[identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
"Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned
."

A heartbeat too late

The plate I was drying slips from my hands when I hear Rose in my head.

I'm sorry, Mama. I spin around, for it's so clear that she must be right there. "What are you sorry for bab---"

I double over, gasping, unable to draw air into my lungs. Rose? Rose! ROSE!!! ROSE!!!! My mind is screaming because I cannot form words. Her heartbeat is so fast it's near bursting then it's slowing and then--- OhgodpleasenoRosedontpleasepleasePLEASENONONONOROSEDONTGODONTLEAVEUSNONONONONO

"Wanda, what's---" Kent has run in, hearing the plates shatter, but the sky rumbles and the earth shakes and the lights go out all at once. I hear him say her name, then go running for her room.

"She's---- not-----there---" I try to wheeze out. She's not there, I know she's not. She's gone. Oh God, my baby, no, not her...

"Wanda---!" I hear his panicked voice from down the hall, and finally I can suck air into my lungs. "Rose!" I scream, unable to hear her. I can't hear her thoughts, I can't hear her heartbeat I can't I can't I can't---

Part of my mind registers that the world has gone quite insane as I run blindly into the night. It's raining, and I think hail is pelting me and scratching across my skin as I tear down Main, then Silk. I see lights flashing, and I think Kent is somewhere behind me, and I hear people screaming. I think I am one of them. I can't hear my daughter!

I don't know how I know where to go; I just do. She's knit into me so tightly, I can find her even if I can't hear her. I can't hear her! Just over the bridge---

It's gone. There's no way across the river, but just on the other side I can see the outline of the carnival when the lightning flashes, and just on the other side---

For a moment, I think it can't be her. That girl is too big, but I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is Rose. That pale, lovely, unmoving slip of a young woman is--- my Rose is---

My scream pierces the night. A long, keening wail that can be heard over everything else. Kent finally catches up, and when he see's what I do, he sinks to his knees, weeping. The earth shakes again, and this is what He always planned. This... our daughter's dea--- it was always planned. It is the beginning of the end, and he used His own---

I lean down and kiss my husband; fast and fierce. I murmur a 'I love you' against his ear... then I jump into the river and try to make my way to the other side. I will not be kept from my baby, my own heart I can't hear her!... even if it may very well be the last thing I do.

(Closed)
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
A few weeks ago…

Ain't got no idea what he meant.

He didn't hardly say nothin' in the note 'cept he couldn't come back on 'count of havin' problems with Management. What's that mean? If Management wants to make problems with you, they could make all kindsa problems.

So I gotta go to him.

Leastways he said where he was gonna be.

Leastways he sent a note, 'stead of just goin' away.

Don't know whether to be surprised that he sent a note or not. Don't know what's like him or not like him, not even after all this time. He's still Tez, but he still ain't.

It don't feel like it used to when I'm near him. It don't pound in me, and it don't feel like I'm growin' bigger. I can't see the stars or pyramids or nothin', not 'less I try, and I don't think I should try. But there's still somethin' like before.

And it's still Tez. Sorta.

So I gotta go see him.

[Open to Tez]
[identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
Monday, the 11th of June
The Dormouse, afternoon


I have found, quite curiously, now that I am no longer surrounded by tea I want a cup almost every day. It might be because it is no longer work; but I would bet that it has more to do with the way Hope blends them. It's like she has a sixth sense about what will taste good together.

It's raining and blah and I have no interest in being 'Mayor von SacherMosch' today. I just want to sit and have tea and sweets and not be in charge of anything. So much so I forgo all the pretty dresses in my closet and opt to wear a pair of old, comfortable jeans and a t-shirt I found at the flea market. I have no idea why anyone would want a shirt advertising hardware, but the 'Pretty Hate Machine' part amused me greatly.

With my hair up in a pony tail and a walk that clearly states "I'm off the clock!" I head over to The Dormouse for lunch. I silently pray it's not too busy as I shake raindrops from my hair and push open the door.

(open)
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
June 3, afternoon
The Carnival


The trees're different and there didn't used to be so many houses comin' along the road into town. The river's still the same, and the spot where I liked to sit and draw, that's still there, but Excolo's all different.

'Cept the Tower's still there. The Tower's always still there.

Momma says maybe we've come back because there's so many new people here now, people who don't 'member us from last time, so's maybe we can get a good take.

