Copyright 2009 Dave Conifer
Cover design by J.L. Penn, author of bestselling women’s fiction books
Discover other titles by Dave Conifer:
Man of Steel
Ragged lines of cheery park-goers are growing in all directions outside the main gates of the Enchanted Empire in Merv Snodgrass World. Each snaking line sprouts from a separate gate, behind which awaits a turnstile. Some gates have no line at all. Newcomers are forced to make a snap decision after clearing the security tables, where each and every bag is searched for weapons of mass destruction. The safe choice is to take their place at the back of an existing line. Occasionally a group makes the risky decision to start a new line at one of the empty gates in the hopes that it will open. As we watch Marcie tells me that the odds are pretty good for these brave souls, who are gambling brazenly for the opportunity to get into the park at least ninety seconds sooner than if they’d played it safe. I note that the groups that trudge to the rear of existing lines are usually led by men, while it’s excitable women with small children that take a chance by leading their bands in the dash to the front. As soon as these pioneers break new ground, waves of speed-walkers eye each other, sizing each other up as they break out of neighboring lines to queue up in the new one. I watch the scenario play out over and over.