Scene 8

carny copy

Exterior of the Carnival. Bustling young crowd swarming over the attractions like ants on a picnic. Loud music is blasting throughout the park.

Lobo is painting a variety of colorful, wild scenes: Space Age fact / fiction panoramas, such as selections from Star Trek, 2001 and the Moon landing. Cultural icons from the time are also illustrated– Rock & Roll musicians, Woodstock, Sexy “free love” babes, bell bottomed hippies, Bikers, Abstract Peter Max style stuff as well. Some pictures also feature scenes of gruesome horror appearing very sinister and evil. Lobo depicts a version of “Scream” by Munch expressing extreme angst and aloneness. Overall his paintings accurately reflect the spirit of the age. Beyond that they reveal something of Lobo’s persona. They connect with Lindsay’s soul. They stir, disturb or upset him. Lindsay wanders around intrigued by the images.

Interspersed among the visual clutter are glimpses of money pouring in, short rides with complaining patrons, skimming tickets, and people working hard. Kids come by to check out Lobo’ displays – “cool stuff! Wow! Out of sight!”   Workers at the Carnival like his stuff as well… a lot. More and more people are pouring in, a younger group than usual, attracted in part by the change of image. Lindsay sneaks in shadows looking at Lobo and at his pictures… and people admiring his art. Lobo is an curious enigma.

Under the premise that he left his own keys back at the trailer, Buster borrows Lobo’s, which include the one to the utility shed where the paint and supplies are kept. Buster covertly passes the keys along to Lindsay, according to the prearranged scheme. Lindsay sneaks into Lobo’s tent and carefully goes to Lobo’s foot locker and unlocks it after trying several keys. Pulling the items out piece by piece and carefully laying them on top of his cot, he sifts through it. He must be prudent to organize the items so that they can be returned in the exact order in which they were taken. Lindsay is a skilled and cautious thief. He attentively goes through layer by layer of Lobo’s belongings. He must restore Lobo’s possessions and take back the borrowed key within several minutes…

in order to avoid detection.

Lindsay spies a snapshot of what must presumably be Lobo’ wife and kids. Another picture portrays his black friend from prison. Under several layers of clothing, toward the bottom of the locker Lindsay discovers a stash of interesting objects. First he pulls out a large, ornate knife as well as some mysterious looking weapons including several shirken and a pair of num chucks… Along side these strange instruments he discovers a tattered old Bible and a large purple-blue book with an insignia that read Alcoholics Anonymous. Several pamphlets of various topics protrude from it’s bulky pages.

The black Bible is stuffed with two precisely folded newspapers. He deliberately unfolds each one in turn and quickly filters through them. He stops his scan in the place where the article describes the death of Lobo’s wife & 2 kids. He is called Lawrence in the section. The other article contained headlines of Lobo’s crimes and prison sentence. The caption mentions his conviction for murder of three people and the alleged, but unproved rape of a child. Lindsay seems both perplexed and frightened. Murder! Oh my god! His discovery makes his sense of danger more heightened. In shock, he looks around to make sure no one, especially Lobo is coming. His concentration is disturbed. He hears something outside the tent. Lindsay is terrified. He wants to read further then the headlines, but just cant. What if he is caught? What if Lobo walks in on him!

Lobo has left his painting impulsively, is returning for a template of a scene that he left on his bunk. Buster notices from across the way as he anxiously stands guard. Lobo walks through the long shadows cast by the harsh overhead lighting. Lindsay nervously replaces the documents. Buster hurries over to catch Lobo right as he’s about to enter the tent. Lindsay overhears the conversation and hastens to put everything back as quickly as possible. He is scurrying to stuff the articles into their original place but can’t afford the time to belabor the process. He notices a brilliant necklace with an odd token of a cross & a divided circle. He grabs it and awkwardly crams it into his jeans pocket. He fails to notice however, that in the process drops his pen knife by the bunk.

