Read part 1 below first :)
She would go to that carnival no matter what. She found the “secret” stash of cash in her mother’s underwear drawer. She took a few big notes from the roll and put the rest back under the black lace bras.
She walked the whole forty minutes to the carnival, but had to run the last few meters, mostly for fear of losing her life. That stupid mutt Minky had almost gotten loose this time. Minky – the terror of the town, the most savage dog ever known to man. Most people thought she was rabid. The police had been over to Mrs Warbin’s house at least three times, handing over warnings about Minky; aggressive, scaring the neighbourhood kids, way too hostile to be running around loose in the front lawn. She could run right up to the fence and bark at anything that came too close. Of course Mrs Warbin was a cantankerous old hag who didn’t care what the neighbours or the police or anybody else thought.
The Carnival was closed, season was over. No-one had told her. Last night had been the last night. The other kids were sitting on the field around the outside of the carnival’s barriers watching the carnies pulling down the rides. How had she not known? She felt hot tears well up in her eyes as she watched them packing down the big Ferris wheel. She plonked down on the wet grass, felt the dampness creep through her cotton dress, her tights, her undies , giving her a little shudder. She was too defeated to fight that particularly uncomfortable feeling. She watched the rest of the dismantling in silence, the other kids running around, laughing.
It was much later and darker when she finally got up and began the long walk home. She hung her head and stared at the ground, not really paying attention to much besides the pavement in front of her. She didn’t even notice when the fence to her left changed to the mould covered, putrid pink calling card for danger. Mrs Warbin’s picket fence. Within seconds Minky was next to her, barking savagely, mauling the fence, trying to grab the edge of her mustard coat. She would have jumped out of her skin or ran to the other side of the road. Instead she turned and faced the caged beast. She grabbed the ends of her coat and screamed at the dog.
“You want this? YOU WANT IT?”
Minky paused, mid bark and stared at her through the fence. She was hysterical, screaming louder and louder at the dumbfounded dog.
Suddenly Mrs Warbin was on the porch, coming down the front steps of her house, waving her cane at Adin and yelling out:
“Leave him alone!”
Adin, was amped on adrenalin and anger and all the sadness of her miserable existence.
She was screaming and shaking. Rage was coming out of her in words and tears and urine, running down her leg. Mrs Warbin stopped. She was half-way down the path to the front gate. She was as stunned as Minky, who was still quiet, peering at Adin through the fence, perhaps sensing that Adin’s madness was not the kind she was used to. It was not stable, not predictable or comfortable. Mrs Warbin cocked her head to the side, mirroring Minky, who was now sniffing through fence at Adin’s wetness.
Mrs Warbin took the last few steps to the gate and opened it. She came out, put her arm around Adin and lead her into the house. Minky followed behind her, sniffing her backside, piecing together the last four hours of Adin’s life – fresh wetness, old wetness, field grass, elephants? This was one exciting person. Adin quivered; she was tired, worn down. Mrs Warbin sat her down on a big lounge chair and hobbled off down the hall to some unseen part of the house.
Adin dropped her head to her chest and waited for the shaking to subside. She stared down at the black buttons on her stupid coat and began pulling at one, twisting it until it snapped off. She hid the button down the side of the armchair and began pulling off the next. When all five buttons were hidden there, she looked up and realised she didn’t know where she was.
Then she saw the devil beast lying just below where her feet hung over the end of the chair. Her heart jumped into her mouth as she looked around and began to comprehend what she was looking at: the inside of the old hags pink house! Suddenly she heard the hag shuffling down the hall, clinking things, rattling things as she came closer and closer. She couldn’t get off the sofa and make a quick exit, the hag had set her guard dog at her feet to watch her and hinder her escape.
The hag was getting closer. So this was it, this was how she would die. She hadn’t even seen much of anything yet. So many hours, days wasted sitting in boring classes, eating dry sandwiches, and bruised fruit. She swallowed the raising lump in her throat.
Emerging from the darkened hall, the hag pushed a wooden trolley-like contraption. On the trolley, were not implements for the removal of the brains of little children, no instead there was a steaming pink teapot, two matching pink tea-cups, a sugar bowl and milk jar and a plate of digestive biscuits.
Mrs Warbin poured out the tea, added milk and a teaspoon of sugar. She stirred and handed it calmly to Adin, who stifled a grimace of fear (of death by poisoning) and took the cup and saucer and placed it in her lap, surrounding it protectively with her fingers.
One sip. Adin waited for the poison to overcome her, she didn’t put up a fight, there was none left in her. She was tired. Too tired to care, too tired to even want to care. She just hoped it would be quick, and that she wouldn’t have to cough up blood or her own beating heart.