Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I TEASE Because...I Can!

This week's teaser is the scene that follows last week's. Ah, the carnival...home of wild and crazy rides, fried, sugary foods (yay, Elephant Ears!), and rigged games.


About halfway down the third row of game booths, I passed a booth filled with large stuffed animals hanging from the posts in front. “Three throws for a five spot!” the man operating the booth called to me, a smirk riding his lips. “Easy as pie to win, sweetheart. Just step up and throw.”

Digging into my pocket, I stepped up to his booth and handed him the money. “What do I do?” I asked, eyeing the tall bottles stacked up on top of each other about ten feet away.

He tossed a baseball in the air once, twice and grinned at me, a sly smirk that told me my money was wasted here. “Knock down all the bottles in one throw and win any prize here.” He told me. “Three tries.”

Easy enough. I held out my hand for the ball, not at all surprised when I found the ball to be lighter than it should have been. Probably hollowed out on the inside. I glared at the bottles stacked up. Made of thick, green glass, it’d be nearly impossible to knock them down with this sad excuse for a ball. Still, I had to give it my all.

Gripping the ball the way Grant had shown me all those years ago when I got it in my head to go out for softball—and failed due to an extreme lack of hand-eye coordination—I threw my arm back to get as much force behind the throw as possible…and slammed my elbow into the shoulder of some innocent passerby.

How many people was I going to clobber today?

I whirled around at the same time that he stumbled back into the stream of people parading through the area.

“I’m so sorry!”

“Ow! Hey, watch what you’re doing!”

My mouth dropped open as I gaped at Dallas, his brown eyes flashing angrily behind his ugly glasses. Hands automatically extending, I stepped toward him. “Oh, Dallas, I am so sorry. It was an—“

“Accident, I know.” He grumbled, waving off my hands. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”


“I’m okay. Really,” he cut in, rubbing his shoulder. Then, he forced a smile to his lips. “But, you really do pack a punch for a girl. I might need you to give me some tips.”

I barked out a surprised laugh and shook my head. “I don’t really know what advice I could give. It’s all just dumb luck.”

“Listen, lady,” the game guy interrupted, annoyed. “Are you gonna take your throws or what? I can’t afford to stand around here all day while you make googley-eyes at your boyfriend.”

We both turned to the irate man. To be honest, I’d just about forgotten he was there. Before I could respond, Dallas plucked the ball out of my hand and tossed it a couple times, measuring its weight. He slid a quick glance at me. “Mind if I take your throws? I don’t want to see anyone else get incapacitated tonight by those sharp elbows of yours.”

“You’re the only one they seem to enjoy injuring,” I shot back on a chuckle.

He threw back his head and laughed. It was a nice sound, deep and rich. Then, he pulled his arm back and let the ball fly. It slammed into the bottles with such resounding force that they toppled almost instantly. The game man’s jaw dropped, but Dallas just looked over at me, completely uninterested. “Which one do you want?”