Sabrina huffed as she walked through the doors of Bishop’s Gate Assisted Living Community, The retirement home she was currently working at. It was a definite downgrade from her previous employment as a doctor’s aid, but with the sudden downsizing due to the recent economic recession, she was lucky that she even found this as a backup. Eight bucks an hour was miserable, but it beat having to move in with her pretentious, well-to-do sister.
Sabrina attempted to make it to the break room with as little interaction with the other employees as possible, but the plan was soon sabotaged as the front desk attendant waved her down to come closer. Ugh… Sabrina wasn’t too thrilled about being singled out of the crowd of other employees in the lobby. With the hangover from last night’s party, she wished that she could simply be invisible until the after effects wore off. That wasn’t the case as reality set in, one depressing realization after another.
The front desk attendant pursed her lips as Sabrina got closer. "Damn girl, are you okay? You look like hammered shit" the attendant said in a disapproving tone. It only served to annoy Sabrina even further.
"Yeah….Just…Not enough sleep last night. That’s all." Sabrina said. Her voice was groggy.
The desk attendant clicked her teeth in disbelief and looked at Sabrina with a glare.
Think whatever you want, you old bitch. Sorry for having a personal life that doesn’t center on taking care of old hags like you Sabrina thought viciously.
"Well you should stop staying up so late. You young people, sheesh…Mr. Clarence is waiting for you in room 65."
"Well I’m not the only one here you know…." Sabrina whispered under her breath as she walked away.
The Bishop’s Gate Assisted Living Community wasn’t terribly big, nor was it incredibly small. Sabrina likened it to a separate school building in comparison to a High School, but she didn’t think anybody would understand the comparison considering she was the youngest person in the entirety of the building at 26. Sure, being around elder people all the time was somewhat of a drag, but it wasn’t so much about the occupants, she didn’t mind taking care of them minus the bathing, but the pay which bothered her. She could easily spend an entire month’s paycheck in just one night out with friends. But Sabrina kept her mouth shut and was thanking God that she at least wasn’t jobless as she walked through the doorway of room 65.
Directly across from the doorway was a large window with lavender drapes shielding the room from the sun’s harmful rays. Next to the window was a bed occupied by an elderly man sitting upright at an angle with his head tilted toward the window. His skin was shining, wrinkled, and rife with liver spots. The top of his head was completely bald. The back of his head held only very sparse patches of white hair. Despite being under heavy blankets in the bed, he still wore a long sleeved shirt with the sleeves slightly rolled up around his wrists. This was Clarence Kite, the person Sabrina was assigned to take care of. And today she was in no condition to do so.
"Good Morning Mr. Clarence." Sabrina tried to sound as normal as possible, but her head felt as if it was being run over by a dumpster truck repeatedly. Mr. Clarence slowly turned his head in Sabrina’s direction, meeting her bright blue eyes with his dull green ones, and managed to show her a weak, toothless smile. She smiled back, but moving her lips alone took a large amount of energy out of her. She staggered her way to Mr. Clarence’s bedside. "Do you….do you need anything Mr. Clarence?" Sabrina said as she pulled a chair next to his bed and sat down. "Fair…The…Fair…." Mr. Clarence’s coarse voice sounded out. It was strange to Sabrina. Every day, without fail, Mr. Clarence would mumble excitedly about some kind of fair. It was the only thing he ever really talked about. Sabrina simply chalked it up to some form of dementia.
"No, Mr. Clarence, The fair isn’t in town yet…" Sabrina trailed off. She folded her arms and placed them down on the bed in the empty space next to his very thin legs. How old are you, Mr. Clarence? Why do you talk about the fair like you’re still a young kid? What’s so good about the fair, anyway? Sabrina thought sleepily. "Mr. Clarence, I…need to take a nap for a bit. Just… wake me up if you need anything okay?" Sabrina said as she rested her head between her arms. Why do you want to go to the fair so bad….
A loud trumpet forcefully woke Sabrina up with a start, but she was surprised to find that she was already standing upright. Even stranger than that, she was wearing a pair of jeans and one of her Ed Hardy shirts that she usually wears when she’s about to go out with her girlfriends. At some point in time, she changed out of her dull blue scrubs and into her club clothes. Did she black out? Maybe she just forgot that she got out of work and was already preparing to go out. But that all changed when she looked around.
