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I tried to hide my anger. "No. You tricked me. You lured me here-- like you did all the rest of this crowd-- in the hopes that it would please me, make me forget my journey, keep me happy with performers, singers, food, and smiles and laughter-- keep me trapped here forever, stuck between dream and reality. Well, it didn't work. You may have fooled them--" I pointed out into the crowd-- "but you can't fool me. How dare you toy with my sensibilities? The Gatekeeper knew why I came here, he understood-- but not the rest of you-- you're frauds! I refuse to stay! I demand that you take me to the King!"

The Jester stared at me a long time, clearly flabbergasted. Finally, he heaved a heavy sigh. All of the earlier playfulness he showed me had gone. His hat hung limp about his face. The bells did not ring. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I cannot help you. None of us can help you. You are free to leave whenever you wish. None of the people here are prisoners. They stay because they want to."

I stormed away, didn't look back. I hid behind the lion cage. I cried. Tears flowed down my cheeks, to my lips, the taste of salt mixed with the smell of animal... I walked on to seek refuge. The noisy din of the fair seemed quieter among the trees. I stumbled around as best I could. I couldn't see clearly through my tears. A large structure stood just ahead, old and abandoned. I was surprised that no one from the fair had seen it. I went up to the old wooden door and knocked.

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