The option was to start the story 'Never before...'
So below is my entry, which was voted 2nd place in an anonymous poll:
Never before had the village green looked so exciting. A Big Top was being erected as I walked past and my stomach flipped with excitement at the sight of it.
“Can we go to the circus?” was the first thing I asked when I got home.
“Look what I bought today,” Mum said, smiling as she showed me two tickets. “Tomorrow at two.”
“Want a balloon?” a woman asked. She wore gloves, despite the warm weather.
“Go on, pick one,” Mum said.
I picked a red balloon with an image of a clown. The woman handed it to me with a toothless smile.
The smell of sawdust filled the air as the trapeze artists flew above our heads. Later, they called everyone with a clown balloon into the ring, and I was allowed to help the clowns with their magic.
At the end of the show, the ringmaster asked everyone with a zombie balloon to stay behind for a special treat. As the balloon seller slammed the doors behind us, she suddenly yanked the balloon out of my hand. As I tearfully watched it float skywards towards the fluffy white clouds, she hissed at me: “Lucky escape, sonny, lucky escape.”