The scene she was in was not familiar at all, and she had been all over the city at least once. She was standing in the middle of an empty two lane road. The skyline and the buildings around her were dark and brooding. The only source of light came from directly in front of her. There was a large glowing tent like building with two floodlights moving back and forth aimed at the sky. Above the tent building was a large neon sign shining in bright blue and green letters:
BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE
"Mr. Kite? Clarence Kite?" Sabrina questioned as she scratched her head. It was then that she realized that her dirty blonde hair wasn’t in the bun that she usually wore to work. Her hair gently fell between her shoulder blades. "Wha…" Sabrina took another look around. A small number of people were making their way towards the tent. "What the hell is going on?" She questioned herself again as she made her way to the tent as well.
There was a short line at the entrance, but it moved quickly as Sabrina was next to the front of the curtains. At both sides stood two very tall men who, strangely enough, had blue skin. The one on the left wore an elaborate military suit with a small name tag on his right breast labeled "Pepper" while the one on the right wore a simple blue leotard that was much darker than his skin hue. This immediately alarmed Sabrina. "What the hell?!" Sabrina said as she took a step backwards. In no time flat, "Pepper" grabbed Sabrina’s hand, stamped "O.K." on the back of her hand, and returned to his previous position. The other blue man quickly pushed Sabrina through the tent curtains before she had time to react.
Sabrina was just making sense of her surroundings when she noticed how big the interior of the tent really was as opposed to the deceptively small outward appearance. She stood at the top of a section of bleachers that stretched in a wide circle around the tent, with the seats quickly filling as people poured in from all four of the entrances. At the bottom of the floor was a large ring barrier with a pole in the dead center of it, presumably what was holding up this massive tent. There was a horse prancing in a circle around the pole with a man standing on the back of said horse with a microphone in his hand.
Sabrina felt as though the man looked familiar, but couldn’t see the man’s details clearly from the top of the bleachers, so she made her way down to the very edge of the barrier. She had a clearer view of the man when she realized just who she was looking at.
He had a full head of hair, jet black and gelled back stylishly. His eyebrows were trimmed and arched handsomely. His skin was exceptionally tanned and shining, with his bright green eyes looking full of vitality. No doubt about it, this was Clarence Kite, the elderly man she was assigned to take care of moments ago.
Mr. Kite took notice of Sabrina on the second round trip the horse he was standing on made around the pole. "Atta girl!" He said with a much stronger, younger sounding voice. The horse stopped in her tracks directly in front of Sabrina. Mr. Kite stepped, but to Sabrina it seemed like he was gliding, down from the horse and waved at Sabrina. "Glad you can make it, Darlin’! Hope you enjoy the show!" Mr. Kite said with a grin. He began to walk away to the pole at the center of the floor. "Wait! Clarence! What’s going on? Am I dreaming? Or what?" Sabrina said frantically. Mr. Kite stopped in his tracks and turned around to face her. "The name’s KITE around here, Darlin’. As for dreaming, that’s up to you to find out." He said with a devilish smirk. He turned around and continued walking to the pole.
Sabrina took that as a yes. She was about to force herself to wake up by pinching her arm, but her curiosity prevented her from doing so. Suddenly, all of the lights in the tent shut off simultaneously. A single spotlight shone down on Mr. Kite at the center of the floor. He extended his right arm and snapped his fingers, and to the right of him another spotlight shone down on a band that wasn’t there previously, or at least Sabrina hadn’t seen them, even though she scanned the area pretty thoroughly. They began to play an arrangement that sounded somewhat off-beat, even for circus music.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Benefit for Mr. Kite!" Mr. Kite spoke into his megaphone. His back was towards Sabrina. "Tonight will be a show conducted on TRAMPOLIIIINE!" Mr. Kite yelled as he back flipped towards Sabrina. The spotlight followed him until he landed on a trampoline positioned right where Sabrina was looking, which she knew for a fact wasn’t there when the lights were on mere moments ago. Wow…was he really that acrobatic when he was younger? Sabrina thought in amazement. Almost to answer her thoughts, Mr. Kite turned to her and smiled.
"Our special guests tonight are the Henderson Family! All the way from ‘Pablo’s Spectacular Whatever and Such’ fair. Anyone here came from over there? I heard it sucked." Mr. Kite said unenthusiastically. A small group of people of varying sizes cart wheeled onto the center of the floor wearing monkey masks. Sabrina guessed it was most likely the Henderson Family Mr. Kite was just talking about. "I’ve got horses, hoops, and garters. Heck, I’ll even jump through a hogs head of REAL FIRE! This way I’ll take on the WOOOOORLD! Along with my blue skinned friends! They’re really Cooool…..If you catch my drift!" Mr. Kite sounded upbeat again.
