2010-06-28: Greatest Disappearing Act





Date: June 28, 2010


The Carnival arrives outside New York City, though for one night only.

"Greatest Disappearing Act"

Outside New York City

The barker's stage is high, elevating him above the crowd to a status befitting his duty. Surrounded by decorative flags on each side portraying painted portraits — splashy lettering naming each colorful act — Samuel is a living echo of these, calling attention to himself and to the spectacle around with lavish hand motions that, each, furl and unfurl the expressive folds of his black striped coat, the blood red shirt beneath.

"Ladies and gentlemen— ladies and gentlemen! Do you want to see a show? I guarantee you won't be disappointed." A curving finger, painted black on the nail, and extended towards the crowd in high gesture, seems to find each person in turn, a personal invitation — seeking each soul out. "Step into our world a moment, ladies and gentlemen — and the inner secrets of your mind come to life. It's the greatest place to be, my friends, so come in. Take your time. Mark my words, you'll miss us when we're gone."

The words pull people inside, as the sun lowers closer to the horizon, still bright in the sky. The crowds are smaller, a Monday night in the still early hours of evening. Many people are still working. The lights haven't come on yet, in all the brightness and glory, but that doesn't stop people from making broad gestures and advertising their acts. One such act further past the Barker's stage has a woman standing out front. Her body is drapped in colorful shawls and dresses, her neck showing the curve of crawling tattoo vines. A flag for the Tattoo Lady must have meant her. A man stands nearby, older and with a fatherly expression and demeanor, and he's the one who calls out to the small groups to bring them closer.

The man near the Painted Lady is Joseph Sullivan: the head of the Carnival, but nothing marks him as such but his watchful demeanour, the wise eyes. What mysteries these strange carnies must know! Lydia's alluring presence does most of the work in drawing the gradually growing numbers to her exhibit; he speaks quietly to her between attentions of people between calling out to those who pass. He doesn't have the flair of the Barker, the dramatics. Everyone has their role — that's not his. But everyone pitches in. "She's more than just a tattooed lady— " he's saying in a light accent to a Carnival-goer. "With our dear Lady, find your hidden desires, the key to your greatest expectations."

Carnivals are scary, frightening places. They are in every horror movie ever, they make up the nightmares of pre-elementary school kids generations back for innumerable years. Also, they're really cool.

Meryl doesn't want to be one of the scary clowns. She wants to be the kind that people love because she's so very, very awesome. Being as persuasive as she is, she's won the hears of these people despite being powerless herself. Of course, the crying helped. Also so did the three hundred pounds of chocolate she bought for Joseph. And also probably the fact that she volunteered to clean up elephant poo for a month (which was cut short by the administration when she started using it for art). Her heart's in the right place. Also, she's insane, and insane makes a damned good funny person.

Her face is barely painted, but her normally black hair is streaked with all sorts of colours - white, red, blue, purple, green… She's bleached it so many times to make the colours bright, she's not sure it'll ever be normal again. By her side is … well, it's not her cute little Fluffernutter from the circus where she and Ben were hiding. This one's a standard poodle, about a year old, dyed pink just like his predecessor. Fluffernutter Junior is here to entertain kids of all ages. Even those who are like 90 years old!

But back to the here and now. Standing next to Joseph with Fluffernutter Junior, she pulls the top hat off her head. Seemingly empty! And then she reaches into it and pulls out some of the left over chocolate. "Or you could jus' come talk t'me. I'm pretty sure everyone's greatest expectation is Chocolate." She elbows Joseph, and holds out a melted something-or-other. "Either that or Charles Dickens. But that one wasn't all I 'oped for, eh? Wouldn't put a lock on that, so I wouldn't need a key for it. Here, it's still good, promise. It kind of tastes like Hershey's, but I guess it could be Nestl— " Tattooed Lady? Focus. "I had a tattoo once!"


"Came off in the shower. Cheap garbage if y'ask me. But this is the real thing.

With the night off work, not having to work at either club tonight, KeLyssa decided to take some personal time, go to the fair, have some 'fun' in an otherwise 'routine' life. As she passes by the stage with the man shouting out his greetings, she looks up at him. "Now that would be a fun job." She murmurs, smirking. "But I don't think I could do that for a living." Says the woman who strips instead.

