Searching for a bargain, a shopper unwittingly falls into some else’s love life.

            A red candle was stuck in an old Chianti bottle; its sides coated with multicolored layers of wax from countless other candles, in the center of the red and white checked tablecloth. The legs of her chair scraped loudly on the worn wood board floor as I pulled it out for her to sit. She ordered spaghetti and meatballs.

            “What are you going to have?” she asked.

            “Veal parmesan,” I answered.

            “But you always have veal parmesan.”

            “It’s the perfect meal,” I explained, “for what has already been a perfect day.”

            “And it’s still quite early,” she said, with a mischievous glimmer in her eyes.

            We sat long over dinner, chatting about every subject under the sun. We talked of dreams and aspirations. We talked of hopes and wishes. We talked of children and grandchildren. And when dinner was through we shared a small bowl of spumoni and once more, hand in hand, went out into the night.

            By now the sun was long gone, but darkness didn’t stand a chance in the flashing, swirling, glowing kaleidoscope of colors that were the lights of the amusement park on the pier. We rode all the rides, screaming together on the rollercoaster, enjoying the view from the top of the ferris wheel, chasing each other frantically in the bumper cars and getting rammed by other patrons because we only had eyes for each other. In the mirrored room of the funhouse I experienced the great joy of being surrounded by fifty of her and the excitement of finding the one that was soft and yielding to my touch. The tunnel of love became one long embrace and kiss and I would be hard pressed to describe any of the attributes to the ride itself. But, my favorite ride, which I always left until last, was the merry-go-round. I don’t know why the merry-go-round is my favorite ride. Perhaps it is the simple innocence of swirling with the music. Or maybe it’s the personal little envelope of space created around you and that special person that you share the ride with. It might be the artistry of the brightly painted horses and carriages that draw you into their seamless unending parade. For us, in that moment, it was all of those things.

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  • ahmad joko setyawan on Aug 22, 2009

    Very intriguing, imaginative and creative write! Excellent work indeed!

  • I Have Had Enough on Aug 22, 2009

    I love your stories David; and I always feel you are challenging yourself and your creativity (which can only be a good thing for your readers). The way the narrator is drawn into the picture was especially vivid for me; and I feel you presented this quite well. It had shades of ‘tales of the unexpected’ or the old hammer horror compilations. I must say, I really enjoyed this; and I look forward to your next piece.

  • Mikayla on Aug 25, 2009

    ‘Hammer Horrors’..that’s goin’ back a few years Gringo!..hehehehehahaha..David Crerand..LOVED THIS..
    ‘The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.’
    William Faulkner.

  • Mikayla on Aug 25, 2009

    ‘Hammer Horrors’..that’s goin’ back a few years Gringo!..hehehehahahaha..David Crerand..LOVED THIS..
    ‘The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.’ William Faulkner.

  • BradONeill on Sep 3, 2009

    Every day that begins with one of your stories David is a good day. What a fantastic tale. I loved everything about this and although I should have seen the end coming I was so enamored by the experience it caught me by complete surprise. Thank you for sharing your imagination a fine gift for your readers.

  • XXElleXX on Sep 4, 2009

    :-) ))))))Oh wow! This short story was enchanting David and the ending was magic!

  • Butterfly Musings on Sep 6, 2009

    WOW, amazing, I love the ending, it took me by surprise, an awesome read, I love the way that you create such a visual in your writing, it is pure magic, :}

  • Theresa Johnson on Sep 8, 2009

    very nice piece david. great addition to the anthology

  • BullwinkleMuse on Sep 8, 2009

    Love it, David. Even as the ending unfolded with a sense of inevitability, I couldn’t help but feel anticipation at every turn. Excellent write!

  • Duff D Moss on Sep 8, 2009

    That was so captivating – and a lovely little mysterious twist at the end. Great work bloke.

  • Tlchimes on Sep 8, 2009

    I love this…. This is a style I really enjoy. Wonderful

  • raptor22 on Sep 8, 2009

    Captivting story. Great piece of writing.

  • Littlekid137 on Sep 8, 2009

    Wow very captivating. You wrote this in a style I have never seen before. Awesome work.

  • Used to be Shelly on Sep 8, 2009

    Wow that was good. Nice ending. :)

  • oldster on Sep 9, 2009

    Greal tale David, gently told.
    Enjoyed it even though I’m hopelessly unromantic.

  • STEVE666 on Sep 9, 2009

    Got quite engrossed in this tale, David. Well written, with a nice twist at the end. Well done!

  • Brenda Nelson on Sep 9, 2009

    well worth the read, I enjoyed it!

  • June on Sep 9, 2009

    David
    What a magical story! I can not wait to read more.
    June

  • Rod Ferrandino on Sep 10, 2009

    David, this was a captivating story; the only thing that happens when I fall asleep in my swivel-rocking-recliner is that I wake up buried in cats.

  • 8uuuuyy on Sep 11, 2009

    hey david,
    awesom work!
    i really loved the way you got me involved into this, absorbed. well done.i’ve got a couple of works on my drawing board, and so i know, how much you’ve spent behind this.

    have you tried to publish this, mags or comps?
    i’ would say, you do it, coz its really good!

  • maranatha on Sep 23, 2009

    This was wonderful! Especially the sand in your sneakers… (Theme from ‘The Twilight Zone’ echos through my head)

  • lillyrose on Sep 23, 2009

    wow… that was so great, I want to see the picture!!

  • lillyrose on Oct 29, 2009

    I reread this story and noted all the visual and speech and the more I read the more I got sucked in and that was what you were talking about and I see how working in the present tense makes it seem more here and now. I did work in present tense in my “Picture Perfect Story” but I get lots of people asking if its a true tale and its not! LOL pure fantasy x

  • Mila Marcos on Dec 3, 2009

    What a magical story and so beautifully told.

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