2010-07-26: Welcome to the Carnival

Starring:

Randall_V5icon.pngCarrie_V5icon.pngEmily_V5icon.pngAiden_V5icon.pngCharla_V5icon.pngIzzy_V5icon.png

Guest Starring:

Lydia_V5icon.png

and

Fortune Teller, Guy, Deacon, Fortune Teller, and Teddy

Date: in the vicinity of July 26th

Summary:

We have fun and games~


"Welcome to the Carnival"

Sullivan Bros. Carnival

CARRIE & RANDALL

The tent flap may not drown out the carnival music and the people milling in the background, but it grants a small amount of privacy for two people visiting the Carnival, some for the second time. A woman sits on a stool, her back to the door, sandy hair shifting as she turns to look over her shoulder at them. "Welcome. Please have a seat."

The tent is exclusively set aside, granting access to those who pay a small price, though a tip jar filled with small coins and small bills sit at the side, for additional cash given to the exhibit, which happens to be a woman with tattoos vining up her arms and shoulders, the canvas of her skin partially visible, but still discretely covered enough so as not to be advertised as an adult feature.

"My name is Lydia, the Tattoo Lady," she greets them, shifting a bit more so that she can face them.

The criers promised secrets unravelled, desires revealed, even ones so hidden that they may not be known even to those who enter.

Randall's first visit to the Carnival was just following up a vague hunch: with that much weird stuff going on in one place - and with the event not obviously commercialized to the point of pandering, like certain circuses and renaissance fairs able to afford TV ad time - there was a chance that someone with a real ability might find it a good place to hide in plain sight.

Now, having figured out some of the implications of the eclipse, his interest is a lot more specific. Even the recent major swerves in his relationship with Carrie weren't enough to distract him from returning - to the contrary, he made a point of bringing her along this time. It was the original plan anyway, and now he figured she'd be pretty interested, too. "Hi," he says to Lydia, simply, glancing toward his companion as they sit down for a reading.

Carrie follows Randal in and looks Lydia over curiously. "Hello." Her thoughts are of the line, 'I wonder if I can make her skin expel the ink? That probably wouldn't be appreciated.' It's one of those problems she worries about sometimes. What if she tries to heal someone with piercings or tattoos? or someone who's had plastic surgery? Or their gender changed? She shudders and tries not to think about it. It does enter her mind to wonder if anyone here is a real power. She never gave carnivals much thought before. They were always too expensive.

It likely would not be appreciated, no. Lydia doesn't know what's going on in the woman's head, despite any promised that she'd know their deepest most secret desires. Turning a bit more, the shawl slides down her arm to rest at her elbows. "I can show you what your heart's desire is, much like a crystal ball. I will need to touch one of you." Her hand raises up, reaching toward the two in an offer, somewhere between the both of them. Either could take the hand. Much like her back, her arm has a twisting of tattoos as well, soft colors making it look more realistic than those painted on skin by artists in the carnival. "Who would like to start?"

A sidelong glance - just long enough to pick up on Carrie's momentary preoccupation - then Randall nods, reaching a hand forward and placing it near Lydia's, leaving it to her to complete the gesture in whatever way works for her. This should be interesting, he thinks to himself: desire has defined both the long-term and the immediate scale of his life in New York, but how well will Lydia perceive them? And will she indeed see something else that he hasn't?

Carrie watches, chewing her lip. She wonders if Lydia will pick up on Randal's abilities, or her tampering with his abilities, whatever it was she did. Carrie watches the tattoos carefully. She's read "The Illustrated Man" after all. She doesn't expect them to do anything, but who knows? In a powered world, who really knows? She tries to sit still during the process, but fidgets.

As she reaches across and touches his hand, Lydia closes her eyes and seems to shiver, as if caught by a sudden cold spell. Under their watchful gaze, the tattooed vines twirling the woman's arm begin to move. Curling tighter and sliding up her arm, creating a small blank area where a blot rises up and begins to form into the shape of a planet, and small specks of black, perhaps trying to make up stars, then it shifts further, creating something akin to a magicians hat.

"You desire to understand the mysterious— the unknown. The secrets of the universe, and… inner power. Both of this world, and others…" Her voice is soft, sincere, but almost distant, as if she's not quite there.

