The moonlight that shined through the window that night helped Camille get dressed in the dark. She slipped on a dress leaving the top three buttons unfastened, exposing her cleavage. She didn’t bother with a bra or panties.
She made sure her husband, Salvatore, was sleeping before she crept out of the trailer barefoot. She walked briskly towards the big tent and looked over her shoulder to make sure nobody saw her.
When she reached the tent, she hesitated for a moment. She wondered if what she was about to do was really worth the risk. The thought of her husband, Salvatore ever finding her with Sullivan terrified her. However, she felt the benefits outweighed the risk. She was still young and extremely attractive. She thought there had to be more to life than feeling repressed. Becoming an actress was something that always appealed to her. She always dreamed of moving to California and becoming a movie star, not stuck performing in a lousy magic show. She thought that Sullivan could be her way out and help finance her career. He had money and he also cared about her. He said so himself.
Camille was wise to Sullivan seeing other women, and whenever she confronted him, he would always give her excuses. He would tell her that the other women were just for his natural, manly needs and that she was the only one that he truly cared for. He would tell her that she had Salvatore while he had no one. Then she’d start feeling sorry for him and apologize.
She thought it was sweet that he always wanted to be with her; constantly caressing her whenever they were alone—he couldn’t keep his hands off her. Then she thought about that night, and how it would be their first time together. She thought of how they would make love, and then run away to California together. She thought about finally being free from Salvatore and the carnival.
The thought of Sullivan only wanting her for sex briefly crossed her mind, but then it quickly vanished. Camille truly thought Sullivan cared for her. Why else would he say all these nice things if he didn’t? She thought it was worth the risk and continued into the dark tent, scampering to the place where she and Sullivan had agreed to meet.
Minutes later, Zach was standing on his ladder peering through Camille and Salvatore’s trailer window. He heard how Salvatore was snoring like a buzz saw, oblivious to what was going on. Then he removed his pocketknife and cut a small hole in the window screen. He then slid a hollow stem of grass made of straw through the hole and aimed it at Salvatore. He steadied his homemade peashooter, inhaled deeply, and blew hard striking Salvatore on the side of his neck.
The sting instantly woke Salvatore. He sprang up and rubbed his neck bewildered. After a moment, he noticed Camille wasn’t by his side. He wondered where she was. He became suspicious, so he decided to see where she went. Then he climbed out of bed and slid on his pants.
Zach rushed down his ladder and ran to the big tent. By the time Salvatore stormed from his trailer, Zach was staggering near the entrance of the tent pretending to be drunk.
Salvatore spotted Zach and raced over to him. “Have you seen Camille?” His breath was bated, and he was clinching his fist.
When Zach pointed towards the big tent, Salvatore’s nostrils flared. Then he stormed into the tent and disappeared into the darkness.
Zach knew that was his cue, so he sprinted to his trailer, grabbed his overnight bag. Then he raced to Sullivan’s trailer and flung open the door. Then he went to Sullivan’s desk and yanked the drawer open. The metal box was still there. He grabbed it, slammed it on top of the desk, and opened it. There it was, all four thousand dollars waiting for Zach to take. With both hands, he scooped up the money, but his hands couldn’t release the money, they just hovered over his bag. I deserve this! He owes me, especially after all the years I took his crap! I deserve it!
Then he began to think of the others. Sullivan will just have to find a way to pay them. They’ll get paid eventually. His hands clutched the money as if they were glued to his hands. What about the animals? How will they be fed with no money?
After he thought about it, he finally faced the truth. I can’t take it all, that would be stealing. Besides, my mama didn’t raise no thief. I’ll just take the one hundred, fifty dollars and seventy-five cents he owes me. Darn, I don’t have no change to break these here large bills. I’ll just take two hundred ... make that three hundred I forgot interest ... make that an even five hundred for pain and suffering. Wait, five hundred isn’t an even number, it’s an odd number, so let’s make it an even six hundred.
Zach returned the rest of the money to the metal box. He closed his bag and slid the six hundred dollars into his front pocket. He opened the door and walked out of the trailer with a clear conscience, leaving the metal box open on the desk. He wanted Sullivan to know that he could have taken it all and ruined him if he wanted to. However, no matter how much he hated Sullivan, and wanted him to pay for what he had done to him over the years, he instead, showed him who the bigger man really was.
When Zach exited Sullivan’s trailer, he stood on the steps. In the distance, he could see Salvatore on top of Sullivan. He was beating him senseless. Sullivan looked like a human punching bag. Ouch, poor bastard.
Camille was standing over them crying and pleading to Salvatore to stop, but he kept on hitting Sullivan.
Zach grinned as he walked away into the darkness with his bag. He realized that he was finally a free man with enough money in his pocket to start over. He knew that he’d miss Blanche and the rest of the group. He’d also miss the security of steady work and a place to sleep, but he was eager and ready to conquer the world. His work was done here. Phase two complete, master plan ... a success.