PodCastle 377: Ray

by Mario Milosevic

read by Joe Scalora

First published in Space and Time Magazine, Spring 2013

You know that episode of M*A*S*H, the one where they have to pick up stakes, pack everything up and move to another location? Me neither. I never watched that show, but Liz, who works the booth where people throw darts at balloons on a cork wall, and who is thirty years older than me, has seen every episode of that show at least three times. She said every time we break down the rides and get ready to move on, she thinks about that episode.

“It’s like Colonel Potter said they had to bug out because they were about to be in a shooting zone, and we bug out for the exact same reason.“

“The same reason?“ I said to Liz. No one was going to be shooting at us, I was pretty sure.

“Yeah” she said, “because now that the carney’s over, they don’t want us in town, you know? They make it a hostile environment so we’ll leave them alone. They’re scared is what it is. They’re scared of us and they’d just as soon kill us as look at us.”

I wasn’t quite seeing it, but I thought it best not to challenge her on the issue. When she told me this, I had been on the job only a couple of weeks, and we’d been to two fairs. We were packing up to move on to the next one, somewhere in the Columbia River Gorge. “You got Ray all packed away yet?” I asked.

She patted the side of the trailer, folded up like a wrapped birthday present. “Ray’s always right here with me,” she said.

Rated PG-13.

Mario Milosevic is a prolific author of novels, short stories, and poetry. Find out more about him and his storytelling at mariowrites.com.

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