“Hold still.” Said Vespa, holding my chin in place.
“It's not going to look nice.” I muttered.
“Shut up.” said Vespa, wiping the lipstick against my lips. She had spent the last twenty minutes doing my make up. I stared at her, she looked okay with big smoky eyes and her new hair but I didn't look so good all made up. Using her nails she wiped the sides of my mouth and them showed me the mirror. I stared.
“Bloody hell...” I murmured. Looking at myself. Vespa hadn't done much but what was noticeable was amazing. My nose didn't look so crooked and my blue eyes shone amongst my coated lashes. I pulled my dress up over the shirt and looked in the mirror. From her piles of clothes Vespa slung a pair of cherry boots my way.
“Mmh.” Vespa sat crouched by a set of drawers pulling out her outfit. A black chiffon skirt sat chucked on the bed.
“What was it you were going to tell me?” I asked, twiddling my thumbs.
“What? Before you bit my head off.”
I sighed. “Yes.”
She pulled a t-shirt out of the drawer with a grunt. “Oh it was nothing, just a stupid idea.” She got up and began pulling off her top. Beneath which was a lacy bra.
“What!” She shouted matching my tone.
“Why are you wearing that?”
Vespa rolled her eyes. “It's nice.” She said matter-of-factly.
I giggled. “Is it for Noah?”
“No.” She exclaimed, throwing her top at me. She pulled on the one for the party.
“Cool kids can't die.” I said, reading aloud. She looked down at her top.
“You like?” I nodded. Pulling off her jeans she stepped into the skirt and place it on her waist. Looking in the mirror, she played with her clothes, pulling the t-shirt out a little and fluffing up the skirt.
I bit my lip. “Where are you and Noah going to go after summer?” Vespa stared in the mirror for a moment when I asked, her lipstick held just from her mouth. Her brow furrowed for a moment.
“I don't know, I like the sound of America. Somewhere where there are no woods, or hospitals or anything that will remind me of that place.” She looked upwards dreamily. “I want to go to university. I've read a lot them. I want to study mechanics or something, something that isn't what typical girls do. I want to be different.”
“Have you ever thought about our parents.”
Vespa turned to me, her face serious. “We're practically dead to them.” My eyes widened at her fierceness. “Why are you asking all these questions?”
I shrugged. “I'm was thinking.”
Vespa turned to the mirror and applied her lipstick. She puckered her lips. “I wouldn't if I were you. Thinking leads to over thinking and then you're just done for.” The room went silent. Vespa began giggling and soon we were both laughing our heads off. She flopped onto the bed as we gigggled ourselves silly, our stomachs hurting with every cackle. There was knock on the door.
“Are you guys ok?” Said Freddie. Vespa laughed even more and I was off again, tears running down my cheeks.
“Stop. Stop.” Said Vespa urgently.
“What.” I managed.
“You're going to ruin your make up.” She said seriously. I gave her a look and tried not to laugh as I wiped the tears away.
In the darkness everything looked beautiful. The lights of the carnival shone and glittered in the satin sky, the color of navy. The moon watched fro above, giving everything an eerie glow. Elle met us at the front entrance where her presents were piled around the cake which Freddie had dropped round earlier in the day. She met us with a hug. She looked truly amazing. Her silky skin glimmering amongst her dress.
“You guys look amazing.” She beamed, she saw Vespa's tattoo. “That's so cool. I want one when I’m older.”
“No you don't.” Said a voice I didn't recognize. A pretty lady in her forties approached us and wrapped her arms around Elle. Her skin the slightly darker than her daughters. It was the first time I had seen Elle's mum and I couldn't get over how similar they looked. They both had the look of a pixie about them. Elle laughed.
“Mum, this is Noah, Vespa and Cassie. They're staying here for the summer with Freddie. They made the cake.”
“Oh really? Well it is very beautiful.” She looked at me. “Has anyone every told you that look like... Oh what's her name.” She snapped her fingers. “Jenna Blake.” She looked at me intently.
I shrugged awkwardly. “I don't know who she is.”
“Oh, well you look just like her.”
“Well.” Elle interjected. “Enjoy the party and thanks again for the cake.
“No problem.” Said Freddie with a smile. He took my hand and we walked into the carnival.
“Who's Jenna Blake.”
“This actress, she's not that well known. She's right though you look just like her. Same mouth shape and eyes.”
I laughed. “I'll have to see a picture before I take the compliment.” Freddie rolled his eyes and squeezed my hand. In front of us a big circular machine whirled and spun sending seat swings high into the air.
“What's that?” I asked in awe.
