I can't believe it!, Jesse thought as he rushed out of the train station four months later, weaving his way through the people. He was finally catching a glimpse of Paris, the busy, bustling, city.
It's beautiful, in a way, Jesse, overcome with the whole of it, thinks. The aroma was so rich, with scents of fresh bread and fruit. Inhaling, Jesse smiled.
There were merchants shouting, "Come, buy some fruit!"
"Would you like a tour of the city, sir?" a guide asks.
Looking at the madness going on, it takes Jesse a moment to notice what he had said. With the clamor all along the street, it was extremely hard to hear people.
Jesse politely declines his offer.
After about a half hour, he comes across a fair and stops.
After going in a few minutes later, he sees Ferris wheels and games; kids sitting talking about how much fun this experience was, this small bit of joy.
One kid on the Ferris wheel shouts at the top of his lungs, "I can see all the way to London!"
Of course he is exaggerating, Jesse exclaims in his head, London is miles away, in another country!
He walks on taking in the fair when he comes across a short, stubby man with brown eyes, wearing a name-tag that says, Horace, who yells, "Hello, we're hiring! Who wants a job?"
Jesse, who has wanted to work at a fair for sometime says, "Sure, I'll take the job! I'm new around here anyway."
"Are you sure about that?" responds Horace, "Working at a fair is hard work, controlling the rides and all."
"Yeah, I'm sure," Jesse replies, hoping he gets the job.
"Alright, you're hired!" screams Horace. "Come back tomorrow to start your first shift."
"Thank you," whispers Jesse softly, walking off.
After about two hours, and £2000 later, he had rented a house and settled in. He sat on the couch, waiting for something to happen.
At about 11:00 he slips into his bedroom and sat down on the bed, and fell asleep, drowning in his thoughts of home, the little cottage that Mae and Tuck live in.
The next morning he gets up and looks around, taking in the view outside his window, watching kids play and the pond behind his new home jump with life, such as frogs, fish and two ducks, floating peacefully. Behind the scene is a beautiful sunrise, like a fireball rising up, lighting up the dark like a thousand twinkling lights.
Finding the fair was relatively easy. After arriving, Jesse wanders off trying to find Bob.
He finds Horace sometime later, at the doughnut stand snacking on delicious looking cream doughnuts. Mouth watering, Jesse asks, "Can I start my shift now?"
Horace, says "Yes, why don't you start by controlling the Ferris wheel."
"Sure," replies Jesse, excited to be working again, and at a fair nonetheless. So, he heads over to the Ferris wheel, walking skillfully around the giant puddles of water from the rain last night.
When he arrives, a sight overtakes his vision that he won't forget easily. It was a child, no more than 10, dangling from the top of the Ferris wheel, terrified, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Help Me!"
Jesse, seeing the kid was in danger of falling, climbed up the Ferris wheel, walked over precariously and grabbed the kid, jumping down from the top of the Ferris wheel. After he lands safely, he walks over to Horace. Horace, who had witnessed the entire thing, including his careless jumping to the ground declares, "Wow, that was impressive for a worker who hasn't worked at a fair before!"
Jesse responds, "I didn't say I hadn't worked at a fair before to you, and I personally I think I was careless at my mistake of jumping down hastily"
"I just can't get over how you aren't even scratched!" Horace says, "That Ferris wheel is at least 44 feet off the ground!"
Jesse laughs, really loudly, enjoying all the attention he's receiving.
"That was marvelous!" Horace exclaims, excitedly, "Will you perform in front of everyone?"
"No!" Jesse shouts, hurriedly, "I can't!"
Jesse thinks, I can't give up the secret, everyone will know if I perform tricks in front of them. Mae has trusted me to keep this secret.
"Come on! you have to do it!" Horace pleads, disappointment in his voice.
"No," Jesse repeats dully, "No."
Jesse stalks off toward the direction of his house, taking an hour to get home, instead of the half hour it had taken him last night.
In the middle of the night, something strange happened. There was a noise coming from down in the living room on the first floor. Jesse, adrenaline flooding his veins at the danger and excitement, walks down into the living room. Creeping down the steps, the noises endlessly pulling him on, inching along. He moves stealthily forward.
When he reaches the living room, a figure, almost a shadow, dressed in black, shoves a pillow-case on his head and hits him on the head with a lamp-rod from the coffee table.
The last thing Jesse heard before passing out was the ringing of the house phone on the wall.
Jesse woke up in a damp cellar smelling of mold. He had iron chains on his wrists and ankles that were painfully tight, but he couldn't
feel the pain. What he could feel was concrete floor under his body. What he could see was concrete walls and a door at the other end
of the room. He stares at it until it had no meaning anymore, no purpose anymore, a fool's wish for hope. He thought of how it held
every hope of getting out of that stupid, small, little, pathetic, cellar. He glares at it so ferociously that it became blurred. At last
opened the door, letting in light, and hope, and… Horace. He steps around the door into the room, "How is it like to depend on
someone so badly," he sneers, "that you'll do anything to get freedom."
