Samantha Lee’s Picture Choice: Two
Title: Traditional Mortal Date
She frowns, looking around. Humans are everywhere, dozens upon dozens of them. They mill about eating something fluffy and pink wrapped around sticks. They go to booths to throw balls at staked cans and toss rings at bottlenecks so they can win giant understuffed toys with vaguely animal-like shapes. There are brightly coloured tents set up between the booths, the signs out front boasting of magicians, acrobats, jugglers, knife-throwers, fire-eaters, jesters, and freaks within. Dead centre of the whole affair, a massive wheel rises above everything, creaking as it carries evenly spaced chariots in slow churning circles. It made no sense to her.
"Why am I here?"
"Because you said you wanted a traditional, mortal date."
She looks around again, never having seen anything quite like this. Usually, she keeps to the ancient age where the temples and religion of her people still thrive and their worship is still strong and persistent. The festivals and celebrations are vibrant, full of life and passion yet infused with an awareness of the fleetingness of mortality.
This is something else, something new. This isn't children crying out to the heavens for acknowledgement. It isn't designed to appease or honour the divine. It isn't a paltry expression of gratitude born out of fear and desperation. This...this is amusement for amusement's sake.
A completely foreign concept.
"I...I...what is it?"
He grins, taking her hand and leading her into the throng. "It's a fair. We'll ride the ferris wheel, you'll eat some cotton candy, and I'll win you a giant teddy bear."
Still frowning, she glances at the laughing, smiling mortals they pass, looks up at the still ferris wheel, and bites her lip. "I don't understand. I thought...I thought we'd take a walk or attend the theatre or...something like that..."
She lets out a surprised squeak when he spins her around and loops his arms around her hips, holding her against him as he continues to cut his way through the crowds. "We've already walked the world and seen all the plays the Greeks have to offer - twice. This is something new, something special. Don't you like it?"
"Of course...well, maybe. I don't know. I've never...this isn't like anything we've...I've ever done before. I'm...I'm nervous."
He stops in front of a booth, one of the ones with rings and bottles. Stuffed toys of various sizes line the sides and hang from above. He pays the attendant the required fee and takes the proffered rings. All five loop around the bottlenecks and he claims an enormous stuffed bat as his prize. Handing it off to her, he flashes another of his rare grins. "For you, milady," he informs her with a mock bow. "This is going to be fun. This is something new, something we haven't done before, something that definitely falls into the category of a traditional mortal date. Give it a chance, dove."
She looks around again, her gaze inevitably drawn to the ferris wheel. She notices how it stops and goes, stops and goes, and it deposits old passengers and collects new ones. A smile slowly curves her lips. "What are we supposed to do while we ride the ferris wheel?" she asks.
Following her gaze, his smile actually widens, taking on a decidedly wolfish quality. "I'm sure we'll think of something," he tells her.
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