I entered the semi-dark red and yellow tent. The smell of popcorn smacked me in the face along with the cheering of hundreds of people. My white and blue sequined leotard was riding up and I pulled it out behind the stands, before walking to the third ring.
I climbed the tall skinny ladder, testing each rung with my slippered foot. The top platform swayed slightly under my weight, but I countered unthinking.
The spotlight suddenly blinded me and I waved to the now invisible crowd. I blinked and suddenly this moment froze. I had seen this before, the man in the red hat, the elephant bowing, the popcorn spilling, but when?
The bar was swinging towards me, I turned to catch it. The moment was gone. I focused, my hand finding the right point just off center. My legs tensed, I jumped and reached to secure my other hand on the bar. Something wasn’t right. It slipped.
My body swung to the height of the arc, my stomach now in my toes with the speed. On the downward, I let go. The net winded me, my ribs stinging.