“Go home?” Vicky said. “I thought we came out to see the show.”
“I know, Vicky,” Gia began, “but it’s just that—”
“You said we were going!” Her voice started pitching toward a whine. She turned to Jack with a hurt look. “Jack, you said! You said we were gonna see neat stuff!”
Vicky was very good with that look. She knew it wielded almost limitless power over Jack.
“You might be scared by some of the things in there,” he told her.
“You promised, Jack!”
He hadn’t actually promised, not in so many words, but the implication had been there. He looked to Gia for help, but she seemed to be waiting for him to make a decision.
“Well,” he said to Gia, “I think she’ll be all right.” When Gia’s eyebrows lifted again, he added, “Hey, I figure after what she went through last summer, nothing in there’s going to scare her.”
Gia sighed. “Good point.”
Jack led them to the ticket booth where he forked over a twenty.
“One adult, two children, please.”
The guy in the booth, a beefy type sporting a straw boater, looked around.
“I see two adults and one kid.”
“Yeah, but I’m a kid at heart.”
With no hint of a smile, Mr. Ticket slid two adults and one child plus change across the tray.
Inside, the show seemed pretty shabby and Jack wondered if they’d been had. Everything looked so worn, from the signs above the booths to the poles supporting the canvas. Glance up and it was immediately apparent from the sunlight leaking through the canvas that the Oddity Emporium was in dire need of new tents. He wondered what they did when it rained. Thunderstorms were predicted for later. Jack was glad they’d be out of here and on their way back home long before.