Gerard speaks in the language of art.
Chapter Seven: The Great Pandemonium
After their trip to town, Frank encouraged Gerard to sketch as much as he possibly could. He would almost demand it, excited at the idea of making progress with the boy. Still, Gerard would not mind, and Frank would observe him closely as he worked.
All the drawing he did also seemed to help calm him down, and tantrums became a thing of occasion.
Frank was unsure of the exact correlation between Gerard's thoughts and his drawings. There were times it would be obvious; Gerard would draw a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, and he would show it to Frank. Frank would ask him, "You want spaghetti for dinner?" and Gerard would grin widely.
It was moments like these that made Frank happy to think that somewhere inside this damaged body was in fact a fully functioning, fully sane human being. He was almost confident enough to say that the person trapped inside it was still his best friend of so many years, and evidence of that came whenever Gerard drew any sort of coffee sketch.
However, other times the message was not so transparent.
Frank snatched the sketchbook from Gerard's hand, who seemed a little disgruntled at the action. Frank scanned over the drawing, and something inside him gave a little twitch.
It was a sketch that Gerard had done many times over, and it was this drawing that always had the most imperfections. It was a drawing of a woman, who seemed to be very pretty, and of course bore a striking resmbelance to Lindsey.
However she was different in every sketch, every time, and her details always seemed unsure. It was like he knew her, but could not seem to decide what she looked like.
Frank was of course less concerned for the details in which he assigned her, and more bothered by the uncertainy of whether or not Gerard remembered who she actually was.
"Who is this, Gerard?" Frank turned to him and asked.
Gerard could not answer him. He opened his mouth, closed it a moment later, and sighed. Gerard was silent, yet looked quite sad.
"It's okay, Gee." Frank rustled a hand through Gerard's hair, smiling at him sympathetically. "Why don't you just draw something else for now, hmm? Or go to sleep, it's pretty late."
Frank then took the sketch of the Lindsey doopleganger and pocketed it without Gerard's notice. He then got off the guest bed, tuning to leave, but was stopped by Gerard suddenly gripping his wrist. Frank turned to look at him again.
"What is it Gee?"
Gerard released Frank but then outstretched his arms. Frank smiled at him, reminded somewhat of his daughters.
"You want a hug?" Frank asked him. He did not wait for an answer, but bent down and squeezed Gerard tightly. Gerard buried his face in the nook of Frank's neck, but Frank pulled away a moment later.
"Goodnight honey." Frank kissed him on the forehead.
Frank made to leave a second time, and just before he reached the doorknob, Gerard uttered the word "Please..."
If he could have finished that sentence, he would have said "Please stay with me." or "Please take me with you.", or some sentence implying that Gerard did not want to be left alone tonight, which he had time to portray with the outstretched arms. However, Frank did not even hear the word "please", nor did Gerard have time to sketch it out. So a moment later, he instead found himself staring at the white painted door that Frank just walked out of and closed behind him.
Defeated, Gerard turned off the light and collapsed onto the bed. He shut his eyes, and drifted into dreamland.
Gerard looked beside him, and the same woman with her lipstick smile and raven black hair was staring straight at him. He saw they were strangely close to one another, and he took in his surroundings.
They were on a ferris wheel, in a seat that was rising high above a beautiful carnival. While carnivals are not typically something one would call beautiful, the view of the multicolored lights shining below them certainly was breathtaking.
"I've never been here before..." remarked Gerard. Which was only significant due to the fact that most of his dreams happened in some vaguely familiar place. This, however, was not familiar at all.
"It almost was." was all the woman said as she shrugged. As they rose higher, the wind became wilder, and her hair whipped around her face like the snakes of medusa. "It would have been the day after."
"The day after what?" Gerard asked her, which only earned him another mysterious smile. Gerard rolled his eyes -- beautiful as she was, this woman and her cryptic hints was getting to be quite irritating.
Yet there was something about her, something he felt attatched to. It was almost like he missed her, but how could he miss someone he's never met?
"She's down there." the woman told him, pointing at the pallet of lights below them.
"Who?" and Gerard noticed that his hair too was whipping wildly around his face. His locks mixed with her locks, because they sat so close together. It looked strange, as he barely noticed that his hair was a bright red color. It contrasted dramatically with her black strands as they met and entwined.
Gerard reached up to move her hair out of her eyes, and she stayed silent. They were so close, facing one another. They both breathed gently on each others faces. His finger grazed her skin slightly.
And then Gerard heard a bang.
Gerard looked back down at the carnival, and the lights looked as beautiful as ever. This time however, they were all shades of red.
The carnival had caught fire, and everything was burning around them. The tops of the tents and stands that they could see from their height were collapsing, and rollercoasters were burning down. He could see nothing but fire. It was like the entire carnival grounds was transforming itself into the depths of hell.
"They're all dead.." Gerard whispered, his heart crumbling inside his chest like a kicked over sandcastle.
The fire began to spread to the very bottom of the ferris wheel, while they resided at the very top. The woman next to him remained complacent, and unfazed. Meanwhile the machine began to shake and collapse from the bottom up, with a mighty roar like the crunching of metal.
The seat they were in finally began to tilt, and the woman beside him slipped. Gerard reached down to catch her just in time, and he held onto her with both hands. Below her, he could see nothing but flames that were hungry to consume her.
"Hold on!" he screamed, and he tried to pull her up with all the strength he could summon. It should not have been a difficult task, she was a dainty thing that most likely weighed very little.
Yet, he failed.
The woman slipped through his grasp, and fell into the flames.
"NO!" Gerard shrieked in horror as he watched her descend.
Gerard however had not much time to contemplate his failure, as the flames were coming for him too.
It took him along while to realize that he was already on fire.
Next chapter: While Frank can see the beauty in the beast, other people might not be so perceptive.