Brittany And The Caramel King

Brittany woke up to music coming from outside her bedroom window.  The music was cheerful and made her think she was in a happier place then in the small motorhome that her family now called home.  Both her mother and father lost their jobs within two months of each other.  It was called an economic downturn.  Brittany did not understand what that meant, but she did understand that most of their things including their home were gone.  Now they were living in their motorhome.  JJ, her brother, was still asleep as were her parents.  After traveling in the coolness of the night, her father pulled over early this morning to get some sleep.

Brittany sat up from the couch that was her bed.  She peered through the curtains and to her surprise she saw brightly colored tents, with red strips. There were brightly painted trailers and small square tents with flags at the peaks. Lots of people were walking around. A giant wheel with seats full of people circled slowly over the whole place. Brittany wondered what it would be like to be so high up in the air. She thought to herself you could probably see forever. She watched as a merry-go-round went in circles as brightly colored horses moved up and down to the music. It looked magical, and the sweet music was exciting.

Brittany wasted no time getting dressed, and as quietly as she could, she opened the door of the motorhome and stepped outside.  The sun was bright and warm against her skin.  She skipped down the small embankment and climbed over the fence.  Both feet hit the ground at the same time. She stuck her hands in her jean pockets and nonchalantly walked towards the music.

She walked around excited about all the things she could do.  There were games and tricks; a tall clown with balloons walked around handing them out.  Sadly, she realized that everything cost money.  Her heart sank.  She found a bench and sat down.  Swinging her legs back and forth she decided to watch the people and enjoy the colors and the beautiful music.  At least that was free.

While sitting on the bench, she noticed a man that was as around as he was tall.  He was not very tall, and his pants were white with large black polka-dots, and he wore a striped black and white shirt with the stripes going around his belly.  His face was round and puffy making Brittany smile.  He wore a gold colored crown on his head in which the brightness reflected from the sun on his cheeks.  He carried a large red wooden box with a strap around his neck.  He was talking quite loud, “Caramel apples here come and get one, only three dollars.”  Brittanynoticedthatonlyhisplumpcheeksmovedashewalkedaroundthroughthecrowdofpeoplerepeatingoverandoverthesamething.

He made his way towards her and stopped right in front of her.  He bent down slightly holding the red wooden box with both hands. “You want to buy a caramel apple from the Caramel King?”  He said with a smile.

Brittany slightly embarrassed shook her head no.

“Awe come on it is only three dollars sweetheart.”

Brittany murmured, “I don’t know what a caramel apple is.”

Surprised the Caramel King stood straight up, “You’ve never had a caramel apple before?”

“No sir.”

“For only three silly little dollar bills you can taste something wonderful that you will never forget for the rest of your life.” He reached out and pulled an apple out of the box, holding it close to her he said, “how about it?”

Brittany crinkled her nose, “I don’t have any money.”

“Well, I’m sure your parents will give you three dollars if you ask them for such a sweet treat as this.”

Brittany shook her head again, “No we don’t have enough money for that.”

“Well, sweetheart where are your parents?”

Brittany pointed towards the motorhome, “over there.  We lost our house, and now that is our home.”

The Caramel King turned around and followed where Brittany pointed. “That is where you live now?”

“Yes, sir.”

The Caramel King tightened his lips and nodded slowly.  Brittany thought about running away but didn’t.

“I’ll tell you what sweetheart; the Caramel King is going to christen you his Caramel Princess for the day.  Is that okay?

“What does that mean?”  She asked.

“It means that you are entitled to one free Caramel King-caramel apple.”  He pulled one out and handed it to her.

Brittany reached up and took the apple.  To her surprise, it was heavy, so she grasped it carefully with both hands.

“You are my Princess you enjoy your apple sweetheart.”  He removed his crown and holding it out with one hand he bowed forward as far as he could.  With that the Carmel King stood up as tall as he was and plopped the crown on his head and started up his speech again, Caramel apples here, come and get one, only three dollars.”

The apple was as large as a softball, brown and gooey.  Holding the stick made the heaviness of the apple unbalanced in her hands.  Brittany held the stick tightly as she surveyed the delight.  She turned it slowly around and around not sure how to eat it.  Finally, she just bit into it.  Her teeth sank into the caramel and then into the crisp sour apple.  She closed her eyes while tasting the crispness and sweetness in her mouth.

Bite after bite brought the unfamiliar pleasure of eating a caramel apple that Brittany had never experienced before.

That day stayed with Brittany as she became a wife and mother to her three kids. Every year the family would go to the county fair, and each year Brittany sat on a bench and ate a caramel apple-still remembering the day so many years ago when she became the Caramel King’s Princess for a day.