My name is Mike Kandinsky and I manage a Carnival. We travel the Midwest, mostly, and Canada (see: A soliloquy). At the time of my story, we were still hunkering around the heaters, waiting out the frigid winter, getting set for our Season. Oh, and Maude Lemon, our bearded lady, decided she wanted a career change.
She cleared off all that hair and took charge of the two new concessions and the new Fun House, which turned out to be a box of rattlesnakes. Maudie looked mighty fine without that beard.
I was in my trailer having a Cuppa, going over options to fill the vacancy Maudie left me, when Maudie came right in.
“What can I do for you, Maudie? I didn’t hear you knock.”
“Mike, I need some help with that Fun House.”
“You already have a couple of roughnecks, Maudie? What’s the problem?”
“I lost one of ’em.”
It seemed the new kid, Blister, went through a door of the Fun House and never returned. Maudie and Armand wandered all through the place but couldn’t find him. And he wasn’t around camp anywhere. I reminded Maudie he was a teenager and subject to unpredictable behavior. She was sure that something was wrong; maybe something had grabbed him. That’s when I told her to stop listening to that Cajun Voodoo nonsense of Armand’s. I did go check out the Fun House myself, though. Maudie insisted on going with me. And, the fun just kept coming.
Maude and I entered the back of the Fun House and had a heck of a time finding the door Blister went through. We must have gone past it two or three times and then there it was, as plain as the nose on your face: 13. Maudie took my hand and we stepped through. Suddenly, we were outside and it was hot and humid. Everything around us looked like jungle…
Now, I’m gonna leave out the details of our, trip, because it all sounds pretty crazy…. Blister was there. Armand, bless his little Cajun heart, found a local Voodoo woman (in Kansas) and the door reappeared after disappearing on us, and we high-tailed it out of the frigging Fun House. We thought we were gone maybe an hour but turned out we went missing for a day and a half, Blister for two days. I called the company that sold me the thing and they disappeared (probably through door No. 13). Actually, it was my bookkeeper, Rhonda, who knew someone who knew someone, etc., who got me the “good” deal. The Voodoo woman wanted the Fun House in lieu of me burning it. I owed her so we hauled it over to her place. I assigned Maudie the task of finding us another attraction that wasn’t any fun.
“Mike, where the hell were we?”
“Maude, darlin’, let’s just stand back from it awhile. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation that includes Voodoo.”
“Buy me a drink, Mike?”
“I thought you’d never ask, darlin’.”
Flash Fiction Challenge #22 @ Thain in Vain
Photo: credit cagreatamerica.com
Word Count: 500
Prompt: You (or your protagonist) walk through a door, only to find that not only are you not where you expected and there doesn’t seem to be a way back…
Thanks to Thain in Vain for hosting Flash Fiction Challenge