The gates creaked eerily beneath the starlit sky, as a breeze tinged with the frozen touch of Winter skittered aimlessly through the lifeless stalls. Empty and devoid of those who truly lived, the theme park was off-limits.
'Still.' He pondered to himself in the dark of night. 'It's home.'
Standing atop a pile of fake skulls, he was never viewed as much of a talker. Then again, many who have a lot of friends tend to be better at listening than talking.
Looking up at the sky with a placid tranquillity, he knew his place in the world, and had done so for a while. He belonged in this park, it was an unchangeable fact. Of course... Not everyone here shared his views.
He sighed to himself, sadly, as he did often on beautiful nights like this, and gently traced with his right hand the cracked space where his left arm should have been.
Sometimes... It hurt to even remember.
He lowered his head, sadly.
'... O fortuna.'
'And they said that a hero could save us I'm not gonna stand here and waaaaaaaaai-CLICK
He yelped as the song cut in mid-chorus, changing to a much gentler tune.
Looking over the... (What had she called it?) ... The music... Playing... Thingy, he realised that, sadly, he had accidentally pressed the SKIP button again. He guessed he had gotten a little carried away with the music again.
Sighing, he shrugged, falling back on the damp cart, no doubt causing that awful SQUELCH sound which he disliked. Happily for him though, the music covered this quite well. Despite its slightly unexpected interruption, this new song was a good one as well. He wasn't sure what the words meant (Although she had told him that often, the words didn't mean anything anyway) but he enjoyed it. It made him think of when she was here with him, of when he was being useful again.
Clarice... He wondered once again what she was doing right about now.
Surely she'd come back and visit... Wouldn't she?
Of course she would, she said she would.
At least, that might have been what she said.
Maybe he wasn't listening carefully at the time Maybe he was worrying that the pirates were following them.
He hoped she'd come back. He wouldn't be able to cope much longer without her.
Maybe he could ask to leave the park? Just briefly?
Maybe the Castle, or maybe Mr. Jack might help him, if he was very polite. Maybe even Dahlia?
He paused, then shivered.
Actually, Dahlia scared him a little. She always looked so angry.
He sighed, twisting around to look at the glittering stars in the sky.
'I'd do anything to see her again.'
Briefly, the wind seemed to pick upon his words and echo them back to him, the branches of the trees above distorting them to sound like a deep exhaling of air.
'HAAAAAAA... Anything... Anything...'
He paused, briefly pondering why the wind should be talking back to him, before-
'Craaaaaawling iiiiin my skiiiiiiiiiiiiiin...'
'Ferris wheel! I did it again.'
Unknown to him though, he wasn't the only one listening to music.
An eerie, lonely melody floated across the park's lake, weaving and soaring and falling like the ripples of the water's surface, a melody played with such determination and fury that one would think the instrument being played would break into pieces.
A smile as he reached the climax of his masterpiece. C Minor. Ignore that long-forgotten memory. It'll go away. They always do. Down a bit. Straighten it up there. There you go. Perfection. Ha. Perfection. Nothing is perfect, is it?
Ending on a sustained note, he bowed to his captive audience (Who was currently perched atop a plastic palm tree).
'Why thank you! I do try my best...'
He listened, before shaking his head.
'Ah, no, I couldn't possibly...'
He paused, hearing words that were never said. Then, he laughed with all the glee of an artist in love with his work. His work.
'Well, when you put it like that... Sonata in C Minor anyone?'
He began to play again.
Music is a strange thing. Although it often seems to be no more than entertainment, its true purpose, like writing and painting, is communication. A skilled musician will convey their deepest and darkest dreams, nightmares, desires, joys, angers, pleasures and pains through the melodies they play, hidden from all in plain sight. The last place anyone would look.
As through closed eyes he wove his tune, his smile never fell, even for a moment. The violin always gave him such glee A form of glee he could never find anywhere else. A form of glee descended from... Ignore that long-forgotten memory. It'll go away. They always do.
Eventually, as he rounded off the another of his favourites, he basked in the cold glow of an adoring crowd who did not exist, whose applause could not be heard.
His left eye twitched in irritation as a sleek black crow whose eyes shone with crimson landed on his shoulder.
'You know Arma... The Castle can't keep us here forever. Perhaps when we make our way to freedom, and find ourselves a new energy source... Perhaps then we'll be able to find ourselves an actual audience.'
Turning quickly, he struck a Shakesperean pose, extending an arm to the audience that never watched him.
'But alas, poor humans I wouldst slew them Arma! Greedy hateful creatures of untold zest! Here be those-'
He opened his eyes, and looked down at a discarded old flier that was lying at his feet, and had been there for about three weeks.
'Well hello!' Bending over, his lifted it off the floor. 'Discarded and left to rot by humans eh? Couldn't say I'm surprised They do that sort of thing. Of course, you don't hold a grudge over them, do you? Afterall, how could you possibly hate such a violent and despicable species?'
He paused, and grinned.
'Oh, don't worry Arma, I was just having fun. But really, humans are such litterbugs...'
Walking between the stalls towards the nearest litter bin, he hummed a little tune to himself. Nobody seemed to be around But then again, most of the others thought that he was a pirate. Huh. Pirate. How he hated that word.
Screwing up and dropping the pamphlet into the bin, he turned, and froze.
There, in front of him, stood a tall, blonde-haired man with pale skin. He wore brown boots, brown trousers, a white shirt, and a tattered coat that swayed in the breeze. His right forearm was grey, even past the sleeve, and he wore a yellow bandana. Most noticeably, were the three deep scratches over his left eye, which-
The wail of a violin.
A swish of black skirts.
A toss of shining red curly hair.
With a loud CRASH, the mirror fell to the floor. Trying not to look down at its remains, his left eye twitched.
'... Must be from the Hall of Mirrors. Just our luck, eh Arma?'
'Another song? You really are a fanatic. Ah well Might as well give the fans what they desire!'
As another melody echoed across the lake, he closed his eyes. However, this time, as he furiously wove yet another melody, he, much to his frustration, made several brief mistakes, noticeable only by a professional.
Only by someone like- Oh how he hated- Why did-
Ignore that long-forgotten memory.
It'll go away.
They always do.