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Flames

The sounds of a broken down merry-go-round reached my ears. It had a faint, quiet twinkling tune that was oddly familiar. It reminded me of… For a second, the answer played in my head. But as soon as it came, it danced out the same way.

I opened my eyes. A blackened piece of land filled my eyes. It looked vaguely like… a fair? Or what was left of the fair, at any rate. Tall rusty support beams stuck out of the ashy ground like trees. The merry-go-round in the distance was no longer spinning, but it continued to sing. This fair was dilapidated, abandoned.

Something was dreadfully wrong.

It wasn’t just the scene of the fair. I felt bruised and sore, like I ran around the whole world ten times. My arms were heavily scarred, with black bruises like ink blots. My clothes were ripped, and large burn marks were visible all over my body.

What had happened?

What had happened to me? I couldn’t remember a single reason to why I was here.

I took a few experimental steps. My legs were shaky, and the ground felt cold to my sore feet.

I walked around the remains of the fair. A sign read “le Fantas-“. The rest was burned.

There was only one building that was partially standing. Inside, I could see rows and rows of mirrors, some curved in odd deformed shapes. I immediately understood my mission- to get inside the building.

Yet something-intuition, maybe- told me “Beware!” But I needed to get my memory back, to understand where I was. I jogged quickly to the building.

Inside, the mirrors were cracked and sooty. A thick layer of dust coated them. I brushed some away impatiently, and looked.

I gasped. The mirror showed not my reflection, but a little movie!

The Fair was bright and colorful. Bright lights lit up the place. Everywhere, there were sounds of screaming, laughing, and talking. But my attention was focused on the merry-go-round.

I saw myself, on a white plastic palomino, with a girl I couldn’t remember. The girl was very pretty, like a goddess come down to Earth. She had long, brown hair that reached her back, with long eyelashes that framed bright blue eyes. We looked like we were having the time of our lives. I saw her, grabbing tight to my waist as we spun round and round. Then I was me, closing the gap between us with my lips.

BANG! Suddenly, the merry-go-round burst into flames. The girl screamed, and the merry-go-round buckled down. It collapsed inside itself, the merry tune still going. The flames spread quickly. Within five minutes, the whole fair was burning. The mass of smoke billowed out, out and out, and covered the mirror.

I fell to my knees, as a surge of memory overpowered me. The girl’s name was Joline, and I was intending to marry her that night at the fair. We had just shared a bag of popcorn, and we were on the ride. But then, the fire started.

I covered my face as tears streamed down. But wait. If I was here at the Fair, then Joline must be too.

I sprinted out of the building, no longer caring of the fact my feet were burned severely. Joline was here! She had to be!

I found her sitting by a small pond in the very back of the Fair, humming as she picked dandelions by the water. Her reflection across the rippled waters made it seem unreal, like a dream.

I slowed down. She must have heard me coming, but she made no indication.

I sat down beside her, staring up at the bright moon.

Her quiet voice broke the silence. “Funny, isn’t it, how love finds us even after death?”

I smiled. I took out my marriage ring for her. “This is long overdue.”

She slipped it over her cold finger. We embraced in the still night.

“We can be together forever, you know?” she said.

I grinned. “I know.”

With the memory of the burning flames behind us, we held hands.



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