The Subject of Desire Chapter 14

Paula Andrea Pyle MA By Paula Andrea Pyle MA, 5th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Charlie Braxton McRoy continues his indelibly psychologically thwarted journey into who knows where. Try as he might to free himself, the further entwined he gets. What will he do? What can he do? Does he possess skills enough to survive?

Chapter 14: Manipulation's Our Primary Face.

"To do or not to do", Charlie heard the 'flavor' of the words of Shakespeare run through his head before deciding to pick up the glistening object. Once again he reprimanded himself for picking the dumb thing up in the first place.

"Ain't no use in looking back now. What's done is done." A favorite saying of his father rumbled in his brain. Charlie felt he was growing up way too fast. But, who would ever notice? Being way out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but rocks, dirt and grass, what difference did it make?

"Well, no time like the present; walk away." Charlie instructed himself rather parentally.

"Let's get a move on it."
Carefully, he boarded the bike; started peddling but it required so much more force.

"Something must have happened when she flew through the air like a boomerang." He mumbled aloud.

Sweat popped out upon his forehead.

"Look, you guys I'm not up for a lot of manual labor. Can you ease up on me? No need to make it harder than it already is. It should be enough not to have any idea where I am or where I might be headed. As I recall, that's called mental exhaustion."

Charlie had grown accustomed to talking to thin air. Somehow, the sonorous sound of his own voice aloud, reassured him. Pushing with all his might, up the next incline, he heard a strange but familiar noise.

"What is that?" he asked.

No answer.

He struggled on the no-tailed machine on the designated unknown path.

"If I can make it around that bend, I'll be able to see over the hill and know more about what's going on."

MUSIC! MUSIC was playing in the vicinity of the landing over the hill, off the road, behind the rocky formation of cavern structures. Charlie got off the bike, pushing it through the rough terrain. The music grew louder the further into the clearing, he traveled. MUSIC! Familiar music brought such joy to his ears.

"Oh! My god." Enthusiasm drained quickly.

"That's the same song that was playing in the kitchen of my house." He didn't know whether to run towards it or lag back.

"How did that music get out here?" He dropped the bike. Without his conscious consent, his feet started running. Under the circumstances, out of breath, confused mind, bruised ego, physically exhausted, he was in no way prepared to accept what appeared. A fully fledged, brightly lit, lively animated, bubble serenading CARNIVAL operating (generating business) in the barren land of nowhere, how could that be?

"The music is pouring out of the main tent from a calliope. I can see that much." Charlie instantaneously remembered hearing the peppy song, complete with that infectious unforgettable melody, when he was a boy about five years old.

The exact rendition, note for note, had been performed, by a five piece band called the "Door Stoppers" when five year old Charlie had gone to the only circus that ever came to Battlefield, Kentucky.

"That's where I remember it from. All of my life, it has been locked away in the dark recesses of my mind. I had forgotten all about it. I didn't recall it at home. that's so strange. Why should I be hearing it NOW?" Charlie's feet pranced in rhythm to the sudsy old red calliope pipe-organ beat.

The uplifting sudsy music brought deeply repressed joyful memories back to Charlie. Thrilled, revived and inspired, he knew somehow, someway everything would be all right. Thankful, but still very uncertain, he found enough courage and trust to move on without knowing where this particular phase of the journey would take him.

Charlie Braxton McRoy, technically, still a child himself, thought he qualified for several Prize Ribbons, since having experienced, at least, two lifetimes, with all the bone chilling stuff he'd been through in a mere two days. He jumped two feet in the air, somersaulting to the first available striped tent. Depression quickly set in.

"I knew it was too good to be true. No one's in here."

He ran to the next tent and several others after that. Not one found person found. Last, but not least, he tackled the heavy canvas door of the Main tent.

"Okay. I give up. What is this purpose of this to mean? You give me an entire Carnival and no one's running it; real funny.

"I guess the next thing you're growing to tell me is Life's a Carnival; enjoy the show, right?" Charlie didn't care he was sarcastically talking to nothing.

An elephant passed directly in front of him at that precise moment. Surprised, but delighted Charlie blurted out,

"Where did you come from big guy? Where is your trainer? Is there anyone else in here with you?" The elephant disappeared as instantly as he arrived. Charlie leaned against the brass pole, shaken, because he had allowed himself to have a thought connected to the elephant.

"Who are you talking to?" A tiny masculine voice camouflaged in feminine tone asked.

Charlie looked around to see where the 'supposed' sentence had been spoken.


He shut his eyes real tight, and then opened, focused in the direction of which he thought he had heard the question. A room full of distorted mirrors stared him in the face.

"Not going to catch me again, my unseen friends. I may look stupid and act dumb but I sure as hell am not going inside of that madhouse." He waited for some sort of invisible reply.

