It was another one of those days where nothing really seemed to make any sense. Somehow everything was going perfectly, but of course it had to end eventually. Just because I found a five pound note on the way to school doesn’t mean the world population is now going to bow down to me. In other words it didn’t mean I was going to pass my maths exam.
I gripped my fists tightly until my knuckles turned white. The tension in my chest was building and it was only a matter of time before the anticipation causes me to explode. The moment was drawing near, it was unavoidable. It was sink or swim. It was a life or death situation but it should have been. It felt like my entire sixteen years, well almost sixteen years of life was leading up to this. Whether I’d pass year ten or not was dependant on this one tests score.
Mrs Jades was rapidly tearing through the left half of the class. I inhaled roughly and gripped the edge of my seat. In a vain attempt to calm myself I stole a glance towards my best friend Megan. She had to of aced the test, she did every time and this time would be no different. She grinned widely at me and waved. I tried to soak in few of the massive vibes of confidence she was giving off, it wasn’t working, and my body rejected every ounce of it.
I half-heartedly smiled in her direction as she received back her test score. I watched intrigued by the bright display of emotions that played across her face. Her smile faded into a panicked mask of confusion. When she was sure Mrs Jades wasn’t looking she held her test up towards my general direction so I could see her score. It was beyond shocking, she had received a perfect score. Her smile returned quickly and she mouthed the words ‘got ya’. I shook my head; she loved making fun of me. She always did know how to pull my strings.
Mrs Jades was only two seats away from me now. I crossed my fingers; God let it be at least a D.
Mrs Jades smiled warmly before lying the test face down on my desk. I couldn’t help but think that she enjoyed it when her students failed. In a way it probably made her feel superior. Like all of her countless warnings that I’d fail if I didn’t study were going to somehow haunt me with regret. I smirked and flipped the test over. It felt like my eyes were going to touch the desk. There before me in bright red letters was my score. For the first time in my life I had reached Megan’s standards. It seemed impossible to come to the conclusion that we had met the same level in anything. She had always been the better one and to think that I’d taste a small piece of that glory just seemed to far-fetched. It had to be a mistake. My eyes searched frantically for the owner’s name. There it was sketched in my own bubbly handwriting. Ryain Senoia, the first, the only and the last.
Through my panic I hadn’t even heard the bell ring, it was Megan who was impatiently tapping my shoulder that had made me aware that class was over.
‘I bet your wishing you had studied now right? Sucks to be…. Oh my god…”
Her voice faded a little at the end as she grabbed my test packed from my hands. My fingers stayed curved clinging to the air in the papers place.
“Wow, who’d you cheat off”.
This had to mean that the world was going to end any minute now, any second. My days never got this lucky. “I almost forgot could you come to my house after school? My mum wanted to know if you could make it to the fair. She’s hosting one of the rides and can get us in for free.” Yep. The world was going to end today, there’s no doubt about it. “ahhh, I have to check with my mum first.as soon as were off campus I will call and ask.”
“All right, let’s get out of here. Being in a maths classroom longer than an hour will fry your brain.” I carefully got out of my seat, somehow I always found a way to fall out of chairs. I didn’t need to push fate any further that it already was pushing itself. And you know what? I actually managed to not trip over my own combat boots. “Ummmm Meg, I don’t remember hearing about a fair is it last minute or something?” I asked Megan as soon as we were out of the classroom. “Honestly they have been planning it for weeks, I don’t know maybe you missed the ads or something, mums been really excited she hardly ever sits anymore”. I began to twiddle my fingers nervously, had I really missed every single advertisement for the event?
We were by the gate now so I quickly fished for my mobile phone in my oversized coat pockets. I always brought my jackets from the men’s section; they were oddly warmer than anything that I had seen in my size. It had the band ‘escape the fate’ written across its front in blood red letters, the looked vibrant against the black background. When I finally found it, I used speed dial to call my mum.
Her voice was like she had just woken up.
“Hi mum! Do you think it will be okay if I hang out at Megan’s house for a little while? Her mum wants to take us to the fair.
“What fair?” she yawned.
“I dunno, her mum helped plan it and she’s hosting it so…..”
“All right, just call to check in every hour or so.”
“Mm k mum. See you later tonight, Bye!” I flipped the phone shut and threw it back in my pocket. I wouldn’t need to use for the rest of the night I already knew mother didn’t actually care whether I called or not. She would just be sleeping anyway.
