Carnival of Sin

Carnival of Sin

A Story by Chelle
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A short story created last year. This follows the protagonist, Gwen, through a horrific experience through a twisted and distorted carnival.

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Pitiful souls

Shrouded in shadow

Feed the hungers

Of the Sept

 

            Strange.  That was the only word to describe what Gwen had encountered so suddenly.  There was no recollection of how exactly she wound up in this place, and she wasn’t sure how she could possibly get out either.  All Gwen could remember was waking up with dizziness to the night sky, her body lying on the asphalt, and her clothes smothered with dirt and ash.  What happened?  That was her thought as she slowly rose from the ground, feeling incredibly filthy as she ran a hand through her blonde hair, speckled with dust.  Had she crashed her car and been thrown out to this place?  She stumbled a bit as she looked around.  That couldn’t have been the answer.  Her crimson Mercedes was nowhere to be seen.  Then again, there was nothing else to see.  In every direction, fog cloaked any possible site, blinding her vision from seeing anything other than the solemn, misty clouds that surrounded her.

 

Gwen only saw one thing:  a towering carnival entrance.  Rounded yellowing pillars with faded red stripes looped all the way up the shaft like a barber’s pole minus the motion.  At the top was a wide wooden banner, carved with intricate swirls and abstract designs of balloons, clowns, and circus animals.  Covering this was a greeting:

 

Carnival

The ultimate unforgettable experience


Underneath the greeting, flickering golden lights accentuated the banner.  To Gwen, this place already seemed promising to be a child’s dream.  But, she found strange how absolutely no one was around the premises.  Was this place even open?  Gwen glanced around and at this point, the carnival seemed to be the only hope of finding her way out.  Maybe there would be a security guard inside.  Carnivals have the police around, right?  She figured that maybe she could find someone who had a phone, and from there she could get out of this mess.  Gwen held her arms and took in a deep breath, hoping her judgment wasn’t wrong as she stepped through the entrance.


The minute she passed under the carnival arch, Gwen found herself walking through thick smoke.  She coughed as the haze infiltrated her nostrils.  Only when she held a hand over her mouth could she even remotely breathe.  For a moment, there was nothing in sight except for the suffocating smog.  As she continued through the mist however, it began to fade.  In mere moments, the fog dissipated completely, leaving behind only darkness.  Gwen paused in her footsteps.  She couldn’t see at all.  Her eyes were open, yet all she could see was pitch black.  Even when she whipped around, expecting to find the entrance behind her, there was still no sight.  For a moment, she began to panic, fearing she was blind.  What made it even worse was that only desolate silence filled the atmosphere with unspeakable somberness.  Not even her heartbeat was heard.  For a moment, she wondered if it was even beating at all.  Gwen shuddered.


“…This isn’t happening” she whispered, her voice cracked and weary.  Even though she barely spoke, it seemed to be the loudest sound compared to the dead silence.  Breaking out into full panic, Gwen started running, her footsteps barely heard compared to the bearing silence that flooded the atmosphere.  She panted as she tripped and stumbled but continued dashing, hoping to find any way out of the darkness.  Despite how much she traveled, she ran into nothing, and even when she reached out to feel her way through this place, only air caressed her fingertips.  For a moment, Gwen began to wonder if any of this was real, and if she was really running through this endless abyss.  Before she had time to linger on that thought, her feet gave out to exhaustion and she collapsed on the ground.  Even when her fingers brushed against the surface, there was only numbness that braced against her skin.  Tears began to form in her eyes.  “This can’t be true…” she softly cried, choking back her sorrow.  Gwen buried her face in her hands, barely getting any feeling, and tried to think.


This is only a dream…” she tried to convince herself, rocking back and forth on her knees as she spoke with her weak voice.  She had to wake up somehow.  Gwen tried pinching her own skin, but only a slight sense of pain was felt.  She pinched harder, yet the pain didn’t increase.  In response, she kept gripping her flesh even tighter with all her strength, even to a point where she was certain she was bruising her skin.  Still there was barely any feeling. 


