A view from the top

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Previously: “Paisley, rosemary, and time.

The view from the top of the wheel was dizzying. Boris would go to the pier to ride the Ferris Wheel when he needed time to think. When he first arrived in the city, he made friends with Robbie, the ride operator. Boris would slip the carny a $50 and would ride as long as he wanted, sometimes he’d go round and round for hours. When there weren’t any other passengers, Robbie made sure he stopped the wheel when Boris’ car was at the top, leaving it there longer than regulations permitted.

Boris had a lot to ponder.

It had been a week and the only mention of his last job was a blurb in the daily newspaper’s Police Blotter, and a generic obit in the Sunday News for an out-of-town couple. Nothing about a poisoning, or how there were no clues to the killer. The press was down-playing the deaths, treating it like random tourists died under suspicious circumstances.

There was also no mention of a child. A child Boris knew was in the resort suite at the time of the murder. He had looked in her room, stayed a long while watching the girl sleeping. Thinking about it quickened his pulse, caused his breath to come in ragged shudders.

The night before, he dined in the resort restaurant. His table adjacent to the girl and her parents, he struck up a conversation gleaning needed information for later. He had folded her an origami butterfly out of a paisley-patterned square of paper, a gift he told her was traditional for little girls. He saw the trinket on her nightstand and almost took it, but he didn’t want to risk waking her. Perhaps later he would go back to retrieve it he mused.

From his lofty vantage point, Boris could see the whole of the midway. He watched children pulling haggard parents along the crowded carnival main street. The aroma of buttered popcorn and cotton candy was strong, even high above the noise, and toing and froing. Every tawny-haired child he saw raised Boris’ anxiety level until he felt like he would burst out of his skin.

Boris rapped his signet ring against the metal cage of his gondola, the sound resonating through the monstrous frame until Robbie started the big wheel again to deposit his passenger on the boarding platform.

Sitting in his hot car in the parking lot, Boris willed himself to calm down. He focused on the stifling heat and the beads of sweat that formed on his upper lip, the taste of salt on his tongue. He needed time to think, time to plan a way to find out why there were no news reports about his spectacularly brilliant crime.

What good was it to execute the perfect murder if no one knew about it.

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Inspiration: Ferris Wheel

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