The small blot shifts again, sinking down into her skin, and spiraling up to form a face, the face of the woman sitting next to him. His date. His girlfriend. "You wish for stability, but also indulgence, happiness with… with Carrie." Her eyes open, and the tattoo fades away again, the vines sliding back into place. "Which would be you."

Well. It's hard to fake that, isn't it? Unless maybe there were drugs involved, but that's not what this looks like. Randall peers closely at the shifting imagery - merely nodding silently to Lydia to confirm the truth of her words - paying almost as much attention to the in-between states as the final images. How does the ink move? Well, obviously it moves because of magic, but why does it follow a straight line or a curve or an indistinct blur?

Carrie stares at the moving tattoo, hypnotized by the motion. She gapes as Lydia uses her name, pulling her eyes away from the moving ink. "Yeah." she says, her voice croaking. Carrie clears her throat and says it again. "Yeah. Sorry, I was watching your tattoos… move. How do you do that?"

"Trade secret," Lydia says mysteriously, her voice still maintaining that gentle calm, as if nothing could break through it. This is a carnival, and everything, and everyone, plays a part. This would likely be hers. The hand moves back, releasing Randall's and shifting toward Carrie, even as she says directly to Randall, "I think it would be a good idea for you to come back to the Carnival before we leave. Get to know some of the people here."

Randall leans back, resting his hands in his lap at first, then nods again even as he's reaching up to toy with a lock of Carrie's hair. "I think you're right about that." It certainly looks like an ability at work - and not hiding, but on prominent display. Together with the idea that their earlier disappearance was due to some type of spatial effect being interrupted… this is increasingly looking like a lot bigger deal than he gave it credit for. He made that mistake with the government persecution for months, he's not of a mind to repeat the mistake now.

Carrie slowly, hesitantly offers her hand. If all this is a fake… she won't know anything about Carrie, right? And if it's not… If Lydia really has a power of her own… would Lydia cause trouble for her? Carrie worries. Yes, we're paranoid today. Most days, truth be told. But what if… her biggest fear is true? And what if Lydia knows? Is she ready to have it out in front of Randall? Carrie doesn't know, but offers her hand. All the answers to these questions will become clear in moments. Or not.

The tattoos move once again, not following any specific pattern, and indeed not even clearing off as much space on her arm this time around, as if they're not sure how to form. It swirls and moves, creating a face with curly hair, male, prominent, with shadows across the face, as if half cloaked in darkness, or dim light, but the representation is obvious, as her eyes slide shut again. Perhaps if Lydia's tattoos showed someone she didn't have in her tent, it would seem more convincing, but it's still quite unique, in it's own right.

"You wish to be with the one you love, but— you are not ready for all of the responsibilities that would come with such a relationship. You are not ready to be responsible for anyone beyond the two of you— you do not wish to have children, yet." There's something odd in her voice, that calm seeming to break a little. Perhaps she understands how that feels, not being ready for a baby, and all that comes with it…

"But you also wish for a place where you can… be yourself." The tattoo shifts again, forming into a hand, with something wavy lines stretching out from the palm and fingers, like tendrils. It shifts again, forming a face— her own, with Randall at her side. A banner of text forms across the bottom, curving delicately, and creating a sign much like the banners hanging through the Circus. 'Miracle Worker'

Randall blinks. Well, that's something Randall hadn't thought about, at least beyond keeping a certain box tucked away in a drawer at the apartment. They did play it safe. (Right? Everything was so different for a while there, but he's sure he still kept track of that. Pretty sure…)

…but before his nerves have time to develop into full-blown worry, Lydia continues on. Whose hand is that? And— well, now that last one is really obvious. And all sorts of intriguing. They'd both better come back, at this rate.

Carrie stares at the tattoo, her mouth hanging open. There can no longer be any doubt, at least not for Carrie. Whatever it is Lydia does, it's as real as Randall's power, as real as her own. Her own face was not in Lydia's chest when she got here, nor was Randall's. She looks over at Randall and reaches out for his hand with her free hand. Her jaw moves silently a few times, and she whispers, finally, "Miracle worker?"

"The images are created by you, I'm just a funnel for them," Lydia responds quietly, removing her hand and opening her brown eyes to look from one set of the young couple to the next. "But I think perhaps it's saying you belong in a place where you can… be who you are, and be appreciated for who you are." With that, she stands, pulling the shawl up around her shoulders as the tattoos move and lace back into position once again. "And what you can do." It's so soft, and calm, but she begins to back away. "I've told you all that I can. But you should return sometime in the future."

