It was a festival of lights, of laughter. It was a celebration of friendship, of love. It was where the lovers met and the crowds cheered. There was smoke and there was fire. There was an onslaught of cold wind but no one gave up. There were echoes in the arena, there were blasts and bangs and booms. The lights popped and flashed. There were drinks and long walks. It was easy to hide among those people. I was nobody, lost in a reality I didn’t wholly own. Behind that laughter, there were tears. Behind the cheering faces, there was truth and the truth was sadness, the truth was loneliness. On the journey on a stolen pathway, there was no one, there was emptiness.
A foreboding sky hung in its entirety, threatening a storm, threatening rain. People began to disappear, one by one, the crowd grew thin. The rides were rolled away, the stalls closed down, lights went out, slow and steady; one, two, three… Then all. A darkness descended. The sounds of the storm grew louder, the lightning glowed from afar, the shadows thickened. It didn’t last but it ended; the laughter only ghostly, only in my memory. Everything stopped. Trapped in time, I stood while everything went still around me. It was yesterday and it was today. No time ruled here, no hours passed. There was stillness as the images flashed and burned; opening and closing; rushing in and rushing out. It was only alive in my dreams, and the rest was gone; time had frozen and the rest was gone.