Gwen sat back, appalled by the whole experience.  She couldn’t believe she was losing her senses in this pitch black atmosphere.  She sulked, waiting to accept defeat and give in to the desolate void. 


Suddenly, a pulse of light appeared in the distance, followed by fading sounds that merely brushed past her ears.  Gwen’s eyes widened.  It was certain now that she really could see, even though what was in front of her was barely visible.  She took in the sight, indulging in her ability to see, and craving for more.  Steadily, she rose to her feet and stumbled toward the light.  The anticipation grazed against her skin and she felt chills run down her spine.  She began to feel again, this she adored.  Relief began to wash over her like a tidal wave as the light grew bigger and the sounds were becoming more distinguished. 


 It was all becoming clear now.  She was approaching the carnival.  The cheery music and laughter of children were heard in the distance.  Even the scent of freshly buttered popcorn and cotton candy began to tease her nostrils.  Lusting for more, Gwen broke out into a full run, feeling like an excited child anxious to see the sights of a carnival for the first time.  She was desperate to escape the clutches of this darkness and would even prefer hell over the desolation.  As the light came even nearer, being only a few hundred feet away, it expanded before her until it grew from a mere pulse to a wall of blinding brightness.  


Gwen sprinted at full speed, reaching her outstretched fingers to the luminosity.  In a moment, her fingers brushed against the glow, and everything slowed down to a near pause.  Gwen heard her heart pounding with each steady rhythm along with the lively carnival she was about to enter, felt her feet moving through the light, and closed her eyes as she permeated the luminescent wall.  Goosebumps mingled across her skin as she felt her hair stand up on end as she passed through the light, listening to the shrill voices of children enjoying the carnival. 


Then all of a sudden, everything was silent.  The laughter ceased and the once joyful music dissipated from the atmosphere without a trace.  Gwen opened her eyes, taking in the view of the carnival:  grey and abandoned on the silvery dirty road with only moonlight to illuminate the deserted premises.  The carnival games stood with their red-striped tents drooped over weakening support beams.  Inside, the counters were smothered with dust and their entertaining features were in pitiful states:  the milk bottle pyramids were left in either ruins or standing covered in cobwebs, balloons once filled to the brim with air or helium simply laid limp and shriveled against the faded colored walls, the waters of the rubber duck or plastic fish ponds ran murky with their toys floating idly on the surface like an abandoned child’s bathtub.  The other amusements were either in the same state or worse, such as a lone wooden Ferris Wheel with a missing riding car, or even a once merry carousel that stood ominously with two of its majestic horses strewn in heaps upon the dirt ground little distance away. 


Gwen couldn’t believe her eyes.  Just how did she end up here?  Not even a few minutes ago did she just hear and smell all the lively features this place once held.  Now all was empty and silent, without even any mere scent of reminiscence of the joys this carnival offered.  What frightened Gwen the most was just how alone she was in the desolate atmosphere.  She turned around, finding the carnival entrance only a few feet behind her and the thick fog that accompanied it as well.  She blinked, more confused than ever.  She could have sworn not too long ago she came out of some tunnel.  Was she hallucinating?  


Suddenly, before she could even linger on that thought, a cry escaped her lips as she dropped to her knees, holding her arm as it throbbed in pain.  She remembered how earlier she was pinching her skin in that same spot hard enough to bruise, yet couldn’t feel any tinge of pain.  Now, it was excruciating and Gwen laid her eyes upon the dreadful mass of violet that formed on her skin.  She cursed, holding her arm tighter in attempt to ease the throbbing. 


“What is this place?!”  She cried out, clenching her teeth as the pain only increased.  At that, she snapped her eyes shut and cursed again.  It was unbearable.

“Whaddaya think, lady?”  A voice answered only a few yards away from Gwen. 

The girl shot her head up after hearing the sound, “…hello?  Is someone there?”  Was she hallucinating again or did she truly hear another inhabitant.  There was still no one in sight.  She stood to her feet and called out again.

“Over here, blondie.” The voice spoke with an edge of irritation. “See the ticket booth right in front o’ ya?”

Gwen looked in the direction of the voice and spotted a large faded red booth with a window and small silver countertop on the front.  She walked towards it and peered inside from the streaked glass, “Hello?”

