Kissing at the Carnival
Petal went to the boutique after work and picked up the pink dress she’d been eying, the one with the bow on the collar. She went to Bat Heart Spa, coming out fresh, clean, and smelling like lilac wyvern scales. At home, she considered two lipsticks. Unable to decide, she showed both to the lazily judging cat lounging on her bed. “This is…?” it asked. “Date two.” Indigo.
“So you met at the Grossery Store?” the cat asked, flicking its tail and rolling over. The evening looked better upside down.
“Yeah, I was looking for toadstool broth and all the jars were out of reach— I think she did it on purpose so I’d have to ask her for help.”
Across the village, May ran around her small apartment yelling, “Has anyone seen my black shirt?!”
“You will have to be a bit more specific,” a raven chimed sarcastically from its perch above bedroom door.
“It has skulls and ghosts,” May’s voice began to rise with panic as she tore through her closet. “And ice cream cones and I am already weeaaaring it,” came the half-cry-half-shout stress volcano of relief.
The raven flew down and nuzzled her cheek, “You’re going to do great, kiddo, relax.”
“She’s really cute,” May mumbled happily as she fussed, somewhat successfully, with her hair.
As twilight settled in, May stood in front of the Ghost’s Crush Cave of Might and Terror, anxiously looking around. The Halloween carnival roared around her, the other guests cheering and screaming, the haunted house behind her ooing and booing tantalizingly. “She’s late. She’s not coming, this was a mistake. She changed her mind. She saw me and hates my shirt.”
“She loves your shirt, she is buying you a cotton candy,” Petal said as she approached, smiling. “Hi.”
May turned around, her face lighting up like a strawberry moon, “Y-you look b-beautiful.” May kissed Petal’s cheek and accepted the bouffant of sugar spun spiderweb candy. Hand in hand, they entered the haunted house. The ghosts were real, but the Cave relied more on imagination than horror to scare and delight. The effects were cheesy and garish, the colors alternated between black light glows and just pure darkness. The fog was cool and omnipresent. A perfect haunted house for a date. As they exited, Petal ran out laughing and tittering with joy. May caught up and took her hand in hers. “I-I’m sorry about before, about freaking out.”
Petal smiled. “It is okay, just know I’m not planning on going anywhere.” Dinner was served on a stick, dessert came in a hallowed out pumpkin filled with a fizzy drink and ice cream. It was delicious, too sweet, too large, and very enjoyable.
“I’m thinking about becoming an adventurer.” May said as they eyed
a carnival game across the midway — toss a skull, knock down cans, win a prize. “I’ve been training after work.” May steered them towards the booth, then handed a few coins to the goblin running the game.
“Magic? Melee? Mix?” Petal asked as she picked up one of the game’s balls and pretended to eat it. A trap. “Ranged, actually.”
May took the ball and Petal kissed her — a trap sprung. “For luck,” Petal smiled, “And I want that giant plush ghoul, please.” It took a few rounds, but May won the big prize, much to Petal’s delight.
She hugged it close and kissed May again, who blushed mightily and happily.
The night began drawing to a close. May took Petal’s hand and they ran into a photo booth to capture the evening. Silly faces were made, hands were held behind heads to make rabbit ears and horns, kisses were shared.
Afterwards, eying the piles of pictures and laughing madly at the other’s expressions, they gravitated towards a storm-cloud themed ferris wheel. As they rose into the sky, all of Peyroux opened before them, the village’s lights twinkling silently. Petal laid her head on May’s shoulder, thoroughly enchanted by her charming awkwardness and kind-hearted bumbling.