Thankfully Megan’s house was much closer to school than mine. We arrived there in less than ten minutes flat. Her house was nice, it was a cute baby blue colour and a white picketed fence surrounded it. They even had a garden off to its side. I swear they grew every vegetable known to man. In front there was a large white oak porch that even had a pretty white swing. It reminded me of an old 50’s movie, just how peaceful it looked. I swore to myself that if I saw a humming bird fly by I would violently vomit. I’m the type of person who would rather die than wear pink. It was just so hard to look at Megan’s house let alone be around it. Weirdly enough it felt like the house was radiating love and I swear to god it smelt like Mrs Dreans baking sugar cookies.
“It’s all right; it’s not that bad, we won’t be here for that long. The fair starts in less than an hour” Megan reassured me hastily. I sighed I might as well get it over with after the fair I’d always be able to spend the night in my closet. I followed her up to the house, before Megan could even reach for her key the door swung open. I feared for the wall behind it, it suddenly looked very fragile.
“Why hello girls! I was just on my way to pick you guys up!” Mrs Drean was smiling much too widely sometimes she could really get under my skin. It was almost as thought she was a walking Barbie doll, the pretty pink edition. Well I guess even fate has its prices. In exchange for the best day I’ve probably ever had, I have to spend the remainder of it with the lady that makes Mrs Claus look like an evil vampire. I had to help my laughter at the thought of Mrs Claus hunting down the elves because they didn’t finish their work in time for Christmas.
“There’s really no point to go, we’re running late as it is, we should start heading to the fair. You’ve got permission right Ryain?” Behind her shinning words there was a threat. Sometimes the way she acted made me question her mental health. “Of course, I called my mum before we left school.” I assured the life size fruit cake. “All right, hurry scurry girls”. She ushered us ruefully towards her car, it was one of those new hybrids that was supposed to be really good on petrol. It wouldn’t have been so bad being in the car with Mrs Drean if the car itself hadn’t been Barbie doll pink. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the car…. And myself. I’d definitely need to sleep in my closet; there was no getting around it. Megan and I gladly took the back seats, it was shocking, I wasn’t sure how anyone could torment their car with as much pink as she had, and it’s the Barbie mobile I thought to myself sarcastically. “I’m sorry girls, I won’t be able to stay with you the whole night, and I’ll be extremely busy”. I couldn’t help but silently cheer to myself. It was like fate had a lottery and I had a winning ticket.
Apparently the fair was set up near the board walk where the circus used to be; about three years ago something bad happened to the audience, it was one of the worst massacres in history. I’m not really sure of the details but from what I’ve heard, the clean-up wasn’t something easily dealt with. It was weird how hard it is to find information on the subject, it’s almost like it never happened. Half of me wants to believe that it’s just a story to scare the younger children….. But my other half knew better than that. Circuses were supposed to be fun, family orientated places, not a setting for nightmarish horror stories.
“Mum, you did not mention that it was at the old board walk…. Is it really……” Megan’s mum cut her odd mid-sentence. “Yes I know Megan about those silly little bed time stories”. Both Megan and I sighed it was a lost hope to try to fight a battle against a woman who could scare small children with the twist of her finger. The drive seemed to drag on, feeling like hours rather than minutes. It’s just seemed the distance to the board walk it’s self-grew in size rather than diminished.
The fairs set up was certainly original. One probably wouldn’t have been able to tell that it used to be the home of a circus if it was their first visit. The fair was massive in size, crowded with huge rides and mounts of gaming tables. I’ve been overly depressed lately and a little adrenaline that only a roller coaster can give you would be more than enough to cheer me up. The board walk was surrounded by a giant chain mill fence, I imagined to keep the people out who neglected to pay.
