Once again, happy new year to you all, my family and friends and my readers and followers. May God Bless you all and may the year be a happy and healthy one as well as a safe one.
As promised, the next ten or so postings will be the installments of a new short story called The Ferris Wheel. Here is the first installment.
The Ferris Wheel
Peter A. Weiss
Copyright © 2017 by Peter Weiss
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
They’d made their plans weeks ago while sitting around in Elliot’s garage drinking beer. They’d look for a group of five girls for the first hour, look for groups of two and three after that. Elliot, skinny and agile, one of the popular kids with girls, a pretty boy with smooth skin and long, thin, dirty-blonde hair, swore up and down they wouldn’t take a group of four and leave one of their own solo. But Paul didn’t believe it for a second since they’d done precisely that last year.
Mike, Steve and Alan, the three musketeers, cousins, all Italian and would-be wise guys, didn’t care. They could, they would, fend for themselves. They always did. They always managed to score and to score with pretty girls looking for pretty boys.
Mike was the boss of the three. He was six feet even and a super-welterweight. He trained in a gym and boxed in the Golden Gloves. Alan invented stuff. Or he played with chemicals. He was taller than Mike and lanky. He kept one of those fifties rock and roll haircuts and made girls swoon with his sweet smile. Steve was little, just five-six, but he was built and wore clothes that showed his muscles. Like many smallish guys, he had an edge to him and wasn’t hesitant. He’d pick a fight anytime anywhere with anyone who looked at him in a way he didn’t like.
Paul was the loner, a college boy. He and Alan had always been friends so he hung out with the crew. It wasn’t his first choice but it beat being by himself. He was beefy last year. He wore a crew cut and black plastic-framed eyeglasses. He would have been picked on, but he was five-eleven and two-twenty, a solid middle linebacker for his high school. He was also smart, good in English and Math. For college he’d let his hair grow and dropped thirty pounds. He was thinner but still solid.
The fair came on Labor Day weekend. Last year, Elliot and the three musketeers got laid in the hay behind the cattle exposition. They’d left Paul on his own where, by chance, he’d met Lilly. Lilly travelled with the amusement ride people. Her father owned half-share of all the rides. It was a cash business and so he and his partner had to watch over the cash. Lilly did her share to help out and make sure they didn’t get ripped off.
Lilly was twenty last year. She was on a break when the boys picked up the four girls. She happened to be sitting by one of the ticket booths taking in everything. If the surroundings, with all the noise from the music, the rides and the loudspeaker announcements, seemed a bit tumultuous to most people there, to her it was just quite ordinary, downright routine.
She’d seen it all. Elliot, the pretty one, approached like a peacock and strutted his stuff. He dropped some sweet talk and led them over to his boys where, no surprise, gawky Paul ended up odd man out. He was gonna take off and head home, but since he was near the Ferris wheel, he decided to take a ride and think it through. He chose the closest ticket booth, the one by which Lilly sat, and not having seen her, he was surprised when she walked up to him as he was about to buy his ticket.
“On me,” said Lilly. Give me two.”
The woman in the booth said “Yes ma’am.” She handed Lilly eight tickets since the ride cost four.
“Ride with me, please?” Lilly took Paul by the arm and led him toward the Ferris wheel. “I’m Lilly. I saw what your friends did. That wasn’t nice. Anyway, if I was one of them girls, I’d a picked you.” She smiled. Paul saw she had uneven, unstraight teeth, but she had cute dimples on both cheeks when she smiled.
to be continued