Sharon’s note: We’ve all done stupid things for love. We’ve all done even stupider things because it seemed like a really cool idea at the time. Warning: Author would probably go to fight an evil carnival with little provocation.
The sun was setting, so Wendy told Jim they should head back to the circus. She was back in her normal clothes, except for her shirt, because the old piece of material hadn’t survived the trip through the dryer. Jim had offered her one of his, because she’d complained that wearing just the vest chafed. He’d nearly had a heart attack when she’d started unlacing herself right in front of him. She’d chuckled at him as he refused to face away from the wall until she told him she was dressed.
He still didn’t understand the fuss about leaving her shoes at his house. They were worn old tennis shoes, but she’d refused to wear them because she didn’t want to get them dirty.
The ferris wheel seemed so much taller in silhouette against the orange sky. Something about it was off, and made Jim’s stomach churn. He clutched her hand firmly, making her glance back. “Are you sure we can handle whatever it is in there?”
“Don’t worry, I have this.” She grinned, but her eyes unfocused and a frown krept across her face.
“Is anything wrong?” Jim hesitated, then touched her shoulder.
“No. I just realized that you might should have this.” She patted his hand and he jumped back as she raised a rusted old cleaver between them.
“Crap, where did you pull that from?” It was a fairly large knife with a thick, broad blade. It did have a bit of leather wrapped around the handle that could be used to tie it on to something, but he should have seen it.
She shrugged. “Pulled it out of Nowhere.” She said the word like it was a proper place. “I don’t really understand it myself, I just remembered how to do it because I wanted to make sure you could defend yourself. You know, in case something happens and- and I can’t make it there in time.”
Jim watched as something like pain, or maybe fear ghosted across her face. He gave his best reassuring smile. “Hey, you’re like a magical badass. It’ll be fine. It better be. I wouldn’t know how to use this thing against a dead chicken, much less an evil clown.”
“Just swing it.” She pushed it into his hand with a playful smile. “It knows what to do after that.”
Jim hefted the cleaver. “Is it alive?”
“No. Yes? I’m not sure.” She shrugged again and started walking towards the carnival again. “We’ve been together a long time, and even metal eventually picks up things. Now, come on. We want to get there before the fun starts.”
Jim tied the cleaver to his belt as he followed her. Part of him thought this was a bad idea, but that part was overshadowed by the fact that an amazing, magical girl had asked him to go put down a magical evil carnival. If he let this opportunity pass by, he had a feeling he would always regret it.
“So,” he joged a little to catch up with her. “What’s the plan?”
She tossed her head so her bell jingled. It was the first time Jim had heard it make a noise. “I never make battle plans. Halfway in something unpredictable happens and you have to throw it out anyway. Besides, it’s more fun this way.”
“I’m probably crazy for doing this,” Jim said, but he was grinning with nervous anticipation.
Wendy grabbed his hand again as they approached the ticket booth. “Probably, but you’re in good company.”