“Yeah what?” The voice spat at her.  Gwen couldn’t see much from the blurry window but she did make out what appeared to be a middle-aged man lounging in a seat.  She couldn’t see his facial features but from the looks of it, he was shabby with graying facial hair and a dirty navy blue custodial outfit. 

“Ya got somethin’ to say, girl?  Your whinin’ interrupted my snoozin’ time.” 

Gwen jumped as the man’s voice started to rise.  “Look, I just-“

“Lady, whatever problems ya got, I ain’t gonna deal with it!”

“But I-“

“I said scram, girl!  Ya wanna complain, I ain’t gonna hear it.  I only run this side o’ the park n’ here we ain’t in the mood for no sass!”

Gwen tried speaking again, “Sir, please listen, I’m lo-“

“Did I not say I ain’t gonna deal with it?  Scram!  The looks of you makes me lose my appetite!”


Gwen reluctantly gave up on speaking with the man.  It was no use to even attempt any further.  Clearly, he was too lazy to even listen, much less try to help her find a way out.  With disappointment, she walked past the ticket booth and headed down a dirt road bordered with carnival game stands on either side.  As she distanced herself from the man, she could hear obnoxious snores coming from within the ticket booth.  Gwen sighed, hoping that he wasn’t the only inhabitant of this place. 


While walking past the various game stands, Gwen craned her neck, hoping to find any workers in sight.  To her relief, she spotted someone in the ball-toss tent.  Based on his colorful vest and his black apron, he appeared to be a worker.  But, like the ticket booth worker, this man was also asleep, reclining on the dirt floor with his back against a stand that held a pyramid of milk bottles.  Gwen called out to him but received no response whatsoever.  She called out again but to no avail, the man remained in slumber.  Gwen walked past the tent and came upon a water shooting-range game where she spotted another employee, this time a woman, who sat behind the counter with her head buried in her arms like a high school student napping in the middle of class.  Gwen spoke to her, loud enough for the woman to hear.  There was still no response.  Gwen reached out a hand only to pull it back.  She dared not touch them.  Instead, she continued to visit each tent down the road, repeating the same method over and over to each person she found.  Still, there was no response whatsoever.  Every worker Gwen found continued to laze away in their sleep without even bothering to hear her, just like the man in the ticket booth.  It was now no surprise to Gwen that this carnival was in such a pitiful state. 


Giving up on her search, Gwen sighed and leaned against one of the counters.  She hoped to find people here and she had gotten her wish.  Unfortunately, none of these people were active whatsoever.  The only one who would find the willpower to be awake wouldn’t put any effort into helping her.  For a moment, she considered running back to the ticket booth and prying the old man for some answers.  Shaking her head at that thought, she realized it would still be of no use.  That method would only make him angry, which wouldn’t lead to anything helpful whatsoever.  Sighing again, Gwen pushed herself away from the counter and decided to continue down the dirt road in hopes of finding someone or something that could get her out of here.  She ambled down the dusty path, passing tent after tent.  However, the farther she walked; she noticed more food tents were appearing than carnival games.  The change in atmosphere, in a way, started to comfort her.  Maybe there would be someone willing attend to her need.  Looking through a cotton candy booth, Gwen knew she was wrong.


Lying in a pitiful state on the ground was an employee, obese to a point where his uniform struggled to hold together under the bulging fat.  A half devoured stick of cotton candy protruded from his open mouth, drooling pink slime down the sides of his cheeks and into the dirt floor.  Surrounding him were piles of used cotton candy holders that almost reached a height as tall as the counter Gwen peered over.  She grimaced at the sight, trying not to gag from the stench of his foul breath every time he exhaled.  Disgusted, Gwen started to move on to a different stall.  Suddenly, a noise that consisted of a growl that seemed to emerge from the large man.  


