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Dark Carnival

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Blood rushed to her head as if she had been hanging upside down on a swing set like she used to do when she was younger. Images of swing sets, toothless laughing children and fine summers days flashed through her mind. The images twirled in her mind like she was on a carousel.

She was no longer seeing images but walking through a bustling carnival. Men on stilts towered above her, grinning down at her. Her head was a mess. As she stood in the middle of the crowd watching the pink clouds of candyfloss float above childrens' heads, she saw the darker part of the carnival. They were always in movies. She ducked and weaved through the crowd until she was in the darker, secluded part of the carnival.

Broken down pinball machines lay on their side in the tangled long grass. The white fairy lights draped from one carnival tent to another illuminating the carnival had stopped here. There was no sign of life as she walked past an old stall, deeper into the shadow casting tents. A sliver of moonlight peeping through the clouds was the only means of light in front of her. She noted the faded yellow police banner taped across the furthest tent. Intuition told her to go back into the crowds and stop being so inquisitive but she continued to walk towards the tent.

She did not even know why she was at this carnival in the first place. One minute she was seeing black and the next she could feel the blood rushing into her head. She couldn’t remember getting to the carnival. She was just here.

As soon as she walked past the other abandoned tents towards the last one, a sharp icy wind shot through her. She scrambled the last tent, it was a worn orange colour on the outside. The laughs and cries of excitement had become a faint while she was inside the tent. It was dark but she could make out the bent thin iron beams half-holding the tent up. Long pieces of sharp grass tickled her bare legs. She rubbed her sweating palms on her knee-length black laced dress. She frowned. She did not recognise the black ballet-flats on her feet. She figured they must have been her step-mothers.

A gentle wisp of cold icy breath tickled her ear. An electric wave shot down her spine. Her whole body stiffened. The stone cold touch of a finger carefully and slowly slid down from under her ear lobe to her collarbone. Her eyes closed unwillingly and her head tilted to the side. She could not hear anything now apart from her heart beating like the sound of a small bird’s wings.

“We need you, Natalie.” The voice was dark and alluring. She could not open her mouth to speak. “I need you.” He moaned in her ear from behind. His hand slid under her thin shirt and she caught her breath as his hand moved further up her bare back. His hand sent a shiver through every inch of her body. Just as his fingers found the back of her bra, she raised her head ever so slightly. She heard his quiet humph and he slid his hand back down her back. Once he was no longer touching her, her voice came back and her heart slowed down to a normal rhythm.

“Why?” Her voice was barely audible.

“You are special.”

“I’m not.” She choked. “I can’t be.”

His laugh was smooth and seductive. “You know what your family are. You know what you might have become. You are one of us now.” She swallowed hard. Her heart was not beating fast or even at a normal rate. It was barely beating. She slowly turned around to face him. The moon had peeked out from behind the clouds and was shining in the tent at his back and through the tears and rips in the roof of the carnival tent.

She caught her breath as her eyes met his. Coal-black hair fell into his eyes. He did not blink. Menacing red iris’ surrounded his black pupils. When he finally blinked, so did she. She was in a trance.

“You’re one of us now.”

“I’m normal.” Her voice quivered. “I am not special.”

His black hair moved to the side as he shook his head. As he looked at her again, she felt a sharp pain sear through her heart. She stumbled backwards. Confusion crossed his beautiful face. “Are you alright?” His hand reached out to steady her. She yelped as his touch brought another shock through her.

He backed away. Her eyes now scanned his attire. He did not look like he was from around here. To be blunt, he did not look like he belonged in this centaury. She crooked her brows. A sudden urge to strike out at him almost made her want to laugh. This young man looked dangerous and for some reason she did not feel scared.

“I am a human.”

His face softened. His lips lifted into a small smile. “I will agree to half of that.”

“I-I don’t know what you mean.” She mumbled.

“I think you do Natalie.”

Her eyes widened. He cannot be serious. She cleared her throat. “I am nothing but a human. I am human!” Her voice became louder. Her hands were balled into fists.

“No, Natalie, you are only a half-human.”

She shook her head. He took another step towards her. He slowly reached out and tucked a strand of her dark brown hair back behind her ear.

“You still look Italian.”

“That’s because I am!” She yelled. Her voice echoed throughout the tent. She lost her patience and a feeling of nervousness was seeping into her system. She brusquely walked past him and avoided his grasp.

“Please wait!” A hint of sadness etched his voice. She ignored him and ducked as she exited the tent. She noted the Ferris wheel turning at the opposite side of the carnival. The lights and people were ahead of her. The boy was behind her. She was walking fast in a straight line. “You must believe me.” He was only a couple of inches behind her. His breath was brushing the back of her head. She swatted the space around the back of her head. Her lips pulled up for a brief second after he snorted.

“I am one hundred per cent human.” She said to herself.

“Stop telling yourself that you’re a human when you are not.”
She shut her eyes and stopped walking. When she finally opened her eyes, a shrill scream escaped from her mouth. The Ferris wheel was sinking along with every other tent and stall in the carnival. The surrounding trees and grass around her feet started to move towards a large hole in the ground. The crowds of people had vanished and she screamed again when the ground below her swiftly dragged her closer to the hole. She turned around and ran straight into him. He caught her just as she lost her balance and was about to fall. She was now in his arms.

As she looked into the sky, she watched as each glittering star in the sky started to disappear one by one. Her eyelids became heavy and just as she watched the last star disappear the boy bent down. She felt his breath brush against her face. “You need me too.” He whispered into her ear. His lips pressed against her forehead.

“No.” She murmured weakly. She could smell the leather of his black jacket.

“You’re a vampire too.” He said softly. She had already blacked out.



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