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ferris wheel

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.

(2nd Installment)

“How’d you see? And how’d you get free tickets?”

“I’m on a break. Just happened to be sitting there. Seen and heard it all. Watched it too.”

“I don’t do too well with the girls,” Paul said. Then, “You a cowboy?”

Lilly was wearing cowboy boots, tight jeans, a flannel shirt and a cowboy hat. She had leathery skin and wore no makeup. A long ponytail hung down her back.

“Good guess,” she said. “But no. What’s your name?”

“Paul.”

“Well, hey Paul. Hi. Like I said, I’m Lilly.”

They walked to the end of the line which was considerable. Lilly held Paul’s arm the whole way. Paul noted she had a firm touch and when she let him go, he saw she was freckled under that cowboy hat.

“You know I could jump the line,” said Lilly. “But I was hoping we might get to know each other a little while we wait. So tell me the most important things about yourself. Fast.”

“I’m eighteen. Still a virgin. Looking to not be. Working class, smart, college freshman.”

“Impressive,” said Lilly. She took Paul’s hand. “That was great. I travel with the rides all year round. Twenty, not a virgin and no, you’re not getting laid by me. High school dropout, love music, really would have picked you.”

The line moved forward a little. Paul took Lilly’s hand. “You pick up guys a lot?”

“Just about never.”

“That the truth?”

“Odds are we never see each other again,” said Lilly. “So, what do you say? No lies. No games. No BS. How come you’re still a virgin?”

“Not what I wanted.”

“You must have had chances.”

“A couple. Never seemed right to close the deal.”

“Explain.”

The line moved forward more. They were almost up to where they’d be getting on the ride.

“Once the girl was drunk. I could have. Just didn’t seem right. Once the girl really wanted to but she was only fifteen. I was seventeen. Once it was gonna be a train. I didn’t like the idea and told my friends they ought to back off. I just walked away. I tried to take the girl with me, but she wanted to stay. Go figure!”

“Let me guess,” said Lilly. “Your friends laughed at you afterwards.”

“Much worse than that,” said Paul.

“How so?”

“They called me pussy, spread it around that I backed out and was punk. Then it went around I was gay, not from them but from the rest of the people who found out. Nothing wrong with being gay, but I’m not.”

“That’s horrible,” said Lilly. She squeezed Paul’s hand and drew him close to her. She looked at him. He looked at her. They were drawn to each other.

Dusk was descending. The carnival lights which had been on for a short while became pronounced. Lilly kept him close until they stepped through the gate to get into the Ferris wheel box. Paul got in. She walked over to the operator.

“We’re in nineteen,” she said. “See to it we stay on triple ride.”

“You know you could have jumped the line, Miss Lilly,” said the operator.

“I know,” she said.

She joined Paul in number nineteen, sat next to him, up against him. The worker closed the door and they went up just a bit so the people in the next car could get out and new people could get in. This went on for awhile. They were quarter way up, then a bit more, then finally the wheel started turning.

“Put your arm around me, big boy,” said Lilly.

Paul did what she asked. “What’d you say to the operator?” he asked.

“I told him give us a triple ride.”

“How you get that pull?”

“My father. He owns this. Well half since he has a partner. I travel all year round.”

to be continued

Pick up a copy of my published works hereBooks by Peter Weiss.

 

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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.

 ferris wheel

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.

1

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

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The mother was eleven weeks pregnant when she started to show. The little girl noticed her mother seemed a little flushed in her complexion and that she was rather content. Before the pregnancy there had been an edge to her and several times the girl had heard her parents argue, something she had never heard before, not because her parents didn’t argue but because they never did it where the girl could hear it. When the girl asked her mother, her mother said not to worry about it, that everything was okay.

“The girl asked her father too. He sat her down on her bed one evening and put his arm around her. It seemed to the little girl that her father’s hand brushed her non-existent little breast and she wouldn’t have even noted it if it hadn’t seemed as if her father had taken a little squeeze there. Imagination, she would think later, and she would dismiss it totally as her mind playing tricks on her. The bed bounced, she told herself, and we had a little accident.

“The father said that everything was okay. His hand quickly moved to the girl’s shoulder and stayed there so he could squeeze her to him, side by side, in hugs. He told her that Mommy was really busy with a big society banquet for one of her charities and she hadn’t been feeling quite herself. He told her they didn’t know why yet and couldn’t seem to pin it down on anything, but if she didn’t feel better in a day or two, they’d head off to the doctor. ‘You don’t need to be concerned at all, my sweet,’ Daddy told her. Daddy hugged her to him, caressed her, and then he told her to get ready for bed since it was getting late. He said he would send Evelyn up to help her.

