Smorgasbord Short Stories – Authors in the Sun – Not So Fair at the County Fair by Marlene Mesot

When I worked on radio in the south of Spain I presented and recorded four series of Authors in the Sun showcasing local writers and their short stories. I ran a series here on the blog in 2017 which was much enjoyed and showed off the skills of some amazing writers.

I would love to share your short stories here too this summer and details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.

Today’s story is from Marlene Mesot… featuring her main characters from the 4 Elements of Mystery series.based on a real experience.

Not So Fair at the County Fair
by Marlene Mesot

The first weekend following the start of summer school at Iandale State College found Alex Marcus and his fiancé Missy Sanders riding in tandem out to the County Fair. Alex in front and Missy on the back of his yellow tandem bicycle, anticipated a joyous Saturday experiencing the exhibits, rides and food offered there. Once they had reached their destination, Alex found a chain link fence where he could chain and lock his bike in the gravel parking lot. Then they walked hand in hand toward the fairground entrance.

As they began to walk the midway Alex asked, “What would you like to do first, Fair Lady?”

Missy answered simply. “Merry-go-round.”

Alex smiled and nodded. He knew her aversion to the thrill rides. Secretly he was just as glad not to partake of the more adventurous experiences himself. He glanced up into a bright blue cloudless sky. It seemed a perfect day for their enjoyment. The sun was hot but humidity was low and there was a slight breeze. They were together and all seemed right with their world. What could possibly go wrong on such a beautiful day? Alex shook his head. Nothing at all, don’t go there, he thought.

As they stepped up onto the platform he told her, “I see an empty bench seat.”

Missy smiled and nodded.

They sat cuddled together, arms around each other, relaxing after their bike ride from the college. Their energy had been renewed as they stepped off the ride. Alex suggested the bumper cars and she agreed. Then they decided to walk the midway and try some of the games. Alex won at the shooting gallery and darts, which gave Missy the opportunity to select a couple small stuffed animals as prizes. She smiled with delight as she tucked them into her shoulder bag.

Alex adored her child like side where she expressed joy at simple pleasures. He remembered her excitement upon seeing fall foliage colors, at the touch of first snow. His attention came back to the present at her question.

“Alex, are you thirsty?”

“More like hungry,” he replied, “but the two kind of go together.”
“Hmm. Let’s see. I could go for some fried dough with cinnamon and a coke.”
Alex agreed. “Sounds fine to me.”

He guided her to a picnic table area once they had gotten food and drink, coke for her and sweet tea for him. They sat across from each other savoring their food and the view all around. The fairgrounds was a familiar place as they took frequent walks here during the school year, but it had been quiet and empty then, not filled with people and noisy activity as during the fair days.

After eating, they walked through the exhibit halls. They watched the tractor pull and other contests and visited the animal pens where they could touch and pet the farm animals corralled there. Finally Missy announced that she needed to use the rest room, so they went to find the out buildings. Alex pointed out where he was going so they could reunite afterward. His waiting line was longer than hers.

When Missy came out of the cubicle, she noticed a flash of sunlight glaring off an object a little way beyond. Curious, she walked to the end of the row of out buildings and saw animal pens across the way. The sun seemed to be glinting off something in the manure pile outside the corral area. She looked around and spotted a pitch fork standing nearby. As she used it to prod the mush, something small dropped onto the ground at her feet. Missy bent forward to look. She recognized the round object as a watch. As she continued to dig into the dark, wet goosh, the prongs struck something hard. Missy continued to scrape the smelly gook away from the hard object. To her utter astonishment she had unearthed the corner of a portable television set in the pile. Bewildered, she began to poke at the dank pile again, wondering what else she would discover.

“Hey! Get out of there!”

Missy dropped the pitch fork as the angry gravelly voice startled her. Abruptly she was grabbed and her mouth covered.

When Alex stepped outside, he moved away from the area to look for his beloved. Seeing no sign of her he watched and waited patiently. When a few minutes had passed he looked at his watch. His focus had been on the out buildings across the way. Still he did not see her. As time passed, Alex began to walk slowly around the immediate area, searching. They had not met anyone else here so there was no one to ask after Missy’s whereabouts. He walked to the end of the rows of out buildings and saw the animal pens where they had been earlier. There was no sign of her. Missy wouldn’t have wandered off by herself, he knew, so where could she be? He walked in the other direction, to the other end of the row of buildings, but still there was no sign of her. This way led back to the more crowded mid section of the fair. Alex knew she wouldn’t have ventured this way by herself.

