queen for a night

The top of the hill. Note the stadium in the background.

I never expected to find myself at the top of a mountain with all the control in my hands, although actually having control of the reins of the horse named Fate probably had a world’s difference from having the fingers of my gloves almost frozen around the strap to an inner tube. Fate would probably blanch at the mere notion of ever being compared to my cousins all frantically trying to connect their tubes together so that they could whip down the hill at blurringly swift speeds, anyways.
“Come on, Rena; connect your tube to Anne’s.” One very confused Anne was lounging in her own little tube, seeing as Matthew and Marise had already linked up and proceeded to drag us all over to the front of the line for the farthest possible lane. It wasn’t that far away, of course, seeing as half of the course hadn’t even been smoothed down enough to avoid breaking everybody’s butts and the inner tubes and made the walls so that everybody wouldn’t collide into each other and cause a few deaths from whiplash. That left only six lanes all packed into a space about thirty feet across.
“Which one?” I hoped I didn’t look too condescending in the white jacket that I’d bought a few years ago but rarely worn. Being the tallest in the group by far didn’t help. “The one by you or me?”
“Just pick one.” Anne moved her feet, clod in garish Hello Kitty boots, enough for me to pull my strap through the handle nearest me. A solid yank caused me to lose my footing and tumble butt-first into my tube, all improperly named as they were far more like donuts than actual tubes, and we started awkwardly sliding towards the descent below against the desperate shrieks of the sparse personnel working the slopes.
Shrilling “Why am I always in front?” at the top of my lungs to be heard, the whole blob of tubes rotated with gravity, making me the shield for everybody else to hide from the snow being pelted at us by the wind. For once, I had gone out without putting any makeup on, and I was happy- one ride down and half of my face would have looked like someone from a cliché zombie apocalypse story just bitten a few hours ago. If there had been any turns on this descent, I probably would have lost the little I had for dinner- but I lucked out tonight, and it was just a single direction speeding faster and faster below me until we leveled out at the bottom and coasted to the mountain of a snow bank. As I briefly massaged my abused butt and rolled my way out of the tube, I glanced at the lit bulge of a stadium in the distance, separated from me by a good two miles and bushy pathetic excuses for forests separating us.
If only Samhain could see this- could have maybe lived a normal life, one free from disease and researchers and rich pricks trying to weave a web of confusions for their own profit, maybe she would be here with me. Maybe she’d be making fun of Marise trying to pull Matthew and Anne with her in their tubes; maybe she’d go down once, just me and her without the cousins; maybe she’d-
“Earth to Rena. Are you there?” Marise waved a gloved hand in front of my face, shattering my reverie. “You’ve been staring at the same stadium for the past thirty seconds. Come on, we’ve got to go to the magic carpet. We still have an hour left on our ticket.”


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