AIDEN & CHARLA

The lights of the Carnival are particularly beautiful at nighttime, they are bright and shiny and happy and anticipatory of fun and excitement inside. It's a colourful array of red and greens amid the rides, the flags, and the games. Of course, the games themselves are decorated extra with the promise of prizes to be won. Giant fluffy teddy bears, giraffes, and zebras line the booth where Guy sits. It's a simple enough game that he mans. His receding hair line and blue eyes reflect the redness of the lights surrounding him, but he's smiling, which is always a good way to entice people to play.

"Step right up! Step right up! Knock over my milk bottles— " three bottles are stacked and ready to be knocked over, "spill the milk and win a prize my friends!! If you're strong— you can do it!! Step right up!!" he cups his hands around his mouth to further project his voice. His mismatched clothing, colourful and bright, looks well-worn, but that's the way it goes in a Carnival. "Be a winner!! Be a winnnnnnnnnnnerrrrr!!! Only two dollars per play! Spill the milk and win something CUTE and FLUFFY! You there, Sir! You look like you'd have a girlfriend! Don't you want to win her a Kyoooot and fluuuuuuffy prize?!"

Next to the booth sidles up not the man's first customer, but a fellow carnie, judging by not just his similarly worn apparel but the wildly neon blue color of the hair he's got sticking straight up faux-hawk style. The dark eyeliner emphasizing his laughing gaze parallels the dark brown of the rest of his hair, trimmed into deliberately bent sideburns and in a twirling goatee. Up and down his exposed arms are colorful tattoos, and everywhere it's possible to stick an earring there is one. This human experimentation board, or Deacon as is yelled sometimes when he isn't at this post, slides one leg up along the side of Guy's counter, perching himself somewhere near the back where he won't interfere with any forming lines. "If no one comes over," he informs the carnival game-runner slyly, "You owe me dessert. And to never mention your 'milk bottles' again."

Indeed, it's a lovely evening. The sun is gone, leaving its residual warmth, and the Carnival's warm lights just make the summer evening that much more lovely. Aiden strides along, his hands in his pockets, his eyes trailing over the scenery; the games, the silly little makeshift rides, the money traps, the side shows. All around him, happy people are enjoying themselves; the young man is quite content to simply watch, it seems.

The blue faux-hawk catches his eye first, along with the man shouting about knocking over milk bottles, and cute fluffy prizes. Now, Aiden certainly never had much use for fluffy prizes. Stuffed animals never were his thing. However, he does have a certain lady aquaintance in mind as he steps toward the booth, running a hand through his messy hair. Two dollar bills are fetched from his pocket and silent offered to the game-runner. Why not?

Charla is exploring the carnival on her own. She doesn't know much about it at the moment, but she saw it around and thought she'd check it out. If it was interesting enough she might even do a news story about it. She also happens to be carrying a shopping bag, as she'd gone shopping for new clothes on the way.

She soon walks by the milk bottle table and looks at it for a while. One of those stuffed animals might be a cute decoration for the news studio, she thinks, but she decides to wait for someone else to try the game, to see how hard or easy it might be to win.

A lopsided smirk is issued to Deacon as Guy takes the bills, sliding them into one of his pockets. "Good choice, Sir! C'mon buddy I bet you can knock over those there milk bottles!" The game runner gesticulates towards the bottles before retrieving three baseballs for Aiden to throw. "Give 'er a try there, Sonny!" Everyone is sonny to Guy. Even girls. Well not all girls. Depends on the girl, really.

After passing the three baseballs to Aiden he slides closer to Deacon, leaning against the side of his own booth. Crossing his arms over his chest he kind of smirks while concentrating on those baseballs, he's not without talents of his own. "So. You get to give me dessert now, right Deacs?" he winks. "All I need is a healthy diet of popcorn and cotton candy!"

Wordlessly taking the three baseballs, Aiden holds two in his left hand, tossing the first baseball up and catching it once to get a feel for it. Then, taking aim, he sends the baseball flying toward the milk bottles as hard as he can. It may be just another carnie scam, but it's at least enjoyable. A brief glance is cast toward the two as the young man tosses the second ball up and down, before his focus it turned back to the matter at hand.

