Marlie Cade is watching a carousel turn slowly, almost silently as the Sun burns its way to nightfall in empty corpse of a town with no name.

The Carousel sits in the center of a Carnival where a silver and gold ferris wheel, rusty blue bumper cars, a fun house where the mirrors inside have all been painted black, a wooden roller coaster, weather worn sideshow tents and rows of little stands inviting you to test your aim or your strength or in some cases both at the same time huddle around the ever turning wheel of  brightly colored horses.

There are no ghosts here,  nothing haunts this dead ground unless you count the woman with dark eyes and a dark heart and too much on her hands.

She supposes that the town and the Carnival belonged to somebody, once upon a time. But that doesn’t matter to Marlie Cade. What matters to her is right now and at this exact moment in time Marlie has decided to make this place her own.

She’s going to staff the game booths, fill the sideshow tent with oddities and wonders. In the main tent her pale circus barker will guarantee that the clowns and trapeze artists, the elephants from India and lions from Africa the bears from Russia will amaze and entertain delighted all customers from far and wide.

Marlie can smell the cotton candy and buttered popcorn, she can taste the night air on her tongue. She can see the faces of the amused, the confused and the amazed.

Something begins to warm in the darkness of Marlie Cade’s shadow filled heart.

Its excitement.

She can hardly wait for her first customers to arrive.

And for the screaming to start.

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