The National Genetic Laboratories:
Excerpts from Case File #64
Inspector: Please state your identification for the record.
TS 402359: Test Subject 402359.
Inspector: Thank you, now—
TS 402359: Aren’t you going to ask me my name too?
Inspector: Excuse me?
I was up on the wire when the Ringmaster killed the clown. With my eyes closed and all my focus on my feet, I did not notice what was going on until halfway through the familiar speech that always preceded such an occurrence.
“—have betrayed the audience, your oath, and the company itself. For that you are charged to die for the benefit of the show.”
There is a string round my smallest finger,
red as blood,
thin as a hair and tied with a lopsided bow.
One of the ends trails away off out of sight.
If I tilt my head,
I can see it
gleaming in the sunlight
as it pools on the floor,
coiling in corners and underfoot,
sneaking under the door
and off to you.