Thwarted out of his bet, Deacon adopts a crossed arms posture of slight indignation when Guy slips over to gloat and the position proudly displays each of the winding decorations and dragons spitting fire painted along his skin. Every spot is covered completely and he picks at one idly, digging nails at the skin, as he gives his fellow carnie the evil eye. "This time, bud. I'm sure all that sugar will help you forget all that hair… you'll never have." Tongue out, Deacon hops from his place to stroll a bit more towards the front of the booth. His childish expression has receded by the time he espies Charla also hanging out there, but the mischief in his dark eyes remains. "What do you think?" He asks the woman encouragingly, giving a colorful gesture towards Aiden. "Think we've got a winner up here?"

Charla shrugs. "I don't know. He seems like a strong guy," she answers. She recognized him from an earlier meeting, and recalled that he did manual labor before… definitely the kind of thing that would make someone strong. She idly watches some of the other booths nearby.

Deacon earns a rather mirthless chuckle. "Well I wouldn't want blue hair anyways and not everyone can age as gracefully as me! Your dragons agree! I'm hawt stuff." An idle wink, another chuckle, and Guy redirects his attention back to the task at hand: his customer.

Strangely, and really defying physics, the first ball kind of whirls away from the milk bottles with a curve. A mischievous smile spreads over Guy's lips as hie eyebrows furrow, "You have an arm on you! Look there, Sonny, a curve ball! You should join a baseball team or something." Chuckling at the notion, once again, rather humourlessly (so his meaning can't be fully understood) he tightens his jaw. The second ball misses the bottles by just a hair— a fraction really. "Ha! You're getting closer!! C'mon! One more try!" His grin grows. There's something almost displaced about it on his lips, but there it is, teeth disjointed, yellowed, and gapped. This guy really ought to see a dentist.

Deacon's blue hair is Awesome and anyone who says otherwise is just a sourpuss with bad teeth. But that's not the object of conversation right now; Charla is. Or, rather, her disenchanted evaluation of Aiden. "Eh, he seems like a strong guy…?" The carnie echoes Charla's answer, somewhat exaggerated in its disaffection. "Come on!" Now he spreads his hands, reaching at her but not actually touching. He bids her to move a bit closer to the front of the booth. "Look at him, he's floundering! I think you need to give him a little bit of encouragement — here, he's on his last one. Tell him to do another, and this time, you'll help. Ready?"

Charla chuckles a bit and steps up to the counter beside Aiden, though trying to keep away from the booth runners. Definitely not her type. She looks toward Aiden with a smile. "Go get 'em," she says, miming a ball-throw of her own. She waits with anticipation for Aiden's last throw.

Scowling as his shots miss, Aiden tosses the third ball up in the air and catches it a few times, doing his best to get a feel for the weight of the ball. Probably weighted or something. He pauses as Blue-hair's words reach his ears, turning just in time to see Charla step up beside him. A bright smile appears on his face. Hey, it's that adorable news anchor girl! "Hey, Miss Charla, fancy seein' you here." With a grin, he holds up the last ball. "If I win, then you can have the prize, alright?" With a small grin, Aiden winds up, aiming the ball right at the milk jars and throwing as hard as he can.

The ball actually makes good progress towards the milk bottles, and even makes a clear b-line for them. It hits them… an ricochets off. Apparently the throw wasn't hard enough? What are they filled up with cement?

There's a very momentary frown from Guy before he forces a tight-lipped smile. "Hahaha! Good try kid! Gotta put more weight behind it than that though! You and yer— " he glances at Charla, Deacon, and then back to Aiden "— girlfriend could give it another go— ?" He smiles like a cat that just caught a canary.

Grinning in his own way, Deacon hefts himself a second time onto the counter, only now a full seated position as he watches partway over his shoulder at the last throw. His mouth pushes out into a sympathetic 'oooo' at the resulting failure. "That is just— that's harsh. Fetch them balls back, this guy," not Guy guy, "just promised a lady a present. Now it's on~" Hands cocked in a encouraging gun-finger, wink combination towards Aiden, he then drops them to his lap where he begins to pick up the idle habit of peeling at his skin again. He isn't just scratching, though; there seems to be pale pieces coming off as though he were tremendously sunburned and now feeling the effects. Too bad he's white as white. These guys really must live on candy and caramel.