Gwen glanced behind her to find him starting to rise from the ground, slowly but surely putting his strength into inching his way to support his heavy back with his plump arms.  As he did so, a low snarl rumbled from his throat.  Gwen covered her mouth as the noise startled her.  It didn’t sound remotely humane whatsoever and as the man made his way to stand on his enormous feet, Gwen felt threatened at the height he took, towering over her.  At this, the girl caught a glimpse of the man’s hideous face:  the nose turned up to a point where it resembled a snout and massive yellowing teeth gleamed when the monster opened his mouth.  Not only that, but Gwen noticed his eyes were open but retained no pupils, almost as if he were blind.  However, he seemed to see just fine as he hobbled his way out of the cotton candy stall and towards a food trailer that sold a variety of carnival treats.  The monstrosity reached a colossal hand to the metal door and, with little effort, ripped off the entrance from its hinges.  With that, he made his way inside and rummaged through the numerous food items. 


Gwen cringed as she watched and heard the man from outside the trailer’s window as he devoured all the food while making sounds like a starving hog being fed a feast.  Disgusted and disturbed at the sight, she fearfully began to distance herself and prepare to run away.  Just then, the glutton paused from his feeding and turned his large head towards the girl, his blank eyes directly on her.  Gwen shrieked and stumbled into a run, as fast as her legs would allow her to, away from the beast.  As she sprinted, she looked back to find him remaining in the trailer, still ominously keeping his empty eyes upon her with an expression of pondering as if whether or not he should devour her.  


Gwen jerked her head to turn away from the sight and continued running.  All of a sudden, she felt two hands catch her on both of her shoulders, forcing her to a stop.  She screamed in surprise, fearing the giant had caught her.  Then, she heard an unfamiliar, yet soothing voice.


“Now, now, young Miss…”  It purred as Gwen felt a tender gloved hand trace up her shoulder and gently take hold of her chin, turning it up so Gwen would see who spoke.  Right in front of her was another man, but he was neither bearded like the ticket booth worker nor was he incredibly overweight like the glutton.  This man happened to be beautiful, with twinkling blue eyes that rested upon Gwen’s face with desire.  His other hand rose from its place on her shoulder and stroked her cheek.


“Why so frightened?  Did the mean, fat man scare you?”  He cooed as a smirk curled from his smooth lips as he continued to caress Gwen’s face.


Gwen wasn’t sure how to respond to this man.  He was incredibly handsome and impressively seductive as well.  But, at the same time, he seemed to be coming on to her a bit too quickly.  With that in mind, she took his hands and gently took them off of her.  On a normal basis, she wouldn’t mind playing along with this gentleman’s tease.  However, her situation was far from normal and her main focus was finding a way out of this carnival.


“Um…could you help me?”  She asked, trying to prevent stuttering from her nervousness.  Usually she was never shy around men at all, but this particular guy was beyond cute than what she was used to.  Not to mention, he caught her off guard:  Running frantically and wearing filthy clothes smothered with dirt. 

“With what, Miss?  Are you lost?”  The man replied with a slight chuckle, “You seem to have lost your way.”

Gwen was relieved someone was finally willing to help her, “Yes, I am!” She spoke with high enthusiasm from her excitement, “I’m not sure how I ended up here but do you know where I can call someone?”

The man’s smirk suddenly held a sinister expression, “You’re not sure how you ended up here, hmm?  Oh, what a shame…”

His reply puzzled Gwen, “Excuse me?” she narrowed her eyes, “I just really need to call someone.  Can you show me where I can find a phone or something?”  She was growing impatient with the extended circumstances.

“Hmph.”  The man’s blue eyes scanned her body from head to foot, “Doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do…” A sneer crossed his flawless face, “How unfortunate you won’t satisfy my appetite…such a lovely complexion you provide.”  With that said, he turned and elegantly strode away from Gwen.

“Hey!” She called out, anger gnawing on her tongue, “I asked you a question!”


He responded by gesturing his hand to a different direction, “I suggest looking elsewhere, my dear.  Maybe the Mirror House?  Or possibly the Circus Tent.  I can imagine the latter of the two since you lack patience.”  He scoffed with a quiet laugh, “Or even the Ventriloquist’s Quarters.”  He shrugged and paused in his footsteps, “But I won’t be of any service.”  He continued down his path until he reached a bright sapphire tent.  Before he parted the curtained entrance, he took one more glance towards Gwen with his cerulean eyes and smirked.  With that, he disappeared into his destination, leaving Gwen dumbfounded and alone.


