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The Wanderer Circus Trilogy 

It was a bright starry night and he was just finishing setting up the center ring when he heard the screams coming from across the fairgrounds.  Like everybody else, he dropped what he was doing and ran to see what was going on.

The crowd was gathered around the lion tamer.  It was hard to understand what she was saying though the tears, but from what he could make out something was terribly wrong. No one seemed that surprised to find out the fortune teller’s husband was in bed with the ringmaster’s wife. But everyone was shocked to hear the story of how she found the sheets covered in blood and their two dead bodies, still in an embrace, shot in the head. She kept repeating, “Executed. They were just executed.”

Anyone not awaken by the screaming lion tamer was awoken by the flashing lights as the fairground filled with the law. Sheriff deputies and police officers tripped over jurisdiction and themselves taping off the area, gathering evidence and putting up flood lights to illuminate the scene.  He couldn’t guess the sorting criteria, but the crowd was broken down into more manageable groups. They questioned everyone from the animal groomers to the woman who ran the cotton candy booth to the young couple with the small children who showed up after the circus train pulled in. Detective Corley even interviewed the two three-year-olds in case they saw something, but they only wanted to talk about riding the elephants. They were not much help.

In his group he heard the ringmaster admit he knew his wife was involved with the fortune teller’s husband. The fortune teller refused to believe her husband had been unfaithful even as his body was brought out of the trailer naked in the body bag. The ringmaster’s son assured them he was unaware his mother was having an affair with the fortune teller’s husband.

As far as he knew no one mentioned the figure dressed in black lurking in the bushes. He didn’t mention it either.

Once the coroner removed the bodies the trailer was flooded with white suited people in little blue booties.  The member of The Wanderer’s Traveling Circus got lawn chairs and set them up outside the trailer, which they watched as one would a theater curtain waiting for it to be raised. Everyone was there, except the ringmaster and the fortune teller who had been separately detained.

One of the two detectives, Spaulding was his name, came out and headed over to the fortune teller’s tent. Half of the spectators grabbed their chairs and followed him.  The rest, like him, remained where they were.

After about twenty minutes everyone came out of the trailer and yellow police tape was crossed over the door. The detective was carrying an evidence bag. Rumors spread quickly over what it could contain. No one knew for sure so he didn’t pay much attention to the gossip.  The gossip only got worse when the handcuffed ringmaster was brought out of the tent. As he was being put into a squad car he professed his innocence to his fellow circus performers.

The detectives told him and the fortune teller they found a disposable phone. They didn’t know the only number it called, but they didn’t need the tech’s assistance to follow the trail of text messages. There was no doubt in their mind that the ringmaster had hired a professional to kill his wife and the fortune teller’s husband. The detectives expressed sympathy for the loss and left.

The sun was already up when the circus folk settled into their homes. He was very pleased. His plan to buy phones and text himself had worked. He had one more thing to do before he took over his well earned role as ringmaster. The ringmaster’s son transferred the final payment to the man who made all his wishes come true that night, the man in black.

 

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