The carnival was like a bountiful feast of colors winding their way through a gray world. A burst of colors agains a bleak gray day. Thats what I thought about as I winded through the dirt pathways that connected each attraction to the other. I walked on these paths as listened to the sounds the Carnival brought; seagulls chirping their mournful cries, people talking in hushed voices, waves crashing against the dock in which the Carnival was held. I walked to the exit thinking about all these things and how different the Carnival felt to the outside world. It felt…uncomfortable, like a fever dream that you couldn’t get out of. I kept walking along the dock, occasionally looking at passersby as they to discovered the other-worldly wonder of the Carnaval des âmes.
If only to give me more conformation that I needed to get out of this place, I felt a rain drop on the tip of my nose. I looked up at the gray sky that was getting darker by the second and hoped that I didn’t run into anything. But that action alone brought up a memory that had been long forgotten, like a toy gathering dust at the back of a toy box longing to get out and be played with and loved once more. I recalled a story that I had been told in childhood, it was about a boy who was always looking up at the sky, expecting, waiting, only to fall into a canal and get eaten alive by the fish. Was the story morbid? Yes. Did it deeply terrify me as a child? No,a not really. I was jolted out of my thoughts as I ran face first into a canvas tent.
I was indeed startled by this because the exit was supposed to be right here. Dispite my confusion a thought surfaced like wood to the surface of water; It isn’t raining anymore. Maybe I had just gone the wrong way, it was an honest mistake. I went to go turn around when something inside the tent caught my eye. A shadow figure. I blinked and it was gone, my breath came in short burts and I deepend my breathing to calm down, it was that phycological thing that my Mother always talked about, your eyes would make up things or something like that. I turned and walked away from the tent, not quite running but surely not walking like a normal human being. As I quickly walked down a dirt path I started noticing things I hadn’t before; A man with a glass eye, A women with a lizard pearched atop her head.
Finally I found the information desk and there was, thankfully, a woman there who I could ask where the exit was.
“I wouldn’t leave if I were you, Blondie, it will ceirtanly find you!!” The woman said in a raspy voice after I asked for directions.
I gave her a curt “Oh, well thanks anyway.” that was so very calm dispite the roar of thought swirling like a whirlpool in my brain. As the lady turned away I quickly snagged a map and walked away. As I unfurled that map I wondered why the Carnival even had a map, it was a Carnival after all, you just kind of milled around until you found a tent you liked. But alas I thought I mind as well use my resources.
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder, I whirled around as a young man stood there, arm still outstreched as if my shoulder was still there. The young man would have been fairly handsome if he hadn’t the blank look in his eyes and cuts and bruises all over his face. And then he talked, he talked as if he was in a dream:
“My master requires your presense”
Startled, I just stared at him. Who was this Mistress? The man stuck out his hands again as if to shake me but I stepped out of his grasp before he could touch me again. I turned and ran down another path, I ran and ran until I was out of breath. Only did I allow myself to spare a glance behind me to see if the man was following me. He, thankfully, was not and I was able to find a bench to further catch my breath. As I flopped down onto it, I heard a crumple of paper under me, I shifted and picked the crumpled paper.
BEWARE OF THE SHADOW MAN, OH CREATURE OF THE SEA
The note sent cold fingers down my back, and as ones brain does, tried to rationalize this forboading massage Maybe its just some kids playing a trick on me! But as I looked around all was eerily quiet. I felt as though my skin was made of clingy cloth and all I despretly wanted to do was peel it off and be rid of it. As I decended into a panic mode I stood up and started wandering around, all I wanted to do was find someone, anyone to help me. My breath came in short burts once again.
When the Shadow finally came up to me I was thankful. It promised me freedom from this place in return for the souls of the lost. It explained that it was here to help me. It understood that I was lost and I needed help, I was suprised with the pity I felt for it. Everyone always misunderstood its intentions as bad, but its only looking to help.
A women wanders the Carnaval des âmes
looking for an exit that isnt there. As she falls into a state of panic another women comes up to her. This peculiar women has a reputation around the Carnival as “Blondie”.
“I can help you” Blondie says to the other women and holds out her hand “I to was once a lost soul but Master has helped me and will help you just the same.” As the other women takes Blondie’s hand, the earth quivers with pity.
Another soul has joined the cause.