Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
“Hey, Ashley. Look! Theres a flyer for a carnival! It’s in town and not that far from here”
“A carnival? Isn’t that kind of childish..?”
“Ashley.. How long have we been dating? Everything about me is childish! Plus I bet it’ll make for a great date!”
“Hehe, yeah.. You ARE childish; Jake! But if you think it’ll make for a great date.. Then I don’t doubt you for a second! So far every date you’ve taken me on has been great.”
My names Jacob, but most people calle me Jake. Standing next to me is my girlfreind of 3 years Ashley. We met in freshman year of highschool, started dating in Sohpmore year. Now we’re close to graduating Senior year. I have been trying to set up the perfect date to finally propose to her… But, this town is small and boring.. But! Hearing of a Carnival in town may make for a great date! She’s not that into childish things but so far I’ve managed to show her being childish isn’t bad; I know she enjoys herself with me.
Its weird though, the location of this Carnival is located near the forest, close to the traintracks.. Well, it is a small town and we don’t have large buildings or land for them to set up everything so the forest area was probably their only option. I glance my eyes over the flyer once more, I guess I was looking for any hints of what might be at the carnival but all that was shown on the flyer was the name of it and a few clowns and those masks you see at plays. You know.. The Joy and Sadness ones!
I reach out and grasp Ashleys hand, I smile at her and she returns it with one of her amazing smiles. I can’t help but get giddy whenever I see her smile at me like that! “Lets go find that carnival and get a some tickets yeah?” I asked her this trying to contain my own excitement. If this date went perfectly like I was hoping it would I’d be popping her the big question at the end of night! She grips my hand tightly and gives me a confident nod, I swore I could see her eyes light up with excitement. Even though she says she’s not childish I’m pretty sure she’s excited to go, I mean. I know I am! I love carnivals!
We walk to the car and I slide into the drivers seat while she goes around to the passangers side and slides in next to me. I offer her a smile and start the engine, backing up before I begin to drive off to our new destination. I had to use my phone to google the location of the forest since the diresctions were kinda crappy on the flyers.. But, it wasn’t hard to find. Once we had hit the edge of the forest we could hear the music and the laughter of children and even their parents. I smiled wide as my excitement grew and I looked over to Ashley who looked rather excited as well.
We climbed out of the car, got close, grabbed eachothers hands and made our way forward. I was trying to find out where I could buy the tickets but one of the clowns simply shook their index finger in my face and stated that the carnival was free and all we had to pay for was the food and games. Now that I didn’t mind since food and games weren’t that expensive at events like this. We walked forward, hand in hand. We saw so many different people and even animals! We ate a few hotdogs and played a few games. Once we felt like we were done playing we saw most of the people had started to gather round a large tent. We looked to one another and nodded before we walked towards the tent as well, hand in hand.
“I wonder whats gonna be going on in here?” Ashley asked, I simply replied with “Maybe there will be acts in here! There are usually acts at Carnivals!” Ashley just nodded at me. Once we got to the enterance of the tent there stood a young lady dressed in a black and blue corset with a black and blue tutu. Her face was painted up like a clowns and she smiled at us. She handed us each a ticket “Keep hold of those tickets! At the end of the show the ring leader will be calling out the numbers on tickets. Three lucky winners will get a chance to meet with him in private and get a few prizes and much, MUCH more!”
I smiled widely, as a child I had always been interested with clowns, circuses, carnivals, all those things! They always seemed so fun and like there were no cares in the world! So, obviously if we get our numbers called you bet we will be going! What better way to propose than being with fun people like carnies!
Once we had a seat it seemed like everything got dark.. Lights shone up above and standing on a tight rope was what looked like a tall man.. He was tall and lanky, he wore a top hat and a stitched up looking suit. His belt had those drama masks attached to them. The happy and Sad masks. His hands are what stood out the most though.. It was like his fingers were replaced with metal claws… Weird… I wonder if he purposely did that to fit in with the whole Carnie feel.. Make himself stand out.. I mean.. He was tall enoguh to stand out with that alone! He could of been at least 7feet tall or taller! He raised his hand and did what looked like a side step along the rope before he stopped again.. he held his hands out and before anyone could see suddenly there were what looked like two wooden dolls hanging from his claws. They hung in the air attached to strings that were attached to his claws.
He bowed and introduced himself “WELCOME ONE AND ALL! I AM JESTER, THE RING MASTER OF THIS WONDERFUL CARNIVAL YOU HAVE COME TO! I HOPE WE YOU ALL HAVE BEEN ENJOYING WHAT WE HAVE OFFERED AND I HOPE WE CAN ENTERTAIN YOU MUCH MORE BEFORE THE NIGHT ENDS! PLEASE! I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU MY FAVORITE FREINDS HERE” He was introducing the dolls. One was a man and one was a woman. The man was moved in a way that made him look like he was bowing and waving “HELLO I’M WIL” The male doll said with a rather high pitched voice. “And I’m E!” the female said with an even higher pitched voice..
