A Fear of the Funfair

This is the story of a lost girl. A lonely girl. A girl that makes a dsicovery that changes her life forever. As for funfairs? Well, blurbs shouldn't tell the whole story.

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3. Curses

     There stood an old, shrivelled man who was immensely short. He held a candle; the wax dripping down his shrivelled, dry hand. His silvery-white beard flowed down to his toes, bundling up oddly on top of his pointy shoes, on which the tips curved upwards. A long tunic covered him; a rich red silk that gleamed brightly in the candlelight, and tied loosely with a rough, tasselled rope around his waist. His eyes were milky white in the light of the candle he held. He was shaking – his hand trembling, the candlelight flickering and dancing. From the way he shook I thought we were having a momentary earthquake – but I sensed no movement in this still, spooky place.

   “You!......you are......!” the man croaked, his mouth opening to reveal glistening yellow teeth, chipped in places. He pointed a shivering finger at me, long and saggy with a startlingly long and dirty fingernail, the sharp tip pointing straight at my heart. His finger was stiffly entwined in black rings, with deep blue sapphires cut in mysterious shapes glimmering faintly inside. The way he stared at me with fear in his eyes and then suddenly shaking like a leaf in the wind made it fairly obvious that he was terrified – of me. Me? Well, I probably looked hideous, thanks to my hike in the woods, but surely that wasn’t enough to scare an old man out of his wits like this? And no ordinary old man.... Suddenly he regained his composure and a new look came to him.

   “You!.....die! You come to.....” His voice turned to a harsh scream, then faded away to a whisper. His eyes turned bloodshot and bulged from his face. He flung his arms in the air, and his silk sleeves rolled down, revealing deep red brands in mysterious shapes and symbols.

   “Saradomin! Sindiliom! Hear my cry! Curse this daughter of Eve! May she be gone, luth all her presence!” cackled the man, presumably a magician. The storm rumbled up above. I gazed up, cowering in fear. Sparks ignited the magician’s fingertips and he muttered a peculiar spell into his beard. The clouds lit up; a huge area turned white above me. The thunder growled – and a zoom of white darted speedily through the sky. One last resort – please! – I flung myself backwards; thanking my stars I had practiced my backwards flips all term in gymnastics. It was a very bad takeoff as I only had one foot available. I landed on my feet at the bottom of the stairs, fell over and rolled. Mud and soggy dead leaves stuck to me, but I didn’t care. I was wet and filthy anyway. My ankle stung, and now my other foot hurt because I had put all my weight on it when I landed. Now I had two feet stuck in a flaming furnace; the furnace of pain. Then – SMACK! Ohhh, a tree! I had to stop...

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