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"Guys, let's just get back to my house!" I pleaded. "My mom will have my head if anything happens to you!"

"Keep up, we're almost there!" Jason called.

"C'mon, Raye, let's go! Don't you want to see where that music's coming from?" Ayla chimed.

"No, I don't! It's almost nine thirty, and I want to go home before my parents sound the alarm!" I snapped. But deep down, there was the tiniest bit of uncertainty, eating through me slowly, like a maggot through an apple core. I wanted to see where that music, so mysterious, whimsical, full of fun and magic was coming from. I heard an organ, played so well, so happilly, lively and beckoning.

Jason and Ayla suddenly picked up the pace, and I found myself running to keep up. As we ran, I heard the music getting louder and louder, closer and closer. It was carnival music!

"I can hear it better! We're getting closer!" Jason laughed. 

"Please, let's just go home!" I begged, trying to get them to reconsider.

"We're here!" Ayla cheered. We were in front of a gate, with a banner titled, "THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH" hanging over it in purple and green letters.

I looked at the gate and studied it. It was a stony, rough black, with designs of twists and turns, flips and spins, monsters and creatures seen and unseen.

And it was wide open.

"Hurry, hurry, hurry! Tickets, please! Tickets!" I heard a gruff voice to my left. A man, about middle aged, with thick brown hair and a beard, his name tag reading Ralph, stood in a red ticket booth next to the gate. He wore a kind and friendly smile, but his eyes were filled with a spiced mischieviousness, as if we were chocolates he was saving to eat for later.

"Umm, sir, we're just passing by. We don't have any money for tickets," I chuckled nervously.

"No money, jus' gimme yer hand, and I'll stamp it fer ya," he grinned wider, showing his teeth. He held out his hand for mind, his stamp ready.

"Uhh, no thanks!" I said, backing up.

"Oh, lighten up, Raye! If he says no money, then no money!" Jason huffed, holding out his hand. Ralph stamped his hand, leaving a bright red grinning skull where it marked. Ralph gave him ten bright orange tickets and waved him in.

"Yeah, Raye. This looks like fun," Ayla added, and soon her hand was stamped.

"Guys, wait- No!" I stuttered as they walked in through the gate. They ignored me.

"Come on!" they called.

"Well, what're ya waitin' fer?" Ralph asked, his hand held out.

I was silent for a few moments. I held out my hand, then winced, "Stamp it already."

~

The carnival was shrouded in a cheap yellow light, from the olden lights probably used time and time again. I buzzed with chatter, laughter, music, and the sound of the rides. I heard the clacking of a roller coaster, the laughs and screams coming from the funhouses. I heard the faint announcements from the intercoms on every telephone pole. As we walked through the carnival, I kept my eye out for weirdos.

"Ice cream! Frozen yogurt! Get it here!" one voice called.

"Popcorn! Candy! Hot popcorn, cool candy!" another sang.

"Hot dogs! Hot dogs, that's what I got! Hot dogs, hot dogs, nice and hot!" another chimed.

"Free cotton candy for the kiddies?" a man with green died hair and brown eyes laughed.

"Oh, don't mind if I do!" Jason took the candy and thanked the man. He also got one for Ayla and me.

"No, Jason," I started. "We have to-"

He cut me off, "Fine, more for us, then!"

As they ate their candy, I looked around nervously. The people seemed to be... Watching us. Looking at us with great interest. As soon as they caught my eye, they turned back and resumed their work.

"Attention, visitors! The show will be beginning momentarilly! Please head towards the green and black tent!" the intercom rang.

"Cool, let's go!" Ayla laughed. We ran off towards the tent, and were met by Ralph.

"Tickets, please," he smiled. Jason and Ayla and I gave him two tickets each and he ushered us inside.

The seats were filled with monsters! Tall monsters, fat monsters, skinny and short! Furry and scaly and all of that sort! I screamed in terror and tried to run out of the tent, but Ralph blocked my way. I looked up at him and screamed. He was covered in thick brown fur, his eyes peeking out through the bundle of fur.

"Woah, girl! What's got ya so frightened?" he asked.

"Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma..." I stuttered.

"Oh, you'll have to excuse her. She plays WAY too much Amnesia and Ao Oni and Slender, and such," Jarod said, glaring at me.

The inside of the tent had a large wooden stage with a bright green curtain in front, and beautiful red velvet seats. He sat us down at three open seats in the front row. I sat in my seat, trembling and whimpering.

"Woah, we're really lucky!" Jason looked around, smiling, his eyes wide.

"I just can't believe this is free!" Ayla said.

