Oil washed-up on the beach like death, black, and strangling, while sea birds tried to breathe. Death was only one heartbeat away. The carnival was torn from the pages of an old nursery rhyme. Over the dunes, it’s magical lights lit-up the sky, like Christmas, but it wasn’t cheerful, even though the children were screaming. There were rides, that seemed a mile high, fortune tellers, thieves, strong men, pickpockets, throwing knives, clowns, cotton candy, and popcorn.

I was there, because I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Charlotte was the girl I was hanging-out with, but I couldn’t make her love me. No matter how hard I tried—maybe, especially because I did try, she was content to be my friend.

I took her into the tunnel of love, but she gave me no love.

I held her clammy hand.

In the house of mirrors, I looked fat and she looked skinny.

In the Okay Saloon, I pulled-out a six-gun, determined to win her a prize. Somehow, because of some imagined kind of chivalry (no thanks to Sir Walter Scott) I believed I could win her heart, if I hit every target.

I did. I even killed the saloon keeper, and won her a big stuffed dog with a stupid grin on its face.

She hugged it once, and then left it by the coat rack, in search of a more promising prospect, I guess.

We visited the gold mine, where they were handing out fool’s gold—Feldspar. It’s funny, what people value and what people don’t.

You might think you have something of value, but if nobody else wants it, you don’t. Then we walked to a little house, with red curtains. There was a light-on, inside. It was a green lamp. And a hand, with long poisonous purple fingernails motioned to me.

Charlotte was distracted. She was looking at the men with the perfect physiques. She was drawn, like a feminine fleck of magnetized metal to the iron bodies that promised to give her pleasure, and no emotional attachments.

I was drawn to the hand. It was the kind that could read me, touch me, tell me things… maybe, even help me.

I opened the door and walked in. It was a dimly lit room with a bedroom in the back. She was a gypsy woman, with a trailer. They used to be pulled by horses, but now, she had a truck, that took her to the next town.

“You are strong,” she said.

I hadn’t noticed that she was already holding my hand. I sat down on one of her green cushions. There was a silver ball in the center of her wooden table.

“Look into the glass to see your fortune, while I get a bit more comfortable,” she said.

She slipped-off her robe and was only wearing a silk kimono underneath. She had enormous tanned tits, and a young face for 45.

“Ah—you guessed my age,” she said.

“How did I know?”

“It’s your sixth sense, waking up for the first time, like a child who should be sleeping.”

To be continued…

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