I hid in the stables while Sinestro made his rounds. I heard as he snapped at the stagehands and acrobats. Soon enough it grew quiet and I dared to venture out into the yard where the rehearsal tents were set up. I headed to the animal tent. Donovan was in charge of keeping the food for all of the creatures in the circus. I rushed across the open space between the tents, wary of the approaching darkness. The setting sun cast long purple shadows across the grounds.
"Aivah." A low voice spoke out of the darkness.
"Sinestro." I whispered, my voice getting caught in my throat.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?" Sinestro stepped out of the deep shadows next to a tent wall.
"Donovan..." I gestured towards my destination.
"Ah yes, the animals must be fed." Sinestro said smoothly. The way he spoke told me that he wasn't just thinking of the gryphons and the horses, but the people as well. Or at least, another creature. A chill ran down my spine.
"Yes sir." I nodded, edging away.
"Very important." Sinestro wasn't paying any more attention. His mind was elsewhere."Must feed the animals." he muttered. His face began to change and I braced myself as his skin appeared to melt away, revealing a red-eyed skull before slowly returning to normal. I'd seen it before, but never this close. It happened every so often over the past 9 years, but as the 10 year mark drew closer, it seemed to be happening more often. Sinestro wandered away, still lost in thought while I hurried on to Donavan's tent.
As I entered the tent the first thing to hit me was the heat, next the smell. I breathed through my mouth and wove through the majestic creatures' cages as they gazed at me with their wise, cold gazes, the same color as my own. I often wondered if they could glimpse a human soul same as I could, but I could never bring myself to ask.
Donovan was inside on of the cages, it's original occupant sitting on the ground, preening her feathers. I reached out to smooth the feathers along the crest of her head. The golden eyes slid shut and a growling sort of sound came from her throat. Donovan spun around from his work, shouting out a warning.
"Don't touch-- oh" The frantic look left his eyes. "They always like you for some reason."
"Maybe it's because my horses trust me. Animals talk you know." I teased. "Anyways, I'm just here for some horse feed." Donovan nodded and loaded enough feed for all of the horses into a cart with a practiced motion. I took the cart from him and rolled it out of the tent.
"Thank you!" I called over my shoulder.