Carnival

Cara Williams is a young teenage girl who has lived in a traveler community for her entire life. Despite her way of life, she sees her world as a world of colour and perfection. The only thing she desires is her best friend, Sonny Baker.
When suddenly, out of the blue, Sonny asks Cara to run away to the city with him, Cara jumps at the chance to experience an adventure with the boy who she is in love with. However, soon Cara's world of colour is destroyed and she is thrust into a horrific nightmare. Lost and naive, Cara soon realises that she can't stay young forever, but can growing up really be like this?

5 chapters are posted although I have many more, however, I haven't edited these chapters in about a year and reading through them, I know that the plot is quite rushed at the moment.

Any comments or suggestions would be amazing! Thank you!

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1. Chapter 1

 

The street was like a rainbow kaleidoscope of colour. On both sides of the road there were stalls selling food, drinks and gifts and above the heads of the many shoppers and browsers, a large hanging banner read;

 

Street Carnival- Fun and excitement for all the family!

 

Cara Williams stood among the crowds of exited villagers bustling along the streets. She had no home. Since before she was born, her Family and many other families traveled around the country; traveling entertainers. Fire eaters, Magicians, Clowns, gymnasts, jugglers, craftspeople and Seers. Her mother was a Seer. She told peoples futures and sold magical items on the side, mostly mystical bracelets and trinkets.

 

Cara enjoyed the experience of the traveling carnival, the colours, the smells and the sounds. The giant tents pitched in nearby fields provided homes for the many entertainers when they stopped for a few days to work, but usually most people lived, slept and worked in their caravans.

The caravans were large barrel shaped carts painted in bright colours with unusual patterns. They were small and cosy, and pulled by old horses with patchwork markings and sad, sleepy eyes. Mostly the caravans were shared between three or four people, but in Cara’s case, there was only her and her mother.

On most traveling days, Cara would help her mother make things to sell, but occasionally she would hang around with her friends Sonny and Angelique Baker. They lived with their mother and dad in a large green caravan that usually lead the rest of the caravans when they were moving. Their mother and father made clay pots to sell and the carnivals and Sonny (who was fifteen) walked on stilts that made him at least eight foot tall. Angelique would also entertain the crowds, but her act was more sensible… and beautiful. She sung. In front of the crowds of restless browsers, eager for entertainment, she set up a makeshift stage and sung out the crowds in a high, pure voice that brought tears to people’s eyes. Usually she sung traditional songs and at Christmas she sung angelic carols with a group of her friends. Although she begged all of the time, Cara never dared sing with her. This was because Cara was a shy girl. She rarely talked to anyone, other than her own mother and best friend Angelique. She often tried to blend into the background at the carnivals until most people had gone, but she rarely escaped the notice of passers by. After all, she was tall and slim, she had long scarlet curly hair and peachy skin, dotted with orange freckles, and piercing green eyes. People often commented on her looks and boys often stared and wolf whistled as she passed by. Most of her clothes were made by the people who traveled with them. Usually either long frilly skirts or dresses in earth tones, leather jackets, cheese cloth trousers or stripy woolen jumpers in every colour under the sun.

 

Merrily, Cara walked along the street until she was nearly at the end of the stalls. She saw a familiar sight; her mother’s tent. A small purple sign decorated with stars read;

 

‘Molly-Rose Williams- Tarots, Astrology, palm reading and clairvoyance’

 

And a smaller rusty metal sign next to it said;

 

‘£20 non refundable- Please queue here-in session.’

 

Her mother’s tent was always popular. People were always willing to part with their cash to get a glimpse of the future.

‘Well…’ Cara often thought, ‘you will loose a lot of money’ is always a surefire prediction of the future.’

Cara abhorred her mother’s predictions, they were hazy, mysterious and brief, but they paid for the meals that she ate and (mostly) the clothes on her back, so she never complained to her mothers face.

 

Passing her Mother’s tent, she saw the face paint and henna tattoo stall that her aunt Liza ran. Liza wasn’t her real aunt; she was her mother’s best friend. She had two grown up daughters called Allis and Crystal who were at university now. But Liza didn’t miss them. Or at least she said she didn’t. She said that they lacked the carnival spirit, and she was right. Cara Remembered how Chrys’ and ‘liss were always stalking around, looking for people to lecture to or gossip about. They never wore what the other children did, or ate what others ate. They left home as soon as they were old enough. They crashed at the homes of boys they had met while traveling, got jobs and saved up enough money to pay for ‘a good education,’ Or so their letters said. Liza burned the letters as soon as she read them. As far as she was concerned, they had abandoned her, and she could never forgive them for that.