Buster attempts to make small talk. He asks what Lobo is doing here. How is it going? Why isn’t her working? Lobo mentions that he left his sketches on the bunk which he needs to continue his work. Lobo gives him a suspicious look, his intuition being pricked. Lobo asks for the return of his keys because he needs to get additional supplies. Buster covers by saying that his must have left them in the shed. That he’ll go get them. Buster’s voice is exaggerated, loud and nervous. Lobo places his hand on the tent entrance and makes to enter. Buster grabs his forearm and restrains him. Lobo’s body tenses, his trained reflexes anticipating a conflict. Buster stutters that he appreciates the work that Lobo’s doing. This is really out of character for Buster Lobo thinks. Something is going on. “Yea, well thanks… I have to get back to work. Is there anything else?” Buster slips out, his mind blank of any other tactic in his arsenal to prevent Lobo’s progress. “No, nothing else.”

Meanwhile, Lindsay sloppily finishes reloading the locker, pushes it into place, and slips out the back just as Lobo goes in. Buster fearfully watches him enter. Lobo picks up the stack of illustrations laying on his cot. He reaches over to grab his cap off the bunk rail but then suddenly halts. He notices or rather feels things are off kilter. His intuition, finely honed from being in the pen, is piqued. He slowly looks around the tent for intruders. For clues. He surveys the bunk area. Things are not quite right. His usually crisply folded bedding is mussed. His locker is at an awkward angle. Not quite the same as he remembers. The latch on his locker is unlocked. “Hmmm.” He mutters thoughtfully, “I know I locked it. How could that be?” Lobo investigates further and sees the back flap of the tent is untied, also unusual. Lobo opens his locker and examines its contents. Everything seems to be in order. However, further review reveals little traces of things not quite in place.

Finally, he discovers Lindsay’s pen knife lying on the floor by the bed. “Well, that’s interesting. Seems like someone’s real interested in checking us out.” Lobo can tell that the knife belongs to a child by its size and type. Further given his observation of Lindsay monitoring his activities over the last several days and Butch’ earlier comments he suspects Lindsay. Lobo is relieved in one sense to have his suspicions confirmed. He is also greatly disturbed, but not really surprised, to find himself under investigation. He places the pen knife deliberately into his pocket. It doesn’t appear anything is really missing yet but is suspicious… and curious.

Lobo temporarily dismisses his questionings and heads back to finish his work before the wrap party.

The Carnival closes for the night. Their two week gig at this town is over. They were able to make the necessary adjustments and get things ready for their 8 month road trip. It had been a two week frenzy. A lot of tough moments. Overall a tentative team spirit had been forged. The final fixative was the infamous San Antonio kick-off party. It had become a tradition among the lucky locals to be invited to such. It was the underground cool place to be. The police would look the other way. In fact some of them would even join the frolic from time to time, of course never donning their blues. The city enjoyed the tradition of being home to a once fairly well known Carnival. Generations of civic club, charity events, dirt on the ‘powers that be’ served well to insulate Butch and his crew from the wrath or attention of the authorities… within reason.

The festive all night party ensues with all the Carny folk and their local guests. Mostly a young crowd. A few on the edge old timers. People smoking dope, drinking, some even shooting up in the shadows. Others at some stage of the process of sex. Usually just foreplay and touchy feely stuff. However as the night wore on, just about anything could happen, and usually did. Some couples or teams who wanted serious sex found some semi-hidden crannies to sport in. Most partygoers just wanted to linger where the action was, loosing themselves in the intoxicating beat as they dance or just sway to the music. Butch and Agnes were the recognized elders of the whole gang, King and Queen. Patriarch and Matriarch of the Carnival Family and the villagers. A position they richly enjoyed. This is one of the perks, the moments of glory that made it worth it.

The event boasted a few hard core people as well. Hells Angels, or their cousins by another name with the entourage of tattooed biker chicks. An abundance of friends and invitees of Buster and his buddies. Butch aided by Agnes, as host and hostess, ceremoniously set up kegs of beer and bottles of alcohol. Other emissaries of theirs, more covertly, distributes grass and other party drugs. Agnes ushers in a group of young women, party girls. Butch, upon seeing the 8 or 9 seductively adorned females, jokes to fellow partygoers that it’s ‘just a reward for doing so well’… a down payment on good times ahead. What was lost in morale would soon be more than made for as the night heated up. Butch was a wonderful judge of human nature and knew how to throw a hell of a party.

