Big Brother Trouble.
I am alone. I don’t like to be alone. I feel sad when I am alone. I didn’t want to cry but found it hard to keep the tears inside.
Where were Harry and Kate, they promised to look after me, that was the only reason that Mum let me go to the circus. Big brothers suck especially big brothers who find girls pretty and kissable, and much more fun than watching their little brothers.
Bobby told me to wait by the Fairy Floss machine and don’t move, he gave me some popcorn and, a lemonade. He promised to be back in a few minutes. How long is a minute? How many is a few of them? I had a watch, Grandma gave me on my last birthday, but I am still learning how to tell the time. All that I know is that Harry had been gone for a long time.
I wanted to go looking but did not dare as Harry would be cranky with me, I hoped Harry would be back soon. Kate was nice but she was always trying to be alone with Harry and was a bit upset when Mum said he was to take me to the circus. I was always Harry’s number one before Kate came along. Harry now has made me his second choice now, an excuse to be alone with Kate, he knows I won’t dob him in. I only came to the circus so that Mum would know that Harry and Kate would not kiss too much.
The Fairy Floss Man kept looking my way, I guess he was worried that I was on my own. Despite that, he didn’t even speak to me or ask me if I was okay. I would not have spoken to him either, as I know that I shouldn’t speak to any strangers, only to police officers.
The afternoon was still light, we had had some lunch, a hotdog, and frozen cola, but that was some time ago. I wasn’t hungry though, but it looked like the clouds were coming or that the sun was going away. My watch showed, the big hand pointing close to the five, and the smaller one after the three.
As I was looking down, a voice asked me, ‘Are you okay Sonny?’.
I jumped up, startled, as I didn’t expect someone to talk to me, as I was pretending, I was all grown up and exactly where I should be, just hanging.
As I looked up, I saw that the voice belonged to a clown. He was a bright rainbow colour in the dullness of the afternoon dusk. He continued, ‘My name is Clarence, I was in the show earlier, did you see me? By the way, what’s your name?’.
I smiled, as he looked like he was friendly, I don’t really like clowns. ‘Barney’, was all I said as I looked away.
‘Where are your Mummy and Daddy?’, he asked me.
He was a stranger, but he also worked here, so maybe he was like a policeman. Mum wouldn’t mind if I spoke to a staff person, would she?
‘Mum is at home; I am waiting here for my brother’.
Clarence continued, ‘It’s getting late, should you call him or call your Mum at home?
‘He will be back soon, he always looks after me, he is the best big brother’. I didn’t really think that today, but I wanted Clarence to know that I was being looked after.
I knew I should be worried as Harry was probably hiding somewhere kissing with Kate and had forgotten all about me. Maybe they couldn’t read the time either and had lost track.
Clarence said ‘Okay, I will be back this way soon, I can see if Harry has come back for you okay’.
I just nodded, knowing I had said too much already. Clarence walked away and I looked away too. The Fairy Floss Man was oblivious to me or what was around him, maybe he just wanted to sell the rest of his fairy floss and drinks, so he could pack up and go home.
Today was the last day of the circus and all the main shows had happened, no late ones today, I guessed that the circus people would sleep tonight and pack up and they would be moving on tomorrow.
I held my showbag tightly, I had won it by throwing rings around long-necked bottles three times, and with the laughing clowns getting a high score. This meant I could choose a prize from the top shelf. I would share the contents with Mum and Harry later, but not Kate. I was happy to be at the circus, I had saved my pocket money and birthday money to spend here.
An announcement cracked in the speakers above and around me, ‘Attention Ladies & Gentlemen, Girls & Boys, the carnival will close its gates in half an hour, six o’clock, all fun-goers will need to be out of the fenced area by that time, we hope you have had an exciting time and fun-filled experience, thank you, hoping you had a wonderful day at the fair’.
I looked at my watch, six o’clock was one time that I knew, hands pointing one up and one down, one to twelve and one to six. The darkness was here, but Harry was not. Starting to get a bit worried and even more scared. The Fairy Floss Man had a barrow with bright lights, so I was not in complete darkness. Other lights flashed around me from other vans and amusements, breaking the darkness intermittently.
Another announcement cracked into life, ‘Attention fun-goers, we are looking for a lost little boy, his name is Barney, and he is about seven years old. He is waiting for his family to collect him. If you have seen Barney or know where he might be, please make yourself known to a staff member’.
I was surprised to think that Harry would call me, I am not lost, he must be. I am exactly where he told me to wait. He knows I am eight, but I am small for my age, I think he is crazy in love, Kate has got him all confused. He must be panicking about what Mum will say because he lost me. Where do I go to find Harry? The message said to ask a staff member. But they are strangers. Confused, I think I should just wait here, Harry will find me.
Just then Clarence walks by, the other way this time. ‘Hi Barney, did Harry, find you?’.
‘No, but a message came that he was looking for me, did you hear it?’, I said.
‘Yes, young man, he is most likely waiting at the security gate for you, that is where we make those announcements. There are the First Aid people, and all the lost property goes there too. Maybe your brother thinks you wandered away’.
‘No’, I was adamant, ‘He told me to wait here, and I have not gone anywhere, he will remember where I am, it is just darker now, he is a little lost finding me in shadows’.
‘Okay’, Clarence said, ‘Maybe you should try the Security Tent, just in case, you know what lovesick big brothers are like’.
‘Kate can be bossy, she just wants to be alone with Harry’, I muttered.
Maybe I should just check the tent, if he is not there then they can make an announcement to find Harry. It is getting dark, and I don’t want to be locked inside the gates. They might even call Mum for me, but that would only get Harry into trouble, and nothing is worse than an angry big brother, who is a kissing freak.
‘Okay’, I reluctantly agreed.
‘Good boy, Barney’, Clarence said smilingly, ‘Follow me, I know the way’.
Evening newspaper headline:
‘BOY 8, MISSING, FEARED ABDUCTED’.