|Le Cirque des Rêves
Author: TabsEmSemble PM
A collaborative story; because I don't believe that we are the only ones who visit the Circus in our dreams.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 10 - Words: 12,318 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 07-17-12 - Published: 04-27-12 - id: 8063526
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sorry about the wait - for excuses, see my last chapter. XD
Paris. They were going to Paris. Just last night, Freya hadn't been able to stop the tears from flowing; now, however, it's a smile which she can't keep off her face. Paris. She's never been before, and she can't quite pin down the reason for her excitement. Is it simply the fact that she's going somewhere new? Or the joy she can feel exuding from those around her? Or perhaps it's just that the morning has dawned bright and fresh, and that the sun is shining through the canvas of her tent.
Also, she thinks to herself, she has made a new friend. She's never seen two auras which are the same, but even so, there had been something incredibly special about Atlanta's. Not just the colours inside it, either: it was so open, despite all that she had been through. And yet... There had been something else about it, too, something Freya can't quite put her finger on. Maybe she would just have to look again.
Auras aside, though, she does want to see Atlanta again. She feels something of a debt towards the girl; she can't say how grateful she had been for those words. And – well, Atlanta had been so honest, so open and trusting with her, and what had she given back? A name. It didn't seem a fair trade, all that for a mere name. So Freya was going to attempt to share her past, too – although she has to wonder if attempt will be the key word here. She'd thought that she would just be able to start a new life here, and be able to pretend that nothing had ever happened. She'd wanted to put it all in the past and move on. That had been naive, she supposed. But now was not the time for welling. Now was the time for – well, for finding out where she could find Atlanta, actually. This is the biggest flaw in her plan, one she hadn't quite thought through.
She looks around her tent. She'd been instructed that she could leave it however she wanted, and that everything would be sorted out for their journey. Well, there was only one sure-fire way to find her friend, and she doesn't think she can procrastinate any longer. She'll have to brave the outside world. Laughing aloud at how silly she sounds, she grabs a coat and steps out into the sunlight.
Outside, Freya wanders. It's invigorating to have lost the time constraint of dusk until dawn, and to be free to do as she wishes. The last time she had visited the Circus, she had seen this section as off-limits; but now her options seem endless. She can tell that most of the tents she passes by are empty, though the spiralling pathways are most definitely alive with the behind-the-scenes bustle. The volume seems to be rising with the sun – no trace of the night's stunned silences is left.
At last, she spots a familiar set of colours. She can see immediately how much more relaxed Bailey is than he had been when she first met him, though a tiny twinge of exasperation still remains. He looks up and smiles when she approaches, but his attention is soon ripped away by a young boy. Ah. This seems the be the source of Bailey's frustration. A few words later, the boy bounds off, reminding her somehow of an inquisitive puppy.
'Evangeline.' Bailey greets her, and she links, still not entirely accustomed to being addressed as such. 'How went your opening night?'
Well, she's trying to be more honest. She sighs. 'Not as well as I had hoped. I hadn't quite anticipated the... scope of the place. But I'll keep working at it. I promised you every opinion, and that's what I intend to deliver.'
' Thank you. I'm glad you're dedicated. Although – don't overwork yourself now, will you? As much as we value opinions, we don't want that.'
'I'll try not to.' She answers with a grin.
'Now, is there anything I can help you with?' He asks.
'As a matter of fact, there is, actually. I was wondering if I could ask you a question.'
'Thank you. Well, I'm looking for Atlanta, but I don't really know where to find her. I was wondering if you could give me some idea?'
'Atlanta? Yes – well, actually, I can give you better than an idea. Benjo!' He calls, and the young boy she saw scampers up, seeming to appear from thin air.
'Celia was really busy, but I asked Marco, and he said-' The boy, maybe nine or ten, screws up his face in concentration.' 'He said that it's almost sorted, he just needs few more things and a bit more time. And then I saw Widget, and he said that I should do a performance pretending to be a puppy, but I think he was just joking because-'
Bailey cuts him off with a laugh. 'Yes, he was joking Benjo. We've got much more important things for you to do than pretend to be a puppy. Benjamin, this is Evangeline. Evangeline, Benjo, also known as the only reason the circus runs smoothly.' Benjo nods proudly, and Bailey ruffles his hair.
'I've got another job for you, Benjo. D'you remember you helped put up some tents yesterday? Well, you know the one which was closest to Isobel's tent?'
'The one that was closest to the fence except for those ones which-'
'That's right. Well, close enough. Now, would you escort Evangeline there for me? She's looking for Atlanta.'
'The one who drew me the picture?'
'Okay! Follow me, Evangeline.' Beaming, the boy bounces off, leaving Freya behind completely.
'Benjamin!' Bailey shouts after him. 'You might have to slow down!'
Responding to Bailey's call, Benjo had returned and taken Freya's hand firmly in his. Now, he's pulling her along, not pausing for even a moment. He obviously knows the Circus well.
'Have you always lived here?' She asks him.
'No. Just since I was eight.'
'Ah. And how old are you know?'
'Ten. Bailey says, when I'm eleven, I might be allowed my own tent.' His excitement shows in their increased pace. She continues to ask him questions, curious as to how he got here, but the answers are those of an impatient young boy, and she cannot gleam much from them.