Alone in the city again, with Sydney gone, Jamie gone and Fred gone. All Trent has is his Aunt, and he left her place and New York awhile ago. But seems he's been brought back to NYC. But, at least he can have fun, so he's come to the Carnival. He's just arrived, so hasn't even had a chance to do much. He decides to check things out, before trying out some of the rides, games and foods. Though, he's broke so he really won't get to do much here anyway. But well, maybe he can sneak in and at least see some of the shows. He's short enough, he can slither under a tent, and not be caught.. or so he hopes anyway. Since most of those side shows charge to get in. Looking this way, and that before he attempts to sneak in. to make sure he's not being watched.

Getting out of the jungle had been the exciting part. Now, with Sydney not answering her phone and Saul still missing, Jamie is in the care of the Company, who don't really know what to do with her quite yet. Trying to keep the talkative Jamie quiet while she did paperwork, the woman left in temporary charge of her had made the mistake of mentioning there was a carnival in town that they 'maybe' could go see later. Well, that was that. So, far sooner than initially intended, into the carnival walks Jamie and a woman who looks young enough to possibly be an adult older sibling. Jamie looks like she's entering heaven, and the woman looks like she's preparing for hours of being bored.

While looking for a job, Morgan came across the advertisement for the carnival — she has nothing better to do, what with no real friends or life to speak of, except those who feel obligated to be. She's trying to be independent and not rely on Erin for every moment of the woman's free time — after all, she has a real life, unlike Morgan. The tall blonde moves toward Samuel's siren song, tilting her head in curiosity at the wonders surrounding them. Carnivals — in her (fictional) experience — are indeed often evil, but she's been assured that her past experiences are nothing to rely on. Basically, throw out her instincts, throw out her past experience, and just learn from scratch. Her eyes narrow at the clown, but the smell of cotton candy and popcorn chase away too many worries of evil villains and supernatural phenomenon.

How long has it been since Emily's been to a carnival? Not the sort that spring up as part of the county fair, or as part of homecoming week or quad-crazy celebrations in college or anything else, but real, honest-to-God carnivals with barkers and lights, and painted attraction signs and best of all, a freak show. Oh how appropriate that is - of course, she doesn't know that going in. Maybe a suspicion, but oh hey, there's some cotton candy and funnel cakes! Those make everything better and more believable, right? She's already been lured in by Samuel's invitation, wandering around nomming sugary foods (oh lord, what's that going to do to her figure?! Ivory won't like that!) until finally she finds the golden goose: the human wonders section!

This day has been full of promise ever since Randall first got word about it, and now it's finally here. He would have liked to bring the new girlfriend along, but she landed what sounded like a promising work gig starting the same day. Well, they can always come back together another day. Too bad his own office-temp thing fell apart, but he can probably find another one before long.

Meanwhile, there's a carnival full of strange people to go and visit. And with a crowd like that, isn't there a decent chance that someone really strange could be hiding among them? (Oh, if he only knew.) And even if there isn't, it should still be a good show— they've got the Charismatic Voice and the Pretty Lady covered already, that's a pretty good start. And a clown that isn't phoning it in! The food is just about average, but hey, there's nothing wrong with average.

The barker's voice fades into the background as people get further and further inside, just heard at the edge of their senses, as other things take over. Smells of foods, sounds of treats, and the event that is gathering some people around. Lydia, the Tattoo Lady, steps away from the safety of the man at her side, reaching out into the crowd as the shawl slides down her shoulders to drape in the bend of her arms. "I can see into your soul, find what you desire most— a small demonstration, before I retreat into my tent."

A hand reaches out, toward the tall woman standing nearby, brushing Emily's skin. The light plays on her skin, as shadows begin to dance, and the vines form into something else on her upper arm, the face of a man. "You desire to be with a man— a man who you only recently met, one who you find yourself drawn to in ways you that has never happened to you before. You would do almost anything for him, if he asked it of you…"

There's a surprised tone to her voice, as the tattoo dissolves with a shift of her shawl. A trick of the light, surely! Except many of those looking on know that there's more than tricks sometimes. Her eyes slide toward Joseph, as if she has something to tell him later, before she offers another hand out to the crowd, "Is there anyone else among you who would know what it is they desire?"

