Ambrose eyed the chain-linked fence. “I should tear it down.”
“Hm. Let’s try the gate first.”
“Okay, but tearing it down would be a whole lot more fun.”
Barbara smiled. “I’ll take your word for it.” She took his arm and led him towards the gate. Just in case.
“If the gate’s locked, can I tear that down?”
She giggled. “Feeling a little destructive?”
“What can I say? I see Mark Caten’s name and I just want to smash something. I imagine he has that effect on everyone.” He looked down at her and relaxed. “I’m glad you’re here with me.”
“And I’m glad…” Her smile turned mischievous. “…that I’m not all by myself out here.”
“Boo! Wrong answer.”
“I’ll have to tickle you as a punishment.”
She released his arm. “You don’t know where I’m ticklish.”
“Maybe I can figure it out.”
Barbara backed away from him. “Bet you can’t.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“Only if you can catch me.” She ran to the gate.
“Ha! You brat.” He ran after her.
She giggled uproariously.
They stepped on a large, rectangular tile at the same time.
“Howdy, folks!” Mark Caten’s voice blared right at them. “Welcome to Mark Caten’s Fuuuuuunorium.”
Ambrose glanced around, trying to figure out where the speakers were hidden.
“We have a Slip and Slide that goes on for miiiiiiiles.”
“I’m going to throw up.” Ambrose muttered. “I swear if he doesn’t stop talking, I am going to hurl everywhere.”
“We have some other attractions, but they’re really not all that. Matter of fact, some of them are straight out dumb. You can just skip all of them. The one you don’t want to miss is the Mark Caten shaped chain linked fence maze. One side of the maze will lend you to the center – right into my heart.”
Ambrose stepped off the tile and Barbara did the same.
“The other side will—”
Ambrose swore in spectacularly florid French.
“—take you to the outside of the maze – away from me – and you don’t want to do that. Come into my heart and stay awhile. You might even like it there.”
“NOT BLOODY LIKELY!”
“So, come on inside into the Mark Caten Funorium and have lots and lots of fuuuuuun.”
Barbara curled her arm around Ambrose’s arm. “Do you think he’s done?”
“He’d better be.”
“Oh. And if you have any shrimp kids with you, hahahahahaha. Go home. The end.”
Barbara shook her head. “I think I’m appalled beyond the English language.”
“That’s why I prefer to do my swearing in French. Sometimes you just have to go beyond English to express your outrage.”
The doors swung open.
“Oh, I wasn’t expecting that.” He smiled at her. “What do you think? Should we go explore Mark Caten’s non-existent heart?”
“Sounds like fun to me.”