If you enjoy this story, go to the Friday Fictioneers site and read more gems.  If you don’t enjoy this story, go to the Friday Fictioneers site to find lots of better stories.  🙂  Here’s the spot:  http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=206311.  Feel free to “like” and comment on the stories, too.  Authors love feedback.  Thanks to Ted Strutz for this week’s picture prompt and to Rochelle for graciously hosting the whole shebang.

Fair Trade

He’d never understood the appeal…throwing balls at pins for a teddy bear, for Pete’s sake (or for Helen’s or Jane’s), cotton candy and other junk food, buying Chinese-made junk, gaggles of giggling girls pretending they weren’t glancing sideways at the slightly swaggering pseudo-studs. What a joke!

Spotting the subtle shimmer, he slipped into the space between the booths, felt the requisite chill. Amidst the yells of food hawkers, he almost stumbled over a dice game. A falconer flew his peregrine to the roars of crowd. If he hurried, he’d be just in time for the jousting, truly a manly sport.

  1. Linda says:

    That’s a nice subtle shift between the present and the past and it made me stop too. I half expected it to be a shimmer of him turning into something else, not tuning in to another reality/time. Well done.

  2. Sandra says:

    An original take on the prompt – time travel. Well done for thinking outside the box.

  3. brudberg says:

    A what a subtle fine transition from time to another.

  4. I had to read this one twice, Janet. I almost missed the subtle shimmer and the chill. Hope he survives his manly sport. 😉 Nice job.

  5. Jan Brown says:

    Slipping between tents…and slipping between epochs. Very nice!

  6. Sheila says:

    I love time travel and jousting does sound much better than plastic junk. This is really descriptive. I can feel the fair in both time periods and it also gives me the feeling of a connectedness between the two.

  7. tedstrutz says:

    Ooh… a little time warp between the tents… I would love to find that and join him.

    • I’ll send you the Mapquest directions. 🙂 Bill and I went to a medieval fair once and saw a falconer at work. It was incredible. He flew a bird he had rescued and said he wasn’t sure it would even come back. (It did.) There was jousting, too, but not real jousting. Still fun to watch, though.

  8. Hi Janet,
    Thanks for a glimpse behind the scene, to the carnival within the carnival. Absolutely creative premise. Ron

  9. I’d rather slip between the tents and go to that other world, too. I liked this, a neat change of tactic 🙂

    • Thanks, Madison. You and Ted and I can head over that way right after I get back from Philly.

      Hopefully there won’t be anywhere along the way that I feel that I’ve slipped into the world of Hurricane Sandy!! What a blessing to have the time, energy and internet connection to write a Friday Fictioneers story this week!

      • Were you able to avoid Sandy’s wrath? I see Rich made it with us this evening too 🙂 Yes, we have much to be thankful for, that’s for sure.

      • In NE Ohio we were somewhat on the edge but it was a rough edge, with high winds and constant rain. In fact, it’s been raining non-stop since Friday, although Friday and Saturday were unrelated to Sandy. Finally stopped today and I even saw a bit of sun briefly this evening right before it set. What a relief!

  10. lindarigsbee says:

    Great imagery and imagination!

  11. That was cool. I liked the way the mood change completely once he stepped through the portal. I’m 24 on the list.

  12. Ooh, lovely time slip – I’m working on a short story with that theme at the moment! Subtly done and an enjoyable read, Janet. 🙂

  13. unspywriter says:

    Oh, this definitely left me wanting more. Great alliteration throughout. Don’t know if that was intentional, but it’s effective.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/a-ghosts-tale/

  14. Abraham says:

    “gaggles of giggling girls pretending they weren’t glancing sideways at the slightly swaggering pseudo-studs.”
    I absolutely love it!

  15. Parul says:

    This is a very clever piece Janet. I missed it the first time. We know what times our guy’s heart’s set on. Very good work!

  16. vb holmes says:

    Much prefer the jousting to the ball-tossing for excitement–subtle and successful transition between time periods.

    • I’m with you on that. The medieval fair we went to a few summers ago had jousting (not exactly real, but fun) and lot of other fun stuff, (including the turkey legs mentioned elsewhere.) Glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Russell says:

    The fair is a great place to observe people, second only to a large airport. I’ve been around this fairgrounds three times today and have yet to find the burlesque tent. How unfair!

  18. Debra Kristi says:

    Nice time slip. It’s so subtle I had to read it more than once to make sure I’d read it correctly. Enjoyed the mood change. Now let’s go joust!

  19. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    Subtle is the word that links all the fine comments that your perfect story has produced and there’s a reason for that. I really enjoyed the move between the tents and your imagination of the place he arrived. What I wouldn’t give to be able to see those portals and have the courage to use them. Pretty good writing here. (I’m practicing understatement in this week’s comments)



  20. He’s off in a world of his own, isn’t he? It would be fun, maybe, to be able to sidestep into worlds that are more to your taste! Though I bet there would be preening young studs and giggling girls hanging out around the jousting too – some things don’t change.

  21. JackieP says:

    Subtle but really well done.

  22. HAHAHA — good title. And I love the slipping off to another world (used to hang with jousters, too).

  23. rich says:

    had to go back for the “subtle shimmer.” best one i’ve read. well done.

  24. Wow, a longer journey than I anticipated lol. Wonderful twist.

  25. billgncs says:

    let’s go to the renaissance fair, in the renaissance

  26. Lora says:

    I must admit Janet….you have some imagination. Reminded me of the annual Renaissance Fair I participated in many years ago (all dressed in costume). Due to Sandy, I almost didn’t enter this week, but managed to get focused for a few hours.

  27. Intriguing take on the prompt, I didn’t see the shift coming 🙂 Very nicely written!

  28. Anne Orchard says:

    Great story Janet. I have the feeling my character would prefer to go back to those times too 🙂

    • I have a feeling those times sounds more romantic from here than they did during the actual time. Nice to be able to watch those things and then go home to real bathrooms, heat,cleanliness, etc.

  29. Very atmospheric transition from era of honky-tonk to what seems a more noble and romantic period in time. However, most of us would have been living in hovels back then, dying toothless and haggard at age 23.

    And even worse, no cable!

  30. Cute. Glad he found something he liked. I love the fair in July here. Can’t wait.

  31. Sonia Lal says:

    LOL Funny. Nice transition in the short story

  32. wmqcolby says:

    Seemed a little open-ended for me. Good descriptions, though. Why the joust?

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