The Team holds a strategy session. And drinks some root beer.
The steam rose (and so did the smell) as the puddles dried up as suddenly as they’d filled up. The fairground crowd was more excited, having much more fun, than was usual on even the second to last day of the Fair. (Which it was. Did I mention that?) They milled around, stuffing themselves and looking at stuff and throwing balls at bottles and darts at balloons to win even more giant prizes that were both cheap and spooky.
Cheap and spooky. Like the sideshow. What a cheap and spooky place to be held prisoner … Luckily the super-happy crowds weren’t paying any attention to us, six kids in a different kind of mood. Of course, that didn’t stop us from spending what was left of our fair money on some serious discussion food. Deep fried oreos mostly, and another bucket of rings, and some egg rolls and spring rolls. Pounce had another walking taco. Murphy, Nina, Lee and I had remembered our half-price refill Zane Farm Market souvenir root beer mugs, and Pounce and Mr. Spit got some straws from somewhere so we could share. If there’s anything in the world that tastes better than onion rings and root beer I don’t know what it is.
We found a picnic table out on the edge of the grounds, behind the horse barns on the other side of the Midway from the sideshow, where nobody was likely to walk by and we could see them if they did. And we hashed it out.
It’s hard to write about a discussion. I’ve got a pretty good memory and I wrote a lot of notes in my diary right afterward, but I’m still sure I couldn’t write down what everybody said in the order they said it in and get it all exactly right. And even then, I’m not sure you’d want to read it. You’d start skipping ahead to the more exciting part of the story, and I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
If you know us at all, you know that Mr. Spit was just the first one to say it out loud. We were going try to rescue the Frozen Cave Girl. But, yes, we gave all the important points a fair hearing.
Could somebody really be alive in a block of ice? Pounce and Lee were especially skeptical, but even they had to admit that her eyes had been open and tracking, so maybe.
So what if the whole thing was a fake, not in the sense of a wax dummy, but in the sense of an actress in in some kind of ice covered prop? Nina came up with that one, and it made a lot of sense to me. (And everyone else, except maybe Murphy, who by this time was a dedicated believer.) We decided there wasn’t much we could do about that if it was true: if we came back and found the Frozen Cave Girl playing cards and drinking beers with the rest of the cast, we’d just have to sneak away again and admit we’d been bamboozled.
We even went around the circle once with the idea that taking the block of ice would be stealing, but we all agreed that if there was a person in it, the Constitution definitely took care of that one.
Then it was just a matter of making a few plans: the time would be late at night when everyone from the show would either be asleep or busy with their own stuff. And it would have to be tonight, because tomorrow was the last day, and the sideshow would be packing up as soon as the Fair closed for the last time.
We brainstormed a few ideas for sneaking a giant block of ice into the woods to thaw, finished our root beers, and headed home to take a nap.