"You won't fool me into that trick. I certainly am not going to be weak enough to stumble in a hall of reflected horror. There's no telling when I'd ever get out! Thanks, but no thanks; I'll take my chances out here where I can see the sun shine." Charlie turned to leave when the squint male disguised voice rang out.

"I am curious to know who you are talking to."

"Who said that?" Charlie, well versed by now, knowing when an actual detailed audible sound arose from the thin air, it usually meant there was some sort of body(even IF it were not human) to go with it. Anxious about the origin of this most unusual voice, he glared into the hall of mirrors.

To his surprise, a dainty pink, white and green flowered twelve inch clown peered back at him from inside. She appeared to be a pink heart shaped-mouth girl clown doll, movable purple and orange marble eyes, triangular shaped black starlit eye brows dotted by a dark sparkling green emerald stone in the middle of her forehead. quite delicate looking, almost too feminine, with soft pink hands, feet, and accented fire blazing yellow tinted pink hair accented by deeper rose colored pink bows on her ankles, wrists, and pink and white ruffled neck.

Charlie slowly, methodically tiptoed closer in view of the prissy clown.

"I said, if you don't mind, sir, I really would like to know who you were talking to." She spoke, awfully disguising a poorly defined lady-like husky voice, and (which in no way fit the feminine girl) she obviously was trying to portray.

"I was talking to myself," Charlie retorted, not divulging any hint of friendliness. "Are you accustomed to talking aloud to yourself?" she asked having moved nearer to the front rim of the trick multi-mirrored room.

"What's it to you if I am?" He snarled.

"Oh, my goodness, we are a tad bit upset this lovely afternoon, aren't we?"

"WE are nothing. I am just plain disgusted. Certainly not in the mood for conversation, do you mind?" Charlie really wanted, more than anything else in

The whole wide world to make friends, but was too stubborn and afraid of being rejected and disappointed again, to admit it.

"Oh! But, I DO mind. I do hate to see anyone so upset when there is obviously no reason to be." She politely bowed, shyly bobbing her sparkling pinked head.

"How in the world would you know whether I have any reason to be upset or not? You don't know me. You've never seen me before. And, I'm dog-gone sure that I don't know you."

"Who really ever knows anyone?" She asked coyly in that most disturbing voice.

"I don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about. Furthermore, I'm interested in discussing it with you, period."

"I was only trying to make a most valuable valid point and courteous conversation. But I can easily see you are not the least bit interested in valuable points or the truth they may contain. I suppose you are far too self-absorbed to see beyond the surface."

Charlie, irritated by her insistence in babbling some sort of illogical philosophical nonsense asked politely to be excused.

"I've never had the luxury of making excuses for myself. Excuses are no more than subtle means of defense."

"What on earth does that mean?" He couldn't help inquiring.

"No one really cares, you know. Just like you. I try to make polite conversation with you, but what do you do but shut me down as if I'm not important. I am important whether you believe it or not."

"Why do girls always babble on about nothing?" Charlie pondered.

"It's not that boys are really any smarter than girls, it's just they try to analyze every word in a purely emotional way."

He smiled superficially

Charlie blanked out while she blabbered on. He was so glad the little clown could not read minds, certainly not paying attention or vested in her; interested just enough to maintain the present involvement, to find out if there were any others around who might be of assistance.

Because of that most pressing aspect, he pretended to be concerned by the last remark she made.

"Yes, I'm sure you are very important to somebody; even though, it's not me. How can you be, we just met. Does that statement of fact hurt your feelings?"

"There is no need in being rude. I am perfectly aware of the fact that you are trying to patronize me."

Charlie probably was patronizing her, somewhat. But, he sure didn't expect her to respond to his false niceness so maturely. He really had no interest in the funny little girl-guy voiced clown, whatsoever. All he wanted from her was some information. Was that too much to ask? Charlie quickly summarized while regrouped. Girls are usually so whiningly sensitive and persuasively manipulative.

"I need to think real fast something nice to say." He formulated the words in his mind before speaking them aloud.

"Okay, let's start over. My name is Charlie Braxton McRoy. What's yours?"

"Do you really want to know or are you just feeling sorry for the pitiful clown doll?"

Oh! Boy, did this conversation ever put a new meaning on the word difficult. How do you talk to somebody, you really don't care to talk to but need to get something from? Charlie's mind reeled in a hundred different directions, dissecting what MIGHT Be (Perhaps he's 'Maybe So's' cousin), he chuckled to himself... the words she would like to hear to invoke the response he wanted.

"This situation's far too complicated for me, but what else can I do if I'm going to get anything from this little person? I need to maintain my level of interest and genuine concern." Still conniving his next move.

With widened bright eyes, a little on the flirty side, he appealed more softly.

"Yes, I really want to know and no, I am not feeling sorry for you."

