It appears out of nowhere. Back in a field near the town but far enough away to be mysterious. The tents look to have been raised over night. Instead of bright red, orange and green colors the tents are muted in black and white stripes. No one sees the train they arrived on or circus employees mulling around within the grounds.
There are no posters or flyers mucking up the landscape thus forcing the curious villagers closer for more information. The circus remains surprisingly black and white even up close. There are no other colors visible from the entrance. The wrought iron fence enclosing all the tents glistens in the sun with its oil black paint. The posts too close to squeeze through and the arrows on top too sharp to cross over.
Set back from the fence about six feet, the tents sway slightly in the breeze and all around the green grass is covered in white powder or paint. Looking past the gates at various size tents, onlookers see a unique black and white wooden grandfather clock. At each hour a new wooden performer graces its front and displays a trick before disappearing into the dark housing.
Better than any newspaper advertisement, the citizens rush home to tell their neighbors, friends and families all about the huge black sign dangling from chains on the front gate. “Opens at Nightfall – Closes at Dawn.”
The crowd is a large one from the town and neighboring boroughs. News has spread, and those waiting shuffle in the early evening as the sun slowly descends and the fireflies rise to flit about in the gloaming. Still there is no movement within as darkness slowly falls over the landscape.
Circus enthusiasts are starting to wane as the stillness creeps over them like an encroaching fog. Those gathered begin to turn towards the town. Maybe the circus is not ready. Maybe they will open tomorrow. Before they take that first step away, a slight popping can be heard from the enclosure.
Random lights around the tents flicker on slowly. One here then another behind a small tent and then all the sudden the gates come alive with crackling lights. The arbitrary beams morph into shapes that form words and then all is clear. The sign reads, “Le Cirque des Rêves.”
Enter the magical circus of dreams at your own risk. Erin Morgenstern’s new book The Night Circus pleases. There is mystery, suspense, magic, and romance waiting within the black and white book’s cover.