Christopher Epstein's childhood memories of the old wagon have always been clouded and uneasy. Lurking in his grandmother's backyard, buried in lore and surrounded by tragedy, the abandoned carnival antiquity seemed to wait for him every haunted summer. Lately, he finds those nightmares returning, along with the helpless certainty that something more terrible has followed him out of the past.
Later, over the sides of bunk beds, we relayed rumors to each other in the humid dark. Had Grandpa worked in the circus? No, the wagon was older than that, someone said. What was inside—rats? Bats? A lion’s skeleton? A blind old witch? No, tons of mosquitoes swarmed you at once if you got too close, and lightning bugs avoided that part of the yard.