As the Henderson Family continued doing cartwheels and various other acrobatics, an abundance of skinny blue skinned men in leotards, along with "Pepper" from the front entrance, marched onto the center floor in a straight line. They neatly lined up on the edge of the barrier, each of them bouncing up and down to the beat of the music the band was playing to look like a smoothly running wave. Sabrina chuckled at the sight.
"The world renowned Mr. Kite will be performing his last act on Saturday at Bishop’s Gate!" Mr. Kite was spinning in a circle to ensure that everyone in the tent heard him. "Pretty little place that one is! The Henderson Family will be there as well, performing their shtick, and I, Mr. Kite, will be doing my GRAND FINALE! Don’t be late, people!" he announced. Sabrina was enjoying herself until she heard that last line. Grand Finale Saturday? But, Today’s Thursday. What does he mean "Grand Finale"? Sabrina wondered. Mr. Kite bounced himself off of the trampoline as the Henderson Family jumped onto it as a group.
"My wife is going to make sure our production’s the best of the best, baby!" Mr. Kite ran around the center of the floor, in front of all the blue men. "Along with my horse Henry, She’s gonna do the waltz!" Mr. Kite said as he ran up to his horse and bowed. He subsequently started swaying in a circle with the horse following his movements and swaying as well. Sabrina was amazed once again and started to clap for the man and his dancing horse. Mr. Kite held out his hand to the horse and on his palm was a small white cube that the horse quickly licked out of his hand.
"Yes, People, I have a female horse named Henry. It’s a really long explanation right now so don’t dwell on that too much. Just tune in, turn off, drop out, drop in, switch off, switch on, and EXPLODE!" Mr. Kite proclaimed as he jumped through the air once again, imitating a ballerina’s movement. He landed in front of the band ensemble. "These guys will be playing from ten to six while I’m strutting my stuff" -Mr. Kite snapped his fingers and everything fell silent in an instant -"without a sound!" he said in a whisper. The band continued to play after he finished whispering. One of the taller members of the Henderson Family tumbled off of the trampoline and rolled next to Mr. Kite’s feet. He then stood upright and began showing off his muscles in various poses. "And Mr. Henderson here is gonna be performing Summersaults! On flat ground! Whatever Summersaults are!" Mr. Kite said as he moved his free arm up and down in front of Mr. Henderson as if he was showing him off to an auctioning house. Mr. Henderson’s muscular physique caught Sabrina’s attention instantly.
Mr. Kite brushed his pants legs down and walked towards the pole at the center of the floor. "Having been some months in preparation a splendid time is guaranteed for all." He said in a serious tone. It was the most serious his voice had been the entire night. "Of course it will! IT’S ME!!" His chipper tone returned with the next sentence. The blue men were forming a human pyramid, with Mr. Kite at the top of it. Sabrina gazed up at the staggering height of the pyramid. She didn’t notice how many blue men had truly been in the center floor until now. It seemed like they were at least thirty feet high by now! "I’ll be famous across the universe!! I spent years putting this together! You gotta watch it! You have to see it!" Mr. Kite exclaimed. He jumped from the top of the human pyramid. A loud wave of gasps sounded out from the crowd, including Sabrina. He was falling straight for her. Sabrina extended her arms to catch him, but was not expecting the outcome to be any good. Mr. Kite flipped over mid-air to look into Sabrina’s eyes as he was falling. "IT’S MEEEE!" he said one final time as he almost made contact with Sabrina.
Sabrina jolted up from the side of the bed. A small bit of saliva was hanging from the side of her lips. She looked around. She was back in room 65 once again. She was wearing the same dull blue scrubs she put on this morning. Her dirty blonde hair was still in a bun. Mr. Clarence was still looking out the now darkened window. Hours had past. It must be almost night time now. "Mr. Ki…um. Mr. Clarence? Are you alright?" Sabrina said timidly. Mr. Kite moved his head slowly to look at her once more. He still had all his wrinkles and liver spots in the same places. His hair was completely gone from his head again. He smiled at her once more with his toothless smile. "The fair…." He groaned again, as usual. Sabrina sighed. Wow….okay. I need to cut down on drinking. Dreams like that are a bit too weird. She thought to herself. "Okay Mr. Clarence, well it’s time for me to clock out, so I’ll be back to take care of you tomorrow, okay? See you in the morning!" Sabrina said as she started walking to the door.
Sabrina stopped and turned around. Mr. Clarence was grinning at her with his toothless smile and dull green eyes. Did he…just ask…if I enjoyed the fair? Sabrina thought in disbelief. She smiled weakly at Mr. Clarence and walked out the door.