Книга "Replica11 - Lucky Thirteen - Kaye, Marilyn" - читать онлайн (Kaye Marilyn)

Marilyn Kaye: Lucky Thirteen (Replica #11)





1



"Okay, we've done the roller coaster, the space commando thing, and the bumper cars," Eric announced. "What's next?"

"How about the Ferris wheel?" Amy suggested. "Or we could try a game. What do you want to do, Tasha?"

"Whatever," Tasha replied. She was too busy looking around the carnival grounds in search of something or someone to care what they did. Amy shrugged. She didn't care either. She was happy just to walk around and take in all the sights and sounds.

There was something special about a carnival at night. Bright lights pierced the darkness; the tinkling music of the merry-go-round provided the perfect background for the shrill calls of the carnival workers; the giggles of the people aiming fake rifles at fake ducks were full of contagious fun; the distant shrieks coming from the roller coaster and the top of the Ferris wheel filled the air; and a warm breeze carried the tantalizing aromas of cotton candy and hot buttered popcorn.

"It's funny," Amy mused. "I saw them setting the carnival up this afternoon, and it looked kind of lame. You know, the booths were dirty and run-down, and you could see rust stains on the carousel horses. But at night it's magical! There's a mysterious atmosphere, there's a sense of danger in the air."

Eric didn't agree. "What's mysterious about it? This carnival's no different than it was last year or the year before that. And these rides aren't dangerous. I've been riding them since I was five."

He was right, of course. The traveling carnival materialized in the same open field for the same two weeks every year. There was nothing spectacular about it. The games, the rides, even the food were always the same. Like most southern California kids, Amy had been to Disneyland, and she had to admit that this carnival was no big deal by comparison. The biggest danger lurking in the shadows was maybe a pickpocket, or some obnoxious kid who tried to grab your hard-won stuffed animal.

But even so, Amy loved it. The colors, the smells, and the noises weren't the same ones she saw and smelled and heard every day, so it was special. And she wasn't going to let Eric's "been there, done that" attitude ruin it for her.

"Want to get in line for the Ferris wheel?" she asked Tasha.

"Not yet." Tasha's eyes searched the crowd again. "Do you see him?"

"Who?"

"I told you. Dwayne said he'd be here tonight. Remember?"

Amy remembered. She just preferred to forget. "I can't believe you're into Dwayne Hicks."

"Why not? Don't you think he's cute?"

Amy couldn't deny that. Their classmate bore a remarkable resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio. But in Amy's opinion, being a Leo look-alike was just about all Dwayne had going for him. "He's cute," she acknowledged. "But that's it."

"Oh, come on," Tasha protested. "Can't you think of anything nice to say about him?"

Amy considered the question. "Well, he's not a psychotic serial killer."

Tasha sighed. "What do you have against Dwayne?"

"Nothing," Amy replied. "But he's not exactly a mental giant."

"Brains aren't everything," Tasha shot back.