People clapped and waved, children cheering and yelling out their hello’s to Jester and his dolls.
Over the course of the entire show Jester told Jokes. Once his act was done we got to see a strong man who’s partner looked like an actual monster! I thought only circuses did those things..? I highly doubt she was a real monster and probably just wore a lot of makeup and accessories. But the strong man lifted her up with one hand easily while in his other hand he held something that looked rather heavy. A lot of the items that were used in the show were things I’ve never seen in my life! I couldn’t name one item they had in their show except for the usual circus items.
At the end of the show everyone cheered and applauded. Jester came back out but this time he was on the ground, he had his hat off and it looked like he was digging in it.. He pulled out a few pieces of papers and smiled up at everyone “AS YOU ALL KNOW WE HAVE GIVEN EVERYONE SMALL TICKETS WITH NUMBERS ON THEM! THE NUMBERS THAT GET CALLED GET THE CHANCE TO EXPIERENCE EVEN MORE FUN WITH US PERSONALLY BACK STAGE! DOESN’T THAT SOUND FUN EVERYONE!?” Everyone cheered.. But.. For some reason my chest tightened.. Suddenly I didn’t really want my number called.. I felt.. Scared? Why? I’m not sure why.. But I guess all the acts just.. No.. It wasn’t the acts.. It was Jester.. Something about him was off.. Even his crew seemed off.. It was like.. They were hiding their true feelings.. As if their joy was fake.
Suddenly, what I heard next made my heart sink.. The numbers.. It was Mine and Ashley’s numbers.. 320 and 410. Those numbers I hadn’t bothered to look at till I heard him call them out. I looked at the tickets to see it was really our numbers. Ashley looked like she hadn’t noticed anything was off. In fact she was having a blast like I knew she would.. “Come on Jake! Lets go!” she said this with excitement, grabbing my hand and pulling me along with her as we made our way to the ground level.. We were so close to him.. Jester.. He was so tall, it was scary actually.. I swallowed hard and smiled up at him. He smiled back down at us but.. His smile was so genuene that it creeped me out..
He led us to the back, him and Ashley made conversation, the thought of proposing to her completely left my mind. All I could think of was making sure he didn’t hurt Ashley somehow.. Jester stopped in his tracks.. We were far from the other people.. He offered us drinks, Ashley took hers and eagerly drank it. Throughout the entire event there was food but no drinks till now.. I as dying of thirst so naturally I took a sip of it.. But.. Immediately I started to feel dizzy, my world was spinning and before I noticed Ashley had collapsed and before long I had collapsed as well….
I started to wake up, I felt cold and it stunk so bad.. I had a pounding headache.. Ugh.. It really does hurt.. Once I got my barings I noticed I was strapped down onto something.. It felt cold and metalic.. I also noticed I wasn’t clothed.. Where was Ashley though? WHERE WAS SHE?! OH GOD! Soon a door opened. It looks like I’m stuck in a train car.. The one who just entered the car is Jester. He smiled at me so genuenely once again.. I felt a chill gow down my spine when I noticed blood on him.. Oh god.. Oh fuck.. He walked towards me and asked “Did you sleep well? You were out for a few days.. Your lady friend woke up waaay before you did.. So.. I had fun with her first..” What did this bastard mean by THAT!? DID HE HURT ASHLEY!? WAS THAT HER BLOOD ON HIM?! I’LL FUCKING KILL HIM!
I struggled to get free but I couldn’t.. The straps were too strong.. I glanced up at him and he smiled. He ran one of his metalic claws down my chest and stomach.. Then.. Thats when it started, he started to dig his sharp claw into my flesh. I could feel him digging into my stomach and pulling his hand upwards to cut me open. I started screaming, crying even! “FUUUUUCCK!!” I screamed out and attempted to thrash and get away.. But I just couldn’t… Is this how I’m going to die? Why.. Why did I insist on coming her… All I wanted was to make Ashley smile.. I just wanted fun memories with her.. And now.. We’re both dead.. Theres no escape.. How could I be so stupid..
Jester gripped my face and made me lock eyes with him, he smiled widely at me and said quietly as if it were a secret for only me and him to share “I sure hope you enjoyed yourself while you could.. Cause the next time I hit the stage, you’ll be joing me in the next act~” Huh..? I don’t.. I don’t understand.. I glanced around the rooms till I saw them.. His dolls.. So.. Thats why they looked so real.. They WERE REAL.. They were once living, breathing human beings just like me at one point.. And they fell prey to this man aas well.. I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the pain but it was too much.. He just kept cutting and digging into me.. Eventually the pain stopped and I couldn’t feel anything.. I felt cold.. I could feel the life fading from me.. Oh how I wish I could see Ashley just one more time….
The day ended, everyone went home.. except for two teenagers that had later been reported missing.. The carnival left as quickly as it had came, going onto the next town…
CREDIT : CHARACTERS & STORY © Guro-Senpai/Charlotte Doyle from DeviantArt!