Kate Jonez 

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This story was included in Best Horror of the Year Vol. 8  


"All the Day You'll Have Good Luck"

The sun sinks down behind a bank of puffy lavender clouds that are much prettier than dusty old broke-down Frederick Oklahoma deserves. The carnival lights come on all at once like a mad scientist flipped one of those old-timey switches. This is the part of day I like best. Not too early; not too late.

There’s something about the way the yellow, red and white lights stand out against the sky that makes the scene feel more special than it is. Like this is a moment captured for a post card that’s going to be sold at the newsstand up at the rest stop by the highway.

Dear whoever: Wish you were here. Wrote no one ever who passed through Frederick.

From up on the little swell behind the closed-down Ace Hardware where I’m watching for my cue, I catch sight of my mom leaning over the railing and waving to Lainey on the Dumbo ride. Even with Baby June, who obviously is not a real baby, on her hip she’s still the best looking woman in the town. She takes a lot of care with her hair and makeup and wears stylish clothes that stand out from everybody else’s. In Dallas, my mom says, nobody even notices. They know how to dress in Dallas. I wouldn’t know. We stick to the small towns in Texas, Oklahoma and sometimes Arkansas...

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