Oh my. He's falling into a carnie trap, isn't he? Aiden offers a peculiar look to the two carnies, his nose wrinkling in disgust at the peeling guy. Ew, gross. The suggestion that Charla is his girlfriend set the southern man blushing, fumbling over words for a moment. "Oh, we just met th'other day." But it seems he's taken the bait, reaching into his pocket and fetching out another two bucks, which he offers to Guy. "One more try. If I don't get it this time, I'll buy you an elephant ear or a funnel cake. Assuming you're here on your own, that is." Aiden offers Charla a warm smile.

"Sure," Charla says in reply to the offer. At this point she's not planning on trying the game herself, but it looks like she might get something out of this after all. "Yeah, he's not my boyfriend," she assures the people at the counter. "And no, I'm not looking," she adds, anticipating any possible reply to that.

"The trick is in the angle. Anyone can win, anyone can win— " if Guy wants them to. He grins broadly at his customers and grasps the green again, rather happily this time. It's a good day already! He bends down, disappearing from the window of the booth for a moment while retrieving the three balls.

The balls are grasped and handed back to Aiden with a smug grin and a wink to Deacon. He resumes his spot behind the booth, leaning against one of its walls, lounging really, but his eyes never move from the balls themselves. In fact, he's strangely focused on them, more than most people. Arms are crossed over his chest as he grins again.

Now perched quite contently there on the booth, Deacon leans his back against one of the support pillars and lets out a low, encouraging whistle to Aiden when the balls are handed over. "Give it a good one," he hollers breezily, "If you get this guy," Guy guy, "in the middle of his shiny forehead, I'll give you a prize. We've got everything you ever wanted over at the freak show, we do."

The man takes the three balls, eyeing Guy warily. Carnies, such scoundrels they are! Another look is cast to Blue-Hair, one brow arching. "No, sir, I'd rather not throw a ball at some stranger's head." Then, with a small grin, he grabs up one ball, feeling it out once more. Then, focused on that middle bottle on the bottom row, he sends it flying, chucking the ball as hard as he can. Stupid rigged carnie games.

Charla, meanwhile, watches the operators. Is there some sort of trick involved, she wonders. She didn't see them touching anything the last time- there didn't seem to be some sort of secret switch. But then again, if the customers could see it, it wouldn't be secret, she thought. Clearly something fishy was going on- he totally should have knocked the things down.

This time the ball does a crazy loop to the side and falls down just shy of the milk bottles, all the while Guy stares at it very very intently. He only takes his eyes off and back to his customers once the ball has actually fallen, trading glances with Deacon and then the others. "Ooooh! One down two to go! Will the lad have any success?! Will he get the girl who isn't his girlfriend?! Stay tuned…"

"I'll do it," Deacon suggests, leaning forward just slightly from his post to hold out an offering palm to Aiden and his two remaining chances, "Give me one of those, I'll bean him a good one. Look at him. Look at how nervous he's gettin', you're soooooo close. Come on. No, forget me, forget him." The hands give a wave, jangling the many bracelets on his wrists, "Look at the girl. Lookit her. There's your inspiration, your shining star~" But then his encouraging voice turns briefly lower, wry, and prodding, "Actually, so far's with the batting record, maybe you should give her a chance at it."

The man is frowning as the ball misses, but his eyes aren't even watching where the ball is going. He's watching Guy, a somewhat suspicious look on his face as he notices that hawk-like stare he's giving the ball as it flies. Something is definitely fishy. Slowly, he reaches for the ball, snagging it up and examining it for a long moment. Then, suddenly, the man is offering a small grin of his own.

He glances briefly to Guy for a moment, his eyes narrowing in concentration. Reaching out with his Ability, Aiden's mind touches Guy's nervous system. Once connection is made, Aiden influences Guy's nerves to give him a deep ache, all over. Nothing unbearable, but enough the break the man's concentration. Then, the ball is thrown, aimed at the bottles. Two can play at this game.

Charla grins at the suggestion that she try it herself. She could probably do a little cheating of her own with her abilities, but she'd rather watch, which is why she's fine with the fact that Aiden refused the offer to let her try. It looked there, like he had an idea, but Charla couldn't think of what he was planning to do. She didn't suspect that he might have a power too, after all.

The telekinetic's concentration is easily broken by the pain sent to his nervous system. In fact, Guy physically doubles over in pain at the shock he receives randomly. Must be old age, right?

