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To the Eggplant Cannon – Beth Goder
Lugging her magician’s trunk in one hand and a map of Wonder Gardens in the other, she clambered onto the Rutabaga Express. The seat was sticky with pineapple gunk and the car was open to the sky.
As the train chugged past the Bananarama Coaster and the whirling Strawberry Surprise, a sweet scent wafted through the air. Hordes of people milled around, clumping up to watch the organic farming demonstration or three women juggling zucchini. Lines for rides and food carts snaked around and around. The sound was tremendous—laughter and shouting, the whoosh of the Bananarama Coaster, and the train chugging along, whistling occasionally.
Vienne pulled out a deck of cards and shuffled, the rhythm of the cards matching the churn of the train’s wheels.
Another performance at another weird amusement park. But the produce theme wasn’t so bad. Last week, it had been cats—a tabby tea cup ride, catnip funhouse, ice cream sandwiches shaped like mousey toys. The Performers’ Guild was always sending her to kooky places.
It would be different when she made a name for herself. She’d travel around the world—hike in New Zealand, read on a beach in India, take a cooking class in Japan. But first, she’d go to Iceland. Iceland had all the best things—tiny horses, magma caves, medieval manuscripts, super cool birdwatching. Ever since she was a kid, Vienne had wanted to visit.
She flipped four aces out of the deck in a flourish. Maybe someday, she’d do that trick on an Icelandic stage.
The train chugged along. It wasn’t until the Carrot Waterslide that she realized she was going the wrong way.