The place is sick. Colors everywhere. Giant toys, dolls, columns reaching to the ceiling wrapped in stripes. Colors, bright, gleeful, happy, gay. Adults, in and out, glass eyes, smiling. The walls crumbling. But solid.
A little girl runs up to me. "Have you seen my mommy?"
My stomach turns. Her mom is gone. Where is her dad?
"Your daddy will be here for you." This place is dangerous. She needs to get out.
"I don't know where he is," she squeaks.
I tell her a story. I tell her he will be here on her birthday. He will take her out of this place, on her tenth birthday.
She smiles. I hug her, wanting so badly to help her escape. Children die here.
A man with a gray mustache approaches us. He says the girls name, "It's me, I am your daddy."
He takes her into a room. Inside, a giant teddy bear and colorful playthings. On the other side of the massive room is a door, sunlight streaming in. I have hope for a second. She's going to get out of here. But his eyes, blue glass. I try to take the girl. But she's with her fake dad. She's going to be crushed. Literally. What is this place? She's going to die.
I look away. I don't hear the screams. I don't listen.
All around, children. Unhappy in this cheerfully decorated place. Running, playing, but unhappy. Am I the only one who knows?
A woman comes to me. Tall, skinny, gray hair. Glass eyes. I hate her. I fear her. She runs the place. Men grab me, tie me, put me into a stream leading from a fountain. The stream goes into another room. The rooms are where people die. The water pushes me toward the room. The stream drops off. The room is dark, unlike the rest of the place. I don't know what's inside. I beg to the woman, to let me out. I feel like I'm suffocating. She laughs and tells me, "Sing, and I'll let you live."