CLANK

And as he doubles over, Aiden manages to knock over all of the milk bottles in one fowl swoop. There certainly was something fishy going on, wasn't there?

With a heavy groan, and that still present ache in his bones, he manages to stand straight again, grasping one of the large, rather oversized and scarily fluffy giraffes from the top of his cart, handing it over to Aiden. "Lucky shot I guess— " he eyes the other man suspiciously, but then the hustler hustled Aiden first, right? "— here ya are… enjoy the rest of the carnival…"

There's a bit of a strange noise from Deacon… then through pressed lips, he can't even hold back the snort and then peal of laughter. "Ohhhh, lookit that. He comes through. Congratulations, bud." There's a pause here or there to let the common folk do their common folk, blah blah blah look at the nice thing I got you, oh isn't that cute blush blush girlie crap — anyway, the carnie leans his way towards the center of Guy's booth with a lowered voice, still full of mirth. "You just lost your dessert. And one of your precious fluffy giraffes."

A smug grin upon his face, Aiden drops his influence over Guy's nervous system, reaching out to take the fluffy Giraffe with a small nod. The suspicious look is returned to Guy, shrouded with understanding and amusement that touches his eyes.. Then, the southern man is holding the giraffe out to Charla, that puppydog grin worn on his face. "Here you go, Miss Charla. A nice fluffy giraffe for you t'take home with ya. Perhaps I can still buy you that elephant ear?"

"Oh, thank you," Charla answers with a sweet smile. "I'd like that," she adds to his second offer. She stuffs the giraffe into her shopping bag and moves off. That was… quite an interesting experience, she thought. She'd definitely have to discuss it with Aiden when they were alone…

IZZY

The carnival is all lights, music, and noises. The happy-go-lucky music that plays is an excellent backdrop for a place of fun, wonder, and games. Booth after booth lines the area just shy of the rides. Some games involve knocking over milk bottles. Other involve darts and popping balloons. But among all of the rides are lines and lines of teddy bears, large, oversized teddy bears.

A blue cart in the middle of the booths is manned by Teddy, who, rather aptly, gets to sell teddy bears to customers of the carnival. Like his fellow carnies, his clothes are mismatched and somewhat askew— a pink shirt underneath a maroon vest, all accented by a bright purple bowler hat.

"Teddy bears~" he virtually sings, his brown beard, about the colour of the teddies he sells he pushes in front of him. "Get your teddy bears~ Can win one? You can buy 'em~" he has a soft twinkle in his eye as he pushes the cart forward further except… for some reason it gets away from him and keeps rolling somewhat down a slope.

Izzy might not be able to win one— but that's not stopping him from trying. Wiry arm flinging back, he jumps up, sneaker riding the edge of the wooden platform as he whips the ball down at some milkcans, missing by a mile for all his dramatics in chucking the thing, which might, after all, be more for the amusement of the woman accompanying him, a pierced, punkish creature who cackles as Izzy's run off from the booth by a guy yelling at him for creating a miniature earthquake in the booth that knocks down almost everything -except- the milk cans he was aiming for. Izzy seizes up his date by the hand; boy and girl run off through the carnival, leaving the manners of civilization behind them, as is only right under the bright lights of the rides and the careening strains of the carnival music. The more definitely feminine one of the pair digs in the fat heels of her shiny black boots, trying to anchor the boy to a halt as he turns back to swat at her playfull—OOF! He runs straight into the side of the Teddy bear cart, losing his companion's hand and ending up half-atop the thing as it rolls all the faster for the extra weight, toppling and bouncing until he gets his wits about him and tries to drag his feet against the dirt, drawing the cart's course into a spin that ends abruptly against a tree, shaking its passenger onto the ground, flat on his back.

Teddy's mouth gapes, eyes widen, and feet freeze for only an instant as his cart gets a passenger. Fortunately, he comes back to life seconds later, racing all the faster as the cart actually hits a tree. "Watch out!!" he yells as the passenger is on the ground. Eyes still wide, the thin Carnie, closes the distance and offers Izzy a hand to help him up. "You okay there? Man, I'm sorry! It's never gotten away from me like that before. One of the dangers of living with a traveling carnival, never really know the terrain."

Teddy bears have spilled every which direction, some only a few feet, others several meters, or at least it seemed like there were others several meters away. On second glance though, the teddies are nice and close, all within reach. Maybe the cart didn't crash as hard as it seemed?

