Wednesday's Words on a Friday
The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.
This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.
This week's words are:
Here is my story:
The statement given by the witness was ambiguous at best; clutching an almost empty bottle of Baron Samedi Rum, with another empty bottle in his coat pocket, he’d been found roaming drunkenly through the field next to where the “Circus” had been held. It was decided to put him in a holding cell for a few hours, as many hours as possible of course, until he slept off some of the drunk, hopefully he’d be speaking more clearly after a few cups of the notoriously bad brew the station called coffee.
The “Circus” had been held in Farmer Hickman’s field, once the home of many profitable tobacco plants, now empty and dryer than a desert. Farmer Hickman, given name Raymond, had rented the field to various organisations over the years, but according to him the permission slip found in the debris had been a forgery. He hadn’t rented that field at all this year, had come home from visiting his parents in Florida to find the ‘big Top” already up and cages of animals set up under the shade of a large tree shaped awning.
The permission slip, with Farmer Hickman’s supposed signature, declared the week long affair was to collect money to benefit the orphans in Haiti, those sad children left behind when business empires crashed and those involved committed suicide by the dozen. Farmer Hickman of course had given a copy of his signature immediately and it didn’t match the one on the forged paper at all. Crushed tickets had also been found in the field, sent anonymously to the people who had attended, business partners and company executives of the parent company that had recently caused much of the closing of the Haitian branches.
As the night wore on, most of the policemen signed out and went home, leaving only a desk clerk and the current overnighter, Inspector Vittorio. Unusual to have an inspector as an overnighter, but Vittorio believed in not asking his men to do anything he wouldn’t personally do, and when his turn came around he took the overnight shift. He settled himself at a desk nearest the holding cells with instructions to Manny at the front desk to call him should anything need his attention. He began reviewing the paperwork as the sounds of drunken snoring filled the short hallway.
By eight in the morning, as constables started signing in for the day, the drunken witness was pacing about, demanding a toilet break and some coffee. He was escorted to a washroom to relieve himself and clean up as best he could with a supply of cold water and paper towels, then brought back to the holding cell where Inspector Vittorio now sat next to a tray with coffee and a couple of bacon sandwiches. The not quite sober witness licked his lips, looking longingly at the tray. “That for me boss?” “Yes it is,” replied Vittorio, “as soon as you tell me your name, we didn’t get it from you last night.” “Alexander Sandman,” said the witness. “Most people call me Sandy.” He sat on the edge of the steel cot and gulped down half the coffee before biting into a bacon sandwich. ‘Oh, this is heaven,” he declared.
Vittorio let him eat a full sandwich before asking him to state again what had transpired the previous evening. “Well, it started out like a regular circus, but the animals were different, goats and chickens, couple of snakes in baskets, stuff like that. No one knows where the tickets came from, they were sent in the mail and free, so of course all the bigwigs came along, there was supposed to be free food and drink too. But the tent, what they call the Big Top, didn’t look regular and the performers were dressed different.” “Different how?” asked Vittorio. “There wasn’t any of the colour and sparkle you’d expect to see, they was all dressed in black, shiny black and decorated with skulls and skeletons like you’d see in Voodoo movies. They all had masks on, couldn’t see any faces.”
Vittorio made a couple of notes on the pad sitting across his knees, then Sandy continued, after another big bite from the second sandwich. “It started out like a regular circus, with a parade of animals and performers around that circle covered in sawdust, the lights around the tent were all dark red and glaring white, mostly the red ones though and I could hear some whispers from some of the younger women. ‘Isn’t this delightful?’ and other stuff like that. Maybe they thought they were going to see some sort of smoke and mirrors Voodoo magic. Anyway, the parade goes on and suddenly there’s a poof of sparkly red smoke and the ringmaster appears, real tall he was and dressed like a ghoul, all tatters and blood stains, probably red paint, but then he starts screaming at the audience, real homicidal he was, some stuff about revenge shall be mine and he’s flashing a big knife sort of thing, like a sword but curved and the people in the parade all pulled out knives from somewhere and slashed the throats of the animals so the blood spattered all over the audience and there was screaming and people tried running away but the seating collapsed and they got trampled and then the fires started at the entrance and around the outside of the tent, I only got out because I’d rolled near the edge when my seat collapsed, so I wriggled under and ran.”
Vittorio asked, “are you able to identify anyone? Any part of….well anything really? When we found you there was nothing left but a burned circle in the field and blood spatters, but no bodies. Did you see what happened to the bodies? The audience? The performers? Anybody?” “Nothing,” said Sandy. “I was already pretty drunk, they’d handed out free bottles of Rum, the good stuff, Baron Samedi brand, as we walked in and I drank a whole bottle waiting for the parade part to start and just kept drinking after I ran away. I tripped over something, probably my own feet and stayed down and saw the fires burning then next thing I know you people were hauling me up off the ground and bringing me here.”
Vittorio knew he would get nothing more from Sandy and sighed. The FBI would be getting involved and he would have to set up stations to accommodate them plus teams of evidence collectors, forensics people and whoever else the FBI brought along.