The girl cursed and stamped her foot on the dirt floor, scattering dust in all directions.  “What kind of game are you playing with me?!”  She shouted at him even though he wouldn’t hear her.  Irritated, Gwen turned a different course and proceeded to find her way to a location the man suggested.  He mentioned a Mirror House perhaps?  Her anger prevented her from remembering much.  She took out her frustration on the ground again and she stomped another foot as she walked.  The delay had grown to become more annoying than anything else.  It was enough to be caught up in the middle of nowhere, but to constantly be denied any assistance was just mockery.  She felt like she landed herself in a twisted “Alice in Wonderland” type of situation:  being stuck in a strange place surrounded by useless people. 


Her mental rant was interrupted at the sight of a medium sized building that she could see in the distance.  Judging from the statue of a large mirror that decorated the rooftop like a spire, Gwen figured it had to be the Mirror House.  Her infuriated steps quickened as she made her way to the site.  She had grown tired of this delay for help and was about ready to start demanding for assistance.


The entrance to the Mirror House consisted of emerald green double doors that were wide open.  Gwen noticed that she couldn’t see anything inside except darkness.  The thought of that calmed her anger only to awaken her fear in remembering her experience earlier being in dark places.  She didn’t feel like losing her sanity more than she already was.  With a sigh, she proceeded into the building anyways.  It still held hope of finding help, despite the fact it was constantly delayed.  Maybe there would be a phone line somewhere inside. 


It was pitch black inside when she walked past the double doors, and the only light that somewhat illuminated the room came from the dull grey atmosphere from outside.  Despite the darkness, Gwen could still make out what was in front of her:  a large ornate mirror.  Had she not noticed her reflection, Gwen would have never guessed its presence.  She approached the mirror slowly, examining her appearance.  To no surprise, she did look a bit ruffled, especially her clothes.  Her makeup seemed to be in decent shape, and though her blonde hair could use a few minutes of taming, it still maintained its balanced volume and shine.  In general, she still looked good and that satisfied her just fine. 


In that moment, Gwen noticed something else in the mirror.  Slowly but surely, the light from outside began to disappear.  Fearing the worst, she glanced behind her and to her dismay, the double doors were closing.  Before she could even move, it was too late and she was shrouded in the complete darkness that now hung over her like a large blanket. 


“No…” Gwen moaned, holding her hands over her eyes in a near breakdown, “Not again…” 

She would have begun crying except a chilling suspicion ran down her spine.  Gwen’s instinct alerted her of how this experience would be very much different than the tunnel she went through earlier:  She wasn’t alone. 


Lowering her hands, she noticed she still faced the direction where the mirror was still in front of her.  Her night vision began to function and she could make out the outlines of herself.  However, she also detected something different.  Bit by bit, something pale began to slowly appear behind her.  For a moment, Gwen could have sworn that it was the doors reopening.  Then, the sick feeling of someone else’s presence took in again and Gwen noticed what she was really seeing:  a woman’s pale face with hollowed black eyes, a sharp nose, and ominous onyx lips.


Gwen gasped at the sight and shut her eyes, wishing that what she saw was just an illusion of some sort.  When she raised her eyelids, she was dismayed and shocked to find the woman’s face inches away from her own, the hollowed eyes glaring at her with rage and her black lips curling back to a snarl.


“Why…” the woman growled, her empty eyes piercing hatred into Gwen, “…WHY DID HE WANT YOU?!” she shrieked and launched a pale fist that nearly hit Gwen and instead collided into a mirror, shattering glass everywhere.


Gwen had to duck to avoid the blow and instead lost her balance, slamming onto the ground on her backside.  She stumbled while trying scatter away from the mad woman, who turned from the mirror to face her on the floor.  From her angle, Gwen noticed the reflections in the mirrors produced enough light to show the woman almost completely:  Dragging her pale face down were long thick locks of raven hair that flowed in loose strands down to the waist, and her clothing only consisted of a sickly green gown that covered her from shoulders to past her toes. 