“Evelyn put her to bed that night. Evelyn did not ordinarily put her to bed. That was Mommy’s job, exclusively, though Daddy always came in to kiss her good night before she fell off to sleep. The little girl thought she heard another argument happening, but she wasn’t sure. Evelyn petted her gently and read her a story. Evelyn was always soft-spoken. She smelled like gardenias. The little girl asked Evelyn if her parents were arguing. Evelyn said they were, but that it was okay. Lately her mother and father had both been edgy but she didn’t know why except that they were pregnant and women weren’t always themselves in pregnancy.

“Evelyn kissed the little girl good night and told her not to be concerned. She told her that every marriage had rough spots and that for some reason her parents seemed to be going through one of those. She said she’d seen them before with her parents and she was sure it would pass.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle in a few more days.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“She was six,” Rose said. “A little girl, innocent, happy, born to wealthy parents who seemed so normal. She went to school in Bayside, in the best school district in New York City, which is why her parents didn’t immediately send her off to private school. They lived in Bayside Manor with their own boat dock on the bay.

“She was a good student. She got up and dressed herself every day, got herself ready for school, sat quietly and ate breakfast prepared by the housekeeper. Evelyn wasn’t a nanny although she served in that capacity when the girl’s mother was exceptionally busy with her work. Mommy was a socialite who did an extraordinary amount of charity work. That work kept her happy and busy and the girl would grow up to do the same, but not before becoming a stunning young lady, a debutante brought out at the debutante’s ball.

“Every day the girl came home from school and did the little homework a first-grader had and then she ate a snack. After the snack either her mother or Evelyn would take her out to her playground to play.

“ ‘One day you’ll have little brothers and sisters to play with,’ the girl’s mother had been saying for awhile. Then, one day the little girl saw the bulge, very small at first, but she knew her mother was pregnant and understood that her words about brothers and sisters had been designed to prepare her for the day that was coming.”

Rose poured coffee for herself and after returning the coffee pot to the kitchen she sat down to drink it. Today she was wearing a simple cotton dress and sandals and Murph could see she had not put on any makeup. “I’m going to show you my panties in a few moments, so don’t be shocked. And I’m going to ask you to touch me. Don’t get scared. It’s not sexual.”

Murph didn’t say anything. He was thinking about what Rose had told him so far—nothing much of anything—but he sensed where it was going though of course he had nothing but a gut feeling.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Social Darwinism! Murph had written about Social Darwinism not too long ago saying that Social Security, Medicare and all the social welfare programs, programs like Food Stamps, ADC, TANF, WIC, and especially the protective agencies like CPS, were begun with the best of intentions, the true desire to help the ill, the helpless and the needy. But their intentions and desires were perverted over time, superseded by the need to survive, the first premise of evolution. At the precise moment this occurred, these programs started becoming detrimental to their clientele, to society and to the taxpayers who ultimately funded them. The reason: Social Darwinism, in this case, agency evolution, the survival of the fittest agencies through funding, funding because money was the agencies’ representative manifestation of strength and power.

Murph had written that Child Protective Services (CPS) perfectly demonstrated this evolution. The goal of CPS should only be assisting its clientele in accordance with the purpose for the organization. But its evolution suggested that its primary goal had become its own survival. It justified its existence by keeping a healthy number of kids in its control, thus maintaining funding (and quite neatly, he thought) somewhat like an agent or even a record company does, by collecting commissions and royalties on each property handled.

Goddamn, he thought. He sat back in his desk chair and sipped his coffee. DFCS and all the CPS agencies have made caring for kids a byproduct. What they do is shuffle them around like chattel and collect royalties on them, all by maintaining the number of kids with the revolving door.

His friend, a lawyer, had fought DYFS in Jersey and he’d dealt with ACS in New York while at the BOE. DYFS was like every other bureaucracy and government agency, city, state or the big boy Federal, just like the BOE in New York where he worked for a quarter century. Most of the on-the-line workers, the combat troops as he liked to think of them, were just normal, regular people who wanted to do good, to do their jobs well and help the people they were supposed to help. Then there were the ones who were lazy and didn’t do much but collect the paycheck, the not-so-competent ones who tried but didn’t get much done, and finally the jaded, corrupt ones, the ones involved in what Rose Friedlander was alluding to in regard to what both her husband and her father had been involved in, in asking Murph to look into that Georgia Senator circa 2010 who had done a report on the corruption and child trafficking in the Georgia CPS system.

