Scene 19

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Brian, running an errand by Busters’ command, circles around the back of he main arena and approaches the utility shed from the side. As he gets closer he a sound like a child or dog whining or crying. He slows his pace and searches to identify where the noise is coming from. Just outside the door he stops, recognizing that sound is being conveyed from inside. The door is slightly ajar. He discreetly peeps in.

He is startled to see Lobo stroking head of Lindsay. Lindsays’ arms are wrapped tightly around Lobo. Lindsay looks to be convulsing. He can’t tell for sure if Lindsay is crying or just deeply disturbed. Lobo appear to be petting him. He sees them embracing and speaking intimately to each other in low, hushed tones… as if they’re trying to keep from being over heard. Brian is perplexed and shocked. He dashes away, feeling like he has invaded upon something he wasn’t intended to see. As he rounds the corner of the tent he runs into Buster.

Buster had just finished up talking to his three boys about their part of Butchs’ plan. Buster irritated by being run into, criticizes, “I thought I told you to get the ladder out of the shed and help put up the new signs?!”  Brian looks exasperated. “Well, I was going to but Lobo and Lindsay were in there and…” He flounders, considering what to say next. Buster doesn’t tolerate much in the way of untimely excuses. Never did. But since his promotion, he was even more demanding. He barks, “So What? I was wondering where that loafer was anyway… So? The ladder, remember?”

Brian scrambles for words, “Well, they were… well, kind of…” Buster crosses his arms impatiently. Brian falters then spits it out. “Well, they like hugging and stuff.” Brian makes a cringing face when he says it like ‘icky!’. Still with a grimace Brian distastefully unfolds the rest of what he witnessed. “And Lindsay was crying real bad… Lobo was petting him or something. Lobo had Lindsays’ head in his hands and was rocking back and forth…” Brian raises his eye brows to convey his astonishment at the scene and finishes. “and… well, really that’s all I saw!” Buster wastes no time. He orders, “You come with me.” Brian looks surprised and confused by obeys. Buster marches double time to Butch and Agnes trailer. Brian races to keep up but falls behind muttering, “It was probably nothing. I didn’t…” Buster turns as he quickens his pace even faster to a jog and yells, “Come on! Get going!” Buster, dogged by Brian, arrive at Command headquarters.

Buster Knocks frantically on the door several times. Brian catches up just as Butch opens the door. Agnes lingers behind him. “Well, says Butch. “What’s up now?” Buster looks at Brian and prods him, “Well… Tell them what you saw!” Brian back tracks apologeticaly. “Nothing really… I was just going to get the ladder…” Buster explodes, “He saw Lindsay and Lobo being physical in the utility shed… like, going at it!” Agnes turns pale. She is absolutely mortified. “What! Where?” Brian vainly attempts to qualify Busters description of the events, “Well, I didn’t…” Butch stands over Brian and besieges him, “What did you see?” Brian timidly sputters. “Well, they were real close together, touching and hugging and stuff… And Lindsay was crying!” Agnes listens intently, although anxious, until hearing the part about Lindsay crying… at which point she flips into a rage and screams, “That fucking pervert!” She immediately undertakes to make her way past Butch. Butch grabs his shirt and puts it on as he dashes for the shed.

Agnes already has a significant lead on Butch as she storms across the midway. “I’ll kill that mother fucker!” She’s more pissed off than she’s ever been in her life… except maybe once at her ex-husband when she caught him cheating. The other Carnies curiously study the situation from afar. Something heavy must be going down to simultaneously capture the attention of all three Carnival big shots! They watch the three cross the midway wondering if they should continue with their work of join the pursuit of whatever…

Agnes makes quite a spectacle as she accelerates. Her hair is totally mussed up and witchy looking. Sporting a dirty white mid-driff without a bra and low-cut bell bottoms which she has both out grown and out aged. Her boobs bounce wildly up and down as she runs or jiggle amusingly from side to side when she slows. Counter punctual to her zeal and rage. “I swear, I’m going to kill the bastard.” Butch strains to catch up, flanked by Buster.

Brian looks on dumbfounded as they rush away. He pitifully whines, “What do you want me to do?” When no answer is forthcoming, he scurries back to his tent to tell the others. On route he crosses the path of Enid and Clydes’ place. Enid’s inside cooking up the night’s meal. Clyde’s tinkering with his truck. Tommy’s outside playing marbles. Brian quickly reports to them the facts and hurries on. Arriving at their tent completely out of breath, he tries to tell Sweetie and Jackie between gasps, what’s going down.

