Herman Fuller GOI Test Page
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The following is a page from a publication entitled To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks. The identities of neither publisher nor author have been established, and scattered pages have been found inserted into Circus-themed books in libraries across the world. The person or persons behind this dissemination are unknown.


To the Circus Born

To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks



The Skeleton Dance

"Now waggles the leg, now wriggles the thigh,
As the troop with strange gestures advance,
And a rattle and clatter anon rises high,
As of one beating time to the dance."

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Der Totentanz

For as long as the preternatural performing arts have existed, men have reanimated the dead for entertainment. The particular act of animating the dead to dance was first popularized in Europe during the Late Medieval Period, where it became known as the Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death. The practice gained widespread notoriety partially due to rumors of its association with the Roman Catholic Church, which was said to have sponsored public performances to provoke fear and inspire penance.

If this was indeed the intention, it failed spectacularly. The portrayal of death as a state of revelry and freedom captivated the morbid fascinations of a continent that had been ravaged by war, famine, and plague. The Danse Macabre proved so influential that much of its cultural impact on music, literature, and visual arts managed to remain intact during the historical expurgations carried out by the Secure Containment & Protection Foundation.

The Danse Macabre is traditionally accomplished through the use of substitutiary locomotion; any form of resurrection risks the invocation of the soul, which is widely discouraged by the preter-performance community for ethical and practical reasons. The tale of the foolhardy necromancer who resurrects his Danse Macabre, only to be killed and made to join the dance himself, has been retold for centuries.

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To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks

To the Circus Born

The Skeleton Dance

The earliest known performance of the Dance of Death in North America took place in New Orleans in 1738. Césaire Sauvageot, a thanachoreography specialist from France, was reported to have thrown a lavish soirée in the French Quarter, resplendent with live music and copious alcohol. Guests were instructed to arrive fully costumed with their faces concealed by masks until the chimes of midnight. When the unmasking finally came, guests were shocked to discover that many of the people they'd danced with over the past several hours had been animated skeletons. This also included the waitstaff, musicians, and—according to some apocryphal sources—Sauvageot himself.

In the decades that followed, preter-performers from all over the world immigrated to America, bringing their own national flavors of Danse Macabre with them. A woman from Leyte brought ghoulish tinikling, with bones used in place of bamboo and flaming corpses that danced until their feet were cinders. A Turkish apostate with a taste for the sacrilegious brought undead Whirling Dervishes that twirled in flowing skirts of their own flayed skin. One enterprising impresario made a small fortune performing with a chorus line of fleshless can-can girls. By the mid-19th Century, the Dance of Death had grown to be known by a new name in this new world: the Skeleton Dance.

The rich and varied history of the practice posed a unique problem to Mr. Fuller. To have a Circus of the Disquieting without the Skeleton Dance would be as unthinkable as Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce. However, with dozens of Skeleton Dance performers in the United States alone, singling out the best act in the world would be no easy task. During his years of international and extradimensional travels, Fuller encountered hundreds of thanachoreographers of every conceivable sort, but none could be found that befit a place in The Greatest Show in All the Worlds.

Then Herman Fuller met Síofra Bradigan.

It is well-documented that scores of bodies rest beneath the bogs of Ireland, naturally mummified, perfectly preserved. Less well-documented are the self-proclaimed witches who have studied this natural process and elevated it to an artform. By preternaturally augmenting the preservative qualities of anaerobic acidic sphagnum bogs, these women have devised a method of accelerating calcium dissolution and soft tissue dehydration that can render a fresh corpse leathery and boneless within a fortnight.

Ask any thanachoreographer and they will tell you that the Danse Macabre relies on the rigidity of hard tissue. Without the stability of a corpse's bone structure, it is virtually impossible to manipulate a body in a lifelike manner—this is the reason why we have the Skeleton Dance and not, say, the Meat Fandango. Síofra Bradigan, however, was not bound by the rules of any thanachoreographer. Through a combination of innate skill

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The Skeleton Dance

To the Circus Born

To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks

and years of discipline, she had developed a one-of-a-kind necrokinetic talent. Although she had never used it for showmanship purposes, Herman Fuller knew she was the star he had been searching for.

It was a Skeleton Dance in the technical sense. When the lights rose, long sacks of skin and flesh slithered through the tent and beneath the crowd's feet, provoking cries of terror as the band began their fanfare. The tendrils of tissue would gracefully rise off the sawdust-covered ground, unfurling into dozens of flattened human figures which fluttered and entwined one another in fluid motions.

And they danced. They swept through the air above the spectators, billowing, spinning, tumbling, and weaving through one another. Constantly undulating, always mesmerizing, coming together to form strange patterns and splitting apart into individual contortions of humanity. It was an altogether otherworldly display, yet intense in its familiarity. They were people, and they moved with joy. Bradigan and her Bewitching Bog Boys were a runaway success.

In the wake of Fuller's declining mental stability, Bradigan would eventually run away in the literal sense, and her bog boys went with her. It was an unparalleled loss for Fuller, and only fueled his paranoia. The Circus would see other Skeleton Dance acts come and go over the years, but to Fuller, none could hold a candle to the woman who made the dead dance like angels.

Fuller's opinions notwithstanding, many of Bradigan's successors were deeply beloved by audience and fellow Disquieters alike. One notably notable Skeleton Dance from the post-Fuller period involved the performer himself acting as the skeleton, as well the unusual inclusion of an animal companion in the act. Nandin (Chakrabarti) the Human Skeleton Closet and Miles the Bonecat combined song, dance, ventriloquy, and old-fashioned morbid whimsy in an act that entertained showgoers for almost two decades.

Sadly, the curtain closed on the duo when Chakrabarti abruptly left the circus in the middle of a performance, claiming that Miles had experienced a medical emergency and needed to be taken to professional veterinary clinic. This decision ultimately led to their capture by the SCP Foundation.

The circumstances surrounding Nandin and Miles' departure from the circus remain the subject of controversy. Why would an undead cat imbued with Bozomorphic properties suddenly fall ill? Testimonies from Chakrabarti's colleagues indicate that the pair had no known enemies—except, perhaps, a sole family member who had not been seen in years. However, one thing is sure: we haven't forgotten either of you. Follow the

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[END OF PASSAGE]

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