As Lydia utilizes her skills on one of the crowd, the head of the Carnival sits himself upon a few boxes near Lydia's tent, an ankle set over one angular knee. He shakes his head, presumably to the other colorful woman around him: Meryl, and her unending supply of treats; an indistinct smile is set on the man's weathered features, however, while dark eyes scan the crowds and watch Lydia. He catches her look, nods just barely enough for her to catch. "Why don't you share some with Edgar, hm," he says to Meryl. An ongoing joke maybe — feed the speeding knife-thrower a stimulant.

Fingers steeple, a few pointing through the crowds — and past a pair of fire-eaters whisking by at the edge of the Painted Lady's crowd, recognizable by their bright red and blue outfits and their practice flames held high on sticks, safely out of the way but every so often spun and twirled — enticing beacons of fire.

But Joseph's pointing goes farther, to a certain blonde-haired child. Trent, who sneaked in. "An uninvited guest looking for his way," he states. "Someone ought to make him welcome."

"F'I gave Edgar any, 'e'd be addicted. Trust me. I know." Since Joseph doesn't want any chocolate, Meryl eats it herself. "Think I'm out. I'll have to get more later." As a show of honest-to-god truth, she tips the hat upside-down. Any onlookers who've been listening and watching would see a veritable torrent of chocolates fall out of the hat and onto the ground. These are wrapped, though. "Well! Guess y'all can 'elp yourselves then! Catch you later. Oi!" And the hat goes back on her head.

Taking Fluffer by his front paws, she holds him up to eye-level, and explains things very slowly and carefully. She's speaking dog, which means she's communicating in a series of barks, growls, and grunts that sound Aaaaabsolutely ridiculous. But when this is finished, Fluffer nods as if he understands. Being unleashed, he heads directly over to Lydia and holds up a paw. He apparently wants to see what his deepest desire is.

Meryl, meanwhile, is running off through the crowd, apparently on a mission! On her way, she grabs popcorn in a little cardboard box, and a red balloon, and then makes a bee-line for Trent. "YOU! You gotta have fun here! It's in the rules! C'mon." Handing him the balloon and then the popcorn, she takes his shoulder. "Not sure what you're doin' here by yourself, but here's what I figure." Once her hands are free, she takes the hat from her head again, and pulls out a small bag of candy. "If y'got no parents around, you should rot your teeth."

KeLyssa shakes her head happily. This was a good idea, she thinks to herself. She passes by Lydia's tent and smirks. Tell us what are deepest desires are? Well, that could most certainly be fun, couldn't it? KeLyssa chuckles to herself and walks slowly toward the Tattooed woman's tent. "Yeah, I'd like ta be told what my desire are, ifin ya'll can do it, that is." She says, her southern drawl just as obvious as ever, as she gives Lydia a wink.

Trent is spotted, but he possibly doesn't realize he did. He's so short that he thinks he can get away with things, sometimes. After his troubles in the past, one would think he's learn his lesson, about sneaking into places. But here he is.. in to watch the show. The only way a street kid knows how to do, sneak.. Trying to keep out of sight, even if it doesn't work. The woman with the tattoos that move is really cool. He's never seen anything like that before. Trying to snake his way through the people, to get a closer look. But at least he's being good and not pickpocketing. Probably enough of that going around anyway at an event like this.

Suddenly, there's a Meryl-clown, and she's talking to him, handing him FOOD! and and wow… "Um… th.. thanks." he says, smiling a little. Juggeling the goodies, and tying the balloon carefully to his wrist so he won't lose it. "My parents are gone m'am." he says to her, I wanted some fun, so I came here." omitting the wandering all the way to Florida and being shipped back and why he is here alone now. But who cares, he's got treats. He begins to stuff popcorn into his mouth, munching on it. Determined to have fun.. no matter what while he's here.

