Something Walking Miraculous

A hundred rows of variously shaped rabbits and birds in cages. Some have purple mohawks and curled talons.

Something Walking Miraculous
Photo by Howen / Unsplash

by Owen Paul Edwards

Come one come all to the Culver County fair. Here Bud Lough waits in line for a corn dog you can’t get anywhere else. Fried in dirty peanut oil. Pat Krimble in her booth sketches portraits for young lovebirds. Davey Gorman kicks rubble and mans a kiddie coaster. Little Orson Judge tosses popcorn off the high part of the ferris wheel. A kernel plunks through the steel bars into the nest of Marybeth Lacey’s new hairdo. Marybeth picks it out her curls and eats it because that’s the kind of girl she is. Annie Majors swings one cart lower necking with that Rottman boy. What a dream.

Daddy Mixer shows his prize hogs in the agriculture tent which provides the experience of walking into the wrong side of a large intestine. A hundred rows of variously shaped rabbits and birds in cages. Some have purple mohawks and curled talons. Eddie Poole touts a gnarly squirrel. He won’t win any ribbons because Sue Dalrymple takes first prize every year with her flock of groomed sheep.

By the tractor pull we stare amazed at monstrous engines painted with flames and called names like MotherFucker II and Wild Thang. Mr. Peanut lounges proud in a fold up chair with his arms across his chest because his DitzyDoo just pulled a wheely trick. Ziggy Mason carves behemoth oak trunks with a chainsaw. This is the loud side of things. Sheriff Donohue sifts in and out the crowd showing kids his silver handgun. Sammy Labill cries because she popped the bag her beta fish was in.

The scrambler ride whips faster and faster with all eight redheaded Woodburn boys in one arm. The youngest brother gets sick and his mess goes flying. Teenagers clear the ride and slip away to the dark woods or behind the tiltawhirl. In the dirt parking lot Ducky Nelson passes his plastic liter to Jo Conroy. “Have yourself a nip, Connie” and “I’m already drunkern Hell” and he turns it back anyway because he’s one to exceed all limits. 

Across the road Jason Brown and Don Foley stand by their bikes outside the 7/11 ready to jump the next patron. It happens to be Nancy Warner and Foley says “Let’s not. She taught me my ABCs.” Ms. Warner walks in and buys three large slurpees. She picks through the change in her pocket, measures it in her palm, walks off into the evening a woman unscathed. The fair lights blink in the sky. It’s all a distant hum.

Owen Paul Edwards lives in Baltimore. He was born and raised in Southern Maryland. His writing has appeared in BRUISER, Bullshit Lit, Don't Submit!, and other places.