 The woman’s eyes, however, remained empty as if she only had black eye sockets. 

“What’s so special about you anyway?”  The woman growled at Gwen fiercely, slowly approaching the girl.  “Is it your blonde hair?  HUH?”  She launched another fist that hit a mirror near Gwen, raining shards of broken glass upon the helpless girl.

The raging woman’s voice began to transition to sobs, “Why can’t I have such beautiful hair?  WHY?!”  Another punch shattered more glass on Gwen. 

The girl felt sharp stings as some broken pieces punctured her skin.  She winced from the pain but found the strength to pull herself off the floor before the woman broke another mirror, screaming in jealousy about Gwen’s face this time. 

“You wretch!”  The woman sobbed, “The sight of you disgusts almost as much as SHE does!”  With stiffness, she stood with clutched fists and quivering arms.  “GET OUT!”  She screeched, glaring at Gwen as black tears ran down her hideously pale face.  “I SAID GET OUT!”


Gwen instantly obeyed the woman’s command, running as fast as possible while using the mirrors to guide her towards the exit.  She heard more glass shattering and the cry of the woman following her, still demanding for her to leave.  In a short time, Gwen finally broke through the curtained exit and fell face-down on the silvery dirt.  The Mirror House exit stood right behind her and the woman’s cries were no longer audible.  Gasping for breath, Gwen laid on the ground while beads of sweat ran down her forehead. 


“Poor thing…”  A gentle yet elegant feminine voice spoke from a distance.

Gwen raised her head from the ground to find a great violet tent before her with a sign that held an image of a doll.  In that moment, she knew that it was the Ventriloquist Tent the handsome man had mentioned earlier.  However, the source of the voice was nowhere in sight.


“You’re so worn, aren’t you?  Well, come in, then.  No need to collect dust upon the ground…” The voice spoke again and Gwen found it coming from within the curtains. 


Gwen struggled to raise herself off the dirt and she clenched her teeth as her wounds throbbed and bled from the broken glass.  Once she was on her feet, she steadily hobbled towards the Ventriloquist Tent.  In a way, she was relieved to hear some form of kindness.  But in her heart, Gwen knew that this would only last so long before she would be deceived. 


When she arrived at the entrance, Gwen shakily raised a hand and parted the purple curtain to find the elegant interior:  a large violet room holding various porcelain puppets and dolls in polished glass cases which lined the curtain walls.  Each doll varied from small and stout, to life-sized with shockingly realistic features that made Gwen wonder if they were actual human beings.  The center of the room stood a grand ebony vanity that held three mirrors facing the inhabitant of the tent:  a young and beautiful woman with long luscious golden curls running down her back.  Her clothing consisted of an extravagant wine Victorian style dress that harmonized with the color scheme of her tent.  Her flawless face held no sign of blemish, and her gaudy red lips shone even from a distance.  The only thing Gwen couldn’t perceive about this woman was her eyes, which were covered by an elaborate masquerade mask embellished with intricate designs in shades of lavender and embroidered with fluffed black feathers one side.  For a moment, Gwen couldn’t help but stare in awe.


The woman chuckled, “Entranced by my beauty?  I get that quite often.”

Gwen was taken aback by the woman’s boldness.  What kind of game was she being taunted with now?  A game of pride?  In response, Gwen held her head slightly higher and stared the woman down.  If Gwen could fight back for once, this was her chance.  She was an expert at this kind of challenge.


  The woman seemed to ignore Gwen’s retaliation and simply continued speaking, “That is, except from that pitiful girl in that house you just emerged from.”  She scoffed, “Pathetic, isn’t she?  Envying others to a point where she neglects herself.”  Another giggle escaped her lips.  “But you’re higher than that, aren’t you Gwen?  After all, you do think you’re better than anyone you meet, don’t you?”

“…Who are you exactly?”  Gwen questioned, narrowing her eyes.

With a condescending tilt of her head, the woman replied coldly, “I could ask you the same thing.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”  Gwen snapped.  She had enough with all the nonsense that occurred throughout this whole carnival.  Now, this lady was playing mind games with her.  No words could describe how much she resented those who treated her like so.