Jamie's path has led near Lydia's display, and her eyes widen. Not at Emily, she doesn't recognize the woman just yet, but at the display. So, when the offer goes out, she's running forward, leaving her escort/sitter to try to catch up. "Me too, please!" She hasn't noticed Trent in the crowd yet.

Morgan shakes her head, turning away from the woman who can tell her her desires — the blonde knows her desires. All she has is desire, and nothing real, nothing substantial. Sure, there may be people who don't know what they want, but she's not one of them. She just doesn't know how to get it. She moves toward a nearby popcorn stand. Right now, popcorn is simple enough to want and get.

It's hard not to reach in Emily's direction and touch skin. She's not shy about letting a good bit of it hang out there for everyone to see, especially when the weather is a warm and steamy New York summer afternoon. There's a tanktop, and a skirt, a blonde wig…plenty of skin there to touch. The initial swipe makes her stiffen up, stop walking around, and stop chowing down on cotton candy. The voice behind her gets her attention, for sure, and she spins around just in time to watch the tattoos change shape and resolve themselves into the face of Ivory.

She's starting now, quite intently, looking at the picture. Smiling when it's there, frowning when it starts to disappear. No! Moar Ivory please! There's no time though, as kids and other patrons are now pushing her aside to get their own deepest desires shown to them. It doesn't seem odd in the least to her that Ivory is her deepest desire (but maybe it should)!

The fortune-telling sounds promising… but it's also pretty crowded right now. Randall adds it to his mental list of things to come back and check out later. Instead, after waving to Meryl and the kids as they get ready to plot some mischief, he ambles over toward Morgan. "Are you all right?" he offers to her. "You look— I don't know, kind of lost, I guess."

The insertion of Fluffernutter doesn't seem to go undesired, as Lydia bends down, the skirt splaying out around her legs as she takes the paw into her hand. "I know exactly what you want," she says, though the tattoos do not shift, and nothing forms visibly this time. Instead she shifts her hand, and like it just appeared out of nowhere (or from a space in her skirt), he gets a doggie treat handed to him. "He also likes balloons," she announces, pointing toward one of the balloons, as if to let him know where they are, before she straightens to face the young women that have approached. One is hardly a child.

The blonde approached first, so she reaches out to take her hand, a gentle smile toward the younger girl, as she closes her eyes and inhales quietly. The ink moves along her skin, forming a circle, a shadow surrounding the circle, swallowing it up, and then finally surrounding all but a small portion of the circle.

An Eclipse.

"You wish… for freedom," Lydia states quietly.

As she says this, the sky begins to dim, like cloud cover, or dusk. But there's no cloud cover, and no dusk. The sun seems to darken, as if gobbled up. The tattoo they just saw, begins to trace across the sky, coming to life right before them.

The eldest Sullivan brother now blends into the background with no more calling out, not engaging the masses with spectacles or awing them with mysteries like the others. His focus is now all on Lydia and, by proxy, KeLyssa. His brows set into deep furrows, the concern running deeper.

The tattoo shapes on skin, the image is mimicked in the sky. Joseph's head tips upward, one of many faces that turn to the heavens in wonder. A sort of lull comes over the Carnival as people slow their steps and the Carnival family pause in their acts — a fire-breather lets out a rush of fire and misses her next cue as she stares upward, a vendor pauses in handing a pink teddy bear to a young couple, and those riding the Ferris wheel suddenly have something interesting to look at up above.

Joseph has a different reaction. He uncrosses a long leg and, work-worn hands on his knees, gets to his feet. He moves close to the lovely Lydia, close enough to speak in her ear in a murmur easily lost — by others — beneath the whimsical noises of the Carnival. "Somethin's wrong." All the while, he regards the tattoo brought about by KeLyssa. "Do you feel it, Lydia… the truth of it."

Doggie treats are always awesome. Fluffer is careful not to take off Lydia's fingers as he takes the biscuit. There is something far better than doggie treats, though, and that is balloooooons! Barking at the floating colours, he's off, running around the heels of kids, careful not to knock them over. Kids love pink poodles.

Something Trent says resonates pretty deep within Meryl, but all she does is smile chently, ruffling Trent's hair. "Well, if you're lookin' for fun," says the Australian clown, "This is about the best place t'find it. You have my word on that. Have a great time, kid. You're welcome 'ere."

