It was late afternoon, the shadows stretched under the low-hanging sun, when Benjamin reached the circus.
He walked briskly, a fabric bundle holding his meager possessions slung over his shoulder, dangling with every step he took. As he neared the rickety fence surrounding the encampment, he felt his stomach tighten with fear and excitement. Two tall, green poles marked the entrance; Benjamin paused to look at the wooden arch stretching between them, decorated in bright colors. It read, in fancy, flourished letters: The Fantabulous Circus of Wonders. The words were surrounded by bold, red and yellow stripes, and there was a fat, red and white cat painted in a corner, wearing a bowler hat and a monocle.
Benjamin felt a thrill run down his back. Behind the arch, he could see a tall, broad, red and white striped tent taking up most of the lot, adorned by bright festoons. His heart jumped in his chest. It was... majestic. There was no other word for it. It overshadowed the smaller tents and painted wooden caravans scattered behind it to form a messy little village. It was worn and patched in places, the festoons were mangy, and the paint was peeling off the wooden canopy before the entrance—but to Benjamin, it was a palace; the most beautiful tent of the richest king in the world. It was everything he'd dreamed of for so long.
Now, he just had to find his target—and make that dream happen.