Gil wanted to hug Rachel. From her stance, fisted hands on her hips, glaring at him with her glasses pulled down to the tip of her nose, he knew hell hadn’t frozen over again. No, a heartfelt thank you and a bonus in her next pay envelope might come close to what he felt at the moment. He’d seen a softer side of Rachel that he bet few knew about, much less would believe existed. His battleax curmudgeon staff assistant had out done herself and the Peak owed her a huge vote of thanks.
Gil counted the empty boxes again. Ten—no make that eleven of the cursed boxes of skunk hats were empty. Gone, hasta luego, and good-bye! Upon opening the boxes, they’d found no stench whatsoever. A few packing crystals from the busted gel packs adorned a hat here and there. With a day and a half left before the fair closed, Gill bet they could get rid of the last three boxes with the number of children’s tickets they sold in advance for Kid’s Day.
“You know Rachel, this booth is fantastic. Let the kids punk out their hat any way they like, great idea! Showing them how to paint over the original hat and create their own unique cap has caught on. You’ve raised almost a third of what we need to get the community center swimming pool finished.” Gil made his way around the table sitting center of the open booth. The table held paint bottles, brushes, glue, and several dishes of beads and glitter. Off at the back corner, a table fan oscillated blowing air to keep the spray paint fumes from choking their user. A half dozen hats sat drying. Shades of yellow, fuchsia, blue, and neon orange covered them. Two small tables close by held rainbow colored hats with pride pins attached to them. Gil reached for one of the hats.
“Keep your nut grabbing paws off those,” Rachel bellowed running toward him. “If you want the rest of the money for your pool and bingo parlor, you get away from the big ticket items.”
Gil halted, turned, and stared gawk-eyed at Rachel. He opened his mouth to speak, closed it, and squinted as he shook his head. “Gay Pole Cats?”
Rachel nodded vigorously. “More like Pole Cat Pride week and Festival over at Mystic Falls in a few weeks. Seems like this pride thing is catching on and not only for them. Lamar and Jamie stopped by asking for three dozen redone caps for their Little Stinkers scout group.”
“Little Stinkers scout group? Jamie and Lamar?” Gil’s eyes got wider the more he tried to make sense out of what Jamie and Lamar were up to.
“Look, stop asking so many questions and bothering me. I got customers lining up.” Rachel jerked her thumb back over her shoulder toward the front of the booth. Two lines deep, four to five kids in each one, gathered near the first table. Others stood with their parents close by.
Gil shrugged. Muttering he made his way to the front of the booth. As he exited, a small child voice called out. “Mayor Gil, wait!”
Gil turned. A small tyke rushed toward him holding her pink redone cap on her head with her hand. She stopped a foot from him. Her blonde curls peak out from under her hand and cap. Her megawatt smile showed her front two teeth missing. She looked like. . .no this couldn’t be, could it? The petite one stepped forward and flung herself at him, wrapping her arms and legs around him. “Thank you! Grandma says you got enough dough to pay for the pool so I can learn to swim and not be afraid when we go to the lake.”
Gil looked up, glanced at Rachel. She ducked her head and raised her hand. If he didn’t know better, he thought he saw Rachel wipe her eyes. Maybe his curmudgeon wasn’t such a battleax after all.
Happy Weekend Gang!
Well well, looks like Gil not only got rid of those obnoxious hats, but learned about judging a book by its cover. Maybe Gil will get re-elected.
I hope you've enjoyed Fair Week here on the Peak. I know we've enjoyed ourselves as many of our citizens have. I hear Fall Festival is in planning stages for Sandy Valley. And then there is the October Fest Mystic Falls holds. Who knows what new characters and personalities await?
As the season of Summer begins to wane, remember to share a good book or two with your loves and spice. I will be!