Despite the fact that Meryl's parents have been gone since she was that age, she's not one to stay sad. It's… pretty much impossible for her to do so, anyway! Motioning for Trent to follow her over toward Lydia - what kid wouldn't want to see the swirling tattoos? Meryl could watch them all day. Then again, she's also strongly attracted to shiny fishing lures, so… - she gives him another smile.

When the sky begins to darken, Meryl doesn't think anything of it at first, then, she glances skyward as it continues to get darker. "Huh. Lookit that…" she starts, and then SHE REACHES OUT AND COVERS TRENT'S EYES if he doesn't wiggle away. "No! Don't, forget what I said! Never look at the sun. It'll lay hydrogen babies in your brain!" Or make you go blind. One of the two. As an afterthought, Meryl covers her own eyes! And several people around her do, too! APPARENTLY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LISTEN TO CLOWNS.

Trent smiles at Meryl/clown and nods, following her over. Jamie may not see Trent, but Trent does see her, he nearly gets whiplash, as he double-takes as she makes her way forward, toward the tattood woman. About to call out to her.. "Ja…" then stops as she seems busy. Despite the kind clown woman in front of him he can't pass up his best friend, and well, as far as he's concerned, the sister he thought was dead. But then the sky goes dark. "Oh cool.." he doesn't realize the two are connected, but who wouldn't say something like that during an eclipse? Really? He's not even scared.. but then his eyes are covered, quick enough that his poor eyes are more or less spared. A few spots, but they'll go away. He blinks and tries to rub at them to make it go away. No longer looking at it.

Gazing down at the woman, KeLyssa's eyes widen as the woman's tattoos start to move around and morph into other images, finally settling in an eclipse. She's seen some powers be used before, but that's quite something! "Yeah…yeah I do. How'd you know that?" She murmurs softly, still gazing at the tattoos, her unusually, unnaturally, cold hand in Lydia's. "Freedom above all is what I seek." She breaths out softly, not noticing the real Eclipse yet. Her eyes do, however, flick to Joseph.

With Trent not finishing his yell for her, Jamie totally misses that he's nearby. That probably won't last long, but for now her attention is on the display in front of her. First the eclipse on the woman's arm, and then in the sky, shielding her eyes a little as she glances up. She looks back to Lydia and says, "That's so cool!"

At Randall's words, Morgan's brows knit together. "Lost? I'm just buying some popcorn, mister," she says over her shoulder as she digs through her purse for a wallet. The change in lighting from the firmament above tips Morgan's head upward, the eclipse reflecting in her dark green eyes as her mouth parts in wonder.

"That… did we know there was going to be an eclipse today?" she murmurs. Eclipses are usually predictable events that scientists know about ahead of time, but maybe she's been so busy looking for a job in the Classified section that she didn't read the front page.

Emily can't see the tattoo coming into shape on Lydia's arm, but the dimming in the sky is absolutely impossible to miss. With the sounds of carnival goers dying down, the music of organ grinders still going strong, she lifts her head up to the sky. The strange mix of bright and dark causes her to lift her hand up to her brow, but she doesn't risk looking at it for long.

Before Randall can explain to Morgan whatever chance bit of body language (and/or trick of the neon lights) led him to his guess, his attention is drawn away by the wave of murmuring and pointing upward as it sweeps through the carnival grounds. Either he never heard the old adage about not looking directly at an eclipse, or he's chosen to ignore it; he stands in place, eyes wide as he stares upward, peanut bag thunking to the ground as he forgets to hold on to it.

"What she wants— it's happening," Lydia says, looking from the tattoo on her arm, understanding the complexities of what would bring about the desire, without knowing why it would do it. Or how— but in this case. "Joseph, I don't think that— "

As she speaks, the sky dims even more, slowly turning to night, in the early hours of evening. And something goes horribly wrong.

"This whole place is a fraud!" someone suddenly yells, kicking his way out of a tent in anger, before he notices the change in the sky. "What the hell, I wasn't in there for that long, where did the god damn sun go?"

