The sunlight burnt Jerry's eyes as he stumbled out of a world so far away, merely a few feet behind him, back into a place so familiar to him. Accompanying the burning, his eyes also played host to a temporary blindness, leading him to not only fall to the ground himself, but stumble into his two friends and bring them into the dirt in a sprawling heap.
Donny and Ian wee as shocked as their friend to find themselves on the ground. They had returned to the Blue Gem Festival as agreed by the three to share any information gathered, and in the case of Donny and Ian, there was something to report.
"What the-" Donny could muster nothing more in his daze.
"What the hell were you doing in there?" Ian more demanded than asked, pushing his friends off him and straightening himself up.
Was what Jerry had seen real? Had he really seen a body and a burial? Or had it been a product of his fear of the "fun" house and his hope of finding Brady?
"I was looking for Brady." He explained, helping himself and Donny to their feet, thinking it best to leave out any possible imaginings, "Best to cover all bases instead of him being in the one place we didn't look, right?"
Donny and Ian exchanged looks.
"Right." Ian said in his familiar skeptical tone, "Listen, we've got something on Brady's disappearance."
"Really?" An unexpected shock to Jerry.
"Yeah," Donny continued, " apparently this guy got everyone to help look for him."
"We dunno," Ian interjected, "all Hobie and James said was that he was old."
"So, now we've got two people to find," Jerry started, "it shouldn't be too hard, I mean, he's got be from around here-"
"Jerry." Ian tried to speak.
"Maybe working one of the rides, maybe running a stand."
"Jerry!" Catching his attention, "Maybe it's not up to us to find Brady. Maybe we should just leave it and go home."
"Ian," Jerry said, "We can't think like that."
"Yes, we can." Ian replied.
"Okay. Okay, just another hour." He was met with rolled eyes. "Just one more hour, please, one more hour and then we can just drop it and never talk of it again, I promise, just one more hour to look for him." Now he was begging.
Donny wore an expression that was giving away nothing, whereas Ian was clearly torn between walking away in that minute or at the end of the hour.
"Fine," he said, "one more hour, and only one. Then I'm done."
"Thank you." Jerry said, placing a hand on his shoulder with all sincerity. "Okay, we need to make the most of an hour. Ian, you can stay around here a look around the rest of the side-games. Donny, you can search around the rides, and I'll look around all the market stalls. If anyone finds anything, ring one of the others. At the end of the hour, we meet back up at the entry arch. Ask questions, and don't get side tracked."
"One hour," Ian responded, "Then I'm done."
Forty-five minutes had passed and the trio had found nothing about Brady, nor the man Hobie and James had spoken of. While Ian was finding a growing joy in the hours end drawing closer, Jerry found something in him disappearing. His hope perhaps. He had wanted so desperately to be the one to find Brady. Why? He couldn't quite figure that out himself, but this was one of the few things he had wanted so much in his life.
Jerry was surrounded by stalls selling home made pastries, stalls selling knitted clothes and toys, stalls selling soaps and strange scents. Thinking of the food made his mouth water. While he had spare change, he knew he had, and wanted to stick to his mission.
As the clock ticked over to forty-six minutes, the first thoughts of hopelessness entered his mind. It's no good. He's long gone. You'll never find him.
For a split second, he could have believed his head before coming back to his senses.
Vowing not to give in before the hour was up, he turned to his friends for comfort.
He first called Donny, the more enthusiastic of the two options. It rang three times.
"Jerry, have you found him?" Donny said, a little too excitedly.
"No. I was calling to see if you'd found anything."
"No, nothing yet. I asked everyone who ran the rides, they said they don't remember any old man in the search."
"That's weird, no-one in the market remembers him either. Do you reckon Hobie and James just made him up?"
"I don't think so, they seemed to remember him pretty clearly. Have you checked in with Ian yet?"
"Not yet, I figured you'd be trying harder to look."
"Hey, wait. If you've asked everyone, what are you doing now?"
"I'm just looking from a different viewpoint." Donny replied with hesitance.
"You're on the Ferris Wheel, aren't you?" There was no reply. "Donny."
"Don't get mad. At least up here I can see the whole Fairground."
"Can you see the people?"
Donny looked over the side of his seat at the anthill of a Fairground.
"Can you see them clearly?"
"Just a sec," he looked again, "no."
"Okay, when you get down just wait by exit, I'm coming to you."
The hour couldn't end any sooner. Forty-five minuets in, fifteen minutes left, and Ian was already tired of searching for the day. The real issue on his mind: which game he would play when he got back home.
Ian had been up and down the games aisle three times, being sure to take his time as he did. Much like he did fifteen minutes ago, he saw no point in repeating himself, meaning he decided to stop looking and keep himself occupied on his phone. He was leaning against someones car. They must have been running one of the games, or else they would be in the car park instead of behind the stalls.
He was getting bored. He had been through every game on his phone and refreshed Facebook a dozen times.
The clock ticked over to forty-six minutes.
He was ready to give in, and was readying himself to find his two friends.
As he stood up straight, he noticed something in the corner of his eye. A movement. Someone else had come behind the games.
Ian examined them from a distance. Two people, about his age, both guys. One looked a lot like Brady: dark brown hair, tanned skin, the same height.
Then it hit him. He could have actually found Brady. But if that was him, who was he with?
Ian examined the other boy. It was no-one he had seen before. He had no distinctive characteristics, except-
Ian couldn't believe what he thought he saw. Could it really be? Had what he'd seen real? Did the boy with Brady really have a tail?
Both were headed toward the end of the aisle, toward the fun house.
In a flash Ian had his phone out to call Jerry. He dialed and waited. To his surprising disappointment, the phone was engaged, meaning he now had two options: Follow Brady and the other boy, or find Jerry and Donny.
Without much thought, he started running.
Okay guys, that's chapter five, yay. I hope the next chapter will be coming out soon. It would be swell if you guys could let me know what you like, what you don't like, what you want to happen and what you don't want to happen. I would also like to know what you guys think will happen, so feel free to comment. As per usual, I'm open to criticism, suggestions and what-not.