A Maiden's Voyage
April 14th, 1912 11:40 P.M. Forward Well Deck Darcy The thundering howl of the submerged, ripping steel resounded in my ears. The night was black and full of fog so thick you could swallow it. Although I was alone on the deck, I glanced all around for signs of anyone else. I could not have been the only one who heard it. That was when I saw it, rising from the water like a frozen, white grim reaper. His scythe had struck, and he towered over his conquest in resolute stillness.
Hello, My Name is Officer Down
Most of you have seen my face on the news. I was one of many. For a time, the public seemed to understand, seemed to ache with the rest of my brothers and sisters that I left behind. For a time. Come here and let me tell you something - something that you did not realize before. That day I stopped you for speeding, and you felt indignant that you were being called out, I had witnessed the night before a fatal wreck involving a woman your same age. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter - like you. I could see it in your eyes that you were angry for getting that ticket, but your life is more important to me than getting your approval. Maybe a warning would have sufficed, but I have seen too many lost lives to hope you slow down with just that.
The Owl in the Conservatory
Allow me to introduce you to her. She lies barren in the pines, far away from the people of the town. Her sad eyes look out upon the estate. No one stays, but she will let anyone inside. The sign at the edge of the lawn says Barn Owl Farms Bed & Breakfast, but I know her as something else. And I call her Persnickety.
My favorite part of the night is drawing near. There are a few dozen carnival-goers still roaming around and screaming from atop the roller coaster. The place is lively enough, but calming down. Above us, the waxing crescent moon is shining brightly, casting a bluish tint over the darkened areas of Showman's Pier. The smell of funnel cakes, stickiness of cotton candy on the hard-gripped handlebars and the carnival music blaring from within the red and white-striped tents are all part of it - this wonderful, terrible world of the carney. At the end of the pier there is a ferry, often used by those wanting to have a romantic, candle-lit dinner on the way to the small island that sits to the East. The ferryman, Enoch, is a man of few words, but if you can put a grin under that salt and pepper beard of his, you’ve accomplished something rare. The last ferry ride out to the island is reserved for us - the freaks’ ferry, as our ringmaster, Jack Jones, so affectionately calls it. He views himself as the twenty-first century P.T. Barnum, but he is far from it, and the year-round carnival he has set up on this dilapidated pier is nothing like the Coney Island he had envisioned it being. We all were brought here full of hope. How foolish we were. All of us were told the same story. Mr. Jones was going to build the most grand, stationary carnival the world had ever seen. Some were pulled from their hidden caves and promised fame beyond belief, while others were talented performers looking to make a greater name for themself. Some came out of desperation for a life beyond the four walls that entrapped them, while others came simply out of greed. He knew the desires of each person he called to himself. He fed that desire with inflated promises that were nothing but lies to build his kingdom. And now, here I am, only minutes away from once again boarding that ferry. The freaks’ ferry. My ferry. Unlike some of my cohorts, my freakish qualities are merely a done-up performance for the squeals and dropped jaws of the guests that enter my domain. This story is not about my act, however. I am here to tell you of a murder - one that has already happened, and one that is about to, just off Showman's Pier.