That Senator was killed, Murph thought, and then he thought if you believed otherwise, that she was the victim in a murder-suicide by her distraught husband, then you believed the check was in the mail and you believed that the protesters started the riots at the demonstration where he was arrested eons ago. Not. Sergeant Hopkins, the cop who arrested him, was just one of the jaded corrupt following the orders of the FBI, who actually started the riots, who was following the orders of President Nixon. No one wants to believe these things, Murph thought, the clandestine conspiracies our fiction and cinematography are saturated by, yet we all believe them on some level and stay quiet because… because of suppression, because the suppression is much more diabolical in the United States, Murph thought, because here they maintain the illusion of freedom and democracy. They don’t’ kill you, he thought.  They kill your life.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo who killed you, Jack? One of them? Murph wondered.

Murph wondered what was hiding in the shadows. The worlds we don’t see, he said to himself, like who killed Kennedy and why Jack Ruby so easily killed Lee Harvey Oswald and then was himself so conveniently hushed up, like the realities of human trafficking.

In 2015, 11,800 runaways were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of them, it was estimated that a fourth, or 2900, were likely sex trafficking victims. Seventy-four percent of that fourth, or 2146 children, were in foster care when they went missing. So, Murph thought, was it one of them who killed you, Jack? One of their parents? One of their handlers?

Maybe one of them, he thought, thinking that Jack and his friends took those trips down south for the trysts supplied by CPS workers. Murph knew that up to 75% of kids in foster care were sexually abused, that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster care system was more than four times as high as in the general population. In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse was more than 28 times that of the general population. A CPS worker or hired killer to protect a CPS worker from being found out? A parent of one of the foster kids? Rose had a CD. Who else had one?

Yeah, Murph thought: the worlds we don’t see. He told himself again that the Georgia Senator and her husband were murdered. She was just weeks from exposing the human trafficking and sexual exploitation within DFCS. Coincidences like that weren’t usually coincidence. Politicians lie. Agencies lie and protect themselves. You can’t fight human trafficking with a sign saying # bring the girls back.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.


 MOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAurph’s  overwhelming instinct was to start the story with the double murder of the Georgia Senator and her husband some seven years ago, the double murder Rose had told Murph to look up at one of their first meetings. It was ruled a murder-suicide, dismissed as a financially distraught husband who could simply bear it no more, whatever the it was. The police and FBI never did a murder investigation, never looked into the fact that such an investigation would likely lead to high-powered, high-positioned politicians and State DFCS workers who were involved in the kidnapping and selling of children.

There was a cover-up going on. Kidnapping kids and placing them in foster care where they were literally for sale, and consequently sold—that was what it was about. The Senator’s murder, the double murder of her and her husband (of course since there was no murder investigation it could never be called a murder) was swept under the rug and anyone who disagreed with the murder-suicide findings was called a conspiracy-theory hack. The Senator’s death occurring just a few weeks before she was to present a new report on the corruption within DFCS, a report specifically detailing DFCS kidnapping and trafficking  kids then selling them as sex slaves and/or forcing them into prostitution, was never even considered suspiciously coincidental. How strange!

It was so clear to Murph and a whole lot of people, as clearly non-coincidental as Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald. To Murph, it was as clear as the FBI starting the riot he was arrested in. That was clear because he’d seen it with his own eyes, personally witnessed it and been a victim of it. Oorah.

Initially, the Senator criticized The Adoption and Safe Families Act   passed during  the Clinton Presidency for the trouble with DFCS. This act provided financial payouts to state and local agencies that increased the number of children being adopted out of Foster Care. It was like a royalty system, a pay-per-head scheme which she claimed caused Georgia state and local officials to flood the Foster Care System with kids that did not belong there so they could get their hands on the Federal monies.

The Senator’s initial criticism and her subsequent finding of the “flooding” of the system led her to publish a report about the “corrupt child protective services in her state,” a report which detailed her ongoing investigation of CPS, a report  in which she chronicled witnessing firsthand the ruthless behavior from caseworkers, social workers, investigators, lawyers, judges and therapists. Essentially, the report outlined their collusion and pretty much damned the entire system.

Having produced this report, the Senator was beginning to lose favor with the press and beginning to be marginalized by her peers. What she was looking into was extremely volatile and dangerous because it threatened to expose high-level officials. Nevertheless, the more she uncovered, the deeper she went with her investigations and the further she expanded her scope, even encompassing areas outside Georgia’s borders and into surrounding states.

The Senator had her supporters, ardent supporters who encouraged her to go on. Her going on led her to believe there was a direct link between elite-level child pornography and child sex trafficking and gross misconduct within Child Protective Services (CPS).

Hence she was murdered, but  not immediately. First she was politically murdered. She lost reelection a year after publishing her first report and claimed the loss was due to the report, her beliefs and her refusal to cease her investigations. She was about to present the new report which named names and provided details of her suspicions regarding the illicit link between CPS and child trafficking when she was killed, when the alleged murder-suicide took place.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle next week.