Viola and Me
Viola and me sat on the backside of the carnival on a pair of rickety stools in the dim of indirect carnival lights. The lights focused on the front side. The squeals and laughter, the shouts and calls, the conflicting music drifted over the stink of stale popcorn and overdone hotdogs and saccharine cotton candy. It was all a familiar background to my life as a barker's son. I knew the games and scams, the rides and shows, every nook and cranny of every concession stand. It was the sight and sounds and smells of home.
The Village, as we called all the trailers of the carnival workers, was gathered behind the main stage, huddled in the half light. Viola and me, we sat outside my trailer, the one I shared with my dad. I could have turned on one of the outside lights, but I thought the indirect light was more romantic, more suggestive.
"Another?" I asked, lifting the whisky and gesturing at the shot glasses on the rickety card table that matched our rickety stools.
She took a long drag off her cigarette and nodded. She was a thin one, new to the group, worked for her parents like I worked for my father. She was thin with hardly any breasts, lanky blond hair and grey-blue eyes. She wore a loose tank top that hinted at what lay beneath and a thin sort of skirt. She blended in with the customers. I got the impression that she was a pick pocket, working the marks from the crowd while her father worked them from the booth. That wasn't strictly allowed, but we all knew it happened. I'd picked my fair share.
We'd bonded soon after she arrived for the simple reason that there were few other young people at the carnival just then. I wasn't sure how old she was: certainly not older than me, hopefully not too much younger. We'd already shared a few lustful moments: kissing and groping. I was hoping tonight we'd go a bit further.
"Oy! Where are ya', ya little bitch?"
I startled. It was her mother, a snarling, waspish woman who only ever given me a glare and once a smart rap across my shoulders when she thought I was prowling about their trailer. Of course I had been. I'd been wanting to catch a glimpse of Viola. It was amazing what one could see sneaking about the trailers.
Viola's mother stalked from the shadows. She was a tall woman, and broad. Taller and broader than her husband. She had the sleeves of her shirt rolled up, and her jeans were dirty and stained. She was a mechanic for the rides and often smelled of oil and grease.
Viola jumped to her feet. "Ma! I…"
"Don't you dare lie to me, miss!" And though Viola hadn't said anything that might be a lie, her mother slapped her sharply across the face.
Viola yelped. The cigarette flew from her mouth to sputter in the darkness.
"What the hell are you two up to?" her mother demanded.
"Just sharing a drink," I said, my heart hammering in my throat, my cheeks flush and numb from fright.
She pointed at me threateningly. "Stay out of it, whelp!" Then she turned her attention to Viola, grabbed her by the wrist, and sat on the stool Viola had vacated. Within moments, Viola was draped over her mother's knees, her skirt jerked roughly aside and her dingy white panties on display.
I stood quickly and took several steps back, knocking my stool over.
I'd seen spankings before of course, and received quite a few myself: from one-swat stingers over my jeans to bare bottom blistering with a belt. But this one… this one felt different. We hadn't even done anything yet. And Viola's mom was plain mean.
A part of me wanted to step in, to save the girl and punch out the villain. But the smarter part told that part to keep his nose out of it if he didn't want it broken.
And I didn't.
Instead, I watched as Viola's mother pounded her butt with the flat of her hand. Viola kicked and bucked but never tried to get away and managed to drown her screams, to bite back her cries.
I was no hero. Just like anyone else at their trailers who might have overheard, who was privy to the backside of the carnival. No one intervened. We were a people who left people to themselves.
I lost track of time. It seemed like hours before it was over. And when it was, Viola was unceremoniously dumped to the ground.
"And you." Viola's mother pointed at me and glared, and I was ready to make tracks if she made a move to hit me next. But then she snatched my bottle of whisky off the table and stumped into the night.
For a few minutes more, I stood there in the dim lights shining on the carnival proper, staring at Viola who was huddled on the ground, crying. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what she wanted me to do. But, eventually, I knelt down beside her. This close, I could hear her strangled snuffling.
"I'm sorry," I said quietly. "I should have done something."
She shook her head and stood up. Her face was a mess of tears, her eyes and cheeks were red. The cheek where she'd been slapped was bruising. She grabbed me by the arms, very tightly.
"Your pa's playing in the big poker game tonight, right?"
"So's mine. And ma… she'll drink herself to sleep." She hugged me tightly for several moments, then pulled back and slugged me hard on the shoulder.
I grunted. She looked me up and down then, as though wondering what to make of me. "Aren't you going to hit me back?"
"Seems to me you've been hit enough tonight."
She shrugged. "Maybe you should invite me into your trailer."
I opened the door to the trailer and she stepped inside with me soon after. There, in the dark, she leaned against me and I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and she cried, her whole body shaking against me. For several minutes, she wasn't the tough girl I'd come to know. She was thin as a sheet of paper and no stronger.
I put my face near her neck and breathed in her scent, she smelled of the carnival, of home. And I kissed her gently and she sighed in my arms.
She began to move and I heard the rustle of cloth. A few moments later, I realized she was lifting her skirt, reaching underneath. I thought she was going to rub at her battered backside, but instead, she pulled down her panties and let them fall to the floor.
"If you want," she said quietly, "We could… you know…"
I needed no more invitation than that. I pushed her to the back of the trailer where she bent over and braced herself against the wall with a gasp and a groan. I released my quickly hardening erection and pulled her dress up out of the way. It was a matter of several awkward moments, one hand on my stiff sex and one hand searching for hers. I missed once, and she giggled. But when, eventually, I managed to push my way into her warm, wet, tightness, she gasped and so did I.
It was quick and rough and desperate. And when we were done, we sat down on my bunk, breathing hard and leaning into each other.
"Are you all right?" I asked.
She nodded. "I just thought it would be…"
"Be what?" I was suddenly worried I'd done it wrong.
She shrugged. "When I do it myself… you know? I… there's a sort of… it just feels different."
"Oh." I realized that, in our enthusiasm, I'd gotten to orgasm and she hadn't. "Well then, I guess I'll have to try a little harder."
She laughed as I pushed her down on the bed and began to seek that little button between her legs, the one that would give her the rush she wanted. She gasped and shuddered and squeezed her legs tight, but my questing fingers were granted entry by the wetness in between.
Minutes later she stiffened, quivering, before a deep sigh exploded from her. "Oh," she said, her voice small and breathy. "Thank you."
I laid beside her and held her. She turned onto her side and so did I so that we were cuddled close. I rested my hand on her hip and stroked it gently. Her butt was pressed firmly into my groin and despite our recent activity, I felt the stirrings of arousal. I wedged my hand between us so that I cupped right bottom cheek.
"Are… are you okay?"
She sighed and shivered. "No." She pressed hard against my groin. "But I will be."