My second 'feats of wonder' contest entry.
I swing from the trapeze, ever higher and higher. My spangled costume captures the glare from the lights, giving me a sparkling, otherworldly appearance.
I know this because people have told me so. A child once said that I looked like a fairy.
With a deft movement, I fling myself into the air. The music rises, the tension following its crescendo. I reach out, catching with the very tips of my fingers the silver bar that is my salvation.
In the front row, I can see a little girl, watching me. Her eyes are as bright as stars as I perform something she knows she never could achieve.
Then - I fall. The audience gasps and screams as my glittering, shining body drops from the high trapeze at the very top of the tent. There are no nets - I have not used a net since I was fourteen, and first joined the circus. I wanted to travel the world. I still do.
"No!" cries the little girl. I laugh. The reactions are always the same. My laugh - exhilarated, dangerous, free - soars up to the very top of the circus tent, captivating my audience. I feel no fear, and their apprehension decreases.
Ever closer to the ground, still falling. At the last second, my final chance before I hit the ground, I spin upwards, catching hold of the lower bar, the one I started from. People are clapping, cheering. They think I have done the impossible.
Of course, they are wrong. Wonderful, but not impossible.
I start to swing again, ever higher and higher. The lights are brighter now, capturing my sequins in mid-air. Behind me, the gauze of my costume gives me wings, and the orchestra strikes up a tune that lifts me higher.
To this song of freedom, I could fly to the stars.