Take a couple of three-year-olds to the fair, and see what happens.
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Trent woke slowly at first and then jolted awake when Mitch’s face filled his vision. He moaned and grabbed the side of his face.
“That little shitass sucker punched me. I’m gonna drum his butt!”
Mitch tilted his hat back and squatted on his heels. “I don’t know what happened. I came back to check on you just in time to see you hit the dirt and that kid’s backside disappear into the crowd.”
Trent supported himself on this elbows as he glanced around at the people rushing for shelter from the rain. His head stopped spinning a minute or so later and was able to sit upright.
“You need some help up?” Mitch asked.
“If you’d just help me look for my dignity that would be great. It looks like I lost it around here somewhere.”
Mitch shrugged. “Lost mine plenty of times. Sometimes you find it, sometimes it comes crawling home months later. Don’t sweat it.”
Trent took Mitch’s offered hand and pulled himself to his feet as the clouds opened and sheets of rain poured from the sky.
“Nice, really nice.” Trent ran his hand over his back pocket. “Fucking hell! My wallets gone! Mother fucker! I’m going to pound that little shithead.”
Water poured off Mitch’s hat. Not that it mattered much since they were both drenched to the skin. “I don’t think you’re going to catch him now. You’re never going to find him with everyone trying to get away from the rain.”
Trent wiped his muddy hands across the back of his Wranglers. “I’m going to find him. I know about hiding places, too. Damn little shitass, I hate it when I trust someone and they crap all over me.”
Mitch’s expression left Trent with little doubt as to what he was thinking. “Knock it off. I wasn’t tripping down memory lane. I’m just saying I can find him.”
“Well how about I tag along just for shits and grins? You’re not going to find him, but it might be entertaining for me.”
Trent glared at Mitch. “Asshole.”
“Quite possibly.” Mitch grinned and down the sidewalk with his arm. “Everybody else is warm and dry in the truck and I’m already soaked. So what the hell.”
Trent stomped off down the walkway without a backward look at Mitch. He knew Mitch was probably right, but he had to try and get his wallet back. It wasn’t even the little bit of money he had inside it. It was the idea that he’d lowered his guard and been suckered into being robbed. Well, there was also the fact it was going to be a pain to replace all the stuff in it. Man! Pisses me off. When I find that little pink haired snot…
The rain continued to come down in buckets drenching the two of them. The midway was largely deserted as they stalked through the area. Most of the attractions were closed because of the weather. The storm intensified and the lightning that filled the sky was a fairly accurate reflection of Trent’s mood. The last of the outside exhibits and games closed when a bolt of lightning that left Trent’s ears ringing hit one of the fairground structures.
Even though it was early the barns and exhibit halls started closing their doors. As they scurried out of the last building, to have it closed behind them, Trent sighed in resignation. “Okay, I’m not going to be able to catch the little shit. There’s no body left out in this crap and I’m soaking wet.”
Mitch chuckled as rain came off his hat in a stream. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind dry clothes, or at least a towel wrapped around me.”
Trent threw up his hands and started toward the parking lot at a fast walk.
“Hey! Hey wait!”
Trent froze in place. Surely that isn’t the kid.
He felt a hand on his shoulder. “Let him talk. I don’t think he’d come back if he’d stole your wallet.”
I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him pull another one on me. But Trent waited, letting Benji catch up with them. Trent crossed his arms and glared at Benji.
“Yeah kid, what is it?”
Benji held out his hand, and Trent recognized his wallet. “I got your wallet back. Here.”
Trent’s arms relaxed and slipped down to his sides. “My wallet?”
Mitch took the wallet from Benji with a nod. He opened it and flipped through it. “Trent, looks like every things here.”
By this time Trent’s mouth hung open and he stared first at Mitch and then at Benji. After a few moments, Trent noticed the side of Benji’s face was bleeding. He stepped closer and Benji began to back away. After a second Trent realized the kid thought he was going to grab him. “Hey, kid. I’m not going to do anything. It looks like you’re bleeding though.”
Benji nodded and grinned slightly. “Yeah, I had to convince the guy who punched you that I needed your wallet more than he did.”
Mitch spoke up this time. “Benji. It’s miserable fucking weather. You can crash on the couch at the hotel tonight in our room. Tomorrow you can figure out what you want to do.”
Benji hesitated for a moment, then another bolt of lightning hit the fairgrounds and he shivered. “Okay, but just this one night.”
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