No prompt used.
Day 25 was the day of the collaboration challenge, and we were given till Sunday to complete our stories. Therefore, this story came on the 26th because of that.
This story ended up being 1000 words long as well, so this is my third entry for Little Prose 2020.
The challenge: Team up with someone, pick a poison from the list and combine the poison’s challenge elements with your collaboration partner(s)'(s) own. Optionally, you could make an entry without collaborating with anyone, in which case you needed to pick two poisons and use them to make a response piece to another writer’s FFM 2020 story.
My poison gave me this challenge: 1) The story must include a fairground, carnival or circus and 2) it must feature one of the following things: something wrapped in silk, an animal companion, a cage full of butterflies, a grieving child, a toothless tiger, discarded candy-floss.
My partner, bookcrusher, got this challenge from their poison: 1) The story must have supernatural elements and 2) there must be something bloody and something delicate.
You can read bookcrusher’s side of the story (which I absolutely recommend that you read) here: https://www.deviantart.com/bookcrusher/art/A-Webbed-Carnival-849944116
Out of these elements, the story has these:
- A carnival as a setting
- My protagonist as something wrapped in silk AND as a supernatural being
- My protagonist’s spiderwed as something delicate
- The boy’s scraped knee as something bloody
The carnival is always the highlight of my year. When there is more than one, they are the highlights — the more, the merrier!
People usually couldn’t see me, so I could do pretty much anything I wanted without getting caught. I was smiling from ear to ear — not exactly literally, luckily; my ears would have gotten itchy if I had — when I entered the carnival area. Without paying the entrance fee, of course, because if anyone saw me, no one would believe them. Ha!
What to do first this year?
I decided to look around first, taking in everything. Whenever I saw something interesting, I conjured some spiderweb and marked the booth’s top corner.
“Mommy, look, Spiderman is here!” a human child shouted, pointing at the web I had just splatted at the cotton candy booth.
“Yes, of course, dear. There are people dressing up,” the child’s mother said. Her tone and lack of looking at the web made it seem like she did not care.
“No, Mommy, someone launched some spiderweb at the booth!” the child said.
“Of course, dear,” the mother said, still not looking.
I snickered, attracting the child’s attention, and scurried away, my silk scarf fluttering as I did. I made sure some spiderweb flew in the air as I went.
Once I had marked my targets, I got into action.
First stop: one of the game booths.
It was hard not to snicker as I planted some heavy-duty webbing on a few targets and retreated to watch what unfolded. As if ordered, a group of young men came there. I grinned and jumped in anticipation when the middle guy picked a ball and threw it.
He missed, ha!
The one on the left took their turn, threw and hit an unwebbed target.
“Woo!” the man shouted. “What do I win?”
The booth man gave him a big pink unicorn plushie. The other two men and I burst into laughter.
“Hey, this is fabulous!” the young man said and hugged the plushie, indignant. The others fell to silent grins, but I kept snickering.
Now it was the last man’s turn. He threw, hit a webbed target — and the ball stuck there !
I snickered next to him.
He looked around himself in confusion. “What’s going on? Who’s laughing?”
The booth man frowned, took the now webbed ball and gave out a tortoise plushie.
“Okay, you two look ridiculous with those plushies, but now I want one too!” the man in the middle grumbled. He put some coins on the table. “I’ll try again.”
I knew he was going to miss, so I decided to help out. I had my webs ready.
The ball stuck to a target with a satisfying splat. The man and I cheered. The booth man, on the other hand, just frowned when he took the new web off the ball. I think I heard him say, “So this is what the old man talked about…”
The man in the middle got a hilarious monkey plushie.
I snickered and left the scene, once again with spiderweb trailing me.
Then I felt I was being watched.
It was a child, looking straight at me, frightened. He turned to adults and said something, but they dismissed him.
Interesting. Few people can see me.
He looks nice. Maybe I should talk with him.
First things first, though. I need some cotton candy now.
Okay, okay, fine, I need lots of it.
Lots and lots of it.
I wonder if the same woman is still at the booth.
One delicious cotton candy lunch later — the woman was still at that booth, by the way — I saw the child again. His parents dismissed him again when he said something, so I decided to approach him. Maybe he needed a friend.
The moment he figured out I was going towards him, he bolted.
Huh. I guess he doesn’t need a friend.
I mean, surely he can’t be afraid of me. I don’t have terrible fangs or anything. I just float, am kinda transparent and wear silk.
Yeah, he just doesn’t need a friend.
Time to go mess up a game booth. I need something else to think about.
One game booth turned into five game booths and a popcorn booth raided. I could hear people talking about my webs and snickering. I snickered; if they could see me, I’d be in trouble.
Yet the only one who could see me was that kid. He’s the first one in years to be able to see me — at least as far as I knew. He had probably already left with his parents, though.
Except he hadn’t. I noticed him at the pancake booth with his knee hurt. Poor kid.
I hid behind another booth to make sure I didn’t get noticed. If he ran away with that knee, he could get hurt again. If I only could do anything…
Hey, I could!
I just had to be sneaky.
And have the web ready.
I dove under the table next to the kid’s table and waited to make sure he hadn’t noticed me. When I heard nothing from him, I dashed under his table. He didn’t look under the table. Good.
I took a look at the scrapes on his knee. There was dried blood and dust around them. Nothing my webs couldn’t deal with, though.
I smiled, trying my best to contain my snickering. I pressed the webs on his wounds as lightly as I could to avoid starting him and bolted.
If he noticed me, I didn’t know. However, I knew that I had done something good this year.
As I left the scene at sundown, I snickered at the new memories. This was the best carnival in years. So much fun!
I can’t wait to see the next one! Maybe that kid will be there too.
I sure hope so!
Maybe some year he’ll let me talk to him, too!
I can’t wait!