Lindsay is very disturbed by the revelations learned about Lobo. He enters cautiously into the party and goes to get Agnes and Butch’ attention to tell them what he learned. He tries to tell his Mom over the loud music, chatter and wild laughter. “I got a lot of information about Lobo… Stuff that is really important. I need to talk to you!” His mother is appreciative but distracted by her duties. The loud music drowns out the parts about the picture of Lobo in prison with the friend. As well as the article about the murders.

Agnes motions to Lindsay that she can’t hear anything but they’ll talk about it later. Butch overhears bits and pieces, mostly that he got some good stuff on Lobo, but also has his mind elsewhere. “Great job Lindsay, we’ll talk about it tomorrow… Go have some fun.” Butch gives Lindsay a drink. A frothy beer bubbling over the translucent plastic edges. Butch is on top of world. Things are going better for the Carnival. He’s the king surrounded by his admirers. He’s in control. He has shit on Lobo. Butch is Mr. Affectionate, Warm & Charismatic.

Lindsay wanders off to view the spectacles of debauchery around him. Jackie is acting like a tramp and dancing sexy for everyone. Sweetie looking at her with a mixture of awe and repulsion. Brian is playing poker and making money. Buster is hanging out with guys drinking too much and ogling the fresh crop of girls. Lobo is conspicuous in that he doesn’t do dope or drink. He does keep a coke in his hand and seems to enjoys party though. Lindsay retreats to the far corner away from the direct line of sight by Lobo behind the crowds. Lindsay fingers his stolen trinket as he warily studies Lobo from a distance.

Agnes whispers in ear of a pretty girl with long blonde hair, who looks to be about 16… Audrey.  Audrey’ tie died, gauze peasant shirt barely masks her gigantic bra-less tits. She has tight colorful bell-bottomed hip-huggers. Agnes, her arm around the bubbly girl continues to talk softly in her ear. The girl nods and giggles. Agnes places a couple of joints into her hand. She winks at the girl who returns a coy smile. They glance over to Lindsay who looks alone and afraid in the corner. Audrey cruises over to Lindsay and begins to flirt with him. At first, Lindsay is pensive.

She gradually wins him over with her casual innocence and gentle warm smile. She quickly thaws Lindsay’s reluctance. She giggles and touches him a lot. In a few minutes Lindsay is led out of the tent to embark on his first experiment of smoking grass. They find a shadowy shot on the side of the tent, still within the pervasive, powerful party atmosphere. The girl lights it up and takes a drag. Then Lindsay tries it. Trying to appear “experienced”, he inhales too deeply, like smoking a cigarette. He coughs and coughs. She laughs. Lindsay is embarrassed, but she reassures him that it’s O.K. She is very accepting.

She rests one hand on his thigh and with the other one strokes his hair and looks dreamily into his eyes as she puffs her joint. The final drags expire. They are both pretty high. Lindsay is bombarded with feelings. Sex, drugs and Rock & Roll. She nudges still closer to him, nuzzling into his neck. Her hand inches higher up his thigh. Lindsay is fixated on her breasts. Staring at her wonderful cleavage as she presses up against her. She has been noticing him staring her tits as they were getting high. She enjoyed that.

She sits up and staring into Lindsay’s anxious eyes, reaches over and places puts Lindsay’s hands onto her tits. Lindsay is speechless. He responds and starts to massage them through her shirt. She gently pulls his hands away. Then, she easily opens her loose shirt with a firm tug of one hand. Immediately the complete row of snaps yields with a sequenced popping sound. She tenderly pulls his head into her lovely bare breasts. Her tits feel so warm and plush. Lindsay is dazed, bugged eyed. He’s never been this close to reality before. It’s always been fantasy images through magazines. His tongue hungrily finds and wets both nipples in turn. She lightly touches him and he gorges himself on her delights.

