Adrian's dream always started in the same way. He was walking down a street, a street he had never seen before. It was night-time, and it was kind of scary, but he had Freddy, and Freddy would make sure he was okay. Sometime when he was walking down the street, he would see a big carnival! No matter how far away it was, he could smell the treats and see the lights and hear the sounds. He would pick Freddy up and start hurrying towards it. He would run and run and run, but he couldn't catch up. But then sometimes he would see Mister Clown! That's what he called the clown he saw sometimes. It would run up from the fair and start talking at him real loud. He always said the funniest things, and Adrian always laughed so hard. Sometimes he would shake Adrian, but that only made him laugh harder. Sometimes the clown looked sad, but it was okay because he always cheered Adrian up!
And then he woke up. Rubbing his eyes, Adrian saw he was at his front door. He was sure he had gone to his bed the night before…maybe Mommy had carried him here. Picking up Freddy, he dragged him back up to the bedroom to get dressed.
Please let me go…don't make me hurt them anymore.
The children love you, Laugh. You're the carnival's best draw in years. We have been in need of a man with your talents for quite some time now.
No, please…I don't want to hurt them.
Hurt them? What do you mean? All you do is help them laugh and enjoy a carnival. What's so awful about that?
I hate you…let me go…
Oh hush and go into the dark. You've got another big night tomorrow.
Dawn always liked the clown dreams. She had been having so many of them over the last month, they always made her feel happy inside. The clown always made her laugh so much! Sometimes she would be able to walk with him, but he always tried to make her go home. She didn't like home. Daddy yelled a lot and Mommy always sat at the kitchen table drinking juice and crying. Whenever Dawn went to talk to her she would slap her and yell in her scary voice. Dawn much preferred it with the clown. Sometimes the hazy orange sky grew dimmer as she walked, but it was okay because the clown was there. She would stop and listen to the clown. He told the funniest jokes about big pumpkins and carnivals. Dawn didn't know how his funny words were so funny, but she knew she liked smiling. She would skip through the autumn leaves to that just out of reach fairground, smiling all the way.
It was sunny out. It was morning time. Dawn sat up, rubbed her eyes, and looked around. She wasn't in bed. Where was she? She looked around. It was Missus Baty's front porch! Dawn got really scared, because Missus Baty was scary, so she got up and toddled away as fast as her legs would carry her. She went all the way home, and went in. Strange that the door was open.
Please…even if you don't let me go…spare the children. They haven't done anything.
Ah Laugh, sometimes we feel you really disappoint us. You finally have something to talk to, and you squander your time with pointless pleading. It has been this way for generations, and it shall stay this way for the next generation and every one after that. It is in our nature. Sure, some of the children were taken from us by your friend's blockade, but we have taken care of that quite effectively, haven't we?
You're a killer. If I ever get out of this place, I'll kill you. I will make sure you can't hurt these kids.
Don't we know it? And that just adds another reason to have you stick around. You ought to get some time in, it is always a burden to touch their little minds.
It was Jesse's favorite time of the day, sleep time! He especially liked sleep time now because of the happy man. He always went to bed early so he could see the happy man. The happy man always went to the love place with Jesse. Sometimes Jesse got scared, but it was okay because the happy man held him and made him smile with his nice sounds. Sometimes Jesse walked alone, and he saw the fair, but it wasn't as fun as when he was here. He wasn't here now. But then Jesse saw it! It was a big happy circus! And Mommy and Daddy were there! and Rusty was too! Tears brimmed in Jesse's eyes. Rusty was back with him now! Jesse began running as fast as his little legs would carry him. It felt warm.
And then suddenly…it wasn't so warm. Jesse looked up around him. This wasn't a circus. It was all colors and changing and…talking? Jesse tried to focus and wake up. There was someone…singing…a song. Jesse opened his eyes and looked around. There were a bunch of kids going in a circle around him, spinning around and around. Why did they look so funny? Why were their arms so skinny and their movements so bad? He looked closer. Then he recoiled and screamed.
They stopped moving around him.
Laugh, are you crying? We thought you were over it.
You fucking monster…they're just kids…how could you do this to kids?
Laugh, we have to do it for the children. It's what happens. You cannot stop it in the same way a natural force cannot be stopped. We happen.
What do you care about the children? All you ever do is take them away.
Laugh, you know we love the children. We bring them together to be with us.
It used to not hurt when they laughed…
It's time to rest up, we have a big season coming up.
Elizabeth's dream always started the same way…