Part 19: Happy Time 

        Bra rolled her eyes. "Marron-chan, sugar honey, we're not even in yet." 
        "Oh.  Hey, don't call me that." 
        "Whoa, Marron, that was SO LOUD." Pan covered her ears. "Okay, are you ready girls?  Let's go!" She 
stepped in first, followed by Bra and Marron came last. Marron hated the Haunted House with a passion. 

        "If I faint…" Marron whispered. "I'm blaming only you two." She couldn't see anything in the big, dark, 
scary room. 
        "Oh, c'mon, Marron, it's not going to be THAT scary!  The ghosts are all phony!  You're the eldest here, you 
should know that!  Shee!" replied Bra. "And hey-HEY!  Quit pulling my hair!" 
        "B-but it's dark…and I can't see anything…and I'm scared…and…" 
        Just then, an ugly, bloody face with its tongue and eyes sticking out popped from the ceiling.  The three shrieked loudly, but Marron's was the loudest of all.  
        "Man, that startled me!" Pan took a deep breath and kept walking. 
        "Yeah, me, too," Bra agreed. "Are you okay, Marron?" 
        "Uh-huh.  Y-yes." Marron nodded slowly. 
        They walked into another room, decorated with weird drawings that made it look like an old dungeon.  It had very unpleasant smells and the place was very dirty-just to make it look more realistic.  They could see dummies everywhere, some were headless, some were skeletons, and more.  There were even some real-life, moving hands sticking out of the wall that they had to pass to get through the room.  Marron gulped. 
"Ha!" Pan laughed. "This is easy!  Watch!"  She ran with great speed and got through the small path with about being touched once.  Bra was next. 
        "Bra-chan, WAIT!" Marron was about to stop her, but it was too late and Bra was already through.  Now she, too, would have to succeed and reach the other side. 
        Pan and Bra grinned at Marron who was stuck, all alone. 
        "Come on Marron!  You can do it!" Pan called. 
        "Yeah!  C'mon!" Bra agreed. 
        Marron shook her head. "Oh, no.  Nope.  I'm not going through there and letting those awful, dirty hands 
touch me!  Nope, nope!  Never." She folded her arms across her chest.  
        "Fine, then.  We'll jut keep going and leave you here-alone," Pan threatened. 
        "Well, very well, then.  I'll just go back to where we came from," Marron said and turned around, walking slowly away. 
        "Remember the head, Marron?" Bra mocked in a spooky tone.  It worked.  Marron stopped, eyes wide.  She 
couldn't go back there, could she?  She turned around and looked at the two girls. 
        "Well?  We're waiting." Pan hummed. 
        Marron frowned.  Why had she let herself get talked into this in the first place?  She just had to get a hold of her fears and get on with it.  She closed her eyes and bit her lip.  She carefully made her way across the small path with almost every hand touching her.  They touched her hair, her dress, her legs, her ears…Oh, she just wanted to scream and let the whole world know how much she hated this!  But she kept herself calm and walked slowly, covering her face. 
        Until one hand accidentally grazed her breast. 

        Pan and Bra have the most worried looks on their face when they saw this.  Marron froze and looked down. 


        "Yatta!  We're almost there!" Pan pointed at the exit door. "I can see the light, can't you guys?" 
        "Yes!  Great!" Bra looked at Marron next to her. "After twenty minutes in there, we're getting out.  Aren't you glad, Marron-chan?" 
        Marron couldn't answer.  Her face was completely white and she was shaking violently.  She just knew she was going to die in there. 
        "This must be the door." Pan turned the doorknob and opened it slowly. "You see, I told you?" 
        The three gasped when they saw a big, fat, UGLY monster standing in front of them.  The thing was wearing a uniform with a tie and held a long, black stick.  It had small, beady eyes and thick lips.  Its face was so ugly that even Pan and Bra shrieked louder than before. 
        "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!" The three of them yelled together. 
        The thing stepped into the light so they could see its face clearly.  It was actually the security guard watching the exit door.  He gave them a disgusted look. 
        "Oh…by…Dende," Pan puffed. "You scared us there, sir." She tried not to laugh. "Bra, how's Marron?" 
        "Marron?  Why, she's doing--Marron?  Marron?" Bra looked down and saw Marron lying on the floor, her eyes "X" marks, in a dead faint. 

        After a few more hours in the mall, they decided to go home.  Marron had her "life" back and swore by Dende that she would never, ever go back in there until forever.  So they did some window-shopping.  Unfortunately, Bra only had a little money to spend and Pan and Marron had mostly everything they needed. "Hey, Pan, I'll drive you home," Marron offered. 
        "Oh, hey, no thanks.  I prefer flying.  Thanks anyway, Marron-chan." Pan rose up from the floor. "I had a GREAT time today!  We need to do this again!" 
        "You bet we will!" Bra agreed. "We'll see ya around, Pan!" 
        "Okay!  Ja neh!" Pan waved and flew off. 
        "Well, I guess we should be going, too." Bra opened the door and stepped in.  Marron did the same thing and started the engine. 
        "You think she's going to find out?" Marron asked. 
        Bra looked at Marron.  Then she sighed.  She knew what her friend meant. "Sooner or later, Marron…" She shrugged.  
        "It's hard for you, isn't it?" 
        "Marron, what do you think will happen if Pan found out that I'm…that I feel for her uncle?" 
        "I don't know Bra.  I really don't." 
        "Let's just get home, Marron.  I'm tired." She attempted a smile. 
        And so they left in Marron's little hover car. 


"My Friend" by ZARD