Puyallup, WA

My brother lifted the white tarp and rushed me into the tent.  Inside it was dark except for spotlight circles aimed at the stage as people noisily filed into the tiered seats.  The fair’s volunteers monitored the lines and checked tickets with military precision, even stamping hands for a secondary check down the line.  The two of us didn’t bother to go cut in line and climbed the steel supports under the seats instead and wriggled into the aisles unnoticed before calmly taking a seat on the edge, the seats nobody wanted.  The seats around us filled up fast and soon the lights went down.  The sound of mallets battering on drums rolled into the audience from the stage wings and for the next forty minutes, I forgot about our parents and all the doctors.

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