"-SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR OUR NEXT PERFORMANCE THIS EVENING. WE HUMBLY INTRODUCE THE NEWEST MEMBER OF OUR TROUPE, RAYCE!"
Rayce came to, breathing heavily, like he had been sprinting or carrying something heavy. His arms felt like a pair of lifeless swings; his body quivered and twitched like that of a person who had consumed entirely too much caffeine. This made little sense though because all Rayce had done for the last few hours was... was...
Staring dumbly at the enormous crowd, the young man struggled to connect past and present, but no link presented itself. He had come to the circus to... search for his wallet? No, that was only a pretense. He had come because-
"RAYCE HERE FANCIES HIMSELF SOMETHING OF A DEAD-EYE! LET'S HOPE HIS CONFIDENCE ISN'T MISGUIDED... OR HIS KNIVES!"
The man, whom Rayce remembered from the pamphlet as Sinestro, and his unnaturally loud voice didn't help the college student's thought process.
Rayce knew he shouldn't be here. Thousands of people shouldn't be staring at him expectantly either. Yet he was, and they were.
The spotlight was oppressive. Rayce couldn't see, and he was amazed at how much he ahd sweat under the weight of the beam. He took a step, feebly attempting to escape the harsh bright prison, but his foot caught and he stumbled. The crowd laughed, lost in what they thought was an act.
With his feet under control, Rayce turned to face the offending object and inhaled sharply. It was a small wooden table lined with three rows of gleaming, pointy knives. The appearance of the blades shocked the young man from his stupor. He looked back to the announcer, hoping to find the man laughing at what had to be a cruel joke, but there was no Sinestro.
In his place was a neatly dressed man. He stood perfectly at ease, seemingly unbothered by the glaring lights. Rayce looked out at the audience, but they were oblivious to the strange gentleman, their eyes focused only on him.
Snapping back around, Rayce saw that the mysterious gentleman was gone. The spotlights had shifted as well, their light now eliminating his view of the crowd.
In confusion, Rayce turned to the only thing he could still see: the table.
His foot took one traitorous step. It was followed by the other. Slowly, inexorably, Rayce drew towards the table.
The leather clad handle was smooth, warm, full of life. Seeming of its own volition, the blade twirled in his hand. With deft movements that were wholly unfamiliar, his fingers responded. Steel and flesh danced with deadly grace.
The hilt pulsed in time with the whispers. As they grew in volume Rayce could feel his heart skip to join their beat. He could feel the pounding in his heart, and his hands, and his head.
It was too much. Rayce tore his eyes from the flashing steel and saw, for the first time, the woman. The woman with the wide, leaking eyes. The woman bound to the target. Did she know that he had never touched a blade, much less thrown one? Was she aware that her fate rested, quite literally, on the edge of a knife?
The chanting had continued to crescendo to the point that Rayce could no longer contain it. He knew he had to do something or he would burst. The voices had to be appeased. So he did the only thing he could.