I stepped onto the already flattened grass littered with a stores worth of candy wrappers and countless ticket stubs, past the rusty iron sign proclaiming the boundary of the annual Hoppings Fair and entered a world of swirling colors with anticipation practically buzzing in the air. I was immediately drowned in sound; the wail of a young girl, the resigned sighs of harassed parents, and the catcalls of vendors. “Step right here ladies and learn your future…” “Shoot ten balloons in a row and win…” “Think you’re strong, hammer the …”. I was so excited that June had finally arrived and along with it the fair which coincidentally opened on my birthday. Which means despite my mother’s all consuming court job and my father’s time consuming new girlfriend they both had no excuse to not take me and my younger brother Hugh to the fair. With a contented sigh I looked around, soaking in the busy, bustling atmosphere that, by making me feel so insignificant made me feel part of something bigger. Abruptly my head whipped to the right and I eagerly eyed the most appealing food stand where freshly made doughnuts were tantalizing sprinkled in sugar and wrapped in brown paper packages. I turned my beseeching gaze upon my parents who were sneaking towards a rubber duck stall. “Its fine,” I told them “I’ll meet you back at the car at 6.” They dithered, torn between guilt and the irresistible lure of the yellow ducks, so I gave them a cheery wave and walked away briskly, thus making the decision for them. They yelled warnings behind me, “Don’t talk to strangers, don’t do anything dangerous,” and the rest of the usual concerned safety nonsense.
Hugh bounced up and down enthusiastically, “Where shall we?” but before he could finish his sentence I gasped. A wispy mist of the brightest pink shimmered over his shoulder. Hugh followed my gaze until he saw it, immediately shrieking he leaped away, batting it aggressively and causing it to vanish. “Hugh!” I exclaimed, half angry for making it disappear and half relieved that it was gone. “What?” he cried defensively, still rubbing his eyes in disbelief. He peered around suspiciously as if expecting someone to jump out and say ‘tricked ya’. Looking around myself I spotted the same mysterious mist again, a few feet away from where we stood and after a second of deliberation, fear battling with curiosity, I ran after it. Hugh followed me looking spooked out, I kept my face blank though unnerved. We ran to the next wisp and though it took us several minutes to move through the thick crowd the wisp did not disappear. “I think it's waiting for us,” said Hugh the wonder seeping through his voice, and indeed the pink wisp was still clearly visible. We jogged after the wisps, each one disappearing just as we arrived.
When the trail ended I stumbled confused. Where was I? Disorientated, I realized just how lost we really were. We seem to have arrived at an empty