I don't think so. I think if we're here it's only 'cause Management wants us to be here. Maybe Momma knows that and maybe she don't, but even if she does, she ain't never gonna do nothin' that Management don't want her to.

It's been real hard hidin' everythin' from her. It's gonna be harder now that we're back.

I hope I can get into town to see the twins, and Ri, and everyone. Not the Doc. I missed the Doc real bad after he died, and now that we're back in Excolo I'm missin' him all over again.

Tez already took off - he didn't say where he was goin', but he don't hardly ever say nothin' when he gets in one of his moods to go run off. Even though he gets his moods it's been good havin' him back. Ain't like it used to be, 'cause he ain't like he used to be. I guess he's got a right to his moods with everythin' he's gone through. But it's good. He likes my paintings and really talks about 'em like he's lookin' at 'em hard. It's good to have other people to talk about art with, but Zann's still the best for talkin' 'bout it.

I'm gonna go into town too, but I gotta finish these posters first. They're gonna hang up all over town, and I want 'em to have ferris wheels on 'em that turn. If we're back in Excolo, I want to show 'em what we got.

[Open to Ri, and to anyone who's around the Carnival or wants to be]
[identity profile] tezcatl-ipoca.livejournal.com
Friday, 19 September

The horror's ended. I felt it: a slow drain of something downwards into the land of something. A saturation. It went through me - it went through everything - and I think it was something I used to know. I felt it settle into soil and stone and thought: Oh. Please. That. I want that.

I curled up around the wanting for a while. Part of me was still in the horror. It was the oldest nightmare, of course. I think I can still smell rotting flesh, like it's caught in my nose. I try to snort it out, but it won't go.

But it's not in the hallway any more when I go out, or on the stairs, or anywhere in the building. People shut their doors when I go past: do they know it was my dream that occupied the house? The body stinks of sweat. When I'm out of town I stop and swim in the river as if it can wash more than the smell away. After that I think of going back, but I don't. I feel like I've been so afraid, during the horror, that I don't have any fear left.

I follow the pull and the memory together to what was home, once.

[Open to Genny]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Saturday, September 13
Afternoon, at the river's edge

It's gettin' cooler again, like it's almost fall.

I gotta start doin' the Halloween decorations. Leaves and pumpkins and witches and cats. Pumpkins're okay, I guess, long's I can make 'em move and talk without bein' too scary. There's always a kid who cries, and I hate thinkin' that stuff I drew made 'em cry.

And then it's gonna be winter again, and we're gonna have to do another Christmas show, and another winter of shiverin' and hopin' Syl's magic holds.

But I got my other sketches too. Some pictures, some lists of what I want to draw and paint. Sketches of what the feathers might show me. They're callin' out to me - not with sound, but just with how they feel. I'm gonna have to use 'em soon. As soon as Syl says it's time, I'll do it.

But now…I guess I'll start on drawin' leaves for the Halloween decorations?

So I go down to the river to my favorite spot, pickin' up leaves as I go. This is where I always go to draw, but it's where I used to go with Tez all the time, too. Ain't talked about him in a long time, not even to Syl, but I can't help thinkin' 'bout him when I come here.

[open to Micah]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Thursday, September 4
The Carnival Living Lot


Them crow feathers want me to paint with 'em. They really do. I stuck 'em in my bag, and then I could still feel 'em so I stuck the bag under a pile of clothes, and then I still knew they was there.

I done all kinds of other things while I tried not to think about 'em. Visited Syl when she wasn't feelin' good enough to go out, talked to Zann, drew pictures for the little kids, messed 'round with pencils and pastels and all kindsa new drawin' stuff. I done pictures of the river and the carousel and even the wagons, and I done autumn leaves for the front gate of the Carnival 'cause it'll be time for that soon. It was cold last night! The leaves looked real good, too, but dang, why're we still here if it's almost fall! We should be movin' on! We should be goin' south where we don't gotta worry 'bout keepin' the animals warm. Leastways the twins won't have it so bad this winter, but it just ain't right.

We gotta get goin'.

The feathers still want me to paint, but I don't let 'em tell me what to do. It's hard, but I leave 'em behind and go over to see Syl.

[open to Syl and Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
[Tuesday, August 19]
[The doctor's office]

I been havin' the worst dreams ever. All full of dead stuff. Dead birds 'n dead fish in rivers 'n dead plants. And Tez was in 'em, too, and I ain't dreamed 'bout him for ages.