" — I know." Joseph hefts a hand onto Lydia's shoulder, curling it there while his stern stare rakes their vivid surroundings. The many lights of the Carnival glow brightly in the darkness overtaking the sky — the way it's meant to be, bright lights and lighting up the dark, but the odd gradual night is casting everything into an even more peculiar glow. "Freedom," he repeats almost distastefully. "Quick, get Samuel. Find— "

She's still mostly covering her eyes, but she peeks out between her fingers. She's not too far away where she can't hear Joseph. The exact words are lost, but…

She whistles, and Fluffer, oblivious to what's going on, ceases chasing his balloons, barks, and goes running for Meryl. "Hey, Buddy," she mutters quietly, giving him a pat on the head as he presses up against her leg.

As a Company agent, she used to get a good sense of when Things Were About to Happen, and she kind of has that feeling now.

For the guests of the Carnival, the world seems to spin and shift, as if they all suddenly got on a slow moving carousel. The edges blur, the colors run together. And the Carnival disappears.

The fire breathed into the air fades into smoke, the tents vanish, the barker's stage, the ferris wheel, the rides, the cotton candy stands…

The people in colorful clothes hawking wears, the performers. The tattooed lady. The clown. The dog. The old man.

All those who remain behind, stand in an open field, with high buildings and trees visible in the distance. A fair ground, with no fair.

The man who just stumbled out of the tent wobbles and falls down, possibly dizzy from the spinning, and smelling of alcohol. "Whoa, what just happened…" The sky starts to get lighter again, slowly, but only the guests, and what they had on them, remain. Not even litter gets caught in the wind.

KeLyssa looks up to see the eclipse, quickly turning her eyes away. You're not supposed to look right at an eclipse, right? But…wait a minute…there was an eclipse on that woman's arm! Blink. Where is that woman's arm? In fact, where is any of the fair? And why is the world spinning? And why is the an endless supply of questions but no answers? WHY!? And suddenly, KeLyssa just collapses from dizziness.

Seems Trent is fine, and though there are a few spots in front of his eyes, he resumes his calling for Jamie. "Jamie?" But then, there is the spinning, and though he loves rides, and doesn't usually have a problem with motion sickness, he's getting rather dizzy. "Um..? Clown Lady?" Reaching for her, to possibly help steady him. But she's gone. He falls and just closes his eyes. "What the hell?" He might be a kid, but he lives on the streets? "Jamie?"

Jamie stumbles just slightly with the spinning sensation, though she manages to keep her feet. "What.. I feel weird. Where did everybody go? That's not fair!" She's seeming really upset at the disappearance, but before her escort can say anything though, a familiar voice interrupts Jamie's sense of loss. "Trent!" She runs right for the boy, attempting to grab him in a hug. "You wouldn't *believe* what happened to me on vacation!"

The world spins and her surroundings disappear. Morgan stumbles back as the dizzying perspective makes her lose her balance. "Oh, God, not again," she gasps, hands going to her hands and covering her eyes. Part of her expects to be back in her old life, held captive by a goldfish — or to simply just stop existing, which is the greater of the two fears that she certainly didn't need Lydia to tell her about. A moment later her eyes drop, and she turns to stare at the empty field, taking a step forward toward where the the popcorn vendor had just stood a moment ago. Belatedly, her foot turns in a divot in the ground and she falls, only after the world has stopped its topsy turvy spin.

It had to happen to at least one of them, right? The spinning sensation, combined with all that sugar (crystal, spun, powdered, high-fructose syrup…the four food groups at a carnival!) leaves Emily feeling wobbly, dizzy. She takes a few deep breaths, but it's not too long before she's leaning forward with her hands on her knees, wretching. Thankfully, the strands of fake (albeit expensive) hair fall forward just enough to hide the majority of the regurgitation from view. "Ugh…uhhh…" she groans. "What the hell just happened?"