"Very well, then. My name is Selena Le-Anne." She stared at Charlie while examining his response; deliberating, cautiously to see if showed any genuine interest.

"That's a real pretty name."

"WHAT??? You don't think the name fits me?" She indignantly huffed with more of the masculine tone showing.

"Of course, I think the name fits you, why wouldn't I?"

"You are not nearly as clever as you think you are, Charlie Braxton McRoy, I can see right through the facade of sincerity you are displaying."
Boy! Did Charlie ever not like this neurotic clown! Of all the things to run into, a tipsy-toed girl clown who sounded half-way like an angry boy. Mega bewildered, Charlie refused to say another word for fear of inciting some sort of one-manned riot.

He turned on his heels, started to leave, when Selena Le-Anne switched personalities on him. In a complete broken-hearted voice, she earnestly pleaded.

"I'm really so very sorry that I've upset you. How utterly insensitive of me."

"You said that right!" Charlie mumbled under his breath.

"Especially, since I was the one in the beginning to tell you there was absolutely no reason to be upset. Can you ever forgive me?"

Charlie didn't want to be that involved with the clown to forgive or not forgive. He just wanted information. Instead of letting on to her, regarding his true feelings, he bought off a few more wordy rounds with the nutty-girl, who partway sounded like a guy.

"Look, Selena you have done nothing wrong. I don't have anything to forgive you for. I would like very much, though, if you could tell me; are there any others working in the carnival besides you?"

"As a matter of fact, there is."

Charlie was so relieved.

"And, where might they be?" He inquired lovingly.

"Why, at the afternoon weekly board meeting, of course, where else would they be?"

She stated so matter of fact, as if Charlie was supposed to know. Charlie cringed. "Please get offended" he whispered to himself.

He had often heard his father talking about how girls twist words around so much flirt but he had never actually seen anyone in action. Evidently, Selena Le-Anne was putting on a one-girl show just for him. He felt ridiculously embarrassed for Selena or himself. He really didn't know which one.

"Why aren't you attending?" Charlie asked cautiously with reverence.

"Because they, unfortunately, did not care for my suggestions so I politely withdrew my presence."

Charlie was looking directly in the face of Selena by this time, wondering why, if she was in a room full of distorted circus mirrors, there would be only one refection. He also questioned himself thoroughly as to why he hadn't noticed that particular quirk before.

"Selena, do you mind if I ask you something that is of great importance to me?"
She giggled as she shook her tiny pink-haired head.

"Are you or are you not in a room full of mirrors. And, if you are, why is there but one reflection instead of many?"

She laughed with such grace, dignity, and conditioned refinement.

"That is quite simple to explain, Charlie McRoy. I am multi-faceted myself. Therefore, I can only reflect my one dimensional form."

Charlie was certain, by the assured expression on Selena's face, she thought she had explained thoroughly to him how there was but one reflection. But, there was no way possible that he understood the blatant 'supposed to be simple' explanation. He had to tell her.
"Okay. I heard that. I am certain don't know what you mean."

"Well, why not? Come on in, I'll be so glad to show you what I mean, Charlie McRoy."

Charlie hesitated, "Is there any way out?"

"My gracious sakes alive! Of course there is a way out of here. If there's a way in, there most certainly has to be a way out, silly goose." She winked.
Charlie still not altogether convinced.

"I tell you what Selena, if I go inside of that many mirrored room will you promise me to show me the way out?"

"I'll be more than happy to promise you that, Charlie McRoy, but you honestly don't need my promises. You'll be able to find your own way out. It's really quite easy."

Charlie wanted so desperately to believe Selena, but after what he had been through, he just couldn't be certain. He doubted himself more than her.

"Are you coming in or not, Charlie McRoy?" Selena alluringly bid.

Chapter 15
Chapter 13

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author avatar Artur Victoria
5th Mar 2011 (#)

Very good article Paula!

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author avatar muthusamy
7th Mar 2011 (#)

Nice read Thank you

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author avatar Paula Andrea Pyle MA
8th Mar 2011 (#)

Charlie McRoy has his work cut out for him. His inexpiable journey caries him and us on an experience we are yet to see in comparison. Thanks so much for reading.

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author avatar Songbird B
29th Mar 2011 (#)

A new character and a new situation, Charlie is learning so many life lessons all in one go, poor lad...Great share my friend...

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author avatar Paula Andrea Pyle MA
1st Apr 2011 (#)

Songbird, Yes, Charlie has been granted the vivacious heart-rendering and mind-altering opportunity to see more than he is so familarly accustomed to.

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author avatar Retired
3rd Nov 2011 (#)

thoughtful & connecting stuff

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author avatar Paula Andrea Pyle MA
10th Nov 2011 (#)

With a gigantic embrace, I think you!

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