“Silly girl.” Replied the woman, “Do you even know where you are?  If you haven’t figured it out by now, you’re more foolish than even I perceived.”  She stood from her cushioned stool and began to approach Gwen, “Allow me to assist you, dear.  Do you even remember how you came to this place?”

Gwen blinked, suddenly baffled from the question.  The truth was she couldn’t recall how she managed to find herself even at the entrance of this carnival.  All she remembered was waking up in the middle of nowhere.

“Didn’t expect you to remember in an instant.  Maybe this will ring a bell.”  The woman spoke dispassionately as she peered into Gwen’s eyes.  The minute she did so, Gwen was frozen, suddenly in remembrance as visions were forcibly permeating her mind, invading her subconscious:


            She was driving down a two-lane road in her crimson Mercedes, just exiting her cheerleading practice at her high school.  As she continued traveling with her favorite Top Pop Hits radio station blasting its mainstream playlist, Gwen recalled tailgating a navy blue Ford right in front of her.  The speed limit was fifty and this idiot decided to drive ten miles below.  Losing her patience, Gwen hastily steered to the other lane and sped to pass the car. While she expressed an obscene gesture at the driver, the girl recognized him.  Some chess team twerp, she thought.  Suddenly, Gwen remembered seeing an oncoming vehicle on her lane while she was still trying to pass the Ford…


The flashback was interrupted by Gwen breaking off the stare from the woman.  She gasped, dismayed at the possibilities.  The woman only smirked, satisfied by Gwen’s distraught emotions.

“So now you remember?  Well, guess where you are, dear.”

Gwen shook her head, “No way…”  A sick feeling in her chest told her otherwise. 


A wicked grin spread across the woman’s mouth, “Serves you right and serves me just fine.”  She giggled sinisterly, “And to think this whole time you didn’t even take into consideration any of your behavior.”  She clicked her tongue, “Always looking out for yourself and only your needs aren’t you?  After all, who cares about anyone else?  What concern was it of yours that bodies were lying dead near the man in the ticket booth?  What did it matter how you saw a woman in despair and only cared about finding help?”  She sneered, “You just couldn’t take the hint that there is no help in this place.”  With a chuckle, she digressed from her insults, “But, dear, I can’t blame you.  I commit the same thing.  In fact, I’m the master of it.  We’re just one of the same, Gwen.”


“Shut up!”  Gwen shouted, “I’m nothing like you!”


“Oh?”  The woman interrogated the girl, staring into her eyes again, “Nothing like me?  But you make such a good ventriloquist.  Always controlling others for your own deeds because you’re too good to take responsibility for yourself.”


            More memories forcibly flashed:  dating guy after guy in her school, getting each and every one of them to do her bidding in exchange for sexual favors. 


“Or maybe using your ‘friends’ so you never have to get your hands dirty?”


            Other memories flashed:  a loyal member of the cheerleading squad who obeyed Gwen’s orders to sabotage the rival team’s scores for the competition.


“Oh, and let’s not forget how you just love to be the highest.”


            Gwen remembered the worst:  Shoving a girl who held a low reputation in her high school into a hallway locker; Spreading rumors about the new foreign exchange student who was earning the attention of too many of Gwen’s guy friends.


“And that pride of yours…it’s desirable to devour.”


            The last memory Gwen was forced to remember was holding her pride up against the woman just a few minutes ago.  After this last mental breakdown, the woman finally released Gwen from the forceful remembrance of her wrongful actions.


The girl stumbled back, shocked at how this woman could control her mind so effortlessly. 

“Well, what do you have to say for yourself, Gwendolyn?” the woman purred mockingly.

Gwen, enraged by the woman’s impudence to address her by her full name and the absolute control she had over her, glared with a defiant stare and answered:

“Go to hell.”

The woman scoffed and lunged her arm forward, wrapping her slender fingers around the girl’s throat, slowly tightening her grip. 

“Stupid girl.”  She spoke coldly as her grasped harder and the girl began to suffocate.

In a short time, Gwen felt her lungs tighten and her throat run completely dry.  Before her vision gave out, the last thing she saw was the woman’s smirking face and her masked eyes peering down.