I felt all kindsa sick when I woke up, and my head hurt worse'n it's done for weeks. Didn't think it was bad enough for Momma to be as scared as she was, but then she said that I'd been sleepin' for four days, just like last spring when everyone was dreamin'. The dead birds really happened, she said, and that was bad enough even without nothin' else, but there was more. She didn't wanna say it, but I can always tell when she's tryin' not to say somethin'. Her eyes sorta crinkle out at the corners.

Syl got shot, is what she didn't wanna tell me.

Some of them nasty townies shot her. Yeah, the sheriff got the people who done it and she arrested 'em, but they shot her! Some folks say it was 'cause they knew she does magic and some folks say it was just 'cause she's from the carnival and some folks say it's 'cause the abbey don't want nobody in town who ain't from the abbey. Everybody's been scared for days.

Momma didn't want to let me go see her 'cause she was scared I might get shot too, 'cause if they'd shoot Syl then maybe they'd shoot everyone from the carnival, but I gotta go see her. I gotta.

Cept I ain't eaten in four days, and I got all wobbly when I tried to stand up, so I guess I ain't goin' nowhere. But as soon as I was feelin' better I told Momma I was goin'.

I got my sketchbook and I got some flowers. She don't like pretty fluffy flowers, but you're s'posed to bring flowers when somebody's sick, and I 'member the ones that Syl says are good for when you're sick if you make 'em into tea, so maybe she'll like those.

I go all the way into town, and I don't talk to nobody on the way in. Don't see many folks on the way in, but I don't look at 'em or talk to 'em. Maybe folks in town don't like carnival folks no more?

Syl's at the doc's office, and I know where that is. Doc ain't there, but I go inside anyway, and I know which door goes to the room where sick folks stay when they gotta stay overnight. That's gotta be where Syl is.

I knock on the door, and wait.

[Open to Syl]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Wednesday, August 4
Afternoon


We're havin' a Summer Sun Day next week. Gotta do somethin' different, I guess, to keep people comin' in. So the gates're all draped in yellow and I'm makin' pictures of suns to put on all of the rides and booths. Some of 'em are just paint, and some of 'em I put tears in so they've got rays that glow and shimmer like the real sun.

It ain't enough. It ain't never enough.

I gotta do somethin'. I want to move is what I want. It ain't right that we're comin' on more'n a year here! It's summer, and we should be goin' north to them towns all full of pine trees where we set up on land that used to be farms next to lil white churches. Not everybody cares. Momma likes it here. She likes sittin' still.
But I feel like we should be goin' somewhere and we ain't.

I should be doin' somethin' big and I ain't.

Maybe it's because I ain't got nobody to be a priestess to no more. Maybe it's just that I want to move on.

Used to be that some nights I'd go to the corner of my room where I keep all the best pictures, the ones I made look the most real, and look at 'em. Now I don't 'cause lots of 'em just make me sad. That's where I put the pictures of Nu and Abzu - tore 'em right out of my sketchbook 'cause it hurt too much to look at 'em and put 'em way in the back. All the paintings I done while I was all wrong in the head are there, too. Don't wanna look at 'em.

Put the painting of Zann and the Carousel there too, 'cause it makes me sad to think 'bout her not bein' all the way right. I helped her, and I made it so's she didn't have to see the world wrong no more, but it still didn't fix it all, and it didn't make us right. We don't talk like we used to. We don't hardly talk at all, 'cause what'd we say? We smile and stuff, and say hey when we see each other in the cooktent, but that's it.

Still makes me happy to see her actin' all normal-like. She's still goin' into town to see all the friends she made there, 'cause it's Zann and she's got a hundred friends. She's still jokin' with all of the family folk and workin' on her machines, too.

I finish another sun, all shiny and flat, and grab my sketchbook. I gotta get out.

I go down to the river, down to my favorite spot, where I can see the river stretchin' far off into the distance, and I start to sketch.

[Open to Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Monday, May 24
Outside Genny's trailer


Everythin was great, and then it wasn't.

Nu had a baby. I helped Nu have a baby. Never thought I'd like babies so much, but this one was different. Never thought there'd be so much to see in a baby that didn't even talk or nothin'. I went to play with them every day, and I drew pictures of 'em both. Real good pictures, too, better'n I done for ages. And I told Momma all 'bout everythin' the baby did. I told Zann, too.

