"What do you bloody want Eli?"
"I have to talk to you."
"Can't it wait? I'm trying to sleep-"
"-Then you'll just disappear in the morning and I'll never get around to telling you."
I threw the blanket off from over my head and sat up, glaring harshly at him.
Eli looked positively shocked.
"What happened to your hair?!"
"I got bored. Now just hurry up and make your point!"
"You know that girl I was talking about?"
Ugh, so now we were discussing his love life. I was too tired for this.
"Just spit it out will you?"
That got me awake.
"I've had a bit of a thing for her for a while-"
I cut him off.
"-then why on earth were you making fun of her along with me?!"
He walked over and sat beside me on my cot.
"Cam, you're my best friend. I needed your approval...and it seemed easier to play along than say anything."
"Huh?" he asked, looking confused.
"You, Eli," I started, messing his hair up with my free hand, "Are an idiot. A jerky, annoying and occasionally lovable idiot. But an idiot nonetheless."
"I was hoping..."
I sighed loudly.
"That I'd put in a good word? I don't think that's necessary, considering she's been pining for you for a while. And no, I won't take any messages for you either."
Eli nodded hesitantly.
"Fair deal. You can go to sleep now."
He didn't have to tell me that. I had already burrowed back under the covers.
I was stretching in preparation for the day's performance, already in costume, when Bruno came to sit beside me.
"You ready, Camille?"
My face scrunched up into a pensive frown.
"For what? The performance?"
He smiled with an expression on his face that I had never seen before.
"It's a big day, you know."
With that he turned and walked off somewhere, leaving me absolutely befuddled.
Eli popped up soon afterward, and I took a swig of my water before following him to where we would wait for our stage cue.
Soon enough we were on, and the sounds of the audience filled me with a new ecstasy. Eli was performing with considerably more energy and it was contagious.
It was about midway through, when the flips got the most complex, that I started to feel off. My hands started trembling and my vision started to feel strange.
When I took the next jump, I misjudged the distance. Eli tried to grab onto my hands but it was pointless. My fingers slipped through his like sand and I saw his face contort in horror as I began my descent.
Falling isn't anything like it is on TV. It isn't peaceful or linear.
The wind whipped my hair against my face and my limbs waved madly of their own accord for the time I was airborne. Adrenaline surged through my system so profusely that I could barely process what was happening. Again, this...again.
After a few heartbeats I was splayed on the sawdust, gasping in pain. I could feel warm blood seeping around me, and general chaos as screams erupted in the audience.
It hurt to breathe. Blood was dripping down my face from various places and the spotlight was shining straight into my eyes.
I heard Nixie's voice soon and felt her small hand on my shoulder, but it was too hard to turn and look at her. She had probably run out from backstage at the noise.
The medic team promptly loaded me onto a stretcher and my numbing lips managed to murmur something that wasn't as completely incoherent as my thoughts.
"I...can't feel my legs."
And then, as I was being wheeled rapidly away, a needle slipped into my arm and there was silence.