***

Lindsay’s mournful tears subside a little. Lobo remains besides him with one arm tightly around him. It is obvious to Lobo that something much deeper than the stolen necklace is bothering Lindsay. He’s not sure how to proceed. He decides the best thing to do is simply to tell the truth, or at least his truth anyway. Maybe something will click that will help Lindsay.  “It’s O.K. kid… Really, it’s not that big a deal. My friend Mo, gave me that necklace when I didn’t believe in anything. Not God, not people, not myself. I was bitter, lonely, confused. I was so mad at everything and everybody.” Lindsay wipes the snot form his nose with his shirt sleeve and stops crying. Lobo continues his disclosure, “I figured everyone in my life had screwed me. I decided that I was going to fuck them before they fucked me. That was in prison. One day, I got into this gang fight. There was 4 or 5 of them. I was getting my ass kicked pretty badly… ‘cause I was a ½ breed. Didn’t fit in to any of the gangs. I think I would have been killed right then and there… But then this huge black guy steps in and helps me. Mo. Nobody ever did that for me, in my whole life. Saved my ass. After that, didn’t have much problem with the gangs. Mo was one big mother fucker. NO one wanted to mess with him. Found out he had a big heart as well. And a big faith in his God to go with it. Anyway, I figure I owe him. He gave me this shortly thereafter.” Lobo looks fondly at the token in his hand.” Lindsay looks relieved. Maybe from the cry. Maybe from the story. However, Lobo could sense that there were still many lingering shadows. It was as if he could see clearly into Lindsay soul. As if the encounter and tears had temporarily washed away his psychological fortifications.

Lobo was determined to press on. He smiled warmly at Lindsay and persevered, “So I figured, borrowin’ it to you was maybe a way of sharing with you a little of what he gave to me… He got moved to a new cell block so I didn’t see him all that much. Sometimes, this (holding up the pennant) was a light in my darkness. It got pretty dark sometimes.” Lobo reflects on some of his difficult and painful experiences, “Well I did things… or had things done to me… well” Lobo shudders as he tries to divulge the details.

Lindsay pipes in with conviction, “Not as bad as me. He appears as if he could begin sobbing again at any moment. Lobo stares gravely into his eyes, “Lot’s worse kid… Lot’s worse.” His voice trails off. Lobo is choked up. He’s never shared this with anyone before. It’s just something you learn to never mention. Like an unwritten code. Whatever happens in prison was there. On the outside it didn’t matter. Or so said the code.

Lobo soberly reveals his past, “When I first got to prison, well I fought real hard. They almost killed me… but in the end, well… there were just too many of them.” Lobo expression reflects the shame he still bears. Lindsay peers intently at him. Captivated and touched by Lobo’s candor. Lobo breathes in a deep sigh. As if to say, there I said it… the worst is over. He goes on, “It happened quite a few times after that. I kept fighting. Sometimes I’d win, sometimes I’d loose. Finally, they left me alone for the most part. Problem was though, through it all, I think I lost a part of myself forever.” Lindsay doesn’t know how to respond. He tries to offer solace. “At least you tried to fight them off.” Lobo acknowledges Lindsay’s attempts to comfort him but further discloses, “Yea, I fought the good fight. I’ve got quite a lot of scars to prove it. But really, they’re battle scars of my arrogance and pride more than of my virtue I’m afraid. I went in there with an cocky and condescending attitude, almost daring anyone to fuck with me… And there were more than a few who stepped up to the challenge. It was God’s way of bringing me down a couple of notches. Thought I could lick the world and beat them all.”

Lindsay feels profound humiliation and discomfort even discussing the subject. However, he is relieved to find a soul mate at long last in whom he can safely share a confidence. He hadn’t known or believed it were possible. Several heart wrenching moments pass during which Lindsay contemplates his next move. Ultimately he is compelled to confess his own dark secrets. Lindsay stares into the blank space ahead and begins,  “I was… Well, Butch was… God, my mom would kill me. It was my fault. Well, that’s what Butch said. Said I wanted it… that I seduced him. Tried to get him to… well, you know.” It’s not coming out like he’s trying to say it.

Lindsay feels overwhelmingly confused, sad and ashamed. He chokes, “Said I was a little demon and tempted him.” Starts crying. “Said I was a temptation and wicked.” Huge silent tears stream down his face and drop to the dirt floor. “Said that… If I ever told anybody, he’d kill me and my mother…” Looks terrified underneath the tears. “He would do it too. I tried to warn you… I know he will if he finds out. He’d kill both of us!” Lindsay searches Lobo face for a guarantee of protection from his nightmare. Lobo is deeply moved and concerned. He really bit off more than he could chew. He wasn’t prepared. Doesn’t have the resources. “I didn’t know, Lindsay. I’m sorry… so sorry. Lindsay starts sobbing uncontrollably. Lobo holds him. Lindsay weeps and weeps. Lobo tries to comfort him- like a delicate, gentle mother would her suffering infant. Long compassionate caresses through his hair and softly down his back.