 

Cara sauntered over to Liza, who was braiding the hair of a young girl. As she got nearer, she saw that the girl had henna paste flowers drying on her cheek. Cara bit her lip; that henna took weeks to fade away.

Liza looked up from the girl’s head but her fingers kept on weaving in and out with the colourful string.

“Hi Cara” She said casually, flashing her white teeth in an alluring smile. “Sonny told me to tell you that he is looking for you.” and she winked knowingly.

Cara’s heart skipped a beat. Everyone knew about Cara liking Sonny. That is, except for Sony himself. Either that or he seemed to ignore it. Sonny was tall and slightly tanned, with straw coloured hair and light blue eyes. He was talkative and flattering and he and Cara had been friends since they first met. But they were friends, life long best friends, and he was Angelique’s Brother. They could never be more than friends. Never.

 

But still Cara couldn’t resist the thrilled feeling she got whenever he talked to her. He seemed to understand her, they were like soul mates.

“Did you see where he was going, Liza?”  Cara asked, trying to sound casual.

Liza smiled, “He said to tell you he was going back to camp. If you wanted to find him.” And then she looked back down to the girl whose hair she was braiding. She was nearly at the end, so she tied off the strings and threaded on some beads.

“You’re done…” She said happily, and the girl jumped out of her seat and ran off smiling, blended into the crowd and disappeared.

“That’s my tenth customer of the day, these people really have the carnival spirit don’t they, Cara?” Liza asked while she was tidying her strings ready for the next customer. Cara nodded, “Liza, I’m going to go and find Sonny now, I’ll see you later.” And then she ran off down the street into the bustling carnival crowds, leaving Liza to shout,

“OK Babes See ya…” over the hubbub of the exited passers by.

 

Cara ran along the streets until she passed the last stall, an old woman in a silvery cloak who Cara knew the face but not the name of, raised her hand as Cara passed.

She shouted “Greetings new flame…” But Cara didn’t return the greeting. Instead she ran up the street, into a narrow lane, along the lane, up a hill and into the camp.

The sun was setting over the hill, and casting an orange glow on to the tents and nearby caravans. In the middle of the camp, near where a campfire had been lit the previous night, a silhouetted figure sat, his head bent, arms wrapped around his knees. Cara approached slowly.

 “Sonny?” She asked gently. Sonny looked up; he was frowning, as if he were thinking very hard about something.

“Cara…” he said quietly, and then he stood up. He was taller than her, which was unusual owing to her unusual height. He should have felt intimidating, with the setting sun casting a shadow across his face. But he didn’t.

“What’s wrong Sonny?” Cara asked, half curious, half cautious. Sonny inhaled deeply, he had a strange look on his face and he looked…Scared.

“Cara, I’m going to run away…” He said quietly.

Cara laughed in condescending incredulity.

“Ha ha, very funny, Sonny.”

Sarcasm was evident in her voice and she expected him to smirk back at her and admit he was teasing her. But instead Sonny looked at her right in the face; his expression was determined and serious.

“I’m not joking Cara, I’m sick of being stuck here, with nothing to do except make tacky pots and trinkets every day. I’m tiered of being a laughing stock, bored of being a carnival goer, an entertainer and a… a freak!”  Sonny’s last words hit Cara like an icy shower, ‘is that what he thinks we all are?’ she thought bitterly, ‘freaks’.

Sonny quickly tried to look apologetic; he had seen Cara’s expression change when he told her what he thought of the carnival life, and did not want to make his best friend hate him because of his carelessness.

“I’m going to run away, find a place where I won’t be treated like some sort of odd entertainment, I want to be normal, Cara…” Sonny’s voice trailed away. Cara looked uncomfortable.

 “So, why are you telling me, why not Angelique?” Cara asked inquisitively, her brow furrowing in confusion.

 Sonny smiled wryly and in the last traces of daylight a demonic expression crossed his face, just for a second.

“…Because Angelique would insist on following me, or telling mother and dad where I went.” He said.

“What if I follow you?” Cara uttered indignantly.

“Actually…” Sonny’s eyes lit up, “I was hoping you would.” 

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