The word sounds magical to Jesse's ears. "How long have I been in here?" he croaks in a weak voice, parched.
"Days," Bob responds, "It's Monday, November 22."
"Days," Jesse repeats weakly, stunned, "Eight days."
It had been the night of Monday, November 15 when I had been taken, I wonder if anyone has noticed my absence, Jesse ponders to himself. It's no wonder I'm parched.
"I'm going to make this simple," Horace whispers, softly, barely audible, "You will perform shows at the fair and I'll let you go, alive."
"Of course I know your little secret of how you're immortal and can't die. I summed up that much from your Ferris wheel fall."
"Never," Jesse hisses, vivid with anger towards the small man, "will I perform for you in front of people so you can make a show out of me, making money on my actions."
"You say that now, but in a week you will be begging me, 'Please, let me go! I will perform for you! Just let me go!' You will scream at me until your voice is raw, too weak to carry on, and only then will I let you go. When I see you pathetic face light up in false hope, so broken and helpless, I will force you down on your hands and knees and make you swear an oath that you will serve me until I die. When you, the poor, pathetic, little immortal child, not even of legal age will give me what I want. Tell me how long you've been alive, weak one?"
Jesse's first thought is, He's so very stubborn, wanting to get his way, like a child wanting candy, screaming until he gets what he wants, not caring about the circumstances. "I'm 104," Jesse replies, "I've had years to learn how to defend myself, from attackers, like you."
"You just wait and see how I will make you suffer, not kill you because you can't die, but I can make you suffer." Horace whispers. But it's like he is yelling, screaming at me to give in, to let go of all this suffering he going to try and inflict on me. He leaves the room, and the soft click of the lock clicking into place sets Jesse's nerves on edge.
But I won't let him, Jesse rages in his thoughts. He quickly looks around for a possible weapon. Well, there are some sticks over there, pretty heavy, if I whack him in the back of the head with one it will surely knock him out. I don't want him spreading the secret, but I don't want to kill someone, either! Jesse ponders, trying to come up with a suitable plan.
After a few minutes of staring at the door, he had come up with a plan. Jesse quickly reaches over as far as his wrists would let him grabbing the only stick within reach. It was a fat stick about 3 inches in width, 12 in length. He sits in the room, the stick behind his back, waiting until Horace returns.
After one full day, Horace glides into the room, and halts in front of Jesse, an evil grin on his face. His grin is sickening, and his eyes hold a disturbing glee in them, one Jesse has only seen once before, on a painful and dangerous night, quite like this one. Horace asks him, "Are you ready to give in? It won't be as fun as if you don't, but I'll accept that fate."
"No," Jesse defiantly states, voice devoid of emotion, "I don't because I won't give up my secret that easily. I'm still going to beat you one day or another."
"Oh really," Horace brags, "Are you really in a position to say such things? You're hands and feet are chained, you're body bruised, beaten. And you don't even realize where you are. What a shame, we have to do this the hard way." He kicks Jesse's stomach, and he gasps in pain. He quickly reaches behind him and grabs the stick as he hits Horace on the head with full force, knocking him out cold. Horace was still breathing, if only a little, but not moving at all. One less problem to take care of, Jesse solemnly concludes, Now about these chains.
He called for help off Horace's phone on the wall that he had just noticed, just within reach. The constable came and went unchaining him and taking Horace to a hospital. He was apparently in a coma, but no one blamed Jesse for hitting him, It was self defense, he thought despairingly, I didn't want to actually kill anyone.
The constable was to say, a nice man. He had told me "I don't blame you for hitting Horace, he was a criminal and jail escapee. You did good, kid."
A few weeks later sitting at home, being lazy and listening to the radio, an interesting news story came up. "…Horace Jones, the 30-year-old fairgrounds owner and criminal, has been put in a coma, he has yet to wake up, and doctors say he won't snap out of it…"
Jesse smiled, thinking about how he had saved the secret from getting out.
Sometime later, he realizes staring at the road, one weird thing after all that had happened. Jesse contemplates, I'm glad at least one good thing came out of all this. Because of this, I get to see life in an entirely different way, peaceful instead of mean, brutal, and ugly.
Jesse soon decides on going back to Mae and Tuck for Christmas which was approaching fairly quickly.
As soon as he'd returned his house, packed up, and bought a train ticket, he thought how beautiful it was. The time he was here, strange though it was, he would always remember the excitement and horror of the past weeks.
Finally, he boarded the train, thinking about how he would tell Mae, Tuck, and Miles about the adventures he'd had. Then, and only then, he would wait for a new adventure to begin.