Diaries Magazine

Ch 1 - i Was Never Alone, Anyway

Posted on the 01 February 2013 by Mavie
The fairground lights twinkled far below, I could see for miles. The cotton candy man at his stall, the clown that breathed fire and the wooden pier that stretched far out into the ocean. My stomach lurched as the ferris wheel rotated once more, collecting more riders from far below. Taking a chance I peeked down, the people looked tiny, ant like bodies that walked leisurely along the ground, kids dropped litter and shrieked with delight at something they saw.
The carriage wobbled and I clutched at the safety bar.“Stop rocking the chair, Em.”  I swallowed fixing my gaze far on the darkening horizon.“What like this?” Em pushed her legs out rocking the carriage with a little more force than necessary.I let out a small panicked yelp and closed my eyes. Bad move, my head spun wildly and my stomach flipped once more. “Em! Stop! Please, I’m gonna be sick.”Em stopped. “Are you okay? You’re not scared of heights, are you?” “No, of course not. But I feel a little queasy. Maybe it was those greasy chips.”The wheel continued to turn until we were suspended once more mid-way, at a much more comfortable height. People looked like people now, the glint in their eyes reminded me that this was supposed to be fun. Em had begged for some company, insisting that I needed to remind myself that life could be fun without…without him. Coming to Fairrock Carnival was meant to be a distraction, something to help forget that awful day last week when he had brutally dumped me in our university quad. I breathed deeply and let the images go, it wasn’t the right time to relive that awful moment when he spoke those painful clichéd words, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry Maram, but I need time to myself. Time to focus without distractions. Turning my attention to the crowd, I watched as they jostled from one colourful booth to the next. This year the carnival had outdone itself, rows of red and white striped tents invited the crowd to part with their money, they had been on every ride in the fair and after they rode the ferris wheel they planned to win as many soft toys as they could carry home.Their carriage came to a stop on the steel platform and a scruffy Romanian man helped them to exit the ride. “Where to next?” Em’s eyes scanned the booths around them.“Anywhere, I don’t mind…”Em’s phone chimed loudly, cutting off the rest of my sentence. She shot me an apologetic look and retrieved it from the pocket of her jeans. “Hello? Mum? Yeah… now? Oh.” She paused, her brow furrowing. “I’m on my way.”I waited for her to hang up before asking, “everything okay?” “Yeah…no, sorry Maram. I need to get home, Mum’s locked herself out again. She’s panicking and wants to get indoors to use the loo. Will you be okay getting home?” She placed one hand on my shoulder and peered into my face with concern. I nodded, “of course. Don’t keep her waiting, I’ll see you tomorrow right?”She hugged me tight and turned to jog through the crowds towards the car park where her small Fiesta was parked. I gulped in the cool popcorn scented air, I didn’t want to go home just yet, I didn’t want to return to my hovel of a bedroom and think about him again, maybe coming out was a good idea after all. I should have done this a week ago.Shaking my head at the time wasted burrowing under my duvet, I vowed to enjoy myself for the rest of the evening, even if I had to do it alone. Besides, I doubted that he would be sitting around moping, he’d probably he out at some party. It was Friday night after all.Heading for the nearest booth, I assessed my chances at winning the fluffiest Me To You that hung from the steel pole. They were slim, so saving my money I wandered on until a tiny booth decorated in purple fairy lights caught my attention. The sign read, ‘Mystic Wanda, five dollars for a three minute accurate read.’ Accurate hey? I thought about my love life. Well why not? Let’s see what Mystic Wanda has to say about that. Maybe she’d predict that he comes crawling back to me on his beautiful hands and knees.“Hello?” I pushed back the velvet drape and poked my head into the dim interior. “Is anyone there?”No answer. The tent was a small round entity that was decorated typically of what you would expect when you heard the word clairvoyant. Allowing the drape to close behind me, I ventured deeper into the darkness. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the tiny round table that was covered in a thick purple fabric that draped to the floor. In the center of the table sat a large crystal ball that was lit from within. Fairy lights and miniscule mirrors hung from the walls partially obscuring the stars and moons imprinted on the black walls. The effect was truly haunting, but that wasn’t what got me.Up on the free standing shelves were jars of murky liquid with foreign objects floating in the middle. As a scene from The Hills Have Eyes replayed itself, a cold shiver ran down my spine, I hoped that wasn’t what I imagined in those ancient jars. Fast changing my mind I pivoted around and exhaled a choked cry, the exit had disappeared. There drape that had fallen closed behind me had blended into the walls concealing the exit from view. Blood thundered in my ears and my heart accelerated into panic mode, reaching out blindly I pushed against the walls searching for a way out.“There’s no need to do that, I can show you the way out.” The raspy voice materialised from behind.Whirling back to face the room, my eyes scanned the darkness for the lone figure that stood hunched against the Chinese print screen.“Who are you?”“You came to me, and you ask who I am?” The voice laughed.“I’ve changed my mind. How do I get out?”“You should stay, I can see you are not alone.” The body shuffled forward and a frail man illuminated in the glow from the crystal ball.“You’re a man!” The words slipped through my parted lips. I had thought Wanda was a female, the type that wore chiffon sarongs over a flowing dress.“Indeed. Would you care to sit down?” He poked at a chair with his stick. He didn’t look any more mystic than I did. In fact he reminded me of a sweet old man who sat on park benches feeding the pigeons. I hesitated before taking the seat.“Five dollars for a reading,” he grumbled settling himself opposite me.I placed the note on the table and waited for the magic to begin. “Place your hands on the ball, yes, like that.” He covered my hands with his weak papery ones and closed his eyes.His face shifted, his eyebrows furrowed and his lips twitched revealing a row of small discoloured teeth. A stony minute passed before he released my hands and opened his eyes. I could see they once had been an intriguing pale blue, probably sharp and inviting for anyone who would care to look into them. But now their beauty had been masked by a filmy white coating that crept in from the corners. I wondered if he was blind.“No, my dear. I am not blind. I can see quiet clearly. I can see more than your own eyes can.”My eyebrows shot up, but I kept my surprise to myself.“Okay, let’s begin the reading. You are young, a student.” He closed his eyes once more as if listening for something.“Well, isn’t that obvious?” I interlaced my fingers and said a mental goodbye to my money.“Sceptical are we? I can assure you your money is well spent.”This time I let a shocked gasp escape, “how are you doing that? You can’t possibly know what I’m thinking.”“On the contrary, anything is possible.” He chuckled and cocked his head to one side, “you have been hurt, a boy. Yes, he is not for you. You must focus dear, many a troubles will fill your life.”“What does that mean?”“He will come, he will come for you…” his eyes shot open and he grabbed my right hand bringing it closer to his face.He traced a line over my hand and grumbled to himself. “Oh dear, oh dear oh dear.” “What?” I asked curiosity rising like a tidal wave inside.“Child, you must be strong…” he closed my palm and pressed with remarkable force for an old man. “He will come for you, go now. Go, live your life, you must not waste a second. Go live love. Don’t waste a second.”He released my hand and staggered to his feet, “go…you must go.”“Is that it? I thought it was a three minute reading?”He didn’t answer, he turned his back and shuffled for the door. Using his stick he lifted the drape and vanished through it. Puzzled I rose, my money was still on the table, I could have taken it but something told me not to. I left it behind and followed the old man, determined to ask for more information.Just who was coming for me? 

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