part 8

Her wedding veil was long, white gauze dragging on the night time ground in the woodlands maw, like a floating streak of light in the dark. The limbs of the thick trees dripped with the tapping sound of tiny rain, and leaves and earth clung to the ends of it.

They’d put up a tattered blue tarp over the shoulders of two deep south oaks with moss like a shawl and firefly lights strung between its teeth to twinkle over the handfasting. It was late but the couples’ eyes were bright and watery when the green ribbons bound them.

The crowd consisted of tattoos, velvet, bells, vintage jeans, grinning people and alert, quiet german shepherds, cotton ball pomeranians that wouldn’t stop yipping. It was a small crowd of carnival folk, but it was all who loved them.

The grooms mother embraced the bride, Miranda, gave her sweaty kiss on both cheeks that smelt like fur and coty nuance, and told her to come to her trailer in a few minutes.

Gabriel, the groom, and his bearded and scruffy male friends who tried hard by wearing elaborately decorated ties over their work-soiled t-shirts raised the first of many green bottles of Jameson.

The fortune teller smiled and turned to her friend and said.

I wonder when his mother is sending her out for the ritual?

 

to be continued …

part 7

TRAILER PARK

 

We heard she had a wedding last night, the female detective drawled bluntly in her fine, dark suit, with her scrawny shoulder sloped against the dingy threshold of the skunky trailer. Her dusky skin glistened with a film of perspiration. The cockeyed trailers’ open-mouthed door couldn’t afford a breath of cool air from the small A/C unit it stowed in a cracked window. It only conferred a single hot breath with decomposing party streamers tied to its teeth, fluttering in a humid gale.

News to me, mother said with sun-baked forearms crossed tight like the beginning of a braid, a tarnished gold bracelet, eyes that haven’t slept in 20 years, withered, bleached blonde hair. She hated cops. Didn’t matter if she did anything wrong or not. Does it matter what she done or who she been with to find my girl? Or all ya’ll care about is gossip, she’d said, baby Mikey was asleep on the soiled plaid couch dreaming of brown rabbits eating carrots, grinning innocently.

Did she have a boyfriend? the detective asked.

Ain’t every girl gotta boyfriend these days, she scoffed, even if she don’t want one? Check the carnival.

For who?

Name’s Gabriel. Come back when you got somethin’, the door shambled shut.

 

to be continued …

PART 6

AFTERNOON

 

A gilded choir of wind chimes continually blaze here at the rear of the carnival, and the stomach warming scent of meat-smoke breathes out from underneath an old tight lipped outdoor cooker.

White-hot sunlight bawled through a cloudless sky, aiming itself down, elbowing through a jagged volley of shards made of broken mirrors. The fragments clung onto the sunlight greedily and dazzled any straying eye with a tiara of sparks that stuck behind the eyelids until blinking blotted them out. The broken pieces protrude up out of weedy soil as a superstitious decor, castled by a motley family of other strange ornaments meant to ward off bad spirits or amuse onlookers. The shut-eyed grin of a potbellied gnome crossing its arms sagely stationed with an array of varicolored plastic butterflies with goofy painted eyes wired onto sun-bleached spokes. A poised, rusty stone cat with no pupils sat quietly, uncannily.

They line the blueglass gemstone path to the moldy 1952 Royal Spartanette with its missile shape and toon windows, as if this sector of the show were a rotting aquarium exhibit, drained of its murky, amniotic waters.

He’d rubbed his nervous hands together sitting straight and leaning in. He was inside of the heavily incensed trailer trying not to sneeze on dragons blood and patchouli, and when he’d sparsely roved his calloused palms over his thighs to give his hands something else to do the roughness of his fingers made a catching sound on the fabric of his soiled jeans.

There were three tarot cards on the kitchen table, which was covered by a resurrected halloween material painted with character cats grinning with their fangs, flying on broomsticks in witch hats, sewn with silver tinkling bells that made a cacophony anytime one of them dared to move.

Who’s Lisa? The fortune teller asked, her eyes moony like those twitchy felines, twinkling in the palpitations of the red votives on the dirty sink.

Lisa? I don’t know any Lisa, he’d said.

Are you sure? Her eyes narrowed, shining like those broken mirrors outside.

Yeah, pretty sure, he’d confirmed with a wry laugh through his nose.

What about Elizabeth? It’s a variant of Lisa, she’d asked.

Uhh, from like third grade, he’d said. He was an easy mark.

That’s her. Did you like her? She asked, passing her hand over the trio of cards as if they spoke suddenly and must be shushed.

I guess so, he’d said.

When you find Lisa and marry her, come back, she’d said, I do henna tattoos for weddings, brings good luck to the bride. That’ll be sixty-five dollars.

She’d outstretched her weathered hand.

 

 

to be continued … 

Part 5

The brightening world blanched before their narrow squints, and their brows clenched with unmendable, burdened lines that worried with curiosity underneath the prying sun. Off the Mississippi came an unbidden advance of that familiar, slithery breath of humid afternoon and it dragged with it the fetor of last nights piss stains blackening and emanating in the heat against ruined walls they’d passed with sidelong scowls. Where along the battered back-buildings revelers had prowled late like strange characters out of place, and out of sync with time, confetti was beaten down by slimy, light rain.

The empty buildings were now behind them, disjointed, leaning like tombs that had dug their heels into graveyard dirt. The old walls blemished with laborious graffiti of jazz funerals; dusky, puffed cheeks blowing into burnished gold making sad music, weeping women in lace blotting the corners of their invisible eyes. The pinching sound of shoes weighing down on sharp rocks had come to a stop, yet still seemed to echo in the silence shared between them with what they all peered down upon.

It’s the palms of her hands and her feet, but no body, the cop said. Lots of punctures, maybe bites, scratches, bruising, likely defensive.

Sounds familiar. Like its been in a story before, the female detective said. She’d kept her arms crossed as she’d approached the paled, shredded fragments bloating alone in their decaying nest. The pieces looked like clearance halloween props; inhuman objects, in some grotesque joke of being human.

The Bible, the cop said, it’s been in the Bible.

Never read it. What’s it say? She asked.

Jezebel was tossed out of a window, and when they’d gone to find her body and bury it they only found the palms of her hands and her feet. Wild dogs ate the rest of her, the cop said, looks like dogs ate this one, too.

Marks are too precise for dogs. How do we know this is her? Stunned by the interjection of the male detective who had heretofore been silent as he’d followed, the cop and the woman pause to stare back at him.

Tattoo she got at her wedding last night, the cop said.

Wedding? Both detectives asked in an unconnected harmony.

 

to be continued…