Freddie looked up. “Oh the swing carousel, wanna go on it?” I nodded eagerly and we both ran to it. The line went down in minutes and soon we were both sat snugly in our seat. I kept hold of Freddie's hand whilst my legs danced in a mix of glee and terror. The music of the ride began and I squeezed Freddie's hand hard. He squeaked, jokingly. The ride was slow at first and almost peaceful, for a moment I closed my eyes and let the motion carry my thoughts away but as the tempo of the music increased so did the speed and the height. Within minutes I was screaming with glee, my hair blowing in the wind and my legs hanging down loosely. I turned to Freddie and we shared a look both of us giddy with excitement. We were both kids but we didn't care, as we swam in the summer air we giggled and screamed to our hearts content. For once I didn't feel silly because everyone else who was on the ride was doing the same thing. As the ride went round a couple more times I stared at Freddie. I was so lucky to have him in my life and although I barely realized it, he had shaped me into the person I had become. He was the laughter in my life and for that I was grateful. He turned to me and we both shared another look. As I fell into his beautiful eyes I whispered,
“I love you.”
The night was blissful. It seemed to go by in a daze, the whiz of rides, the breeze of ocean air and the high of Freddie's touch. I sailed along in a boat of dizziness just for once being happy to be alive. The hospital seemed so far away that there were moments where I thought it hadn't happened at all. I sometimes thought that maybe I had had trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy. All through the night I caught glimpses Noah and Vespa dancing around as merry as I was. There faces plastered with smiles so alive they practically danced too. I thought back to Alice in Wonderland. This was my wonderland. Freddie grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the haunted house walk through that had been set up.
"I'll count to thirty and come find you." He said shouting to be heard per the screams of delight, the music and the general hum of happiness.
"Ok.." I giggled running into the dark hallways. I turned right and dashed up some stairs.
The first room was weird. It was practically black aside from a dummy in a rocking chair. The sound of cackling played through the room. I stared at the dummy and it's head turned to me. I jumped back slightly and dashed past it. A cold hand grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the room. I knew it was all fun and games but in fear I screamed loudly. The lady let go. “Sorry love.” She mumbled before returning to her starting position. I wiped my hair away from my face and went into the next room. A surgery table had been set up and the sound of a chainsaw echoed through the room. The actor screamed loudly. I shook violently and practically jumped out my skin when blood splattered against the wall. I walked past quickly. I didn't like it. Any of it. I was already on edge and the haunted house did nothing but amplify my fears. I stood in a corner for a second and closed my eyes. I breathed slowly and tried to calm myself down. All it was, was actors, props and sounds. Freddie would find me soon and I would see the funny side.
Feeling calmer I walked up the stairs and into the next room. A swarm of teenagers past me, giggling and screaming. I breathed slowly and walked under the archway that lead to the enchanted forest. I walked quickly through the trees, smashing straight into a mirror. The pressure reopened the cut under my hair and a slow flow of blood trickled down my forehead. Cursing under my breath I held my hand to the cut and touched my hand to the mirror. My skin had paled and my ears had gone pink. I flinched, something in the mirror caught my eye. A figure. I turned to face it. There was nothing there. Maybe I'd hit my head harder than I'd first thought. I clutched my head and began walk to the right, following the line of the mirror. I came to a clearing surrounded by make shift three.
It was no louder than a whisper. I spun around expecting to catch whoever was toying with me. Again I met with nothing but trees and mirrors. A shiver climbed up my spine. Wiping my head I teared through the trees only to greet myself in a number of mirrors. The voice followed me and with each word I got increasingly faster. I slammed into mirror after mirror opening the cut deeper until I could barely see. In a panic I found myself surrounded by my crying self, everywhere I turned there was just another version of myself. I screamed, hitting at the mirrors and screaming for Freddie.
Before my eyes the mirror images contorted, my face practically melting. I shrieked my hand at my mouth as Vespa appeared before me, blood pouring from her chest. I stumbled back and fell against the mirror.
I turned to see Jessica spit blood from her mouth.
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
As in the dream, my family fell before me all dying some ghastly death. The tears that ran down my cheeks merged with the blood. Trying to erase the image from my mind I curled into a ball rocking back and forth, my screams animal like. I knew what was coming, the final bang that would end it all.
I looked up into his eye's. Freddie stared back at me his face contorted with worry.
“Freddie, you're... you're alive. He shot you... I watched him shoot you.”
Freddie's brows furrowed. “What are you on about. Why are you bleeding.” His hand went to my head.
“I hit my head.” I said slowly putting my bloody hand upon his.
Freddie sighed. “Let's get you out of here.” He crouched beside me and pulled me into his arms. I crumbled into him as he carried my out of the haunted house and away from those awful mirrors and accusing trees. I held onto him, scared that if I let him go some terrible fate would befall him.
