Silhouette of a Man      

The Wanderer Circus Trilogy        


It was on a bright, starry night that the traveling circus rolled into town. The temperature was a little chilly, but with a jacket or a heavy sweater it was comfortable. For most people this could be considered a perfect night, a night for sitting on the front porch starring at the stars. For the man dressed in all black, the moonlight would be an unwelcome intrusion into his plan.

As he had done at its past two locations in South Carolina, he watched as the circus train came to a stop at the New Grace County Fairground. He carefully scanned the caravan of trailers and cars as they pulled into the lot and parked. He thought he saw the one he was looking for, grabbed his binoculars and confirmed its location.

The man in black had a job to do which required his special skills. The whole transaction had taken place over the net. He had advertised on a website for people in his line of work. He had received notification that someone had an assignment for him. Money was transferred to his off shore account and an encrypted file was sent with all the information he would need.

He had no idea who had hired him, that was the point, but he had his suspicions. In his line of work he always followed his gut instincts. He knew that it was best for him, best all around, to try and keep himself and his employer as far removed from each other, and the scene, as possible.

 From the time the train arrived he kept the ringmaster under surveillance. The ringmaster followed his normal routine; picking out the perfect spot for the big top with his crew, supervising the placement of the other tents, setting up corrals for the animals with their trainers. The only thing he seemed to be doing out of the ordinary was talking with a young couple and their two small children who must be his guest. It was good that he was interacting with someone other than circus folk, in case he was asked what he had been doing on the night in question.

The fortune teller was following her normal routine as well. From what he had overheard she seemed to be second in command. The man in black observed her ordering the placement of the booths for food and games. She was followed by one of the clowns, in street clothes, who was apparently jotting down what she said. There would be no doubt what she had been doing on the night in question.

The man in black was certain that tonight would be the night, the night that he would do his job and move on to his next assignment. He opened up his case and assembled what he would need. He checked his gear, then double checked it. As he was trained, he policed his hiding spot in the bushes to assure he would leave nothing behind that could be traced to him, but since he was well trained there was nothing that needed to be removed.

 Just before dawn he saw a figure lurking in the shadows. Through his binoculars he watched the figure make its way to the ringmaster’s trailer, where it stopped and waited. The door to the trailer opened and the figure went inside.

The man in black put on a dark ski mask and pulled up his hood. He put on a pair of gloves, then a second pair just in case. Staying close to the tree line on the outskirts of the field, he too made his way towards the trailer. He stopped behind a truck to verify the locations of the ringmaster, who was still with the family, and the fortune teller, who was with a group of employees.

The man in black reached the trailer and glanced around to make sure he hadn’t been detected. Without making a sound, he opened the door and stepped inside.

 He had been studying the couple inside the trailer for the past month. They had tried, unsuccessfully, to keep their relationship concealed. The man in black had no doubt that the ringmaster’s wife and fortune teller’s husband were in love. He thought that killing them together, to let them die in each other’s arms, was a kindness they didn’t deserve, they were liars and cheats, but if there was one thing he was, it was a romantic.


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