Randall is doubled over as well, but for a different reason— the sunlight hit his eyes worse than most as it came back into view, to the point that he can't see much of anything but a nondescript red-green blur that throbs in front of his center of vision. And if he's going to be temporarily blind, then he damn well wants to keep track of exactly where the ground is, in case he gets knocked over. Staring blankly down into nothing, he listens with mounting confusion to the new series of noises he hears around him, as well as the other noises he pointedly doesn't hear any more. Man, if this is part of the act, then the guy in the jacket is an even craftier showman than he appeared at first glance…

There's a good throng of people stumbling around in the open field, that's quite a bit emptier than it'd been moments ago. Some are going, "I drank too much," or "this is the best magic act I've ever seen." Another responds with a quiet, "It's like when they make the elephant disappear when surrounded by a group of people holding hands! They must have set this whole thing up to go with the Eclipse— I am so coming back next week!"

At the same time, others want their money back, and complain. But there's no one here to hear the complaints.

Cellphones begin to come out, text messages flying.

The world still moves, but it moves just a little differently as the light brightens again in the sky, and the strange Eclipse creeps to an end.

KeLyssa pushes herself up and looks around at the stumbling, bumbling group of people. She's super confused. Was it all just a magic act? If so, it was really well done. One big illusion. The woman's 'tattoos' changing into the eclipse, the actually eclipse, the disappearing. Whatever happened, it was something unusual all together. As she stumbles around slowly, she catches sight of someone that looks vaguely familiar. Someone she knew a little while ago. Is it…? Could it be…? She stumbles toward him. "Randall? Randall Kirkwood?"

Trent does hear Jamie, he rises in time to get hugged by her, and he returns it tightly. "I heard.. I thought you were dead.. I was so sad, and with Sydney gone and Fred gone and…" and a tearful reunion. He opens his eyes, finally and looks at her. Almost expecting her to be a figment of his imagination, or something. "I know, it's crazy to think that but I.." The whole thing must be a figment, but there's the balloon, he still has popcorn in hand.. and the candy in his pocket. "I think that girl clown put something in my popcorn." he isn't happy, but he is, happy that Jamie 'IS' here.

Jamie rolls her eyes and says, as she steps back, "You don't think a plane crash could kill *me*, do you? A bunch of us survived. Including a guy whose dad runs a big company, and his dad wants to do what the AP tried to do. His dad wanted to kill him and…" She trails off from her story, and registers what Trent said, "Where *is* Sydney? I tried calling her." Then she shakes her head, "Nope, the carnival disappeared, for real." She doesn't sound happy about this at all even still.

At least she's wearing jeans, though the brand new garment now has a hole in one knee, and her ankle is twisted. Morgan reaches for her ankle, wincing as she stares at the empty field, glancing here and there to make sense of the nonsensical. Clearly she's not the only one confused. "That… that isn't normal, is it? That doesn't… like, always happen, does it? Did it have something to do with the eclipse?" She bites her lip, knowing she probably sounds stupid for asking such a thing. People who have lived in this world their whole lives would know if things like that are normal or not - and wouldn't Peter or Erin or someone have mentioned it?

"Are you okay?" she adds, noticing the that Randall seems to be having issues of his own, blinded as he is, and she starts to stand, wincing as she gingerly tries to put weight on the right foot — and failing.

Feeling a little more steady, Emily brings herself to standing, making sure her mouth is clean and what have you. Wandering about, she checks out the places where semi-permanent buildings stood just moments ago, looking for any signs of disturbance, sliding her hands through the air to make sure they aren't invisible - she's seen a lot of weird stuff before, so it's not out of the question! Out comes a phone, and then one of the masses who starts clicking away, though who exactly she's texts is a mystery!

Well, there's one familiar thing, at least. Southern drawls aren't exactly common in New York, and given that it's also someone who knows him… "Oh, hi there," Randall murmurs, rubbing his eyes and looking around. At least the big bright blur is starting to resolve into a series of smaller darker blurs, and the one that seems to be getting bigger - no, approaching closer, probably - looks about the right shape from what he remembers. "My eyes are all messed up, did you see what happened?"

A lot of things happened, and no one has the answers for those questions. No one there…

And those that aren't there, don't have any idea what happened either.

States Away

The tattooed woman stands among the ferris wheel, the tents, the signs. The clown and the puppy are nearby, the speedster with the knife, the barker on the stage.

"Joseph…" Lydia says quietly, "It's gone." The tattoos creep away, melting into her skin as if they no longer have any reason to be there.


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