Okay people so here is your flash fiction for this week hot and ready! Enjoy!
I’d been sitting on the bench for nearly an hour now. The maddening flashes of light hurting my eyes. I hadn’t really wanted to come to this year’s “gypsy” carnival. I had never gone before, and if it weren’t for Max, I probably wouldn’t have come this year. I sigh, watching as the masses of people shove up through the narrow aisle of red and yellow booths.
Oddly though, I wasn’t particularly mad at Max for being- as usual- late. I almost felt safe sitting silently among the herds of hot bodies that pressed along each corner of the fair, their faces changing color dramatically as the ferrous wheel lights rose and dove above them.
I close my eyes for a minute breathing into my hands, the smell of popcorn and hotdog grease still penetrating the solid barrier. If she didn’t show up in fifteen minutes I’d just leave. I stand and confront the wall of bodies. I push my way through stumbling over feet. I might as well walk around if Max had decided not to show after all.
I come to a clear part of the fair, booths sparsely scattered and a few small herds congregate around each. I glance around reading the hand painted signs above each stand, each some quirky pun about the games or sights behind each door. I scan them and my eyes rest on a small black tent, its top scattered with dew drop like lights, painted on its curtain in elaborate crimson script was: “Madam Zealot reads the stars!”
I shake my head, how people could believe in that kind of thing, I didn’t know. I stare at the tent and realize how odd it is in the midst of all the color and fanfare of the carnival, its ebony curtain so dark that it seems to fade into the surrounding twilight, as if the tent itself is not quite there.
Suddenly ice grips my arm; I inhale sharply turning around, my heart thundering to see a woman in a dark blue cloak clutching my wrist, “Oh how lovely you are… would a pretty girl like to know who will be her true love?” the woman croons. Her face is painted so thickly with makeup it seems to distort her actual features, though she can be no older than thirty. Her willowy figure brushes back a strand of my blonde hair, “Come deary, I will tell you your fortune…” Her icy hand pulls me toward the dark tent.
“Oh, no thank you, I don’t really believe in that stuff.” I pull my wrist back from her. Her delicate nose crinkles under the layers of concealer, “Come, I will read your palm for free, what is the harm?” She smiles wickedly; her lips warping into a sort of smug curve.
I step back, “Really, I’m suppose to meet some friends back at the gate.” I began to turn away.
“No!” She grabs my wrist, I turn back to see her eyes blazing at me, I swallow uncomfortably, “I mean, no you must, it will only take a moment, I assure you…”
I glance back toward the way I’d come, the little circle of tents now seeming desolate, “I-I guess, but really it has to be quick.” I look back up at the woman.
She nods seeming satisfied, and leads me toward her tent.
My father wouldn’t like this, he had never approved of all this mumbo-jumbo and he certainly wouldn’t have given into the woman, but of course that was my father, not me. The quickest way to get back to my friends would be to let the woman have her way and then slip out of her tent as quickly as possible.
The woman brushes back the heavy curtain, I step into the darkness. Immediately I know something is wrong, the air is heavy with incense, and the blackness of the tent surrounds me like ink. It turn around, inhaling a thick breathe of smoke. I clutch for the curtain only to be confronted with Madame Zealot, “Now, now, deary calm your self.” She grips my wrists, her cold smooth fingers encasing my feeble ones. I pull against her iron grip, “Let me go!” I strain. I flail wildly, as my eyes swim and my breathing deepens. The thick sweet scent in the air making my eyelids drop.
I scramble for the sliver of light against the dark, the only indication that there is a door out of this blackness I push against the velvet of her robes.
“Hush now, dear… it will all be over soon.” The voice comes from far away as my limbs get heavy, feeling like I’m running through pudding.
“Will…” I whisper almost to myself, “Max?” and the world goes black.