Soon, Benjamin comes to abrupt stop, and indeed, parts of the fence are just visible beyond the next curl of tents.
'This is Atlanta's tent.' He tells Freya.
'Thank you very much, Benjamin.'
'You're welcome, Evangeline.' And with that he disappears off once more.
'Atlanta?' Freya calls softly, not knowing the protocol on tents – should she attempt to knock, or just enter, or- But a slightly muffled voice bids her enter, interrupting her thoughts. She does as instructed, seeing the blue-silver of Atlanta's aura before she sees the girl herself. She'd been struck last night by its colouring, though she hadn't really been in a state to appreciate it then. Now, though, she is awed. It isn't a sad blue: somehow, it's strong, wise, with hints of silver the likes of which she's rarely seen before. There are other colours too – but these are fainter somehow, almost as if Atlanta is trying to pull them in, or get rid of them. A burnt, rusty orange – fear? And there, nearly disguised by the strong-blue, a deeper navy tome. This Freya recognises without a doubt. Sadness.
She meets Atlanta's eyes.
'Are you okay?' Freya asks quietly. The other girl smiles slightly, and it seems like the colours become more and more transparent.
She answers with another question. 'Are you?'
'I don't know.' Freya admits. 'But what you said last night really helped me, and I realised that I never really said thank you for it. So thank you, Atlanta. Really. And, I know it's not much, but, well – you trusted me. If you'd let me, I'd like to return that favour.'
Though she doesn't speak, a cyan vein of interest twines itself around the younger girl. Freya takes a deep breath.
'Okay. Right. I guess I'd better start at the beginning then. Are you sitting comfortably?' At Atlanta's nod, she begins.
'I was born in a little town in Wales- barely more than a village, really. When I was little, I would amuse my parents by describing the colours of people. They thought I was just making it up, but they were surprised by how accurate I could be. As I got older, it began to scare them. I always seemed to know how they were feeling, even if they tried to hide it from me. By the time I was eight or nine, they were terrified. They tried to make me stop – they never did anything, not like - but, well, they discouraged me Sent me to my room for saying it, that sort of thing. When I was ten, they thought it had all been in my imagination.
I could still see the colours though. When I was twelve, I found a name for them. Atlanta, I can – I can see auras.'
She stops, needing a reaction, but once again unable to search the colours which have always told her these things. Because she doesn't think she can bear it if her only friend here shuns her as well.
Atlanta blinks, twice. And then, very slowly, she nods.
'I suppose that makes sense. You- look around me before you look at me.' She explains. 'I wondered why, but...'
'So – you're okay with it?'
Nobody else would doubt Atlanta's earnest response. Then again, no one else would see the emotions surrounding it. That rusty orange – fear, worry – is back.
Freya's face falls. 'I'm sorry.' She whispers. 'I'll go, I'll—'
'No. Please don't go. And don't be sorry, not on my account.'
'But I'm scaring you, I'm-'
'Freya. Stop.' Her voice drops, just above a whisper now. 'That's not because of you. I promise.'
For a moment, Freya closes her eyes, and takes a deep breath. Maybe there's a lie in Atlanta's words. But maybe not. And once again she doesn't want to see.
'Thank you.' She says, eventually. She isn't quite sure what for. 'Is there anything I can do?'
'Could you – could you carry on with your story? If you don't mind.'
'Of course. Well, people heard rumours. They became scared of me too. Treated me as if I were a witch. Hardly anyone would talk to me, in the end. Except for my little brother. Christopher. Christopher Morgan Maddock. He was seven years younger than me, exactly, and he – well, idolised me, I suppose. He didn't know to be scared; he trusted me. And I loved having him there. I loved him.'
She stops, and rubs a hand across her face almost wearily. Then she continues, faster now, the words tripping over themselves in their rush to get out. As if they'll disappear if she waits too long.
'When I was fifteen, I realised I could do more than just see auras. If I wanted to – if I needed to, I could change them, too. Manipulate them. It first happened as a survival instinct, of course. Some girls a couple of years older than me – well, that doesn't matter here. But it was hard to manipulate them; tiring. I wanted to practise, though. I wanted to be powerful. Christopher helped me. He was my guinea pig, he didn't mind. And I didn't ever want to do anything to hurt him.
She takes a rasping breath, her voice thicker with the knowledge of what comes next. 'And then I killed him. I don't know what happened – I was just practising, and – and he just fell down, just dropped to the floor – and I didn't know what to do, he wasn't breathing, and I could see his aura just fading – his lovely, lovely aura. And it was all my fault. So – so I ran. I killed my brother and ran away.'
She feels arms around her, trying to calm her shudders. She's never spoken any of this aloud before, never told anyone what she is. Because she is, isn't she? She's a murderer.
Atlanta keeps her arms around Freya, wishing there was a better way to help. Maybe she should be scared, maybe she should have bolted as soon as she'd found out Freya's talent.
But Freya has overlooked Atlanta's past. Growing up in a theatre, she has learned to tell when people are acting. Acting, or trying to convince themselves that a lie is the truth. So it isn't that hard for the younger girl to realise that something else is going on here. To realise that Freya is lying, not just to Atlanta, but also to herself.
Maybe she should have run away. But that way, she'd definitely never find out the truth.
Well. That was fun. It used to end at 'murderer', but I thought that was really rather mean. Hope you liked it!