Friday, October 7, 2022

Overheard at Booth 3: A Scene from This Year's Mad Carnival


Luis stepped around behind the white painted hot dog stand and found himself off the Midway, by the back wall of the pavilion.  Immediately, he was shocked by how dark and silent this place was.  Only two feet from the action and the hustlebustle, he crooked his neck and he could see the lights in the distance but it suddenly seemed miles away, not just a few footsteps.

A movement, a brushing of shadows, against the nearby wall drew his attention again.  "Anybody there?" he asked, even though he didn't know why he asked.

A form emerged from the shadow, and split at the top into two shadow forms, one shadow against the wall and the other turning to look at Luis to say, "Move along, kid, we're busy."

The other shadow giggled, "Why not let him watch?"

Luis saw then what he thought were two sets of eyes, from each of the forms, glow bright white, hot ... then turn red.  From somewhere far behind him, he heard the roaring screams of delight from the cars of the swift dip of the roller coaster.

The other shadow then leaned forward and sunk her fangs into the outstretched wrist. Blood sprayed in four directions in a spray and the shadow from opened his mouth to catch a few splatters of his own blood on his own tongue, which lapped at the air, forked and darting like a serpent.

Luis screamed.  He screamed like the roller coaster screams, rising and dipping and distant and present.  He turned and ran back toward the hot dog stand, the midway, the laughter and screams and the lights and other people's dreams.

The other shadow pressed the other again against the wall.  "Kids," he said.

"Gets 'em every time," she said.  Then she took his open-veined wrist and drew it to her hungry lips and they became one shadow again.

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