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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2071634-The-Sideshow-Stop-Off
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2071634
A man experiences an odd encounter at a gas station.
Dennis watched a big muscular Labrador prance out of a large white sedan parked in front of his car.

“That dog should be on a leash,” the man said to himself.

He continued to observe as a red and orange rooster hopped out of the backseat and strutted after the dog. Dennis was curios. Sure he had seen this kind of thing candid camera shows, but experiencing such a peculiar situation was indeed interesting. Things got even more bazar as a man in a clown suit stepped out of the car holding a small pig. Everyone around Dennis was staring bewilderedly at the sight as well.

A young woman approached Dennis. “Is this guy looney or are we the victims of a practical joke?”

“I’ll check it out.”

He walked into the mini-market where the three animals and the human had gone. Dennis expected the cashier to flip out and order the freak show out. Instead the cahier’s face lit up and he shook hands with the man who was holding the pig.

“Walter! How is the sideshow going?” asked the cashier.

Walter smiled as he put the pig on the counter. “Great! Do you have the special treat ready?”

“Yes indeed. Snickers, gummy bears, Lifesavers and Butter Finger all ground up!”

Walter picked up the pig and led the rooster and the dog into a back door.

Dennis raised his left eyebrow and tilted his head. “Um, what is going on?”

“Old Walter is part of a traveling circus. Whenever he comes by this area, I let the animals help themselves to a candy medley!”

All the customers were eyeing the man behind the counter. A person in line wearing a vest and shorts who had overheard him addressed the man. “Who in their right mind would allow a bunch of animals pig out on candy-literally?”

“I do. My name is Jack. I own this store. I and Walter have been buddies for years.”

Dennis contorted his face. “Okay…isn’t that a little unhealthy? Wow much worth of money do they consume?”

“A little over two-hundred.”

The man in the vest was wide eyed. “Wouldn’t that money go to something better like charity?”

“Sometimes you have to get spoiled a little.”

Suddenly there was a cry and the man in the clown suit barged out of the back door. “Help, Piglet is choking! Does anyone know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a little pig?”

Dennis had attended some CPR classes and he saw all the people looking at each other blankly. How hard could it be? Dennis rushed through the back door and saw the pig on its side trying to breathe. Dennis put the pig on its back and put his middle and pointer finger on its diaphragm and pressed in two second intervals. Three minutes passed and the pig was starting to close its eyes.

“Don’t give up on my Piglet! Hang in there!” exclaimed Walter.

Finally a wet ball of coalesced candy shot out and hit Dennis in the eye. “Ack! It’s tuck to my eye! Where is a sink?!”

Dennis stumbled around holding his eye as Walter was in tears holding the little pig. “Oh, thank goodness! You’re alright!”

“Forget the pig! I’m about to go blind!”

Jack led Dennis to the bathroom and rinsed the sticky blob of candy off his eye. “This is the kind of thing that happens when you allow something like this!” Dennis yelled.

Walter approached him hand shook his hand heartily. “I owe you for saving my pig. Thank you so much!”

Dennis smiled. “You do owe me. May I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

“Stop letting your animals gorge on candy.”

Walter’s face saddened. “But they love candy.”

“What if this happens again?”

The man looked down in response. “It will be hard for them, but I suppose you’re right. Well, I’d better be going.”

Walter left the store with the pig in his hands and the rooster and the dog following. Dennis walked to Jack at the counter. “I would ask something form you as well. Put that money to better use. Invest it, donate it or just save it for rainy day.”

“I’d prefer to just keep it.”

“Fine, that is good enough.”

Dennis exited the store and ran his palm down his face. “This will be one heck of a story for Laura and the kids.”









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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2071634-The-Sideshow-Stop-Off