Agnes bursts though to shed door spitting fire and venom. Her first sight when she storms in is of Lindsay– laying on Lobo’s lap, clinging desperately to him, balling his eyes out. Lobo carefully cradling LIndsay in his arms, stroking him tenderly. They are startled by the intrusion. Lobo looks up and mutters. “Oh, shit.” Lindsay gasps. Agnes goes at him in a vicious tirade. She attacks him ferociously. Slapping, scratching, kicking, biting, hitting… Like a wounded, wild animal. Lindsay’s objections (Hey, wait!) are muted beneath her screams. “You perverted monster. You mother fucking son of a bitching whore!” Lobo covers his face and tries to deflect the blows but offers no resistance. Several seconds later Butch charges in with Buster in tow. Butch booms out accusingly as he pulls Agnes away from him. “What are you doing. You fucking pervert… We know all about you!” Buster comes immediately behind Butch and shoves Lobo to floor and stands over him threateningly. Agnes grabs Lindsay and yanks him off his feet. The combined force flings both of them toward the door. Lindsay objects screaming at the top of his lungs, Hey… No! What are you doing?”

Peter and Buster’s other two bouncers are next to arrive on the scene. They spotted the entourage as it hastened across the fair grounds and came running. Immediately they gathered around Buster, ready to kill on his command. Agnes intersperses the hubbub with her frenzied cursing and threats at Lobo. “You son of a bitch. You cock sucking son of a bitch!” Lindsay is still shrieking, “He didn’t do anything. We were just talking.

Butch yells, “You get home, Lindsay!” Agnes struggles to extract Lindsay forcefully from of the tent. “No, I don’t want to go!” She’s having a difficult time of it. Butch grabs Busters’ arm to get his attention and directs. “!” You take Agnes and the boy and go back over to the trailer.” Buster protests strongly, “But boss!” Butch doesn’t have the time nor inclination for debate. He restates his demand more firmly. “Buster, Let me handle this. Take ‘em back to the trailer, NOW!” Without further comment Buster instantly ushers them out and away.

Lobo remains grounded. Butch moves in position over him, flanked by Busters’ terrible trio.  A growing crowd of carnies gather outside the door, including the kids. Everyone can tell that it would be best not to intervene or attempt to get involved in this volatile situation. Butch and Lobo stare each other down. Butch spitefully reproaches him, “The gig is up, Lobo! Your time’s all run out… Messing with the boy was the last straw. Should have kept your perverted little chink hands in your own goddamned pocket.  Now you’re going to get burned. Boys in background chant and jeer. “We’re going to play some more. Come on Lobo, let’s play. This time, you aren’t going to walk away… Lobo appears unaffected and unafraid. They glare at Lobo with vindictiveness. Peter steps forward and kicks Lobo in the ribs. He recoils but stays put.

Butch intercedes. “Boys let him be.” They look surprised and mildly offended. Butch waves them off. “We’re going to do things nice and legal, this time. Don’t want anybody to accuse us of not treating people fairly, right” He looks for acknowledgment from those gathered outside. They all grumble their agreement. “You’all go on back to work.” The assemblage hesitates, not wanting to miss a good show. “I mean it!” Peter strolls over to the door and shuts it tight.

From the twinkle in his eye, its obvious that he thinks Butch’s last statement about fairness and legality was a sham to deflect the crowd. Now they were going to Lobo in real good and dump him in the river somewhere when they were finished. Boy, this was going to be fun. He’d been wanting to repay Lobo since that night at the party. He would take personal pleasure in slitting Lobo’s throat from ear to ear and letting him bleed to death while he watched.

Lobo senses the change in agenda and carefully rises to his feet. Well, if her was going to go down, he was going to take a couple of these fuckers with him, that’s for sure. Definitely the first one he was going to go for was Butch. Even if he were just able to take care of Butch before they got him, it would O.K. At least Lindsay wouldn’t have to endure any more torment. The air is thick with the anticipation of blood and violence.             They wait a few minutes while the crowd disperses. The gang spreads out around Lobo preparing for Butch’ signal. Butch glances out the door and strolls confidently over to the edge of the circle. Stands beside Peter. Lobo braces for the attack. Controlled breathing. Steeling himself against the pain the sure to follow. In the next instant, when they came for him, he would lunge at Butchs’ throat. Collapse his wind pipe and jab the eyes, that was the quickest, surest kill shot… If he could just hold on, keep conscious and strong until he was certain Butch was down.