“You’re already in it.” The woman whispered as the girl finally gave in to unconsciousness.







 

Gwen opened her eyes to the violet room, the vanity before her.  Her appearance had almost completely changed.  Her filthy clothes had been replaced with a Victorian dress that was more fitting for a doll.  Her hair flowed past her shoulders in blonde curls that glistened by the candlelight on the side table.  Her face was still flawless, save for her tightly sewn shut lips; And her skin still remained free of any blemish or any other imperfection, that is except for the bothersome strings that tugged at her limbs and head from the woman who controlled them. 


“You made an excellent delicacy, my dear Gwendolyn.  I’m sure Envy would go mad over you.”  Vanity spoke with a sly smile, “Or maybe Lust would have to reconsider how he turned you away earlier.”  She chuckled, “Oh, how appetizing it is to add another heartless sinner to my collection.  It does bring me good company.”  She giggled once more as she tugged at the strings and forced Gwen to her feet.                          

“Now you’ll see what it’s like to be a puppet…”

A silent scream rang from within Gwen’s stitched mouth as Vanity forced her to walk towards the shelves of dolls:  Towards an open glass case with her name embroidered in black letters.

 

 

 

 

In absence of repentance

Following sin like sheep

The Sept shall take

The soul to keep

© 2013 Chelle


Author's Note

Chelle
Feedback is always appreciated. I wrote this a year ago and my writing skills have improved since. However, I always like critique on my work for further improvement.

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Nix
This deserved every bit of the first place prize. This is truly an amazing piece of work. The allusion to the seven deadly sins was done expertly. The suspense kept the reader engaged throughout the whole thing. Now I would like to see it re-written with your current abilities but this was amazing. The story itself was very powerful and I have not seen the likes of it on WC before. You created a relevant story and connected it with each reader individually. VERY well done. A few things that I saw could use improvement were
1. The dialogue
2. The section at the beginning gets a tad redundant
3. vocabulary
But those are small things compared to how well this story is written. This could easily be my favorite short story I have read on WC. You portrayed every one of the sins perfectly. And the ending with pride was perfect. Amazing work. I would love to see you write more short stories.
Warmest regards
-Nick

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Nix
This deserved every bit of the first place prize. This is truly an amazing piece of work. The allusion to the seven deadly sins was done expertly. The suspense kept the reader engaged throughout the whole thing. Now I would like to see it re-written with your current abilities but this was amazing. The story itself was very powerful and I have not seen the likes of it on WC before. You created a relevant story and connected it with each reader individually. VERY well done. A few things that I saw could use improvement were
1. The dialogue
2. The section at the beginning gets a tad redundant
3. vocabulary
But those are small things compared to how well this story is written. This could easily be my favorite short story I have read on WC. You portrayed every one of the sins perfectly. And the ending with pride was perfect. Amazing work. I would love to see you write more short stories.
Warmest regards
-Nick

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

so yeah- now I've read all of your writings. I feel like through the journey of reading all of your works I learned more about you and in turn I feel like I've learned more about people in life- and more about myself. I think my perception of you changed slightly... you seem more tenderly similar to some character in a movie or something... but yeah I guess I don't really know how to review things very well. I did enjoy this- I don't really know much about short stories as I have read few of them, but it seems like you did a good job... I have no idea how to review stuff, but thank you for being willing to share your writings and thank you for sharing this website with me!... Continue with being the writer and artist and person that you want to be

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"The laughter ceased and the once joyful music dissipated from the atmosphere without a trace" was just one of Many sentences i loved!
holy crap! i did not see that ending and totally loved it!
so creepy . . .and beautifully written. kudos

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Chelle

6 Years Ago

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Added on May 8, 2013
Last Updated on May 10, 2013
Tags: horror, dark, story, carnival, scary, sin, hell, demon, girl, life, death, puppet, distortion, twisted, insane, short story

Author

Chelle
Chelle

MS



About
You could say I'm an amateur writer and artist. I enjoy writing as a hobby and occasionally I like to share my work. I hope you enjoy them. Some of my work is serious, while others can be a bit mor.. more..

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