Home » A Wasted Life » Murder Mysteries » The Great Carnival Caretaker – Chapter Two

The Great Carnival Caretaker – Chapter Two

After I visited my grandmother the next day, I stopped by to see Lucien.  I walked up and said “good afternoon, Mr. Lucien.  How are you today?”

He looked at me and said “well hello there young lady.  I have stories to tell. Oh my.  I have stories to tell.”

I said “I know you do and I was hoping to hear a few more of them.  You told me about Hobbs and Maribel and Pete.”

He looked at me with wide eyes and said “Oh yes.  I have stories to tell.  Oh my.  I have stories to tell.”

He looked out of the window and it seemed as if he was trying to gather files from the recesses of his mind.  Suddenly he said, “did I tell you about the young Williams boy?”

I told him he hadn’t but I’d really like to hear about him.

He said “oh my.  Young Hiram Williams ran the roller coaster.  He had been obsessed with roller coasters since he was just a little freckle-faced tyke with the wildest hair I had ever seen.  I think his hair must have been licked by a cow at least fifteen times and he walked with a limp because he had been born with one leg shorter than the other.”  He chuckled and said “maybe that cow stepped on it.”

“Anyway, come rain, sleet, snow or a Hades-hot day, young Hiram was out there gazing at the roller coaster.  Sometimes he would run errands for neighbors and straight away, he would spend the money on a ride.  When he got old enough, he got a job running the roller coaster.  Oh my.  How he loved to run that roller coaster.”

Lucien again got that sad look on his face as he continued.  “One day when there was no one waiting in line to ride, young Hiram decided to take a spin.  Oh my, he was flying around on that roller coaster and it just kept going faster and faster.”

“I guess he had forgotten that somebody had to control the speed and also pull the lever to make it stop.  By the time the crowd heard his screams, it was too late.  He and the roller coaster cars went flying.  Oh my.  He was found might near a mile away, still strapped to one of the cars.”

I found myself echoing him when I said “oh my.  You have stories to tell.” He looked down and said “yes, I have stories to tell.”

His mood changed and his eyes almost twinkled when he sighed and said “Jasmine.”

“Jasmine?”  I asked.  “Jasmine,” he said.  He tilted his head and looked toward the sky as he said “she was a trapeze artist.  She wore this little white outfit and her hair was tied back with sparkly ribbons.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  She had porcelain skin and her hair was as black as coal.  Oh my.  Many a young man lost their hearts to her.”

That toothless grin came back as he went on.  “She would fly from one platform to the other, almost in slow motion.   To me, she looked like an angel flying high above all of us.”

I wryly smiled and said “was there a romance?”  Lucien looked down and said “no.  There was no romance.”

I asked what happened to her.  Lucien said “she got old but she wouldn’t quit flying.  One night she put on her costume, climbed to the top of the trapeze, spread her arms like wings and jumped.  I guess she wanted to go out in what they call ‘a blaze of glory’.”

I said “Lucien, your stories are so sad.”  He looked at me and said “yes.  My stories are sad but oh my, don’t you think life is sad?”

With that, he motioned for the nurse to come wheel him back to his room. Then he asked her to stop.  That familiar toothless smile reappeared as he looked at her and said “this is Margaret.  She’s my favorite nurse and she takes real good care of me.  Oh my.  Don’t you think she’s pretty?”

I smiled and nodded in agreement.  Margaret laughed and said “Mr. Lucien, you little devil you.  How you do run on, flirting with me like that.”

Lucien looked at me and said “I know all the pretty girls and oh my.  I have stories to tell.”

Lucien did indeed have stories to tell but he never spoke about himself.  He never really told me exactly what he did.  I wondered if I should ask but I thought that when he was ready, he would tell me his story.  After all, he had stories to tell.  Oh my, he had stories to tell.


To be continued___________




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