Emily looked around her; she didn't know where she was; the only companion she had was darkness. She cautiously took few steps forward and a distant crying made her stop. She listened; the crying was becoming louder as if it was coming closer (or she was going nearer) and eventually grew into a deafening scream. She cupped her hands on her ears and closed her eyes (not like closing eyes would lower the noise, but somehow it felt better).
Realizing that the noise stopped, she slowly removed her hands from her ears ready to close them back again at any moment, and slowly opened her eyes. Her heart almost stopped!
There was a girl crouched on the floor just a few steps ahead of her. How come she didn't see her before? Well, earlier, all around her was just darkness, but now, all the light was focused on this girl. The girl had the same messy jet-black hair as... Viviana? Could that probably be her? Emily walked towards the girl and touched her on the shoulder; she could feel the sobs. The girl slowly turned and looked her in the eyes...
...Emily woke up; heart pounding so hard and sweat sticking the clothes to her body. This was the seventh time in a row she saw that same dream. Was that trying to say something or was she just overthinking? From the day she brought Emily home, the words "children here are not normal" kept ringing in her head. For the hundredth time, she tried convincing her that she was just overthinking.
After about an hour or so, Emily came to Viviana's room with a glass of milk; she stopped at the door; Viviana was calmly sleeping. Most of the time, Viviana kept herself to the room; in fact, she came out of the room only to eat. Emily was worried, but she didn't want to force her; it has been just one week since Viviana arrived here, and maybe she was still adjusting.
Emily went inside and was about to wake Viviana up when she heard the mail slot opening. The mails had arrived! She kept the glass on the drawer next to Viviana's bed and left
There were three envelopes, a postcard, and a leaflet. Emily picked them up; her attention focused on the leaflet. It was about a carnival for children. Definitely that was what she should do; she should take Viviana to the carnival.
After having lunch, Emily and Viviana left home heading towards the carnival which was set in the city playground. It wasn't a long walk and they barely talked, but Viviana held to Emily's hand firmly.
At the gate, there was a sign reading, "Only children!" Emily looked at the small girl who was clinging to her hand. Was she ready to go on her own? Then she looked inside; children were shouting and laughing joyfully. Maybe when she gets to associate with her peers, she'd feel more belonged. So, she bought a ticket from the counter and bent so that her eyes were in line with Viviana's.
"Go inside and have some fun," she said and gave the ticket to her. "Also remember that anytime you'd feel like coming out, I'll be right here waiting for you."
Emily had been waiting outside for about an hour, and her stomach had already started to grumble. The smell of freshly baked buns coming from the café on the other side of the road was just making it worse. What about going in there, swiftly has something and come back? No, she promised Viviana she would wait here. So, she waited, trying her best not to think about coffee, buns, and cakes.
A bunch of children came from inside the carnival and walked past her. The boy in the middle was bruised, and two other boys aided him. She could hear the boy in the middle saying, "I'm sure she did that!"
"Stop saying that, James! You just fell," said a girl.
"No, I'm telling the truth. Didn't you see her eyes?"
Emily hurriedly looked inside to see what was happening, but everything seemed calm. Even though her mind said there was nothing to worry about, her heart had already started to panic.
She waited, what seemed like ages (you see, the time has this ability to slow down when you are waiting for someone), but no Viviana was coming out and she couldn't take it anymore. So, she made her way to the ticket counter.
"Excuse me, is everything alright inside?"
"Of course, ma'am. Everything inside is child-friendly. So, you don't have to worry even a..."
The man was interrupted by the screams that were coming from inside. Emily saw her chance and went inside the carnival.
The Ferris wheel and the rollercoaster were stuck, the carousel had gained breakneck speed and bumper cars were bumping into each other intentionally. The children who were stuck in them were screaming while others ran outside (screaming).
Emily looked through the crowds of children running; luckily her height was on her side, but Viviana was not among them. Was she stuck? Emily's thoughts were louder than the screams. What had she put Viviana into? She must be so frightened. What if... No, no, no! Nothing would happen to her. Why did she even think of something like that?
Emily was passing a small truck (which belonged to the carnival) parked next to a light post when she saw someone lying on the ground. She slowly walked towards the person and almost got a heart attack when someone called her.
"She killed him."
Emily looked around, but there was no one to be seen.
"I'm up here."
Emily looked up and to her surprise, another man was hanging from the light post.
"She killed him," he said again.
Emily knelt next to the person who was lying, took his hand, and felt for the pulses. Then she called back to the one above her, "He has just fainted. What are you doing up there?"
"She did this to me."
"That girl; the one with two black balls instead of eyes. She wore a green dress."
A green dress? Could that be?
"Where did she go?"
"There," said the man pointing behind another truck.
Emily hurriedly left him.
"Hey, help me come down." the man called behind her, but she was too worried to hear him.
Emily took a turn to look behind the truck; the man showed her. There was Viviana crouched in the corner. Emily wanted to run to her and hug her, but she was afraid that that would only frighten Viviana more. So, she slowly approached Viviana and touched her on the shoulder; she could feel the girl sobbing.
The girl slowly turned; her eyes were swollen, and her cheeks were stained with tears. Emily knelt before her and the girl threw her hands around Emily's neck. Yes, she hugged her.
"I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I was afraid."
"I know darling"
"You won't leave me right?"
"Oh, never! You are my daughter; I will never leave you. From now on, wherever we go, we'll go together."
Viviana sank deeper into the hug.