Sunday, September 15, 1996

The Fairgrounds

It's a beautiful day at the fair; silver laced clouds roll across the bright sky. They appear like flowing seas of satin, all in purest white. A fiery arc of the half covered sun burns bright, like a heavenly flame, bathing the world in golden light. A young man stands alone at the edge of the fair grounds, looking inwards. Behind him lies a forest of ancient oak trees. Before him, beyond the gaily coloured fair, stretches a vast open field. Everything is clearly distinguishable to his eyes, every leaf in the forest behind him, every blade of grass in the field before him. It is spring.

He walks into the fairgrounds, across a palpable boarder. Large, brightly coloured pavilions line the crowded path. Ahead of him lies an enormous fairs wheel, its wooden seats painted bright red, yet is somehow dark and cold. As he boards the ride and it begins to turn, fear rises up inside of him, tieing his guts in knots. Something is strange here, in the entire fair. The light is somehow wrong, somehow less, without changing in brightness. The sounds are not right either, the laugher is somewhat unhuman, and is not so friendly anymore. All the sounds, and sights are disjointed.

He suddenly has the feeling that he is the only human for miles in any direction. Pain is thick in the air. The turning begins to slow, then with a groan of gears and a slight jerk, the fairs wheel stops. The fear remains, and that undefinable strangeness grows stronger. Ahead of him, between two large pavilions, he catches a glimpse of cold white. As he makes his way around the pavilions towards it, he turns off the cobblestone path onto a rough dirt track, with springy green turf on either side. It has a good smell, a fresh and alive smell. When he rounds a bend, the building comes into view. It has a cold look, and the fear once again tightens inside of him. An unfitting megalith, this square white brick squats in the centre of the fair grounds, like a cancer. There are no windows, just a massive cold white wall, and one steel door. Leaning against a wall, between him and the building is a soldier.

He does not spare the soldier a glance. It has become important to him to get inside that building, so he strides confidently towards it, hoping he will not be questioned. He meets no resistance, but the fear grows stronger. When he reaches the door, he finds himself to be actually shaking with tension. There is only thick silence now. He does not bother to turn to see the fair. He knows it's not there anymore, just as he knows that the door isn't locked. It silently opens inwards of its own volition.

Inside, there is only a hallway leading straight ahead. The floor, walls, and roof are all covered in cold white porcaline tiles. There are lights spaced at long intervals, so as he strides down the hall he passes through patches of dark, then light, then dark again. There is no sound here, and it has the smell of sterility, of death. The hallway ends at an elevator. He steps inside. The doors close. The elevator descends. When the elevator doors open, they reveal a large wooden door. Carved into its centre is the word paradise.

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