The sound of breathing was coming loud, and soft humming of the crowd, anticipation and wonders, washed upon her head, mesmerizing this time just like every time before.
Only this time something was different. The soft inhales from behind the curtain were not all that unfamiliar, and a strange, sharp edge of bitterness and fury and grief cut trough the heavy ancient cloth and heavy night air, sending discomfort in her motionless chest.
A quick glance to the side shown that no one else could feel it, and just as she was about to sigh unnecessary air in relief he walked in and beneath the cold, relaxed mask of his face there was the same discomfort, guilt and... fear?
No one seemed to notice it either, but their glances met for just a second and he quickly turned away, trying to hide it from her. She saw it in his face, though, he knew she was aware of what he was feeling, and there was this pounding in the back of her head trying to push trough, to tell her what was causing it.
It didn't matter though, because in the next moment the show started and they had to focus, to do their best just like every night before. Brightly coloured clubs spun from her bloodless arms in the air in a continous cycle, the string below her feet was slightly vibrating with her motions and heartbeats of the mob below. For a moment everything faded away behind the feeling of weightlessness and synchronization, the clubs falling into her outstretched palms and being sent away in perfect harmony. Then another one joined them, and another, and she pushed back a chuckle, not losing her rhytm but adjusting it, colourful objects spinning faster and faster and the thread below her never giving in, the dead body finding balance itself. And with the last throw, and just as she finished her act and bowed, a quick glance into the cheering crowd froze her in her tracks and almost made her fall.
The man she looked at was older, thinner, more worn out, but the eyes were his eyes, filled with bitterness and grief and anger, but they were still his own and an annoying, masochistic part of her was happy to see them one more time.
A bit groggily she walked backwards on the thread, disappearing behind the curtain, when finally the ringmaster walked out from the other side, ready to anounce the end of today's show.
A feeling of dread crept up on her as the emotions from the other side of curtain seemed to blur and grow in intensite, and she slowly walked back along the vibrating string, offering her hand to the tall, thin figure already standing in the middle. A moment of shock was hinted in his eyes but a moment later he ever so gracefully bowed to her and took it her hand, they smiled to the applauding audience together, and with their final bow the feeling of dread was even stronger. Tension in his undead muscles was incredible, as if fighting off something powerful, and every single emotion coming from the man in the audience was replaced with fury which didn't really help at all. She didn't dare think of what might happen next.