We, however, preferred to huddle in the dark carnival caves, surrounding ourselves with the sights and sounds of a world that was both familiar and terrifying, inviting and cold. Dark grays and bright reds, somber oranges and shining whites. The shade of pancake makeup, of false noses, of painted-on lips, or too-big shoes. Inwardly turned, outwardly focused, and all set to a calliope that only we could hear.

Some called us mad, but in time we found other like minds and the dark carnival caves have never been more populated, more alive.

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