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By Appointment Only

From the Top


At the amusement park, he arrives… There is a slight cool breeze, despite the shining sun, and “amusements” scattered about. Frank Bellio examines his surroundings for a pleasure that might suit his fancy. Destination unknown, he continues aimlessly in his black & white plaid suit with cane in hand, giving it a good spin from time to time. The screams of excitement and joy fill the air from the surrounding rides as parents with children wander through booths of games, gambles, and cotton candy.

At the amusement park, he arrives… There is a slight cool breeze, despite the shining sun, and “amusements” scattered about. Frank Bellio examines his surroundings for a pleasure that might suit his fancy. Destination unknown, he continues aimlessly in his black & white plaid suit with cane in hand, giving it a good spin from time to time. The screams of excitement and joy fill the air from the surrounding rides as parents with children wander through booths of games, gambles, and cotton candy.

Frank is not interested in roller coasters racing about the tracks, nor the spinning of rides that would be so bold to have you seeing double. Knowing about the many options around him, Frank still has yet to find what he seeks. In his rambles, Frank eventually crosses paths with a bumper car arena. This interests him. The very idea seems a bit odd to want to crash into someone, but whatever works. Though intrigued by this, he decides this is not his scene. He was looking for something else, but wasn’t quite sure of what yet. He was supposing that perhaps he’d know when he gets there.

Staring off into the bumper car arena nearby while twirling an end of his finely pointed waxed mustache, another breeze comes about his way again, knocking his top hat off this time. Luckily, he caught it just in time before it escaped. It was a gift from a very close friend of his that was a magician. Frank went to see many shows. Frank loved magic with all his heart, and grew up with it all his life as child. He also loved his friend like a brother; he was family and would do anything for him. However he’d passed away recently due to his last trick, a trick gone wrong. This top hat was the only thing to remember his close friend by and his love for magic. Placing it back to its rightful spot, off in the distance, over the rush of a nearby roller coaster, he takes a listen to a sort of abnormal shrieking.

Glancing over to his right, curious about where the noise is coming from, there in his sights: a brilliantly colored parrot on the ground about twenty five feet away, staring right at him. Standing there now in lock-stare with this creature, he wondered why there would be parrots here of all places, never mind the bizarre sound it produced. Though staring right at Frank, the parrot seemed to be distracted by something else. Something else interested this creature with the slight tip to the right of its head. SQUAWK! Again, the parrot shrieked. Great, just great he thought, now I have this thing following me around. Not knowing what to make of this, Frank soon just begins to walk away. Almost instantly, the parrot starts to flap its wings, squawking again quite angrily, darting right at Frank’s head like a heat seeking missile… snatching away his beloved top hat. As the parrot was whizzing by, Frank made an attempt to stop the feathered thief by a swing to foil the escape, or even get the hat out of its grip, but it was a miss.

Escaping from Frank now, the parrot seemed to be lost forever. However off in the distance, the dappled perpetrator was caught making its way toward a bright red Ferris wheel with a creative white stripe pattern. Flapping, and escalating all the way to the very top cart of the ride, the parrot reached and settled itself. Finding himself in a trance to what had just happened to him, Frank decides to snap out of it and take action; running after his top hat, he knew he must get it back. Standing there at the base of the wheel, head pointed up as if staring off into space, Frank found him-self in awe. Oh my, he thought… I haven’t been on a Ferris wheel since I was twelve. A rush of childhood nostalgia began to fill his head from all the vast moments forty years ago as a young child. To be at a height so high, overlooking all that’s around you, feeling carefree, cozy even; Frank enjoyed this feeling. Standing there, wondering with great admiration, he knew this is what he sought after all. “Well, see here now, parrot, I’ll be taking my hat back!” Frank shouted at the creature.

Cracking his knuckles, rolling up his sleeves, and tossing his cane aside, he set his sights on this creature now taking a snooze with the only memory left of his closest friend. Frank, without a second thought, finds him-self scaling the wheel quite vigorously. Overcoming all the timid fears that he’d just recently had from the other rides about the park. He climbs upward and onward upon support beams, railings, and all the intricacies in between. Feeling like he was in another world, Frank looked down from which he came and noticed that the operator shouting at him not only to get down because of the danger, but also that he had to show his ticket. Shouting back at the operator, Frank simply told the man to “get stuffed!” This was more than a matter of a ticket; aware of the danger, he knew that one slip and he would be victim to certain death, but he hadn’t let fear get to him; he knew that he had to complete this mission.

After much succession, finding himself inches from the snoozing parrot, Frank proceeded with extreme caution. If the parrot woke up now, his efforts would be rendered useless. Game over; this was for all the marbles. Slowly, but surely, inch by inch, narrowing his vision, he’d crept closer and closer to his top hat. He knew he had to go in for the snatch now. Following suit, the parrot had in fact woken up, in shock of his hand ever so close to its face. SQWAUK! The parrot had yelled in shock, and begun flapping its wings quite rapidly. The squawk had been so loud, striking his eardrums from being so close, making them quiver with great force; feeling as if his head were to explode. Thinking quickly through the noise, Frank tuned right back into what he had to do. Right then, he grabbed the top hat from the sucker’s beak at the last second as it was it was ready to escape. Relieved now with the parrot gone and top hat in hand, Frank hoisted himself up into the cart, and made him-self comfortable, letting out a big sigh. Looking back down, the operator was still there in shock watching him, shouting at him to ask if he was alright. Shouting back at the operator he said, “Here’s that ticket you wanted, Sonny; let’s take it from the top now, shall we?!” Dropping his ticket right over the side railing, letting it flutter to the ground, Frank knew that Mr. Operator would get the idea.

In the cart, reaching into the left inside pocket of his suit, Frank pulled out a cigar. With a flick of a match, he toasted the end of it like a fine marshmallow not to be charred; with a few good puffs, the smoke started to emit thoroughly. Kicking his feet up on the side rail, Frank gazed out at the wonderful sunset just over the orange and violet horizon upon the rooftops and trees.

Squawk…what a strange sound for a bird, he thought. The ride had now begun; Frank found what he was looking for.

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