"Tell me you love me."
"I love no one, miss." Blaec shut his eyes tight and buried his face in the pillows. He felt the laughter die away beside him, the grip on his arm tightening as he was drawn closer into the hug beneath the bedsheets, closing an invisible distance between him and his caregiver. The one who kept him safe and offered him the maternal love he would never experience.
In the tight, cramped trailer, Blaec was safe. Returning from errands in the early hours of the morning, he'd crawled into bed with Stephanie, curled up next to her, and let himself fall asleep next to her soft breathing.
However, sleep never came soon enough, and he found himself stroking the small frayed threads at the end of the sheets he laid under until he couldn't feel their softness anymore. When the first rays of morning finally poked their way through the rectangular windows and past the tattered drapes, his eyes fell closed and he managed to drift between realities until he finally slipped into a dream.
He slept through the day, the sunlight warming his bare back. Morn turned to noon, he didn't feel when Stephanie left him for work. The click of the trailer door did wake him, though, when the sun stained the light red and stars began to push their way through the navy blue sky.
The world outside had already darkened by the time he'd squinted his eyes open. It was Blaec's day.
Work-roughed fingers gently ran over his forehead as he sat up, still half-asleep with eyes half-open. He felt a washcloth rub his cheeks, just enough to turn them red, yet it just barely touched the rest of his skin. A small drop of cool water trickled down his chin, and he reached up to haphazardly wipe it away.
The cold woke him quickly. It didn't take him long to stand, ruffle up his already-spiky hair, and slip into his clothes.
Stephanie sat him in front of a mirror and carefully applied a thin coat of stage makeup to his face, explaining disappovingly that his skin wasn't smooth enough and he needed to wash more often because he was starting to smell.
Blaec laughed at that and told her it was probably just her perfume. She jerked a bit of his hair between her calloused fingers and he closed his mouth.
Stephanie explained softly what he had to do tonight as she lead him outside the trailer, wearing no shoes, strangely enough, and so he took every precaution to not step on any particularly sharp stones on his way across the open field that was more dirt than grass. Coming up, he could see the main tent, which was round and typically enough, red-striped.
Blaec was a typical boy more than a performer, no matter how hard he tried. He could hear the booming voice of the ringmaster announcing something from inside, probably the next performance: him. Just before he slipped under the tarp to walk under the circus top, Stephanie tied a blindfold over his eyes. With a slight push to his shoulders, he was suddenly out of the darkness of the night and under warm stage lights.
He knew the path well, even when he couldn't see it, but he made a show of looking timid and scared as he stepped into the ring. Quieted-down chatter came from all around him, probably from the audience. The carpet under his feet felt smooth and silky, and the bubbly, haunting music that filled his ears made him dizzy. Slowly, he began to dance, compulsive and graceful all at once. He'd mastered the trick of not stepping on the eggs laid out for him on the velvety floor by now, carefully putting his feet down without letting the audience see his caution.
He could hear private voices speaking in the background, his ears buzzing with the hushed chatter that somehow seemed to override the music. Each man and woman, laughing, wishing for him to fail, yet he danced and didn't step on the fragile eggs. He didn't want to be punished, but he knew he'd have to slip at some point, for the sake of entertainment.
And then it came. Too into the music, not paying attention, not careful enough; he'd stepped on an egg. It cracked, hurting his foot as he swiftly jumped aside, realizing with horror what had happened. What was to come... Would be even worse.
Was this the moment he'd let the lies break his consciousness, or would he continue to believe? For how long? He didn't know. He didn't want to know, either. He didn't want to know why every burden was so unbearable. He didn't want to know why his heart hurt so much.
He wanted to accept it all, because whatever this wasn't, it was at least home.
Everything is rainbow-coloured, looking through a kaleidoscope. But who knows how the people stuck living inside those multicoloured universes feel?