The Winter Fest, Part 2 (Slice of life from novel in progress)

Moderne Weihnachtspyramide mit Krippe
After leaving Ingrid behind, Alex was more determined to find someone to hang with. Curt, on the other hand, just wanted to meet up with Shaun because he liked to keep to a schedule. As the two, with different agendas, walked through the fest, Curtis looked back to see if he could find the person he bumped into.

“Al, I swear that person looked familiar. The one I bumped into.”

“From where?”

“I don’t know. There was just something familiar about him. Like I ran into him before. I mean, not physically bumped, but have seen him.”

“You’re imagining things again. You keep insisting someone is following us. You’re just paranoid.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.”

As they continued to argue, they arrived where they were meeting Shaun, who was already there. He was leaning against the wall at the corner of Brice and 5th with a toque capping his head and his light wavy hair that was not already covered, dangled over his face. As he was waiting there, he listened to a recording of his most recent set. He was air strumming the cords that he felt needed improvements. He rewound the tape, and then played several times before he heard Alex ask, “Are you ready to let the wall stand on its own?”

Shaun took a drag of air and released as if he had exhaled from a cigarette. The cloud of breath that filled the air was followed with a slow drawn out comment, “Hey, guys!”

“Nice sweatshirt,” Curtis mentioned. “When did you get it printed?”

Shaun looked down and spread the sides of his outer-shirt and revealed a round stomach covered by a sweatshirt with the name Bloch in flames with a cemetery underneath. In front of several of the gravestones were decomposing hands clawing their way out of the captivity of the graves. Shaun looked back up and responded, “I had it printed a few months ago. Still toying with the logo… and band name. You guys ready to get something to eat?”

“Curt already got some snacks.”

Shaun grabbed the bag from Curtis and took out the apple cake. “Now, this is stolen.”

Curt grabbed the bag with the two other Stollen and let Shaun keep the one he had. They split it and ate as they walked through the crowd. “So what are we doing?” Curt asked.

“Let’s look for a booth with those wooden candle holders. Shaun wanted to get one,” answered Alex.

Shaun elaborated, “Yeah, with a propeller. The way the heat from the candle makes the prop turn is pretty cool.”

They went up and down the aisles in search of the perfect Erzgebirge candle holder. Every time they thought Shaun found one he liked, there was something wrong with it. While Shaun was looking for the object of desire, Alex was also seeking an object of desire.

“Dude, can you pick your tongue up and stop drooling. Not only is it rude, but I’m pretty sure it is not going to help your quest,” Curt said to Alex and kicked him in the shin.

“Hey, that actually hurt.”

“Then stop drooling. I swear you’re worse than Thorne when it’s dinner time.” As Curt said that, they both turned to see where a crash of plates came from.

On the other side of the street, there was a man in a black fedora wearing a black shirt with unseasonably short sleeves. On the inside of his left arm, was a tattoo. Because of the distance and commotion, neither of the two could make out what it was.

“I think that is the guy I bumped into earlier.”

Alex retorted, “OK. He does look a bit familiar. I mean, you see that tattoo?”

“I see there is a tattoo. I can guess what it is.” As Curt said that, the man looked back towards them and ran.

“We should go after him,” Alex said.

Curtis replied, “And leave Shaun?”

“Grrrr.” Looking back into the booth they were at, the two saw Shaun smiling.

“This is the one. I’m getting it.”

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