"There's no such thing as free," I heard Ralph chuckle under his breath. "You'll pay the price sooner than you think."

"What?" I turned around, but Ralph had disappeared.

~

The cheering in the audience subsided as the lights dimmed. The stage lights clicked on, and suddenly the air was alive with black bats, screeching and flapping, their eyes glowing red. They roosted on the wooden support beam above us and settled.

A short, stout man with hair greyed with age and a long nose came out. He wore a bright red theater coat and a black top hat. He held a purple painted bullhorn.

Suddenly, the carnival music started up again. However, it sounded different. A little more sinister.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Ghouls," he announced into his bullhorn, "Step right up! Behind this curtain lies a ghastly concoction of delight, horror, fantasy and terror!"

The crowd of monsters, including Ayla and Jason, cheered and whistled. I sat silent and stared.

"Your every wish is our command! Your every whimsical desire brought to life! But I'm warning you... There's ALWAYS a price. WELCOME TO THE GREATEST SHOW UNEARTHED!!"

The lights cut out, and I cried out. The lights came back on an eerie green. I looked up at the stage, and nearly choked on my scream.

Skeletons, thin and bony, were dancing on the stage, forming two opposite lines. The marched in a steady rythm, in time to the music. The cackled and laughed and sang, some voices cold and high, others rumbly and deep.

That was it. I took out my cell phone and began to dial my parents to come get us. Suddenly, a scaly green hand came out of nowhere and snatched my phone.

"Sorry! No cell phones," a voice growled.

So that was it. I was stuck. All I could do was sit and watch.

~

A bat with glowing green eyes fluttered from the roost and onto the stage. In a puff of smoke, a boy, about two years older than me, stood in place of the bat. He wore a dark purple suit and gloves with slime green trims and a green bowtie. On top of his brown, nearly black-haired head sat a hat with the same color scheme. His eyes were an unusual green, the same as his trim. He had a purple cane topped with a black skull with green gems for eyes. He wore a half-amused, half-devious expression, as if he was planning to to do something very nasty indeed to us. 

Somehow, those eyes looked familiar. I knew I had seen them before, but I couldn't remember where.

He looked at me briefly, as if he forgot who I was and was trying to remember, then turned his attention back to the audience.

"Welcome, my friends. I am the Ringmaster! The dark carnival is in town!" he cackled, pointing at the audience. "You'd better be ready!"

The crowd whistled and cheered loudly, clapping and stomping and hooting and hollering and all that.

"For our first act, we'll need a volunteer from the audience!" he waved his cane over the crowd.

As if on cue, a skeleton hopped from the stage and scoured the audience. "This one!" He pointed.

"Jason, my friend! Step right up!" the Ringmaster called. I gasped. How did he know his name? We hadn't introduced ourselves.

Jason laughed and stepped up to the stage.

"Everyone give a big hand for Jason!" the Ringmaster ordered. The audience clapped politely.

The curtain rose, revealing a spinning wheel with four clamps on it. I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I felt really nervous.

"Just step right up here, and my skeletons will strap you in; Yes, just like that." The skeletons ushered him in, and set the clamps tightly over his wrists and ankles.

"So, what do I do?" Jason chuckled nervously.

"Oh, just stay still; Don't move a muscle, and I mean it," the Ringmaster growled. He snapped his fingers, and in a puff of smoke, a rotating mechanism appeared by the wheel. Immediately, two skeletons ran towards it, and began to turn it.

The wheel began to spin, slowly at first, then faster and faster as the skeletons pumped. The crowd began to chant and cheer, prompting the skeletons to pump faster. Jason's face turned red, then green.

"Hey... Oh... Help! I'm getting dizzy! Stop the wheel!" Jason yelled. His half-hearted pleas were ignored, and as the wheel turned faster still, he began to scream.

The Ringmaster snapped again, and a butcher knife appeared in his hand, provided by the skeletons.

"Remember what I said, Jason! Keep still!" the Ringmaster cackled. He threw the knife, and it twirled in the air.

"Oh, NO!" I shrieked.

The knife embedded itself in the wood of the wheel with a thick, wooden thunk, right by Jason's head. The skeletons immediately stopped.

Jason turned one last time, and then he was upright again. All the color had drained from his face, his eyes wide, his body trembling. He retched and lowered his head, his stomach emptying out its contents. He panted, and looked over where the knife was. It had just missed his ear by a centimeter.

He stared for a few moments, then let out a low, weak, rumbling groan from his throat and his head fell to the side. His eyes had rolled back into his head, and soon closed.

He didn't open them again, and he didn't make a peep.