The sun was setting, which produced a chill in the air. They had left their jackets in the back pack strapped to the bike, expecting to be long gone from here by the time they would need them. Worried now, Alex looked at his watch again. It had been too long since they had separated. He retraced his steps back by the rest area, but she was not there. Alex decided to go and report her missing to the fair authorities. He wondered if he should notify the local police as anxiety began to increase within him.

Once Alex had explained that his fiancé had visual and hearing disabilities, the police presence on the fairgrounds was alerted. Alex led them back to the area where they had parted ways, while other volunteers searched the wider grounds. Dusk was settling in now as the fairground lights were coming alive.

A young man was pitching hay into one of the animal pens a little way down the outside row of the corral area. Alex and one of the policemen approached him to ask if he had seen a woman fitting Missy’s description. As the young man shook his head no, they all heard a banging sound start up.

Alex asked, “What is that?”

The youth replied quickly. “Nothin’. Just one of the sheep kickin’ the stall.”

A muffled sound then.

“That was no sheep.” Alex commented and began to move away toward the far pen where he thought he had heard the sound. He shouted. “Missy!”

The banging became more rapid.

Alex continued toward the sound with flashlight sweeping the area.

The young man dropped his pitch fork and began to run. The policeman gave chase and soon captured him.

Alex had come to the far end of the fairgrounds where a few empty pens were located. He kept calling and sweeping his flashlight around and inside the pens. When he heard the muffled sound again he stepped back beside a pen he had just passed. Again he shone the light around it. He saw nothing but stepped inside to look more closely. Down behind two hay bails stacked end to end, he found Missy in a dark space, wedged between the bails and the wooden slats of the pen wall. She was tied to the hay bails and gagged.

“I found her!” He called as he made quick work of the ropes and gag and helped her to stand up. He asked anxiously, “Are you hurt?”

“No. Alex, I think there are stolen items back there,” she gestured,” in the manure pile.”
He repeated. “The manure pile?”

“Yes. It must be a hiding place to stash stolen goods. Who would look there for anything?”

“There was a young guy over here by the manure pile earlier.” Alex told her. Then he added, “The police are questioning him now.”

Missy shook her head. “It was an older guy who grabbed me and tied me up. I was afraid they were going to kill me. I couldn’t move or scream. It was scary. That guy had a rough voice.”

“Come on, we better tell the policeman that there is another accomplice.”

Once Missy had been questioned they were allowed to leave the grounds.

“I hope they catch whoever is involved,” Missy said as they were walking toward the tandem still chained to the fence.

“Yeah. Maybe the young guy will give up his fellow thieves.”

“I hope they catch him too.” Missy agreed.

They had stopped by the bicycle to settle her shoulder bag in the basket and take their light jackets from the back pack strapped behind her seat. Then Alex embraced her.

He suggested, “Let’s go to the diner for some real food.”

“Sure. That sound like a good idea.”

“I am so glad I found you safe, Missy. It was scary for me too. I don’t want to be without you ever again.”

“You won’t be.”

She assured him with a kiss.

My thanks to Marlene for sharing her story with us and I know she would love your feedback… find out how you can participate at the end of the post..

Books by Marlene Mesot – Audio available for The Purging Fire.

A review for The Purging Fire

Jul 10, 2018 Kelly rated it Five Stars it was amazing

Wow! I really enjoyed that book. I like books that keep me on the edge of my seat and still demonstrate God’s love. It’s so good to know that I can turn to Jesus no matter what. If you like good suspense novels, you’ll love this one!

Head over to buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Marlene: Goodreads – Website: Marls Menagerie – LinkedIn: Marlene Mesot – Facebook Personal: Marlene Mesot – Facebook Author: Maris Menagerie

About Marlene Mesot

Marlene Mesot, an only child, grandchild and niece from Manchester New Hampshire, and deceased husband Albert, have two sons, two grandchildren and English Mastiff dogs. She is legally blind and moderately deaf due to nerve nerve damage at premature birth. She has loved writing since early childhood.

Marlene holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Keene State in Keene, New Hampshire and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from U-NC Greensboro, North Carolina.

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed Marlene’s story..

If you have a fiction short story to share with us then here is what I will need. Please send to

  • A word document with your edited story. A new story or one you have written and published on your blog.
  • 1000 to 1500 words.. but if it is slightly shorter or longer that is no problem. It can be any genre except for erotica as I have younger readers.
  • If you are an author or blogger who has featured here before I don’t need anything else.
  • If you are new to the blog then I will need an Amazon page link, blog or website links,three main social media links and a profile photograph.

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing your writing here… thanks Sally.