I stood by the entrace and looked across the numerous tents, the main feature that of a Carnival beingthe big wheel whichspun high, kids swinging in their carts - I could hear them giggling as the cart neared the ground, passed the controller and went up again. The controller, hands on the leaver threatened to stop the wheel if they didn't cease their messing about.
I began walking following my friend who'd already run ahead and was searching for something specific. "This way!" she called out, only to run off without waiting for me to answer... not even to look back and see me nod. She knew I would follow.
I watched her skip in between two tents, one with red and white strips with three half naked women stood by the entrance. One of the girls looked too young, not far off my own age, no more than 16! She looked me up and down and one of the others, one much older elbowed her and sniggered "We're here for men sweet pea not little girls!" I heard them all laugh, their eye's on me, the young girl though turned away from me.
I moved off, looking ahead to find myself alone. My friend was not in sight. I looked back, saw the young girl pass on the other side on the two tents and caught her eye, I smiled and she stopped, took a swig from a bottle and moved away again. I sighed This is no place for a Christian child.
I walked about the place, behind the tents, flashing lights, the ringing bells and music in search of my friend. There was a small man, no more than 3 foot high who smoked rings into the quickly dieing sky and coughed holding his hand against his chest at every puff. He nodded at me in a gentlemen like way when I passed and I pulled at my short sleeves in comfort, keeping my eye's ahead of me.
"This ain't no place a for innocent child like yourself!" I heard someone say. Looked up to see her, the girl I'd seen by the red and white striped tent. I paused at the sight of her, trying not to look to hard but she noticed.
"Cat got your tongue?" She asked me before applying her lipstick and wiping her teeth as if she'd managed to miss her lips.
"No, I'm just..." I paused and she raised an eyebrow.
"Just what sweat heart?"
I stepped backwards and she stepped forward, and with each step, somehow, the closer she came until she was stood right there in my space.
"...lost my friend." I smiled and moved aside and began walking away again.
I heard her laugh to herself "Baby you ain't got a friend here, you came alone!"
I looked back but kept on walking, she smiled, flicked her blonde curls and kicked her heel as she walked off into the other direction. I stopped, stood still -No friend? What does she mean? I shook it off,only tolook backtofind her gone.
I decided to search for the big wheel, knowing it stood by the entrance to the Carnival; I would wait there for my friend. As I looked up toward the sky in hope of seeing it, I felt a drop of rain hit my cheek... then my forehead, and then as quick as that it was raining and I began to run for shelter.
That's when I found myself in a tent full of mirrors, strange looking mirrors too. I caught sight of myself in one that made me look short and fat, almost sent me back outside. Wicked it was!
"Hey, gotta pay to see yourself in that Sugar!" a man covered in sweat wiped his fore head and lifted the tent entrance "You ain't got the dollar I'm afraid you can't stay here!" he almost looked like a mechanic in his blue overalls, but the bad kind, one who charges to much for his work.
"Gotta be crazy to pay to see myself look like that! Frightful!" I said heavily frustrated at his ignorance. I didn't move.
He smiled "Sorry, not my rules!" he said lifting his arm higher, the noise of the rain making him look out before shaking his head in amusement and then back at me again only even more adamant that I go.
I eyeballed him! To have a girl like myself step out into such weather? I angrily moved to step under his arm and into the hammering rain, my clothes soaking through as soon as I did. I stepped once, twice, and then ran, hands on head, eyes on my feet, mud on my shoes. I ran and kept running untill I heard her...
"Here, come here! Quickly!!"
My eyes moved from my feet to her, the girl with the blonde curls was standing a caravan door, waving her arm at me.
"Well, hurry!" She added.
I hadn't the time to question her, my conscience no time to argue with me, I needed shelter! So I ran toward her, feet heavy with mud up the caravan steps and inside. Confused, cold, and instantly fearful I looked up andreached around myself to cover my wet clothes.
"Here." she wrapped me in a brown piece of cloth and rubbed her hands up and down my arms only to rest on top of my shoulders "OK?" she asked eagerly. I nodded but said nothing, instead looking at the many things filling the room. A red lamp sat on the bedside dressermaking the room warm and cosy, the bed though was simple, that of wood and white sheets.
I looked at her as she offered me a seat next to a small table, also wooden with a pretty white table cloth. On top of that sat a pile of cards -Tarot cards! I watched her still as she sat opposite me "Give me your hands." she said simply.
I hesitated, not moving at first until she reached for them herself, finding them clenched at the corners of the brown cloth and pulling them toward her. I gawked as she rubbed them with her own and then cupping them breathed a hot breath against them. Our eye's met. Smiles. Warm. Knock at the door - she lets go, hands apart on the table. Door opens.
"Hey, there you are!!" the women who sniggered earlier now stood pissed off, hands on his "What the hell is going on here?" she demanded, a face full of fury.
The small blond looked back and forth, eyes resting on me "Nothing!"
"Well I hope you're paying little lady!" she smirked at me and I said nothing.
The blonde stood up still looking at me "Just keeping her from the rain is all, ain't got to charge for kindness now have we?" she came around and pulled on my arm making me stand.
"Well...ain‘t you one for that!"she replied andput her hand palm up outside the door "It ain't raining no more missy, just a bit of drizzle is all!"
I looked beyond her to see it calm. Surprised, disappointed even! I sighed inwardly letting the brown cloth fall from around me and caught it in my handbefore handing it to the women at the door as I headed out. The steps of the caravan where clean of mud, the ground was dry.Only feet away I looked back to see both women watching me, the blonde girl waved asthe other went back inside. Eye's conecting I smiled andwaved my thanks to her.
As I found my way passed those I'd seen before, the man by the mirror tent, the small man smoking, I wondered why it had been so hard before to turn around and head the way I'd come. It was silly ofme, funny almost now that I was able to see the big wheel still turning, kids laughing.
I smiled as I passed the wheel, able to see the entrance. As I stepped closer to the gate I felt someone's eyes upon me and looked back to find... Theeverything gone! An empty field where once stood a few dozen tents, Caravans and such.
I looked about me. How could this be?
I spun a few times stepping back and forth, looking at the grass;untouched by wheels of any kind!
I looked up to the sky, a clear night was ahead.
I pressed my hands onto my clothes; dry!
Hand over my mouth I breathed incatching the sent of the blonde women. It was real!
I had the feeling to search myself, and there unexpected, was a tarot card in my hand from my pocket. A tarot card!
The picture was that of two naked bodies entwined "The lovers card!" I said out loud "hah!" I smiled into it and with one more look around me began to walk off dancing asI went, home alone with the Tarot card in my palm.
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