Wonderland Carnival


Halo Twelve: Noriko:

The images in her head have become stronger than before. Her mind mixed up delusions with reality. This morning, Noriko awoke to the sound of music. The melody sounded so distant to her own memory. Her lips mumbled the lyrics as if trying to recall the actual song. Noriko closed her eyes and tried to picture it. Only small flashes came to her at the moment. At first, she saw a carousel. She remembered the white horses spinning in her eyes. Noriko's hand reached out for the first head that she saw.

However, a blackened hand grabbed her by the wrist, trying to pull her in. Noriko tried to pull me away.

"Let me go!" she shouted. "Please let me go!" The hand kept dragging her further in. A horrible death rattle jerked her eyes open. Noriko's eyes darted around the room. This isn't my room. This isn't my room! Noriko sat up straight in bed. She could feel her heart pounding against her chest. Get it together… You have to get back. You have to get back! She swung her legs over her bed. The carpet seemed to cave under her feet. Noriko drew back when a pickling sensation went up and down her legs. She drew her head upwards to see a carnival in front of her. The brightly-colored tents sat on either side of her. Noriko could hear the vendors shouting to buy their merchandise to the passers-by. Before she knew it, the girl got off of her bed and began walking down the muddy path.

"You there, miss!" a woman a tent called to her. Noriko turned to her left and saw her selling jewelry in said-tent.

"Me?" she asked.

"Yes, come here," the woman said. Noriko wandered over, head tilted. The woman held out a small silver sand dollar necklace.

"This matches your eyes," she said. The girl looked at the small silver sand dollar. Her fingers inched towards the shiny material.

"It's really pretty," she said.

"I'll give you a special price for it," the woman told her.

"I don't think I can afford it," Noriko said. She paused and turned her head when she heard a crunching noise behind her. Her eyes widened as she saw a schoolgirl bleeding from her head, reaching out for her. She seemed to be mouthing something as she dragged her feet forward. Noriko backed away as fast as she could.

She looked to find herself alone in an operation room. However, the girl realized that she wasn't alone anymore. Her eyes caught hold of an operating table. The face of the patient looked gazed over and hollow. The mouth was slightly open under the heavy sheet. Noriko covered her own as she slowly backed away.

That's… That's me!

Noriko turned and ran down a hall of white. She ended up trembling outside of her apartment. She picked up her phone and held it to her ear.

"Chiharu, please come get me! I'm so scared! I don't know what to do! Please help me!"

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