~

I quickly got up to leave. I was stopped by a furry dark purple monster with bright orange horns. His fangs poked out over his bottom lip, and he had a glazed look in his eyes.

"Leavin' so soon?" he growled.

I stopped and stared at him. "N... No. I wasn't leaving." I quietly sat back down, trembling.

"We'll need another volunteer for our next act!" the Ringmaster declared. "Who's going to be the lucky one?"

The crowd of monsters cheered and pointed at Ayla and me.

"This one!" half of the monsters pointed at me.

"No, THIS one!" the other half pointed at Ayla.

"Hmm..." the Ringmaster pretended to consider it. "Who to choose?"

"Not us, not us, not us..." I prayed silently.

"This one!" the Ringmaster pointed his cane.

"Yes!" Ayla pumped her fists and cheered along with the crowd. She stepped up to the stage, and the Ringmaster snapped his fingers. A wooden table appeared, with four ropes and wheels on the top and bottom of it.

I felt my breath hitch. I didn't like where this was going!

"OK, Ayla, just lay down right there with your arms up. There you go!" The skeletons secured the ropes around her whists and ankles, and each took their places at a wheel.

"Uh, this... KInda hurts!" Ayla laughed uneasilly. "Wh-what are you going to-"

"You've always wanted to be taller," the Ringmaster hissed. He snapped his fingers again, and the skeletons started rotating the wheels. The ropes tugged at Ayla's limbs, and I heard her gasp with discomfort.

"H-h-hey! Take it easy! OW!" Ayla cried as the skeletons kept going. Her grunts and cries of pain soon turned into screams.

"STOP it! STOP it!" I yelled, but my words were lost in the enthusiastic cheers coming from the monsterous crowd.

Ayla wailed and weeped, screamed and sobbed, her cries of agony filling the tent with a sinister echoing melody of pain. Her limbs were dangerously pulled out now, and looked ready to rip out of their sockets at any minute.

Ayla couldn't take much more, she was hyperventalating, her chest heaving. Her cheeks were raw and red, and her limbs looked limp like noodles from being stretched so far.

"Want it to end, Ayla?" the Ringmaster snickered. Ayla trembled, and nodded. "Very well, then."

The Ringmaster snapped, and one last rope, provided by the skeletons,  made a noose around Ayla's neck.

"No!" I cried.

"On the count of three, I want you to let go of the wheels and put her upright!" the Ringmaster ordered. "One."

"Wait! Stop!" I sobbed.

"Two. THREE!"

The skeletons released her from her limb-ropes and quickly pushed the table upright. While this was going on, another skeleton tossed the end of Ayla's noose up to the rafters above the stage.

It all happened so fast. I couldn't do anything to stop it. The rope tugged, and Ayla was lifted into the air.

I heard the crack of Ayla's neck breaking, her spine severing from her neck bone. Ayla took one last ragged breath, and her mouth dropped open.

Ayla's eyes stared straight at me, but I knew they saw nothing.

~

I sung back into my chair, quivering with sobs. Two of my friends were gone. Jason had been frightened to death. Ayla had been hung. And I was sure my death would be the worst one of all.

"Oh, dear," the Ringmaster clicked his tongue. "I think someone's unhappy that she didn't get her turn yet! Not to worry, my dear, there will be plenty of time for that."

I jumped from my seat and pushed the monsters out of my way. The protested and complained, but I kept going. I knew I had to get out of this carnival of horrors.

"Hey! Stop her!" the Ringmaster ordered.

Ralph and another guard tried to block my way out of the tent, but I pushed through them and tore out of that tent. I  ran, afraid for my life. The workers had turned into monsters, as well. The signs for ice cream and cotton candy and such were replaced with frozen eyeballs and spider's webs. I retched, but I still pushed my way through.

I ran back towards the direction of the gate, but it was gone! Replaced with a brick wall that even I couldn't climb over!

"You there!" a voice called, obviously not pleased.

"Eep!" I quickly scrambled through the carnival. The workers tried to distract me, but I didn't care. I had to hide!

I stopped in front of a building called "THE FUNHOUSE OF MIRRORS". I looked back, and Ralph and the other guard were gaining on me.

I quickly pushed through the door and ran though the house. Mirrors surrounded me, and I saw my reflection everywhere.

I quickly did a three-sixty, to see if anyone had followed me in. I saw no one.

I panted in relief, and sat down. I thought they wouldn't dare to come in and follow me. I was already lost enough as it was.

I looked up suddenly, and the Ringmaster stood in one of the mirrors. He glared at me with a red-hot sizzling anger and hatred that sent shivers down my spine.

