Summer carnivals were a dime a dozen, not only on Earth, but in RhyDin and not only in the city, but all over the countryside. It was to one such carnival that Lucas and Fliss found themselves on one of the first official days of summer. There was the usual assortment of rides and games and food trucks, and it wasn't long before Lucas was toting around a large plush unicorn he'd won for her in a ring toss. A goldfish might have been easier to carry, but likely wouldn't have survived the day.
Fliss was laughing as she walked along beside Lucas. "I can't believe you insisted on winning the biggest thing you could find for me," she was saying affectionately, brushing her cheek against his shoulder as they passed through the mingling crowd.
"Hey, I'm the one stuck lugging it around all day!" Lucas reminded her with a grin. He had the unicorn tucked under one arm, his free hand clasping Fliss' while they meandered through the crowd. "So, what now? Ferris wheel? Cotton candy? Fake tattoos?" he asked with a gleeful grin. It had been a long time before Lucas had found anything to smile about, but now that Fliss was wearing his engagement ring, there were few reasons not to smile.
"Oooh, we should do a Ghost House, or a Tunnel of Love," she teased, her own smile as wide as his. It had taken some getting used to, but finally everything felt just as it should in her life. A happy home with Luc, getting an education in a subject she was fiercely interested in, watching their wider families grow and settle in with each other close by ... it was all good.
"Ghost House?" Lucas echoed, laughing. "You know those are fake, right?" Then again, you never knew in RhyDin. The Tunnel of Love sounded interesting, though he thought the unicorn might get in the way of romance.
"Oh, you know what we should do this Halloween?" she suggested suddenly. "We should do a haunted house. I've totally got enough control not to set anyone on fire for startling me now!"
"We could do one for all the kids at the Grove," Lucas suggested, building on her idea. There were enough kids there now who were old enough to enjoy it, and enough teens and younger adults to make it possible.
"I guess it depends what the supposed adults have to say about it," Fliss agreed thoughtfully. "But it'd be cool to give it a try. Shame it wouldn't work on Alex or Mo, though."
"You don't really want to scare them though, do you?" Lucas asked, pausing in mid-stride to adjust the unicorn, as it was bumping against one of his wings. Even folded against his back, they were sometimes awkward, but at least, no one looked at him twice in RhyDin.
"A haunted house is supposed to be a fun scary experience, isn't it?" she pointed out. "You go there because you want to be scared, because it's a safe environment to be scared in. Right?"
"Yeah, I guess," Lucas replied, thoughtfully. "What if we asked Alex and Maria to help?" he suggested. "That way, they can still have fun with it, but instead of getting scared, they can help do the scaring."
Fliss' smile suddenly turned almost evil. "What if we set up a haunted house for the adults to walk through, run by the kids?" she suggested with a wicked quirk to her expression.
Lucas laughed again. "I like that idea!" he told her, with a not quite as evil looking grin. "We could even charge admission and have the money go to charity," he suggested further. That was often the way it was done on Earth, and they had all summer to plan.
"Maybe we should test it on our Grove guinea-pigs before opening it up to the general public," Fliss countered with a cheerful giggle. "We've got enough of them!"
"That's true! I'll mention it to Uncle Humphrey and see what he says," Lucas told her. There had been a time when he'd been a little shy of his uncle, but he'd since learned that "Old Man Granger's" bark was worse than his bite. In truth, he was a big softie.
"He's never going to say no to you," she told her fiance affectionately. "Are you sure you don't want me to carry the unicorn?" It was a very big cuddly toy.
"No, it's okay," he assured her. It was just a stuffed toy, after all. Though it was a bit on the large size, it wasn't very heavy. He paused a moment as they neared a small group of tents with a sign espousing them as fortune tellers. Did they dare?
Liv had commented that Fliss and Luc were more in sync that many other couples she had known, and this was in evidence in the way that Fliss slowed before she seemed to realize that Luc had paused, coming to a halt to look in the same direction curiously.
"That looks like fun. Think you're gonna meet a tall handsome stranger?"
Lucas snorted doubtfully. "I've already met your father," he remarked with a smirk. "What do you think?" he asked, uncertainly again. He'd always believed fortune tellers to be a waste of money, but this was RhyDin - things were different here.
She snorted with laughter. "Dad is going to be so happy you think he's handsome," she teased him, squeezing his hand. She considered the tents for a longer moment. "Well, it couldn't hurt to get a ballpark date for the wedding, could it?"
Lucas shrugged, still smirking. "I'll take all the extra points I can get!" he told her, at least where her Dad was concerned. It wasn't that Johnny didn't like Lucas, but Lucas wasn't afraid to suck up a little. "Um, we don't really need a fortune teller to tell us that, do we?" he asked her. They might not have picked a date yet, but they were young and had plenty of time.
"Well ... no," she admitted merrily, "but it's a safe question to ask. You don't want to ask them something open-ended or morbid, because if they're right, it's just bleak, and if they're wrong, you get paranoid for no reason."
"I guess," Lucas admitted. "Or we could just wait and see what they tell us," he said. He'd never been to a fortune teller of any kind before and wasn't sure how it worked, though he understood the general idea. He shrugged again. "What's the worst that can happen?"
Fliss decided not to answer that, giggling as she squeezed his hand and leaned into his side. "All right," she agreed. "Which one shall we go to? And whose asking?"
Lucas took in the small circle of tents, unsure which to choose. They all looked the same from the outside, but as they got closer, they could see that each one had a small sign advertising their wares - tarot readers, palm readers, crystal ball gazers, tea leaf readers, and the list went on.
"I'm not sure," he replied, uncertainly.