"Gonna be okay? Maybe you should go see a doctor or something…" he winces. The doctor doesn't exactly have credibility or any mark of trust from Teddy.

Izzy seems sufficiently dazed, but more confused than injured, hardly realizing where he is or how he got there. Soft, girlish lips open, eyes squeeze shut a few times and nose wrinkles with an exaggerated blinking. When he has his breath and voice again, the first thing that comes to mind comes sailing out on them, dazed eyes fixing on Teddy:

"Did I win?"

Dark eyes narrow as an easy smile plays on the Carnie's lips. "Maybe if you bowlin' for trees…" He winces a stitch before offering Izzy his hand again. "Lemme help you up. Anything broken?" Taking a step back he points to his cart, "The cart got ya. Like I said, never happened before." And this mismatched man has been around this Carnival doing this job for many years.

Izzy turns his head toward the carnival lights, which all seem… so distant, now, even if they're not. The proximity of the teddy bears is lost in the general distortion of his spatial awareness. "Heh," he gives a little laugh, then reaches up to take the arm up, curling up with his back and then getting his feet underneath him. "I don't… think so. My head's kind of swimming, though. Maybe I should… just… go sit down. For a little. You said… uh, you have a nurses' station or like?" he asks, his accent and diction keenly northern.

"Nah. We don't have anything like that right now, but sit on a bench for awhile… I bet you'll feel better," Teddy winks as his smirk melts into something a little more concerned. "Hey. I noticed you like… your girlfriend with you and were playing some of those games." He bites his bottom lip before saying, "Most of those are unwinnable. You can have one of these teddies for free if you like though— I mean… least I can do for my runaway cart, right?" He tugs on the bottom of his vest before shifting his weight from one foot to the other twice over. "Plus, if you want, you can tell her you won it…"

"Oh, yah," Izzy answers, "Gretchen. I should… find… her… I guess. She's not really my… I mean, we're out together and so, but… -well,- you know." And whether Teddy knows or not, Izzy leaves it there. "Hey, thanks, guy. That's right snookum of ya," he offers back. "Here, let me help you to get these up and together again," he decides to make himself useful, kneeling down. "So you go around with these folk? Must be a hell of a life, eh?"

Reorganizing the cart, Teddy nods, although oddly, there seem to be a lot more teddies on the cart than off… was that the case moments ago? At the question, Izzy earns a kind of warm lopsided grin. "Yeah, these people, they're my family." He bends down to pick up some more of the cute stuffed teddies. "We support each other, look out for each other, and they're like the first people I've ever really trusted. Ehn. You know it is, the world is all rawr out to get each other." He half smiles again.

"Heh. Yah, seems like there's hardly a place for a fellow to call home out here in the city, some days," Izzy agrees. He takes up one bear, then another, tucking them into the crook of his other arm until he's got enough to stand and begin to place them on the— he glances to the ground, then to the cart, "How'd all those get up there again, like? I don't think I've hit my head as hard as— all that."

"Trade secret… magic 'n all that jazz," Teddy winks before pulling the rest of the bears onto the cart. "Hey, take one. Enjoy the rest of your time at the carnival. It's a great place for dreams and magic, never know what you'll find, man." This is accompanied by yet another wink as he finishes straightening the bears on the cart. His hands grasp the handle as he gives Izzy another nod before disappearing up the hill blue cart in tow.

EMILY

Hidden away by the walls of a tent, netting speckled by string lights, and colourful scarves with swirling, worldly, whimsical patterns, is the secrets of the universe — or at least the secrets of Miss Emily Caulfield, as told by a Carnival fortune-teller.

Outside, the sounds of entertainment and whimsy — laughing and shouting voices, music, bells from games won and lost. But inside, it's a private little world of mystery.

Leaning in the dim tent over a small round table, the fortune-teller, a strong-featured middle-aged woman (perhaps made to look just a touch older than she really is) waves long fingers over a spread of cards. She could have been a gypsy in another life… or maybe she is! Long dark hair wisped with silver swings ahead as her intent focuses on these cards, each of them detailed and full of character, depicting mythological feats and symbols, beautiful artwork that tells a tale. A tale of a life, purportedly — Emily's.

"Normally I'd start with your past… but you, dear…" she says in a faintly accented voice, "you're a different bird behind that pretty little face, hm? The cards tell me that your story starts backwards! We have to start at the end to find the beginning."

