Everyone felt thinner, squeezing through black and white light, emerging in a wobbly bucket at the top of an enormous Ferris wheel. They could see for miles in every direction. Jeremy knew they were in a movie set, but he couldn’t tell where the stage ended. Even the sky looked false. He realized why; it was nighttime, but there weren’t any stars.
Sissy was alert, scanning the circus below. “I see the giant riding his chariot,” she whispered.
The Ferris wheel shook. The gears were coming apart. The giant stepped out of his chariot and fixed the ride. Soon their bucket descended.
Leaving, they tried to act normal. A Carney eyed them suspiciously.
They walked through the barricades down a busy street covered in sawdust.
On one side, a shop keeper dressed in Middle Eastern garb advertised ropes ascending into heaven.
On the other side, belly dancers contorted their bodies to a tambourine beat.
Jeremy knew they were in the heart of The Black and White Horror Show. He was about to ask his friends if they spotted anything familiar, when he noticed a ticket floating in a puddle of water. It read Eternal Strength to the Victorious. “There’s another one of those playing cards from the Immortal Game,” Jeremy said. He reached down and picked it up from the sidewalk. The ink smeared in his hands.
“Do you see the pavilion where Ignatius took the photographs?” asked Sissy.
“We are somewhere else. I wonder who dropped the card. I still haven’t figured out if we’re in a movie or an amusement park.”
“We can find out if we walk to the other end of the fairgrounds,” said Brandon. “The movie set or stage cannot stretch to infinity. It must have an end.”
They walked up the maze of streets, taking several rights and lefts until they got to the end.
Max looked behind him at the circus town. It glowed in the darkness. Someone could spend their entire life wasting time down there, purchasing curiosities in the shops and riding the rides, he thought.
They barely made it into the woods when Brandon noticed lights between the trees. In less than a dozen steps they reached the other side. Jeremy was shocked to look down into a valley and see the same circus they had left. He wanted to know for sure. “Max can you walk back through the woods and try to signal us from the other side?”
“Don’t you think it’s risky to use a signal?” asked Sissy.
“Yes, but we need to explore The Black and White Horror Show.”
On the other side of the carnival they noticed a feint light. It could’ve belonged to a firefly. It was there and then it was gone. Max rejoined their group before they looked away.
“Did you see it?” he asked. “Yes, and it looks as if we’re not the only ones.”