Peter is impatient. Without taking his eyes off his prey he whispers to Butch, “So, boss… what are we waiting for? Can we take him now?” Butch sizes Lobo up. He has the power right now to snuff him out. But them what kind of victory would that be? No, he would see his plan through. It was tempting… To reach out and twist the life out of his nemesis… but this once, he would let reason prevail. He could have it all, if he just waited a little bit longer. One of the other guys pleads, “Come on Boss, let us have him.”

Still staring at Lobo, Butch smiles triumphantly, “No boys, just leave him alone.” As one they complained, “What!?” Lobo is astonished. This made no sense. Why should the wolf let his prey escape? Butch insisted, “You heard me… now take a hike, all of you!” The trio grumble and glare as they begrudgingly slump out of the utility shed. Peter is the last to leave. He issues a final threat to Lobo as he exits, “It’s not over, hear? Its not over!” Convincing himself that he would some day extract his revenge.

Butch and Lobo are left alone in the shed. “Well, it’s just you and me, now.” Lobo nods his assent. What was Butch up to. Lobo wonders if he should try to take him out anyway, for Lindsay’s sake. Then again, to take another man’s life, whatever the reason… intentionally, consciously, premeditatedly. Lobo decides against it. If he came at me and it were self defense, then O.K. He wishes for it. For the reason, the permission to kill.

Butch wants to indulge his supremacy before he dismisses Lobo once and for all. He gloats, “I know all about you. Jackson prison. The three people you murdered. The little girl you raped. Even how your friend ‘Mo’ saved your ass.” Lobo is shocked. How in the world could he have found out… Lindsay must have squealed. He was deeply disappointed. Lindsay betrayed him. Gave them information to crucify him. It didn’t figure. Why did he confess his painful secrets and pour out his heart. Yet, there couldn’t be any other answer. There was no other way for them to know. It had to be Lindsay. He’d have to reason this one out later.

Butch plays cat and mouse with him, “Frankly, I was surprised about 13 year old and her mother. Were you doing both of them? Butch chuckles.  “You were pretty stupid to hit on Lindsay, though…” He observes coldly.

Lobo reads him. Knows his game. He’s got to play this carefully though. Doesn’t want to bring heat down on Lindsay’s head. Lobo admonishes, “Not my thing, but maybe it’s yours? Huh? You into kids? Yea, you seem the type. Best to take your own advice.” Insinuating he knows more.

The verbal counter punch takes Butch by surprise. He deliberates. Butch wonders how much Lobo does know. No matter. They size each other up. Butch breaks the silence abruptly, “You can’t win. The cards are all mine. The game’s over… It is for you, anyway.” He gloats in victory. Lobo wants to see where he’s heading with all this. What’s he got up his sleeve anyway. He concedes, “Yea. O.K. So you win. Now what?”

Butch returns, “Now you lay your cards on the table and quietly walk away.” Lobo nods without agreeing. Then stops, stares at Butch as if his angry eyes could pierce his stone heart. “And if I don’t?” Butch swaggers back and forth, “They say the Carnival can be a very dangerous place to work. In fact, people have been known to even die if they aren’t careful… I try to protect everyone the best that I can.” Lobo sneers at Butch with disgust. “So you’re threatening my life, is that it?” Butch gets to the point. “Not at all! I’m saying that If you stay around I may not be able to protect you from the inevitable consequences of your past and well, present sins.”

Butch laughs. “Like I did a while ago. Next time, I may just have to look the other way. It would be a tragedy to have to report a another terrible accident on our midway… such as someone falling off the Ferris Wheel or Sky Dancer while attempting to repair one of the chairs or gondolas… could happen.” Lobo interrupts him abruptly. “Enough of your Bullshit, Butch, what are you after?”  Butch is irritated that his revelry and sport is being cut short. “O.K.” ass hole, you want the long and short of it… I want you gone by 3:00 tomorrow or else!” Lobo challenges, “Or else what?!” Butch looses his cool, “Or else, period.” He angrily stomps toward the door and throws it open. “Remember what I said… by 3:00 tomorrow. If not…”

Butch decides not to finish his statement. He regains his composure as he turns to leave. He pauses to look back one last time at his victim, his prey. One long, self-satisfied gaze of undiluted, triumphant evil.

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