Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Night In Funland

"We have a winner! Here ya go, little lady, pick any prize off the top shelf. Every time a winner, folks, every time! All ya gots to do to win is play the game!"
She turned around, confused. A winner? There's a winner? Not her? Who? The barker had his hand on a girl's shoulder, not her, a girl with a Cleopatra drape of light blue beaded dredlocks.
Why her? Why not me? How come I never win? And no, I don't care if there is a next time, if I can play again later or tomorrow, I don't care what he says, I'm never the winner. I'll never walk out of here with a four foot Scooby Doo and everyone going ooh and ahh at me. Not ever.
She wasn't sure how she ended up on the curb, leaning against a light post, but the brigade of fire ants marching up her ankle was just one more line on her list of "Bad Luck Lori Stories." Tonight, she should have been snuggling up with a sawdust filled, imported from China, cartoon character and instead she'd be slathering her feet with antibiotic and antihistamine ointments, hoping to avoid a visit to the doctor and a ten day regimen of cefalexin.
Maybe a twistee-treat would turn this night into a not quite total waste, but her pocket was empty of the eight single dollars left after playing a few rounds at the water-pistol gallery. A man walked by holding a vanilla-strawberry and a chocolate-banana, leaning towers of ice cream, dripping sprinkles a Hansel and Gretel trail behind him. He handed the cones to his codfish mouthed kids. "Don't worry about finishing them, we're going to have funnel cake later."
Lori sat down again and let the ants resume their reconnaissance mission across her legs. She sat until the carnival closed, until she had to go home, until she couldn't sit any longer.

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