Audrey sensuously stands up and strips off her bell bottoms, revealing her cute bikini panties, etched with a vintage collection of slogans from the late sixties; peace signs, flowers and ‘Loves’. She lifts Lindsay to his feet and unbuckles his pants, and guides them down his legs. As she bends over, her long hair cascades over her young body like a water. With a toss of her head, she pushes her hair back and passionately embraces Lindsay. She tutors him in the art of French kissing and caressing. They melt into the dusty Carnival floor. Lindsay and Audrey heatedly and unashamedly explore each other’ bodies with probing hands… in adolescent curiosity, innocence and simplicity.

Audrey’ her drunk boyfriend, Clutch, finally noticing her absence, asks about her whereabouts to his intoxicated comrades. One mentions she left with a kid some time ago and motions towards the door. He wanders out looking for her attitude in hand. He makes his way to the other side of the tent. Clutch discovers Lindsay wallowing on the ground with his head conspicuously between Audrey’ exposed tits. Hands investigating each other quite freely.

Clutch is very drunk and very mean to begin with. However, witnessing the sight of his girlfriend having a love fest with some little punk immediately inflames him. Pushes him way over the edge. He grabs Audrey’ hair in his tight fist, yanks her to her feet and smacks her hard. She screams and goes flying into the side of the tent. He staggers toward Lindsay muttering indistinguishable threats under his voice. He snatches the terrified Lindsay and jerks him to his feet without much effort. Like one would lift a limp rag. Clutch is clearly intent on doing Lindsay much harm.

Meanwhile, Lobo meanders out of the party also, having grown uncomfortable with acceleration of sex, drugs & alcohol. Wolf’ barking down the end of the tent draws his attention. When he arrives, Lindsay is cowering in his underwear in the dirt, before the fairly tattooed bully. Clutch had thrown him down and kicked at him a couple of times as Lindsay tried to scurry away. A serious situation. His girlfriend, wiping the blood out of the corner of her mouth, is crying quietly. She is pleading for Clutch to leave Lindsay alone. Clutch bends over to grasp Lindsay’ shirt in a ball.

Lobo demands, “Hey man, leave the kid alone.” Clutch, the head of Buster’ three enforcers barks back, “Stay out of it!” Lobo reasons, “He’s just a kid… and you’re drunk.” Clutch retorts, “He’s been fucking around with my girl and I’m going to make him hurt.” Lobo calmly but authoritatively states, “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.” He throws Lindsay back down and spins around. He looses his balance and has to straighten himself. Lobo respectfully backs off a step as not press him. Clutch spits out an ornery snicker. “Yea, what are you going to do about it, Chink?” He pulls a sizable knife from behind his back and swaggers toward Lobo. He seems to sober up quickly and become rather serious. They begin the dance of preparation and parry.

Clutch lunges at Lobo. Lobo easily evades. A intense fight ensues. Lobo does some fancy martial arts shit… Street fighting mixed with some karate kicks to ward off the his initial thrusts. Clutch gets angrier and more focused. He is frustrated by Lobo’ tactics. Lobo picks up mop laying nearby and uses the handle as a Bo – an oriental staff used in martial arts training. He blocks Clutch’ jabs and swings smacking his wrists. He recoils in pain. The skill at which he handles the makeshift weapon betrays his skill and experience. “Damn you, Chink… I’m going to skin your fucking yellow hide and hang it on the tent pole.” Lobo never takes his eyes off his enemy. It’s a cobra versus a mongoose.

Clutch explodes with anger and spews out a yell-growl and rushes Lobo directly. He has a good 7 or 8 inches and 60 to 70 pounds on Lobo. It looks bad for Lobo, like a bear rushing a dog. Lobo doesn’t flinch at Clutch’ hollering. He sustains a eerie calmness. Clutch coils his right arm back for a full swing of his huge knife. Lobo swiftly lurches forward to meet Clutch in mid stride. A swift upper cut of the mop handle catches him firmly in the balls. Then a quick reverse to the face.

