Rhiannon Taren

Oct. 17, 2020, 8:52 p.m.

Can you hold the calamity?

Carnivals weren’t really Rhiannon’s cup of tea. Or at least she was pretty sure they weren’t, but she had never been, because for some reason carnivals never came to Mesa Verde. Presumably because it was a protected historical site, but you never knew what sorts of loopholes people came up with for this sort of nonsense. It was probably incredibly similar to the tourist trap types of things that you saw along the road driving between Boulder and where she and her aunt lived, the sort of places that advertised roadside elk jerky. They didn’t do much driving between here and there, but it did happen. It just wasn’t always reasonable to Apparate, and Rhiannon’s aunt sometimes spoke at UC Boulder for a specific anthropology event, and Rhia often went with her. Although she was perfectly fine being home alone with her books, Rhia did like being on college campuses because one day she would actually be able to go to one and study what she wanted.

Despite carnivals not being her cup of tea, though, Rhiannon was quite frankly very curious about this ‘Calamitous Carnival’ that had come to town, and so when the Headmaster said that even first and second years could go on to Pearl Street, she had ultimately decided to go. She had asked Paola if she wanted to go - the two girls were getting along quite well, which was much more than Rhia had expected from the whole roommate situation - but since Rhia had just loaned Paola the first book of the series she had been reading at the Opening Feast, Paola had declined, preferring to stay in and read. An absolutely understandable decision, in Rhia’s opinion, and one she herself might have made another day, but she had just finished the last book that Paola had loaned her the night before, and it wouldn’t hurt to actually breathe some fresh air for once.

There were so many sights to see at this carnival that Rhiannon just spent the first little while wandering around. She saw a lot of people losing at games, and quickly determined that they were probably rigged. Rhia had only done incredibly basic statistics, essentially just enough to be able to do things for her science classes, but even basic statistics told you enough to know that people should probably be winning more than they were at the games. The prizes were so childish that Rhiannon was genuinely uncertain as to why people were trying to play them anyway, although she did in passing see that Madeleine Tennant was trying to sweet-talk an older student into getting her one of them. From Paola’s report and Rhia’s own observation, Madeleine was altogether too sweet and exactly the type of girl who was just going to have boyfriend upon boyfriend for the rest of her school days.

Rhiannon Taren did not hold with boyfriends. They were a distraction. And let the record show that she also did not hold with girlfriends. She wasn’t homophobic, she just thought that people their age had better and more important things to do with their lives than stick their tongues down each others’ throats. Metaphorically speaking, obviously.

Once the games had ceased to entertain Rhia, she moved on and as she was passing a food stand, she smelled something delicious and her stomach grumbled. She looked at the stand and examined the prices which were, of course, way too high. But her aunt gave her a relatively large allowance (technically it came from her parents) and Rhiannon could afford to have greasy, fried carnival food if she wanted greasy, fried carnival food. But the options were...somehow enthralling and horrifying all at once. She had absolutely no idea that you could fry that many things, and she couldn’t help but wonder if this was an excellent example of ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. At the same time, she kind of wanted to taste them all. For science. Of course.

“How do you think they fried the Chocolate Frogs?” Rhia asked, turning to the student who she recognized in passing who had just walked up to the stand as well and was examining the menu. “Also, why? Do you think they still move? You know they’ve really only got one good jump in them.” She was kind of scared to try one on her own, honestly, but they were two for ten Sickles, which meant it was pretty much designed for sharing anyway. “Do you want to split an order with me?”

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The Calamitous Carnival - Garen Tennant || October 17
Can you hold the calamity? - Rhiannon Taren || October 17
I sure hope I can! - Wynonna Wakefield || October 18
I hope you know I meant 'hold' as in 'the anchovies' - Rhia || October 18
Ew, anchovies. - Wynonna Wakefield || November 08