"Aunt Aine... Can I come to your house too?" Mini asked into Neffydd's mobile com. Aine had offered to bring the boys to her new rental house for an over-night and Mini had begged her mother to go too. Neffydd put in Aine's extension and handed the com to Mini.
Aine showed up a few hours later, her children in tow, to gather the children and some more of her stuff. They soon departed, leaving Neffydd, Warder Sullens and Tomoe to wallow in the silence.
"What are we going to do?" Neffydd asked Sullens.
"I don't know..." Sullens shrugged.
"You know..." A slow grin spread across Neffydd's face, "We have no minions and there's a free show at the fair tonight."
"You wanna do that?"
"Yessssss..." Neffydd's grin widened and she turned to Tomoe. "You wanna go too?"
"I haven't got the money." Tomoe shrugged.
"I can cover you." Neffydd was practically bouncing now, "You should come!"
"OK!" Tomoe grinned, "Let me get showered and stuff."
Two hours later they were showered, painted, dressed and stepping off the public conveyance into the fair. They paid the troll and walked through the turn-style, grabbed a map from the information booth and planned their route through the people clogged maze of buildings, temporary structures and pavilions.
They grabbed milk from the Dairy Products building and drank it while staring at a huge sculpture made entirely of butter. They then crossed the court to find out what was in the Center Of Progress. The CoP had many different vendors hawking so many different things that Neffydd's head started spinning. They bought a couple large slices of fudge and went back outside to sit and eat some.
After they had eaten enough of the rich fudge to get a slight sugar buzz they headed off toward the next attraction.
"I gotta pee!" Tomoe whined.
"Geeze! You're as bad as the minions!" Neffydd teased.
They entered the Theater Museum and found the first floor bathroom. The wait was surprisingly short and the bathroom was pretty clean for something that must have been used a million times that week. It was over-hot... but not too hot to use the room and cooler than outside so no one was complaining.
Neffydd and Tomoe reunited with Sullens in the hall just outside the lavatory.
"Everyone done?" Sullens asked and received nods from the girls. "Where are we going next?"
"Horticulture Building!!" Neffydd answered excitedly. "Mmmmmaple..."
"O.K...." Sullens agreed suspiciously. He was beginning to think his Life-Mate was going into crowd-shock, but was hesitant to suggest a time-out.
They whisked down the crowded walkway and into the Horticulture Building. They had been on the lookout for places to capture an image and now they were confronted with the perfect shot.
Right between the center entrances was a huge sand sculpture with the Fair logo carved into it. Warder Sullens and Neffydd stood before the huge mound of carved earth and Tomoe captured the obligatory double image.
They whisked through the building glancing at random interesting things and dodging slow-moving creatures as Neffydd pulled them further toward her goal.
Finally they were standing in front of the Maple Products booth deeply inhaling the rich scent of boiled tree sap.
"What should we get?" Tomoe asked, knowing her sister would want something.
"You just said you're thirsty," Neffydd reminded her, "You wanna try the Maple Iced Tea with me?"
"Sure! That sounds good..." Tomoe trailed off since her a-typically hyper sister had already turned away to consult Sullens.
"Will you buy us a tea and a bag of Spun Maple Sugar?" She was bouncing in her excitement now.
"I suppose..." Sullens sighed and rolled his eyes, then slipped up to the counter to place their order.
"We should have just waited to buy the fudge here." Neffydd remarked and when her sister shrugged she added, "There's Maple fudge." There was Maple everything in the sizable booth. Ice cream, candy, cookies, candles, tea, coffee, dog treats...
Sullens returned with a bag of Spun sugar twice the size of his head and a covered cup full of thick dark liquid and nubs of ice. They each took an introductory swig and reveled in the perfect blend of strong black tea and buttery-sweet maple.
"Lets go outside to drink this." He suggested to them. "It's nicer out there."
They walked out the large door beside the Maple Booth and Tomoe suggested that they visit the Log Cabin. The Cabin was closed for the day, already, but they enjoyed the shade of the porch and looked in through the windows.
Neffydd spotted a preparedness shelter and her eyes lit up. She dashed over and ducked into the small building, but was disappointed with the sad displays. Her country-dwelling compatriots had better stuff in their living rooms. Sullens followed her around the small, quiet room and back out into the westerning sunlight.
As they stood in the trampled grass between the Log Cabin and the Preparedness shelter high-flying motion caught Tomoe's eye.
"What's over there?" She pointed at the air behind the Preparedness shelter and a bungee-corded bench with two people strapped into it bounced into view.
"I dunno!" Neffydd spun on her toes and started to walk around the building toward the odd sight. "Let's see!"
They watched as the ride slowed and was caught by a Giant who secured it to it's scaffolding dock. He helped the people out of their harnessing then beckoned and secured the next couple.
They quickly tired of watching the people bobbing on their strings and set off down the parkway bordering the midway.
Neffydd was in the middle of the midway crowds when the panic attack hit. The lights were too bright, the barkers too loud, the people too close and touching her as they passed in every direction. The air was too hot and clung thickly in her throat as she tried desperately to get enough air into her lungs. Smells assaulted her nose and mouth, attacking her delicate senses as she dragged air in through both.
Warder Sullens grabbed the back of her shirt and she shook him off as she tried to get out of the crowd as quickly as possible without trampling anyone. If there had been room to spread her wings she would have violated the no-fly moratorium just to escape. Sheer will-power kept her mind from diving into a completely blind panic.
Off to the side, behind a few food vendors Neffydd spotted a clearing next to the huge wall of the Dairy Products Building. She cut through the heavy foot traffic and almost ran toward the clearing.
"Are you OK?" Tomoe asked as she caught up to Neffydd and Sullens.
"I will be..." Neffydd managed to gasp out as she exerted a conscious effort to slow her breathing. "Just gotta sit..."
"Well," Sullens inserted, "There's a leged against the wall over there."
They each took seats on the ledge, then Sullens got hungry and went in search of a snack. He came back carrying a large cup filled with fries, gravy and melted cheese in one hand and a bottle of cold water in the other.
After their quick snack they decided that it was time to head back for the show. They cut through the Dairy Products Building again, exiting the opposing side. There they stood for a few moments, gaping at the site. It the hour or so since they had left the entire court had filled to capacity and spilled over onto the other common spaces that had line-of-sight to the stage and even some that didn't.
After a bit of a huddle, the trio decided that they could head back over to the commons where they had eaten their fudge earlier to watch the show.
They cut through the court again where there were brownies, pixies and centaurs posted to keep traffic moving along the main thoroughfare, then cut across the intersecting pathway and into the small, elevated grotto. There was an open space right in front of the tertiary projection screen so they settled into the crabby grass to watch the show.
Not too long after they sat down, the show's hosts greeted the eager fans. They introduced themselves, talked for a short while then introduced Theory of a Deadman.
The band took a little longer to actually get to playing but when they did, the show was outstanding. Their format was engaging, with interaction fun for the crowd; the filling monologue was kept to a minimum and the regional favorites were sprinkled liberally into the set list at a fairly even spacing.
For the last few songs Neffydd and Tomoe dragged Sullens closer to the stage pit. (As 'closer' as they could get at least.) They were hopping and singing along in ecstatic enjoyment, much to the consternation of the surrounding attendees. The girls didn't care if they looked like idiots, they were there to have fun and enjoy the live music. If people had issue with that they could suck it.
The show wound down and the trio made their way back to their transport. They rode the bus downtown and transferred to their next bus. At the downtown depot they met up with their neighbor and they all went back to the Houshold to drink a bit & unwind.
Alll, in all, it was an awesome trip to the fair.