Seattle by night

Master of ceremony smiles behind the mask.

Prologue

On the Tacoma air – so often laced with heavy metals, the acid tang of refineries, assembly lines and the vapors of the sluggish Puget Sound – another scent had overlain itself. Cotton candy, crepes, toffees, and popcorn perfume and mingle with the industrial air, making it sweet and cancerous all at once.

A wide lot, vacant yesterday and long ago bulldozed empty of anything but a ladened hunk of land brings back the memory of jobs, now gone to corporate greed. The lot now filled with tents, trucks and temptations for children and adults alike. The Carnival has come to Seattle, nestling itself in the city’s empty spaces as it had once settled itself in farmer’s fields from a time long forgotten in these parts. A few beefy trolls manhandled the polls of the last tent with ease and a dwarf with grease paint forcing a permanent smile on his face jammed fliers under the wipers of the cars crawling past in the slow rush hour traffic.

“Come to the Carnival,” the fliers said. “An experience you’ll never forget.”

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