spider time: post 10

As we return to the story, the Kids are in the sideshow tent, clustered around the famous Frozen Cave Girl, and Murphy has made a startling statement.

“What do you mean, she’s alive?” shouted Mr. Spit, a little louder than maybe he should have, but you couldn’t blame him for being a little excited. Pounce stepped on his foot anyway, hissing at him to keep his voice down if he didn’t want to get thrown out. Spit’s dirty looks don’t bother Pounce that much.“Her eyes were shut when the box opened,” Lee said, looking thoughtful. That slowed down the rest of those who were going to jump on Murph for saying anything so wild. That’d be Nina and Pounce, mostly. Sensible and knows a lot about nature, respectively—neither of them is likely to believe somebody could be alive after being frozen in ice for more than a couple minutes, much less since the last Ice Age. Mr. Spit, of course, is always pretty sure that anything that looks like a fake probably is. But Lee is scientific, and trusts his own observations.

And me, well, I trust Murphy. For all we aren’t that alike for as closely as we’re related, we have a lot of the same instincts, and when he says something simple like that you can believe him every time. No matter how crazy it sounds. (If you’re nosy enough to be reading this without actually knowing us, Murph and I are first cousins, but since our moms are identical twins, it’s more like being half-brother and –sister.)

What did I think? I was pretty sure I didn’t care right then whether the Cave Girl was alive or not. I just wanted to get out of there, Because if the sideshow was creepy before, standing there in the spooky blue light and all the mist swirling around, listening to the sad old fashioned music and looking down at her with her blue eyes open in the ice was a new quantum level of creepiness.

Then Mr. Spit took a deep breath, and said what I should have been thinking. “Then we have to rescue her.” Murph said yeah, yeah, and Pounce nodded, and Lee said that it didn’t make scientific sense, but if it was indeed true he was inclined to agree. And I got over myself fast. If the Cave Girl was real, if she was alive, then she was in trouble and it was up to us to help her.

Nina opened her mouth to start what I was pretty sure was going to be a debate on the subject, when the Cave Girl shut her eyes just as fast as she had opened them. And all of a sudden she looked just as much like a wax dummy as she had when we first saw her.
Then the tent flap opened and the man with the horns came in and told us if we wanted to look any more we had to buy another ticket because the next show was about to start. He opened the back flap of the tent and shooed us out.

Out into the sunshine on the wet grass at the edge of the fairgrounds. The storm was over like it had never happened, and it was going to get hot and start to steam, just like it did after any ordinary summer thunderstorm. I was the last one out, and when I looked back I saw the snake lady in the top hat lead a little crowd into the tent, and start a lecture about the world famous Frozen Cave Girl and how she’d been found in Siberia in the days of the Czars, which I would have liked to hear more of except the man shut the tent flap and stood in front of it watching us until we left.

It was time to regroup anyway. We had a rescue mission to plan.

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