The Ferris wheel stopped three minutes before the screaming began.
Lucy leaned over the edge of the carriage. They’d halted close to the start, a good eight feet off the ground.
Down below, people in a blue uniform were milling about in the growing dusk. Disembodied music from the carrousel sounded in the distance.
“Looks like they’re working on it.” Lucy leaned back. “You alright, Alex? I know you don’t like heights.”
Alex hummed absently, not facing her. His skin seemed paler than usual, but perhaps it was the moonlight.
“I told you we should have stayed in the fun house,” he said quietly after a while.
Lucy snorted. “The creepy place with all the mirrors? No thanks.”
“I thought it was nice. Maybe we can go back.”
Whether it was the wind blowing off the coast or not, there was a shift in Alex’s tone.
He sounded older, somehow.
“Why, because it was built on an old burial ground? I don’t want to spend my free evening ghost hunting. It’s not like they’re real, anyway.”
It had taken Lucy ages before she’d managed to drag her friend out of the fun house.
He’d seemed particularly fascinated by an old mirror with a garishly gilded edge. Staring at it for a full five minutes.
Like he’d been drawn in by the damn thing.
Ever since, he’d been hell-bent on going back for a second look.
Alex’s head snapped towards her. “Don’t discredit things you don’t know about,” he hissed. “Ignorance may be a curse, but arrogance is far worse.”
“Woah.” Lucy flinched at the aggression in his tone. She lifted her hands in a supplicating gesture. “Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”
And since when did he use such fancy words? She’d never heard him talk like that.
His dark eyes zoned in on her - trying to see if she was telling the truth. He cocked his head to the side, the movement almost predatory.
“It’s alright,” Alex purred. He smiled a beat too late. “This is cozy, too.”
Lucy hesitated. Was his smile wider than usual?
“Yeah, it is. It’s nice to be alone. Just the two of us.”
This is what she’d wanted for months. A moment alone with Alex, just like the old days.
Before they’d both gotten girlfriends and broken up with them in the span of two months. Lucy was fine cherishing her friends for the foreseeable future.
Her break-up with June hadn’t been pretty, and she could really use the comfort of her childhood best friends.
“If only the Ferris wheel would start working. The view at the top must be breathtaking. Unlike those creepy eyes painted all over the fun house.”
Lucy tentatively brushed her hand against his.
Alex grabbed her wrist in a vice-grip.
“But sweet Lucy, don’t you know?” he crooned against her. His fingernail dug into her skin, drawing blood.
She tried to shake herself free, but failed. Pain shot up her arm.
Leaning in close, he whispered, “Eyes are the mirror to the soul.”
Alex pulled back, and black crept from the corners of his vision until it covered his eyes entirely. His sharp grin widened, almost splitting his face in half.
“Do you like what you see?”