It didn't take me long to get cleared up. The only signs that anything had happened was a small blood stain on Freddie's top, because my cut was under my hair it wasn't even visible. I put my visions down to the effect of the rides on my head. It wasn't like my face had actually melted and Freddie obviously wasn't dead. Sitting on the side of a table, Freddie brought me a bottle of water and I sipped it slowly, retelling him what I had seen. I left out the part about Spencer being the gunman. As the time grew to midnight Freddie and I walked around the carnival hand in hand, pausing only to see Elle share a kiss with Jamie.
“They're so cute.” I laughed.
“Not as cute as us though.” Said Freddie, leaning down to kiss me. It was gentle and it's very presence warmed up my insides, chasing away any horrible thoughts from earlier.
As the clock struck midnight we all sang 'Happy Birthday' to a bashful Elle. The cake looked amazing under the lights. Freddie went to help cut the cake and Vespa pulled me to the side.
“I heard you freaked out in the haunted house.” She said cautiously.
“Oh it's fine.”
Vespa hit me. “No it's not what the hell happened, you were bleeding.”
“I ran into a mirror.”
“What.” I laughed. “Were you worried about me?”
Vespa hit me round the back of the head. “ow.” I murmured.
“Worried. You have absolutely no idea. I was running around looking for you. My God Cassie, you're like my sister. Of course I was bloody worried.” There was silence.
“Sorry.” I said playing with the ends of my dress. Vespa nodded and went to turn when a worried looking Noah greeted us, Flynn on his arm.
“Don't tell me you were worried about me too.” I said light heartedly.
“Spencer's here.” Said Flynn his face almost translucent. I blinked, confused.
“I thought you said he was gone.”
“Well obviously not, we just saw him.” Said Noah.
"He's here I've seen him, he's been walking up and down the pier looking for us. The last time i saw him he was by the haunted house. He saw Freddie carry you out." Flynn exclaimed his face riddled with concern. I gulped.
"What are we going to do?"
"We have to get out of here." Said Vespa taking mine and Noah's hand. He gripped hers but I pulled mine away quickly.
"I have to say goodbye to Freddie."
"We don't have time." Said Vespa.
"I'll be a second, I promise."
Making a face the two of them raced to the house whilst I hurriedly tried to find Freddie amongst the crowd.
"Here." He said pushing a piece of cake into my hand.
"Freddie I have to go." I said giving him back the cake.
"Where." He said making a face.
"I don't know. I just have to go, I haven't got time to explain. I'm sorry." I ran off of the pier. Halfway up the street Flynn caught my arm. "He's still by the pier." He said, pushing the other hand against his bleeding nose.
"Ok." Somebody grabbed my shoulder and spun me around.
"What's going on Cassie." Said Freddie pleadingly.
"It's a long story. I haven't got time Freddie I need to go."
"What, you owe me an explanation. You've been staying at my house for half the summer, you owe me ok. And if not for that because of what we've been through." He held onto my hand preventing me from moving. I had no time to explain but I couldn't cast him away.
"I'll explain later but I really don't have time." I said pleadingly, pulling my hand from his.
"Do I mean anything to you?" Freddie said angrily.
"No it's just.."
"Mate she's got to go." Said Flynn, putting his hand in Freddie's chest.
"Sorry mate but she isn't your girlfriend." Freddie pushed him away. "What had this got to do with you anyway." Freddie turned to me.
"I'm trying to help."
"We'll nobody asked for it." Freddie shouted digging his finger into Flynn's chest.
"Boys." I said steeping between them. "You're aren't helping anybody."
"Cassie what is going on. Am I the only one who's absolutely clueless."
"No." I cried.
"Tell me then." Shouted Freddie.
"For gods sake. Do I mean nothing to you?"
"No." I screamed. "Fine, fine. You want to know what's going on. I'm a fugitive from a mental hospital. I'm the girl from the story Katie told, I may of killed my parents. Spencer is one of the nurses from the hospital and is stalking the three of us. Happy now."
Freddie stared at me silently.
"This is why I didn't tell you. You either think I'm lying or that I'm a complete psychopath."
"Cassie... I didn't.." Freddie whispered.
"I haven't got time for this." I muttered storming up towards the house. Freddie held my fingers tenderly.
"I am too..." I pulled away.
"Where are you going to go?" Freddie asked.
"I don't know." I said pulling away. I had to get to the house.
"I'll come with you."
"Why not?" Freddie laughed.
"This isn't a game Freddie, it's life or death Spencer has a gun."
"What!" I snapped. The air was silent.
"I..." Freddie began. A gunshot sounded through the night.