Monday, November 21, 2011

At The Fair

Fair  Episode 2

The four young men were finally in the city for the first time ever! The sights and sounds of the summer fair were all around them. The four friends were having trouble deciding which way to go first. There were buildings all around them. But in between the buildings were wide open spaces made specifically for relaxation. There were fountains and statues everywhere. The streets seemed to be designed more for foot traffic than for any vehicles, even though they were plenty wide enough. The whole city seemed built to put a person at ease.

But the remarkable aspect of the city today was the fair. The summer fair covered the whole city. On every street there were vendors and booths selling every kind of trinket and gimmick that a person could think of. There were fancy rides like Ferris wheels, carrousels, and any other ride that you might imagine. There were jugglers and clowns roaming the streets. There was a big tent in one area with the sounds of exotic animals coming out from it. There was even a man leading a tiger down the street on a leash!

Riley, in his usual excited hurry, said, "Hey, let's get in line for something before it gets too long! If we go fast enough, we can do everything before nightfall!"Just then, from over on a stage a block away came a deafening noise! It sounded like a thousand donkeys braying at once. The friends all turned to see what was making this noise. It turned out to be four clowns all painted black and white. They were beating on some strange objects in their hands where the noise was coming from.

One of the clowns kept screaming about rolling a rock all night. Another one kept sticking his tongue out at the curious crowd that had gathered around them. The four boys were now part of that crowd. Will shouted, "Why are they making that awful racket, Eric!" Eric said nothing because he couldn't hear him, or anything else other than the clowns. The boys soon fled the scene for fear of their eardrums breaking because of the deafening caterwauling.

When they were clear enough to hear each other again, the boys decided that kind of stuff just wasn't for them. They passed many booths with games and many with food. It all had a price. Riley seemed to spend the money he had as fast as he could get it out of his pockets. The other boys were more conservative with their money. Eric finally spoke up and said, "Riley, you might want to be a little more careful so you don't run out of money too soon. You know we'll help you if that happens, but it might cut us all short. We don't want this to end too soon."

"I'm being careful," said Riley. "I won't run out of money. I brought a little extra that I'm saving for later. I just want to make sure that I get everything I want before we're done. We should hurry up though so we can see everything. I don't want to miss any of it!"

Will said, "Well, I'm not sharing any of my money with you! If you spend all of yours, then you can just suffer! I plan on saving mine for something real good. I don't know what it is yet, but I'll know when I see it. It'll be something that I can turn around and sell for even more. I'm going to make a fortune off of this place. Heck, I might even move here permanently when I make enough money!"

Just then the four heard a man shouting in their direction, "Hey you! Get over here!" It was a man from one of the gaming booths trying to make money off of them. They all laughed at his attempt to intimidate them into playing his game and turned to go see the other sights. Just then Eric noticed that Sam wasn't with them anymore. He turned to see Sam standing in front of that rude vendor that they had laughed at a minute ago. Sam was handing him money.

Eric and the others ran over to where Sam was, but it was already too late. The man had the money and Sam had already begun playing the game. The game wasn't very good, but they waited for Sam to get done so at least he got what he paid for. Eric flashed the man a dirty look, but the man just quickly turned away. Eric finally looked at Sam and said, "Why'd you come over here and give this creep your money?"

"I didn't know what else to do," said Sam. "He was yelling at me, and I thought I did something wrong, so I came over here because he told me to. When he said to give him the money to play the game I figured I had to do it, so I did what he told me."

A little exasperated, Eric said, "Next time somebody does something like that, you ask me what to do, okay? These guys will do anything to get your money from you. They'll beg you for it. They'll yell at you, like that jerk did. And some will even try to steal it from you. So you stick close to us so we can all protect each other, right?" Sam nodded gratefully, and the incident was finished.

Eric pointed over to a table with some chairs and said, "Hey guys, it's almost noon. Why don't we take a break for a few minutes. Maybe we'll get some lunch before we go on. We've still got a long day ahead, and it's time to stop for now and decide our next move."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going To The Fair

Fair  Episode 1

High on the tallest building in the center of a small city sat a little blue bird. From up here on this edifice of glass and steel the city could be seen stretched out for miles around. The bird wasn't high up enough for the people to look like the size of ants, but they were too far down to see faces. But the little blue bird seemed happy to spend this short rest up here on this bright sunny day tweeting its happy little song with no care for the sights and sounds coming from all around in the city below.

Suddenly the little bird leaped off the top of the small skyscraper and flew to the southwest across the city. It zoomed above seemingly endless rows of more buildings of glass and steel. Each one had its own unique, but still angular shape. There were also wider open places between the buildings in the city with statues that the bird was happy to ignore. It's destination was beyond this silvery city.

As the little blue bird flew on, the number of buildings began to diminish, replaced with smaller structures in some places, and just empty fields in others. The roads turned from concrete to gravel to dirt. The bird began to fly a little lower above one road, following it out of the city. There were four human figures walking along the road in the opposite direction. The bird swooped down toward them for a closer look before it flew off into the distant countryside.

Four young men who still had the look of boys were walking side by side towards the city. Each one had a wide eyed look of wonder on his face, especially when looking at the city. One of them, a young man named Riley, looked over to another and said, "Wow! That bird sure was in a hurry. Maybe we should get moving too. Do you think the fair will be everything they all say, Eric?"

Eric turned and said, "I hope so, but most people exaggerate. We might be just a little disappointed, but I'm sure it'll still be good. Remember though that we should try to act like this isn't our first time in the city. We were already told that some people might try and take advantage of us. Well, I don't have to tell you guys. I guess I'm just trying to reassure myself. Right, Sam?"

Sam was the smallest of the four, and he usually stuck close to Eric for protection. Other people tended to pick on Sam because of his small size. He could handle himself sometimes, but his three friends, especially Eric, were better protection than just himself. "Uh, yeah. That sure is a pretty big city though," said Sam in a shaky voice. "I bet there are a lot of people there."

"There are a lot of bigger cities than this one," bragged the fourth young man, Will. "I've heard this is just a hick city that barely registers on the map! Hah! We only graduated a week ago, and we'll own this place before it's time to go back home! I'll be king of the summer fair! What do ya think of that?"

The boys all laughed as they continued their trek towards the city. As they got closer they began to hear the commotion of crowds of people and the sounds of happy music. That last bit was coming from the summer fair that the city held every year. The fair was a way to give everyone a break from the hard work of the rest of the year. Every year people came to the fair from all over the countryside. These particular young men, who were still really just boys, didn't know yet that maybe they weren't really ready for the fair.