As I Meandered

  • by Kentthat’s my butt
  • he was ready to try again
  • unnaturally taxing their bodily energies
  • to create a delicious new flavor
  • depositing his hat on the floor

Tune in next time part 154                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

As I meandered through the tacky, sappy, garish, and depressing realm of Valentine Village, I kept my eyes peeled for Tessa. Would it really be her? Or a robotic simulacrum? Or Tallulah?

“Hey, where’s your tray?” The nasal voice behind me was as grating and sour as my surroundings were pillowy and sweet. I turned to find a scrawny man in an argyle vest and a green visor, consulting the clipboard in his hand. He shook his head and then looked at me. “Wait here.”

My new supervisor stepped into a small shed and popped right back out with a silver platter covered with pastel hearts. “Get moving, a bus just pulled in.” I took the tray.

As soon as he turned away, I started examining the words on the tiny candies. I quickly determined that this was not the message I was looking for. They said things like, “that’s my butt,” and “now you wear the collar.”

I quickly discovered that carrying this platter attracted the park’s guests to me. An elderly couple stepped up, the man reaching for the treats I carried. He picked one up and squinted at it, leaving his wife bewildered when he didn’t give the candy to her. After pocketing the first one, he was ready to try again. And again. On the seventh try he decided the inscription was appropriate, which judging by his wife’s reaction it truly was. They scampered away, no doubt toward pursuits unnaturally taxing their bodily energies. Well, his pocketful of sugar would revive them.

To avoid being confronted by more customers, I entered the small building behind one of the numerous stands selling obscene balloon animals. Once inside, I glanced at another heart, which said, “eat me.” “Call me Alice,” I muttered and popped the candy heart into my mouth. It tasted like lime, not at all what I’d been expecting. Finding another one with the same words, I ate it too, finding it was an unidentifiable blend of spices. The two candies’ essences mixed to create a delicious new flavor. I hunted through the rest of my inventory, but there were no more that said “eat me.”

I hadn’t meant to remain in one spot for so long. Looking around, I expected Tessa to be right behind me, smirking at my shorty toga. But the person standing there wasn’t Tessa, it was a man with a Tyrolean hat and a thick mustache waxed into large, looping curls. He bowed like a horse, with one leg kept stiff in front of himself, a single sharp nod depositing his hat on the floor.

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