all are, blind. Blind to what's really going on here. There is no magic behind this puppet masters invisible strings. There is no illusion.
I'll admit, when that man, Kakashi, said to me that the people here were truly... gifted, in a sense, he was true to this word. I almost had a hard time myself trying to decipher how exactly this one trick was done. But in the end, my eyes always showed me the truth.
By watching this man though, I can't seem to rid myself the feeling that he has something more up his sleeve, something that he's not too keen on showing. But no matter. Eventually, he'll drop his guard, and when he does, he'll be ruined.
These idiots. They have no idea what a real show is like. What true magic is. But, they'll see. Soon, very soon, they'll see what its like to truly wield power. To truly be a magician.
And when they do, that's when I'll strike.
My smirk only increases as the loud blond boy continues on about the puppetry and bids the crowed goodnight, but I'm not listening anymore. The girl beside me, Karin, harshly whispers to me about how much better our show will be, how much more attractive we'll be.
There is no our show, there is no we.
It's only me. Me, and my show. And one day, I'll be done with her and toss her aside, just like the rest.
I can see it in her eyes.
She so undeniably jealous of a silly little doll. She wants to be like her, I can see it. She wants to be the one to capture the crowd's attention with her beauty, to hypnotize them just with a smile or the movement of her body.
What a fool. She thinks I can make her like that. She thinks I can give her the fame and the love she so desires. She believes that I need her. That I can't possibly do without her. But it's all just an illusion.
I need no one, nor does anyone need me. And when the time is right, I'll bring my powers to a feat unimaginable. And when I do...
I'll be able to do what I truly have in store.
So, keep dancing,
Because when you do stop--
So will my sainity.
Ok, all of you right now, shut the hell up.
(did that sound harsh? I think that was harsh...)
Yes, I know, I have other things started that you really really want me to finish. Deal. The reason why I've been so non-existant latly was because I've been working on THIS! MY MASTERPEICE!
At the moment, I have the whole story about half done, so theres no worries about if its going to finish on time or not. I like, sware, ok?
Yes, if some of you remember, I did have a version of this story posted up like, years ago, but I didn't like it so I spent a really really really really long time fixing it and, voila, here we are.
YES! I know, this chapter is really really confusing, but bare with me when I say the next one and the one after that will basicly fill you in on any implications. I promais you, folks, we're in for one hell of a ride.
Just a word to the wise, this story will contain : graphic, mature content. Swaring, violence, sexual content, extreemly mature situations, and all the lovely little goodies that you know you all secretly enjoy so much. Some of the things in this story WILL be hard to handle, but trust me when I say its all for the good of the story.
Editor: Roses Of Sharon, my ever-beloved friend who was the first to read this story and kick me in the ass when I wrote somthing akwardly wrong. I love you.
Next Time On The Greatest Show Unearthed...
Act Two: Ubiquitous
There, standing beside the Puppet Master like it was the most natural thing, was the very puppet who captured the audience with her dancing only hours ago. It was impossible, concluded Sasuke, completly impossible. He had figured out the Puppet Master's act a long time ago, he had been able to see every single trick he preformed, but never had he thought that his puppets were actually... alive.