Written for the prompt(s): A man, a woman, or a child going to the Ulster County Fair.
|Word count: Approx 1,000.
“I can’t believe you’ve never been to the Ulster County Fair before,” Mags said—not for the first time—as she got off her 2012 Honda CBR1000RR ABS sportbike with relative ease and grace.
I, on the other hand, had all but fallen off the damn thing, my wobbly legs barely supporting me as I fought to stay upright rather than flop onto the ground like a beached whale and kiss it.
Now, as Mags removed her helmet, I began to struggle with my own. Even at the outset, I could tell the helmet was winning the war. “Well, I’m not from around here, Mags. I don’t know all the events and stuff you Upstaters do for fun. I’m just glad you didn’t take me cow-tipping,” I added as the mouth-guard of the helmet blocked my view. I tugged a few times on it, turning in a circle as well—as if that’d help—then all but screeched: “It’s stuck!”
“No, it’s not,” Mags said with a laugh that was muffled by the helmet. Visions of hacksaws danced in my head as warm, capable hands settled on my own before removing them from the helmet. A few seconds later, with a light tug and a quick twist, the helmet popped off as if it’d never been stuck. And all without taking my facial features with it.
And there stood Mags, the helmet under her arm, grinning. She was showcased perfectly in a bright ray of sunlight which lit up her messy, curly platinum Mohawk and glinted off her many piercings. It shone mellowly on her battered brown leather jacket and winked off the rivets in her blue jeans.
“You’ve been living up here for—what? Three years, now? And you’ve never been to the Fair, never ridden a motorcycle, barely drive your own car—”
“I wouldn’t even need a car if Ulster County had better public transportation,” I interrupted her amused rant to say. “And for the record, fairs are creepy. And motorcycles are scary. I don’t deal well with creepiness and fear.”
Mags snorted. “Fairs are not creepy. Just some of the people are. And for a first time rider, you did great on my bike. Though I think you may have inadvertently cracked one of my ribs when we took that hill.”
“I—you were going too fast!”
“No such thing.”
“I thought I was gonna fall off!” I insisted and Mags secured my helmet to the back of the bike then ambled up to me. She slung an arm around my shoulder—she smelled like leather, wind, and outside—and began walking us out of the parking lot. Other arrivals were also converging and moving in a straggling stream towards the Fair.
In the distance, I could see the tents and the Ferris Wheel. At the sight of that latter, my stomach lurched.
“I’d never let you fall, Lise,” Mags said, her arm tightening around me. I glanced up into her grey eyes and smiled wryly.
“You can’t actually control whether or not I fall, Mags.”
“Sure, I can,” she said lazily. “Just keep on holding onto to me real good and tight, and you’ll never fall. Or I’ll be able to catch you, if you do.”
Still grinning, she leaned in and kissed me on the corner of the mouth, holding it till I gathered my courage, turned my head a little, and kissed her full-on.
Our first kiss. On our very first—official—date, no less.
Mags chuckled and that broke the kiss. But she was quick to lean down and nuzzle my neck. “God, you smell so good,” she murmured, nipping my skin just a bit, and I shivered. “Heh, I know just what ride we’re getting on first, too.”
I shivered again, this time more from trepidation. “Oh? And what ride would that be, Butch?”
“The Ferris Wheel,” Mags purred, kissing my shoulder.
LURCH, went my stomach.
“Uh,” I said. Then: “I don’t do Ferris Wheels.”
Mags looked up at me, eyes wide. “Not even as a kid?”
“Not even then. Nope,” I said then sighed as Mag’s left eyebrow quirked in disbelief. “Okay, well, once. And that was enough! I don’t like heights, I don’t like being in things that swing back and forth, and I definitely don’t like it when those things also happen to be giant metal cages. I barely tolerate elevators.”
Mags’ right eyebrow joined the left, half-way up her forehead. “Is there anything you do like?”
“Yeah. You,” I replied before I could stop myself, and blushed. Mags grinned again and stole another kiss that nonetheless weakened my knees.
“You’ll like me even better after we’ve gone ‘round the Ferris Wheel a few times,” she promised, waggling her pale eyebrows in a pointed and patently ridiculous fashion. Puzzled and a little wary, I frowned.
“And why is that?”
“I promise if you get on with me, you won’t ever wanna get off. Or maybe you will.”
Mags rolled her eyes, and once more began to lead us to the Fair, whistling. It sounded like . . . it was: “Love in an Elevator.”
I blinked . . . then blinked again and suddenly got it. And nearly tripped over my own feet when I did. But then I started to grin and blush again, while correcting my wayward feet.
“Going dow-oo-ow-oo-ownnnn. . . .” Mags sang, squeezing me tight around the waist before her hand drifted downward to make itself at home in my back pocket. I slipped my arm around her waist and for the first time in my life, I went to the Ulster County Fair.