“Megan, Ryain? We’ll meet up later at the house of mirrors, it’s the ride I’ll be hosting, if there’s anything you need let me know, all right?” she quickly handed us each a neon orange bracelet that read Redwood County fair. “These will be your passes be careful not to lose them they weren’t exactly easy to get.” “Thanks Mrs Drean” I answered in response spending no spare time in retrieving my key to the night’s entertainment. “Thank you mum” Megan used her manners as though she was speaking to the queen. I could taste the residue of vomit building in the back of my throat. As soon as Mrs Drean was gone I turned to Megan, “So what’s our first stop?” I asked already knowing her answer. “Oh I don’t know something fast”, she grinned at me. It was obvious we were both on the same page. “Roller coaster” we chimed in unison. It wasn’t really that hard to figure out which roller coaster was the fastest one, we only had to find the largest ride which was like looking for a butterfly in a swarm of flies and to call it large would have been an understatement. “Are you sure we should ride the biggest first? My mother told me that…” After hearing the word mother slip from her lips it took me no time to cut in. “Yes I’m sure Megan, you’ve got to loosen up a bit” I reassured her. “All right ... But if we die…” I couldn’t help but laugh at her. It really must have been Armageddon because the line for the ride was composed of no more than five people. It was no shocker that all five of them were guys. I rolled my eyes looking at them they would probably all scream like little babies, I would have to laugh at that, only because they all tried to look like they were tough macho men, all in for the goal of impressing the show girls they carried at their sides. The host was unusually attractive, something was pulling me towards him and I had the strangest urge to give him a hug. It was like he was the magnet and I was a helpless bit of metal. He smiled warmly at me and Megan as we showed him our wrists. “Are you guys a set?” he asked with the slightest hint of tease in Megan’s direction. “Only BFF’s for life.” Megan answered as I looked dumbfounded at his facial features. He had deep icy blue eyes and pale blonde hair that was sort of spiked, as are most guys he was at least 6 feet tall. The ride itself was an incredible rush, as I had so cleverly predicted every single guy was caught screaming at the top of their lungs. I was still laughing when I got out of the seat.
“Something amusing miss?” the host asked as I stumbled behind Megan (who looked like she was going to heave at any given second), “Oh just everyone who was screaming” he rolled his eyes and mumbled under his breath something like ‘adrenaline junkies’. I snickered, who cared what he thought… I didn’t.
I would have come up with a smart remark but Megan’s gagging distracted me. As she blew the bin the apart I held her corn silk hair out of the way, each strand a beauty all on its own. I wondered aimlessly how she kept it so soft and straight. It wasn’t easy to keep her hair out of the way she was a lot taller than me. I was only 5ft 7 she was at least 5ft 10. I remember when we were younger in class at school we had always been the taller girls in all of our classes. It’s too bad that she’s always been the prettier one though. Her dark green eyes put my blue ones to shame and my hair was always too dark to catch anyone’s eye amongst the crowd. It didn’t bother me as much as it should have though, I’d always prefer to stay invisible than to be noticed by the pigs that populated our school. Megan had dated almost all of them and I knew some dirt that always has held me back from accepting any given offers. Not that there had been many as I’ve said pigs. “Thanks Ryain, can we avoid the fast rides now my stomachs had enough, how about the carousel?” “Yeah” I wasn’t practically fond of that ride but what would it hurt? The next few hours were nice I even got several more opportunities to laugh at cowardly men, thought it was getting annoying how all of the hosts were drop dead gorgeous but were no better mannered than house pets. What was even stranger was the fact they all felt like the same as if they were related but at the same time they were very different. The only real thing they all had was the same lame host’s vests that were red and gold. It’s strange I didn’t even remember Mrs Drean wearing one.
We were on our way to the mirror house when I heard it, an ear-piercing scream. It sounded like someone was being ripped apart. Soon after the first another scream tore through the air and right in front of us, from the top of a roller coaster a girl came hurtling down to the ground. I could hear her bones snap and dislocate as she fell onto the fence. I could the faint moans of the victim as someone else tumbled to the ground and a final thud signalled her silence. I gasped in horror from the slow paced disaster unfolding before my eyes. I couldn’t process much more than that, because the fair suddenly became a pit of panicking people running in disarrayed directions. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. It didn’t make any sense at least not until I had to witness first hand.
A woman ran towards me her eyes bleeding fear. At first I wasn’t sure whether I should have tried to help her or not, but the decision was already made for me as I had to watch her be torn to shreds by one of the hosts. The second he bit into her neck I knew exactly what he was. I’d spent too many nights watching late night horror films and had read too many Anne Rice novels to have any doubts. He was a vampire…. Someone pulled me by my waist in the opposite direction. It was Megan.
“Where should we go!?” she screamed. I shook my head trying to get over the shock attempting to pull myself together. “The gate we have to get out of here!” I shouted, it was the only way we were going to escape. She froze “what about my mother?” something in the back of my head told me she would be fine for reasons unspeakable. I couldn’t help but question her part in all of this. “um Meg I’m sure she’ll be fine… the house of mirrors is closer to the gate.” She hesitated silently before answering “all right I hope she’ll be ok.” I’m sure she’s much better than okay ……….