And then the baby was gone, and Zann was gone too.

For a couple days she was fine, and then she went back to seein' every broken thing in the world, and it hurt her so much that she couldn't hardly stand up.

It was all them wishes. Everyone started talkin' 'bout what they'd wished, and we all figured out that's what done it. Sadie wished she didn't have to dye her hair no more and Dale wished he had a nice gal to go 'round with and Momma wished she could do a flip off the back of her horse. Guess Nu wanted to have a baby. And Zann wished she was better.

I wished all kindsa stuff too but none of 'em came true. Can't even wish right no more.

I sit on the steps of my trailer, flippin' through my sketchbook to find an empty page. Guess I can draw a lil better'n I could before, at least. I want to draw more, too. Just wish it didn't make me so sad to look at all them pictures of the baby…

[Open to Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Monday, May 24
Outside Genny's trailer


Everythin was great, and then it wasn't.

Nu had a baby. I helped Nu have a baby. Never thought I'd like babies so much, but this one was different. Never thought there'd be so much to see in a baby that didn't even talk or nothin'. I went to play with them every day, and I drew pictures of 'em both. Real good pictures, too, better'n I done for ages. And I told Momma all 'bout everythin' the baby did. I told Zann, too.

And then the baby was gone, and Zann was gone too.

For a couple days she was fine, and then she went back to seein' every broken thing in the world, and it hurt her so much that she couldn't hardly stand up.

It was all them wishes. Everyone started talkin' 'bout what they'd wished, and we all figured out that's what done it. Sadie wished she didn't have to dye her hair no more and Dale wished he had a nice gal to go 'round with and Momma wished she could do a flip off the back of her horse. Guess Nu wanted to have a baby. And Zann wished she was better.

I wished all kindsa stuff too but none of 'em came true. Can't even wish right no more.

I sit on the steps of my trailer, flippin' through my sketchbook to find an empty page. Guess I can draw a lil better'n I could before, at least. I want to draw more, too. Just wish it didn't make me so sad to look at all them pictures of the baby…

[Open to Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Friday, May 21, before dawn
Near the edge of the carnival living lot

Nu had a baby.

I helped Nu have a baby.

Ain't been thinkin' of nothin' else since it happened. Took a big long shower and washed all the birth and blood off me and then went to bed, but couldn't sleep. Couldn't stop grinnin'. Nu's got a baby. And I helped! I was a priestess again.

Worked all day today, and went back to see the baby five times. Still can't sleep. Can't stay inside.

Gotta go walk. Gotta go somewhere. Maybe to the river. Maybe just outside.

Still wish Tez was here. Look, I'm a priestess….

[Open to Micah]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Friday, May 21, before dawn
Near the edge of the carnival living lot

Nu had a baby.

I helped Nu have a baby.

Ain't been thinkin' of nothin' else since it happened. Took a big long shower and washed all the birth and blood off me and then went to bed, but couldn't sleep. Couldn't stop grinnin'. Nu's got a baby. And I helped! I was a priestess again.

Worked all day today, and went back to see the baby five times. Still can't sleep. Can't stay inside.

Gotta go walk. Gotta go somewhere. Maybe to the river. Maybe just outside.

Still wish Tez was here. Look, I'm a priestess….

[Open to Micah]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Tuesday, May 18
Afternoon, on the riverbank


I had the dream again.

Been havin' 'em for days now.

Fire and stars and pounding blood and jaguars running through the jungle Tezcatlipoca, Tezcatlipoca…

Woke up still feelin' the jungle hot, and then I felt cold, and then I cried.

Still, it don't feel so empty when I wake up no more. Not real bad like it used to. Momma says that means I'm gettin' better. I dunno. Still hurts, but somethin's different now, since I started havin' the dreams.

I still wish Tez was here.

Leastways I'm doin' a little art? Gotta do some new sketches for the concessions. Ain't too hard drawin' pictures of food, I guess. Don't gotta worry 'bout 'em lookin' real or nothin'. They ain't good, not like I used to draw, but they're okay.

I draw cotton candy and ice cream cones till I feel sick like I ate too much of 'em and I just gotta get outside. So I take my sketchbook and wander down by the river, lookin' for a good place to sit. Maybe out here I'll draw better...

[Open to Nu first, maybe others]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Tuesday, May 18
Afternoon, on the riverbank


I had the dream again.

