• Linda Nygard

The Boardwalk

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

Julie and Nanette walked down the Santa Cruz Boardwalk debating on which amusement ride they were going to go on next. “Let’s go on the roller coaster again” Julie begged.

“We have hit that ride twice already today.” Nanette whined. “How about something a little more tame this time.” Nanette liked the roller coaster, but the last ride after lunch left her a little queasy.

“Nanette. If you would have eaten something a little better than a corn dog; maybe you would be feeling a little differently.” Nanette tried to ignore Julie on this point. She so loved corn dogs and wanted to indulge herself this one time.

They walked down the boardwalk passing kiosks selling sweatshirts and hats with “Santa Cruz” emblazoned on them, carnival barkers enticed kids to try their hand at a smaller than regulation basket ball hoop. “Three balls for just a dollar. Win a stuffed penguin”

Julie could never understand why they gave away penguins. They were on the beach for god sakes. They must have gotten a good deal on them or found a warehouse close out sale. There were stuffed penguins as far as the eye could see. At least the boardwalk had the good sense to not embroider “Santa Cruz’ on them.

“Oh look!” Julie stopped in front of a window with brightly colored letters describing the vendor. “Madame Bovary. Psychic, Palm Reader, Tarot.”

“Let’s give it a try Nanette. It should be fun!”

“No way! You know I don’t believe in that stuff.” Nanette, ever the skeptic, kept walking.

“Come on! I’ll pay for it. Just humor me and come along.” Julie loved to hear about the possibilities that the future had in store. “Maybe it’ll help settle your queasy stomach.”

“Oh alright.” Nanette moaned as she turned around and headed back to Julie.

They stepped through a curtain of white lace into a small room that had red velvet curtains covering the walls. In the center was a small round table with a large crystal ball holding court. From across the room a small, wrinkled woman popped through the pink lace covered doorway. “May I help you” she grinned exposing a missing incisor.

“We would like our fortunes read.” Julie said.

Nanette snapped. “Speak for yourself!”

“Please sit” Madame Bovary motioned to the antique chairs that sat around the table, “Let’s consult the beyond.” Madame began as she peered into the glass ball, spat on it and then covered it with a black handkerchief. She then sat back in her chair and rolled her eyes up and back into her head. “Nausea and mischief don’t mix. Move with care.” With that Madam held out her hand. “Five dollars.”

Julie pulled a five from her pocket. The girls turned and stepped out into the blinding sunlight and into the path of a skateboarder; who promptly plowed into Nanette causing her to fall flat on her stomach and throw up.

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