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Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury
Jim Nightshade Timeline and Summary
We learn that Jim was born one minute after midnight, on Halloween. One October day, while Jim is lying on his lawn with Will, a lightning rod salesman approaches. Jim doesn't want to put the rod up on his house, but Will cajoles him into doing it. The boys jog to the library; they say hello to Will's father. That night, the boys see the handbills advertising the carnival. At three in the morning, the boys are woken up by the sounds of the carnival arriving. They sneak out and watch the carnival set up. Jim is intrigued. The next morning, everything seems normal. The boys greet Mrs. Foley at the carnival and warn her not to go into the mirror maze. Jim reluctantly allows Will to drag him home. On the way, they find the bag that used to belong to the lighting rod salesman. That night the boys investigate the carnival again. They watch Mr. Cooger grow young. Jim is fascinated by the carousel. He wants to use it to grow older. The boys follow Mr. Cooger to Miss Foley's house where they are framed as thieves. Back at the carnival again, Will has to stop Jim from trying to ride the carousel. They tussle and break the controls, which means that Mr. Cooger is stuck as a really old man. The boys call the police, and together everyone watches the performance of Mr. Electrico. The boys go home. Jim wakes up later that night; he and Will battle the witch and her silver slime. The next morning, Jim is skeptical when Will claims that the little girl running around is Miss Foley. They eventually try to rescue her, but fail. Both boys are terrified when the carnival marches into town. They hide in the grille and listen to Will's father try to stave off Mr. Dark. That night in the library, both boys get a history lesson from Charles about the carnival. When Mr. Dark shows up, they run into hiding and are eventually captured. The boys are taken to the wax museum. Jim is left in there while Will goes to help his father shoot the witch. Jim ends up riding the carousel, but Will pulls him off. After the carnival has been defeated, everyone returns home.