"Just leave me alone! Haven't you already caused ENOUGH harm?!" I hollered, trying my best to look unfazed.

The Ringmaster's eyes blinked wide, but he still wore that same angry expression. He stayed silent. Then he stepped back, and his reflection disappeared.

I panted, hoping I had scared him off. But when I turned around, he was glaring down at me in another mirror.

"Go AWAY!" I yelled, slapping my fists against the mirror. The slightest hint of a smirk crawled across his face, and the reflection disappeared.

I stood up and clenched my fists. I was angry. VERY angry. "All right, you shiftless cur! Come out and face me like a man! No more hiding! No more games!" I dared.

Silence.

Suddenly a pair of gloved hands came out of nowhere and clamped over my eyes, blinding me. I screamed and thrashed, unable to release myself.

"What?" the Ringmaster chuckled sinisterly. "You asked for it!"

~

He pulled me so that I was turned around and facing him. My eyes were still shut as tight as they could go. He pulled me close and hissed, "Look at me, kleines Mädchen."

"Go screw yourself, you son of a barrel," I spat.

He pulled me closer and chuckled, "It wouldn't take much to rip that tongue out, my dear. Make this easier on yourself."

I opened my eyes and glared at him. "Why did you kill my friends? And why are you going to kill me?"

"Because you and your friends have to pay the price of admission, of course. Nothing is free, you know that. We can supply anything your heart desires, but the consequences will surely be dire."

"あなたは病人です," I shuddered.

The smile on his face disappeared.He brushed my bangs out of my eyes and sighed. "There's only one person with eyes in that kind of blue. Is that you, Raye?"

"That's another thing! How did you know our names?" I demanded.

"Well, you should know," the Ringmaster chuckled, turning me around so we were facing a mirror. He rested his hands on my shoulders and stared at me in the reflection. "I was the first person you ever roleplayed with."

My eyes widened. No, it couldn't be! "J-"

He clapped his hand over my mouth to silence me. "It's nothing I need to know."

~

The Ringmaster turned me back around and hugged me tightly. I hugged him back and tried to process this new bit of informatioon.

He snapped his fingers and in his hand appeared a black rose. He tucked it behind my ear and smiled.

"What are you thinking?" I snapped.

He didn't reply, but reached down and gently took hold of my hand. He put one hand on my shoulder and moved my free hand to his. Then I understood. He wanted to dance.

We began to spin around, waltzing maniacally. I hated to admit it, but I was actually having fun.

He suddenly turned me around and crossed his arms over me. "Come inside, for the ride; Your deepest darkest fears." -With this, he turned me back around and dipped me- "The best night, of your life; You're never leaving here." -He turned me around again and clapped his hands over my eyes to the rythm of his rhyme- "The unknown, the unseen; It's what you're gonna find." -He uncovered my eyes and clasped the sides of my head to the beat again- "Witness this, witness that; Until you lose your mind!"

He turned me back around and we waltzed some more. I felt really dizzy about now, and my legs felt ready to give out.

He suddenly pressed into me, planting a hard kiss on my lips. It wasn't that long, but it was still enough to send electricity rocketing through my body.

I pulled away and glared at him coldly. "What was that?!"

"You seemed tired," he smiled, his half-devious, half-content expression leaping back onto his face.

I opened my mouth to retort, but felt instantly light-headed. The world spun and darkness crept into the edges of my eyes. He let go of me and I collapsed to the floor.

"Well, now, isn't that better?" I heard the smile in his voice, echoing through my head as I slipped from consiousness. "Well? Isn't it?"

I didn't reply, only a quiet but high moan escaped my mouth. As I slowly faded into blackness, I heard a reprise, singing along to the carnival music I heard in the tent-

Welcome to the lower birth;

The Greatest Show Unearthed!

We appear without a sound;

The Darkest Show Around!

We will leave you in a daze;

Madness, murder, dismay!

We will disappear at night;

With blood on the concrete!

r4mrl  ,rf2e38

m#dr;.,m4a,lrkj

lr4dkshhrfve;siug;iegivesuo9gvhedigveusfigvesurgikvhydsfu7shxy6u7h7d8cf

Hello.

I don't appreciate this story being published, but oh well.

The writer of this, as they say, "creepypasta" and "shipping", is now otherwise out of service.

She has yet to wake from her deep dreaming. Forever she will wander with me.

Not one of you are safe.

Jimi, Lewis, and Anthony; I'm coming for you next. Haha.

Everyone comes to me eventually; It is unavoidable. HAHA.

~ The Ringmaster

(P.S., I enjoyed watching the writer's unconsious body collapsing on the keyboard. She typed very unique words. c:)

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