The sound of a dull thud and something like wood breaking…Clutch’ nose. He falls immediately to his knees, dropping the blade. Lobo kicks it to the side. Clutch is moaning and curled up in the fetal position. Lobo still quietly standing over him.

Lindsay crotches in the shadows. He is in grateful awe at Lobo. For a few moments he completely forgot his fear of Lobo and the information he discovered about him. He is ecstatic for being rescued from the jaws of the Lion. People begin to gather around during the final stages of the brawl. Clutch’ buddies exit the tent to join the fray as well. Spectators hold the bully’ friends from interfering… There is general murmuring of the crowd as they witness the entertainment. “What’s going on? Shouldn’t we stop it? Let them have at it. Yells and encouraging cheers. Ohhh! Lobo sure made tidy work of that drunken fool. He’s good. Wow.

All in all it’s quite a show. Audrey is recovering from her wounds and enthralled in the scuffle. Quite oblivious to her semi-naked state until the gawking and jeers of the gathering crowd prick her awareness and she holds up her blouse to cover her exposed tits. People also laugh at Lindsay in his underwear, looking very embarrassed. Clutch continues to moan as the crowd also mocks his defeat… all in good fun. They thoroughly enjoy the exhibition. Lobo tosses Lindsay his pants and helps Audrey to her feet. Doing his best to block the view of the crowd as she gathers the rest of her clothing. Lindsay returns a heart felt “Thanks!”. His eyes expressing the extent of his genuine appreciation. Then he remembers his recent spying activities and diverts his guilty gaze from Lobo.

Lobo offers, “It’s O.K. kid, we all need a friend from time to time.” Lindsay fumbles with his pants, gathered around his ankles, as he tries to flee the spotlight. Lobo yells after him, “By the way, I think this may belong to you.” Lobo tosses Lindsay the pocket knife. He stumbles to catch it. Lindsay is stunned. He fearfully meets Lobo’ eyes. They exchange brief but knowing glances. Pulling up his pants as people laugh, Lindsay dashes for cover.

Clutch, helped up by his two buddies, bellows at Lobo, “You Mother Fucker… I’ll get you!” The crowd around him just laugh. He tries to reengage with Lobo physically but his two friends prevent him. Buster steps in, “Get out of here. Go on now. All of you, go!” He lends a wary eye at Lobo. Audrey, shame faced, slips her clothes back on in front to a curious audience. She gives her boyfriend a dirty look but follows he and his buddies as they hobble back into the party. Buster stares menacingly at Lobo, “You… You better learn to mind your own business and stay out of trouble.” Lobo is quiet. Asserting his authority, Buster continues, (To Lobo)“Got it? (To the remainder of the lingering crowd)

The rest of you, I said break it up!” Buster can’t help being impressed by this new side of Lobo. He is an enigma. Agnes & Butch just watch from the background and take note. Late comers ask, “What happen? What’s going on? Nothing man, it’s all over.” The crowd shuffles back inside tent to resume their festivities. Lobo and Butch exchange wordless glares before He and Agnes duck into the tent. The music throbs inside accompanied by the clamor.

Lobo stands alone in the dark. The steamy southern night is thick and oppressive. A pool of light spills down on him from the street lamp above. Bugs swarm around it. Drawn to it’s radiance by some primeval need or compulsion. Round and round they dance, endlessly.

In the distant cool darkness, stars sprinkled throughout the night sky are faintly visible. They seem peaceful yet alert. He brushes his hand through his damp hair. Time to head off to the work tent, get some sleep. Tomorrow he’s sure to need all his strength… to deal with the ramifications of tonight, for one thing.

Yea, next day they’ll be packing up and moving on. Taking to the road. Lobo’s looking forward to the travel. Seeing new sights and experiences. Prison was so shut in. Stifling to life itself. It’s nice to be out in the open and be taking a journey. Lobo wonders what God has for him. Where his path will lead. Where he fits in the scheme of things. He ponderously walks into the shadows.

Comments Off

%d bloggers like this: