Fallen Star (part 32)

Jodi watched the tattooed lady place a card on the table. As the first ornately illustrated card touched the tablecloth, a story—like a silent movie—began playing in her mind’s eye.

The street fair. People. Everywhere. Stacy buying cotton candy. Mom leaving them by the snack cart.

The second card went down.

Mom. Walking quickly to the outskirts of the fair, where a set of portable bleachers had been placed for street performers. Glancing over her shoulders. Stepping under the bleachers.

The third card was placed on the table.

The boys. Pushing each other. The beady eyed boy throwing a cigarette to the ground. Stepping beneath the bleachers.The other two stayed outside. Smoking. Inside, packages are exchanged between Mom and the beady eyed boy. Angry faces. Mom, hands up, shaking her head. Beady eyed boy pulls something from his jacket pocket. Flash of metal. Mom moves to get away. Beady eyed boy’s arm moves forward. Blood. Mom falls. The boys run.

“I don’t understand,” Jodi whispered.

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