The strange Carnival disappearing act after that eclipse is, as the fortune teller says, just the end of a long and strange trip. It's a trip with a few really glaring gaps of memory in the middle as well. For the purposes of this woman, it's the starting point of what she hopes will be rediscovery of all those missing memories.

"You have no idea how different…" Emily replies to the woman. Her eyes lift from the cards, raising to look at the woman before replying with a typical lips pressed together expression. However, the blonde (sans wig today, sporting a length long enough to style in a little bob) seems so pleasantly naive to the fact that she's not the only special here.

"So here we are at the end - the beginning. Where do we go from here?" Emily looks at the cards more closely, wondering how the woman's interpreting the symbols (Joker? Sword? Death?). "What does it all mean? Why am I even here…again? Last time I visited, the whole place vanished into thin air."

The fortune teller brings her hands up and folds them, baubles over baubles as her jewelry clashes together. While studying the arrangement of tarot, she looks up to wink at Emily; this time, a purposeful finger taps at the one in the center, while the digits adjacent reach out to touch the other cards — the past and future. "Your past and future are, as we say… in flux— your present, just like this layout of cards, is caught in-between, anything could happen from here. But what is certain is that your future holds a discovery," she explains. "A breakthrough, potentially earth-shattering… but to get there… well, to get there…"

The fortune teller appears almost distraught for a second — a fact which she tries to cover up with a smile of showmanship, the over-the-top sly smile befitting of a Carnival oracle meant to know all. "To get there we must do a little… mm. Let's say … soul-searching. The cards are telling me…" Again, that unnerved look; she decides to regard Emily frankly this time. "Is there something in your past you're hiding?" Pause. "…even from yourself?"

Emily's face twists a bit, mouth pulling up at the corners in a mix of hurt and confusion. "I…don't know. I can't remember. Just," she starts out, reaching up to run fingers through her short hair, and then down to her left leg. "I don't remember how these happened. I always wore my hair long, and now it's short. My leg is sometimes sore too - a scar I can't remember." Signs of a sordid past, indeed!

"Why? Why that look? What's in my past? Help me to remember!" Her intense blue eyes are locked on the woman now, undeterred by the clatter and jangle of the jewelry on the woman's arms. "You're supposed to be good at this stuff! Why can't I remember?!"

The fortune teller's head tips back, remaining staid in the face of the young woman's distress; still, there's that glimmer in her dark eyes, a knowing, wary shine. "The cards tell me you've been through… trials. Dark… times. To know of them," she says, "We would have to look deeper. Deeper than I can go. But there might be a way, right here, at the Carnival!" What doesn'tthe Carnival have, after all.

The woman's voice, husky as-is, then lowers, and her already intense features intensify on Emily. "But I warn you, dear. You might not be the person you think you are today. Remembering… it will awaken you to things that were perhaps meant to stay lost. Are you sure that's what you want? Sometimes…" She flattens her hands over the cards, hiding all but the blank edges and slivers of detail from sight. "…ignorance is bliss."

"I have this hole in my memory. I'm here in New York, but I'm not from New York and I can't remember why I came! I have this…scar. This new do. I didn't want them, but now I have them, and I can't remember! I want to know what happened, good or bad!" Emily's posture changes though when she speaks, sitting up very straight in the chair. Her interest is piqued, clearly.

"I want to know. I have to know," Emily says, leaning forward over the table. "I don't care what it is…I have to know." Her voice is practically a hiss, a little venom in there - just a little bit predatory, even.

The fortune teller is silent for an unduly long time, staring dark-eyed across at Emily in thought. She takes a breath and, quickly, snaps a finger.

Nothing magical happens, no memories come flooding back to Emily, no genie appears— but a young boy — his features like hers, strong, dark — does peek out around a curtain. "Andre, come here," the woman says, ushering the boy, who is obviously, by his mismatched colorful clothes, a carnie like her. He scampers over and the fortune teller leans down, murmuring in his ear. "Be a good boy and run out for me, go get … " her words are lost in murmuring.

The boy runs past Emily, disappearing from the tent, the disturbed flap sending in a glimpse of bright neon lights and crowds for an instant.

"You should go enjoy your time at the Carnival," the fortune teller suggests kindly, "before your past catches up to you. He'll find you, out there, and show you what you've been missing. Try the cotton candy."

(FADE … for now!)

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