Been havin' 'em for days now.

Fire and stars and pounding blood and jaguars running through the jungle Tezcatlipoca, Tezcatlipoca…

Woke up still feelin' the jungle hot, and then I felt cold, and then I cried.

Still, it don't feel so empty when I wake up no more. Not real bad like it used to. Momma says that means I'm gettin' better. I dunno. Still hurts, but somethin's different now, since I started havin' the dreams.

I still wish Tez was here.

Leastways I'm doin' a little art? Gotta do some new sketches for the concessions. Ain't too hard drawin' pictures of food, I guess. Don't gotta worry 'bout 'em lookin' real or nothin'. They ain't good, not like I used to draw, but they're okay.

I draw cotton candy and ice cream cones till I feel sick like I ate too much of 'em and I just gotta get outside. So I take my sketchbook and wander down by the river, lookin' for a good place to sit. Maybe out here I'll draw better...

[Open to Nu first, maybe others]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 22
The Carnival


There was so long when all I ever wanted to do was be 'round Zann. And then there was so long when it hurt too much to even think about bein' 'round her. And now…I don't hardly know. Don't know if Zann thinks I'm stupid. Don't know if she's mad at me for makin' her sad.

But I gotta do it. The twins're right. I gotta do it. I gotta talk to her. Maybe I'll even feel better if I do.

So I go to the cook tent. 'Cause she's gotta eat, right? I do too, and I gotta stop askin' Momma to get my food for me. Hate the way people still stare'n whisper sometimes, but I gotta do it.

I make sure I got coffee just the way she likes it, and I find Zann where she's sittin' way out on the edge of the tent. "Um." Clear my throat. "Hey?"

[Open to Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 22
The Carnival


There was so long when all I ever wanted to do was be 'round Zann. And then there was so long when it hurt too much to even think about bein' 'round her. And now…I don't hardly know. Don't know if Zann thinks I'm stupid. Don't know if she's mad at me for makin' her sad.

But I gotta do it. The twins're right. I gotta do it. I gotta talk to her. Maybe I'll even feel better if I do.

So I go to the cook tent. 'Cause she's gotta eat, right? I do too, and I gotta stop askin' Momma to get my food for me. Hate the way people still stare'n whisper sometimes, but I gotta do it.

I make sure I got coffee just the way she likes it, and I find Zann where she's sittin' way out on the edge of the tent. "Um." Clear my throat. "Hey?"

[Open to Zann]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 8th, afternoon
Genny's trailer


'Ardly dare to 'ope that it's true, that Genny's alright again, but that's what people're sayin'. Want to - well, not like I can see for myself, but I can talk to 'er, an' if I go with Faith she can see for me.

Still feel strange after that long dream we all 'ad. Edmund an' me, we was right together, it felt like. I wish I knew what 'e thought when 'e woke up.

Feel Faith thread her fingers through mine, an' then I can 'ear 'er again. "C'mon, luvvie, day's awastin'" she says, not unkindly, an' we go off to Genny's trailer 'and in 'and. 'Ear Faith walk up the steps an' knock on the door. 'Ope we don't shock 'er too much.

[Open to Genny]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 8th, afternoon
Genny's trailer


'Ardly dare to 'ope that it's true, that Genny's alright again, but that's what people're sayin'. Want to - well, not like I can see for myself, but I can talk to 'er, an' if I go with Faith she can see for me.

Still feel strange after that long dream we all 'ad. Edmund an' me, we was right together, it felt like. I wish I knew what 'e thought when 'e woke up.

Feel Faith thread her fingers through mine, an' then I can 'ear 'er again. "C'mon, luvvie, day's awastin'" she says, not unkindly, an' we go off to Genny's trailer 'and in 'and. 'Ear Faith walk up the steps an' knock on the door. 'Ope we don't shock 'er too much.

[Open to Genny]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Genny's Trailer
Monday, April 5

tearing breaking something is gone gone GONE can't feel him can't see him can't hear him.

he's nowhere.

I called over and over. Tezcatlipoca, Tezcatlipoca, Tezcatlipoca. Didn't come. Wasn't there.

Wasn't there. Just a hole.

Cried enough in my paints to paint anythin' that was ever hidden ever. Wasn't there. Couldn't make him come back with blood neither. Couldn't feel nothin'.

No more paint. Just cryin' and cryin'. Can't do nothin' else.

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