Sharon’s note: So, a lot of romances these days are light on romance. There’s plenty of ‘hot’ (really what’s with all the burning loins?) and lots of ‘heavy’, but where’s the actual romance? There’s nothing wrong with ‘sexy’. I like ‘sexy’. But you know what can be sexy? Sweetness. Romance can be innocent too. Warning: Cute flirting and innocent exploration.
After Wendy handed over a couple of tickets, the guy at the concessions handed over a funnel cake fresh from the fryer, covered in melting powdered sugar and seeping oil that soaked the paper bowl that was too small for it. She broke off a piece and popped it in her mouth, then moaned.
“Oh, this is so good. You can really taste the peanut. Here!” She broke off another piece, and put it against his lips. It was too hot, and burned a little, but he opened his mouth. It was uncomfortable, and mostly what he tasted was sweetened peanut oil, but that being said, it wasn’t bad.
“It’s tasty,” he agreed around a mouthful. He glanced around, and other than the creepy clown at the front, it looked like a normal carnival, albeit with more rides and attractions than he normally saw with them. It was hot and sweaty, but that was it. “So where do we find the dark and scary stuff?”
“I’m not sure.” Wendy spun in a circle, taking in the cacophony of sounds and lights. “Most of the scary stuff will hide until nightfall, but there’s always some sign hiding in plain sight. We just have to find it.”
Jim pointed at a crooked and brightly painted sign post. “Well, if I was looking for obvious evil hiding places, I’d go there.
Her nose wrinkled. “The haunted house? It’s a bit on the nose, but it’s a good place to start. Besides, it should be fun.”
“If, um,” Jim experimented with a cocky grin. “If you get scared, you can alway hold my hand again.”
She stared at him for a moment, blank-faced, then burst out laughing. Jim started to step back and cross his arms, but Wendy grabbed his hand. “I was planning on doing this anyway. It’s just funny because I don’t scare easy. I’d say I couldn’t remember the last time I was scared, but I don’t remember a lot of things, so that’s nothing to go by.”
They strolled through the crowd, nibbling on their funnel cake. Wendy’s fingers were battered in powdered sugar, and she wiped them on the seat of her jeans. Jim tried not to stare as her fingers left long white trails across the material.
In front of the haunted house, Wendy jumped up and down, laughing raucously. Jim didn’t get it. The two story trailer was patchily faded, it’s once black sides now a mottled gray. A cartoonish plywood cutout of a witch pointed to the entrance, and the relatively fresh paint couldn’t cover the outline of the naughty graffiti someone had drawn on her mouth.
“You like this?” Jim raised a skeptical eyebrow.
“It’s perfect!” She did a little dance in place. “It’s so run down and silly that no one would think that anything in here was real.”
“That’s true.” Jim summoned a smile and pulled on her hand. “So let’s go in and see if we can find something really scary. She winked. “And if you get scared, you can hold on to me.”