Title: Carnivale (2/?)
Rating for chapter: PG-13
Summary: A fic for Halloween; Elijah is the star of a carnival side-show that passes through Orlando's town, but unlike most performers Elijah is kept against his will. (Werewolf!Lij) (unbetad, mistakes are my own.)
“Lij…Lij wake up!”
Elijah’s head was swimming and as he regained consciousness the burning sore on his chest reminded him of why.
“You’ve got to get up love it’s almost your turn.”
Elijah’s eyes finally focused on the dark haired woman by the side of his cage, “Huh…what?”
“You’re up next” Liv said again, “You need to wake up.”
Elijah slowly sat up trying not to anger his burn further, “What’s the point?” he asked.
“The point is not to make Bean angry.” Liv frowned.
Elijah nodded his head in agreement as he looked up at the only person in the carnival who had ever dared befriend him. He saw the sadness in her eyes as she glanced down at his new burn that, though already healing, would leave yet another scar. He knew that Liv wanted to help him, but she simply didn’t know how. She had to work for Bean as well and though she hated how Elijah was treated she was married and happy within the confines of the carnival.
Elijah didn’t blame her though, Viggo had made all of her dreams come true when he’d arrived and fallen in love with her instantly. The man who could swallow swords and the woman with more tattoos than any sailor he’d ever seen, made a handsome couple and were even expecting their first child, she couldn’t risk her life by helping him.
Sometimes Elijah wondered if he should be more like Liv, if he should try to be happy and get along with everyone, even Bean. There was one big difference between him and Liv though, Liv had chosen this life. She had wanted to run away and join the carnival people and live the life of a merry traveler. Elijah on the other hand was sold into it. His parents had come to Bean and offered him up, Elijah wasn’t sure how much Bean paid them but he reasoned that it was a miniscule amount compared to what he made off of him each year.
Elijah was the star attraction, though no poster in any town advertised his appearance. It was illegal to hold a creature like him captive; any werewolf found was to be turned over to the crown immediately. Elijah wasn’t sure if that would be any better than where he was now since no one knew what ever became of those who were turned over, but anything in his mind had to be better than where he was.
“Are you okay?” Liv asked softly passing him a damp cloth with which to wipe away the blood from around the burn.
“I’m fine Liv. Don’t worry about me.” He smirked and winked at her and watched as she blushed before shuffling away to get ready for her own display.
“Bravo!” William cried as the human pretzel exited the stage walking on her hands. “That was brilliant; don’t you think that was brilliant?” Billy asked Orlando who just smiled at him and continued to clap.
The ringmaster stepped back onto the stage in his top hat and long velvet jacket. “Next ladies and gentleman is a beast, so rare...so vicious that we dare not even advertise his likeness when we journey into a new township.”
Orlando watched with interest as four large men wheeled out what looked to be a very large cage on to the stage. The cage was covered with a red tarp so no one could see what lay underneath.
“Those of you with children or weak constitutions may wish to look away at this time.” The ringmaster warned as he suddenly wiped the tarp away to display what was inside the cage.
A loud bout of laughter echoed from the audience at the sight of the “creature” inside. Orlando’s brow creased in confusion as he looked up on the man in the cage. The ringmaster looked confused as well until he turned and saw that man simply standing there with his arms crossed.
“Do not be fooled!” he recovered as the crowd began to fall silent again. “This is no innocent young man.”
The boy in the cage began to nibble on his thumb nail in what looked like a nervous gesture. However the only thought that was going through Orlando’s mind was ‘what is such a beautiful man doing pent up in a cage like that?’ He was indeed stunning, so much so that Orlando had trouble thinking of anything to compare him to. He stood shirtless in the cage, his slight frame was well defined and his skin was the color of white marble with the exception of a fresh scar running over his chest. What made him uncommonly beautiful though, were his eyes. They were large and the color of the cloudy sea as he looked out over the crowd gathered around him.
Suddenly Orlando became aware of his staring as the boy caught his eyes with his own. He let his thumb nail go from between his teeth and seemed to inspect Orlando the same way he must have been examining him.
“This man is no innocent, he was born into darkness.” The ringmaster continued breaking the young man’s concentration. “He is Elijah, the beast! Elijah the werewolf!”
A gasp resonated form the crowd and there was sudden stillness as if everyone was now afraid to move and attract the beast’s attention. The boy’s head whipped around to look at the ringmaster and an angry snarl appeared on his face.
“Watch now as he transforms before your very eyes!”
The man turned to the cage and mumbled something that sounded vaguely threatening and held high his cane. The boy in the cage flinched back, and then as if unable to devote any more time to arguing with the older man, he turned to the crowd. He looked at Orlando again and Orlando felt his heart stop for a second. Slowly Elijah’s eyes began to change; first the white of his large eyes clouded over turning pitch black and as the dark wave continued it washed over his cornea leaving nothing but a thin circle of color. It was as if the outline of the moon was reflected in the man’s gorgeous eyes. As Orlando wondered at the sudden transformation a growl came from deep within the beautiful boy as his back arched forward.
Orlando couldn’t understand why he wanted to run to the boy, wanted to protect him, stop him for performing for an ignorant crowd. He just did. He watched as the poor man’s skeleton shifted and realigned and heard his groans of pain transform into piercing howls with each motion until the man was gone and a wolf had taken his place.
Women screamed and men’s knuckles turned white from clenching onto the benches they were sitting on. It was like nothing any of them had seen before. Inside the cage, an angry wolf snarled and rushed at the bars trying desperately to get free.