The sky was covered with fireworks, and the air was filled with the sound of loud and noisy explosions. Soft, delicate, mists slowly came down the sky.

In the field, many students were starting to yawn.

It was 8:00 in the morning... and the morning ceremonies had just ended... and it took particularly long today because today was a special occassion.

The fireworks were the traditional 'closing', and as usual... the air was filled with smoke.

John and the rest of the gang, as well as pretty much the rest of the school, were wearing their casual attires. As the last of the fireworks exploded, the massive assembly began to spread off in different directions, finally happy that the long-awaited school fair could finally begin.

* * *

John's ears were ringing. "Just WHY did we have to get the booth nearest to those stupid speakers!?!" he screamed.

"Sorry!" Mimi shouted back. "I just thought being closest to the grandstand would make us the cooolest booth!"

"Haven't you been here before?"

"I forgot the layout!"

"And why are we the only ones here?"

"Uh... we're the only ones who can?"

Their booth, unfortunately for them, was entitled 'Art Studio'. Unlike most of the booths who would make their living capturing poor innocents and forcing money off them... they would make caricatures for their costumers as their way of living.

So far, someone had yet to come close. John figured the speakers would drive any customer away. Hopefully, his green 'Mangamax' T-shirt would attract SOME attention. Mimi, who had liked the idea, was also wearing an anime-themed shirt, however, hers was a black shirt with Yuffie on the front.

John stared at the shifts.

What had originally been the names of the entire class had been crossed out and turned into.

| 8:00 -11:00 | Mimi | John |

|11:00 - 2:00 | Eppy | Mimi |

| 2:00 - 5:00 | John | Eppy |

Note: you may eat during your shifts

It was going to be a long day...

* * *

Maire and Sophie were sitting in the shade of the corridor, as far from the loud speakers as possible.

Marie was looking rather concerned at the state of the two figures that were sitting right next to the speakers at the other side of the field and was fixing her hair with her pink headband excessively.

"Isn't 6 hours a bit too much?"

Sophie had just finished tying her rubber shoes and gave Marie a raised eyebrow.

"Didn't you think of the Art idea thing?"


"And didn't you vote for it when it came to a decision between that and the 'torture booth'?"

"I never realised..."

"It's going to be okay... see... there's a customer right now. Leave those three to do what they want to do. I can't imagine John doing otherwise, anyway."

Jumping up, Sophie starting walking. "Wanna come with me to the bikes?"

Marie shook her head. "I think I'll just visit the booths."

"Suit yourself... catch ya later!"

Since the booths were arranged along the track oval, Marie decided to go through all the booths in a clockwise fashion. That way, she could also visit their booth and give Mimi and John some company, she supposed. And she could also avoid the jail booth... which was placed right in the middle, where everyone could see the poor students trapped inside with... toads!

* * *

Mimi cheered with glee as a girl with a green cap sporting the name 'Chicken Coop' came to their booth. "Hooray! First customer!!!"

The girl was taken aback, then blushed. "I'm terribly sorry... I don't really have any money."

Mimi pouted a bit, then took a look at their rates, which read...


| Sketch $5 |

| B & W $15 |

| Colored $25 |

|_______________ |

"Why don't we give you a discount! Uh... half?"

The girl looked downcast. "I really don't have any money... I'm just looking around, you see... my parents..." She paused, then placed her face in her hands... "Oh, it's complicated..."

John was getting concerned. Unsure of what to do, he held her on the shoulder and said, "I know... since you're our first customer... I'll give you the artist of the house special! ... uh... you can have one for free!"

The girl looked at him, her eyes slightly red. "You mean it?"

"Of course... it happens for the first person who comes on each fair day!"

Mimi sighed and gave the girl instructions on what to do while John was doing the sketching...

* * *

Eppy and Bryon were loafing around the booths. They had bought a large quantity of sodas... and were guzzling them down one by one. As a sort of dare, one of those cans had been shaken like crazy... and whoever opened the wrong one would have to wear a soda-filled shirt for the rest of the day.

"Where's Charles?"

"Walking, I guess... maybe looking for more stuff to make us even more envious of his great and mighty riches."

"Oh... there he is... wasn't he to our right a few minutes ago?"

"Turned around for some reason... maybe the other side was filled with girlie stuff or sumthin'... at any rate... he's near our booth."

Then, Eppy shouted, "AW man! Look at that hot chick! Did you get the camera?"

"It's with Charles, you moron... like I'd borrow Charles' camera anyway..."

As Bryon was talking, Eppy gulped down his soda and picked up another one, walking off in the direction of the girl in a yellow spaghetti-strap shirt. Half-way through, he opened the can, making it explode, covering his entire green t-shirt with the sugary liquid.

Bryon chuckled as the crowd laughed at the dripping figure.

"Man, you are a f*****g moron!"

* * *

John was about done sketching just as Charles reached the booth.

"First customer?" he whispered to Mimi, who was watching John intently.

"Sort of... John is giving this one free coz she has no money..." she whispered back.

Charles shrugged and joined Mimi in the viewing of the sketching process.

"You can stop sitting still now. Here is your sketch... have a nice day!"

The girl stood up and took her picture. Blushing, she softly said, "Thanks!"

Just as she was about to leave the booth... the speakers suddenly announced...


The girl shrieked. "Oh no!!! I hate toads!!!" She looked mortified, and unfortunately for her... the announcer himself had already spotted her since the art booth was so close to announcements.

As she stood there frozen, Charles looked at Mimi and said, "Didn't you say she had no money?"

"Uh... yeah... why?"

"That means she can't..."

Running off at a ninja's pace... Charles sped and whisked the 'Chicken Coop' cap away from her head and placed it on his own. And just in time, too, for the announcer was a few paces away.

The announcer clicked his tongue a few times and chuckled. "Okay, I guess I'll have to take you then..."

Suddenly, Charles remembered something...

"John? I left my camera in the booth... keep it for a while! And don't let ANYONE touch it!"

John nodded.

As Charles was taken away... the girl looked at him with eyes full of thanks.

* * *

Meanwhile... Marie had troubles of her own...

"Come on, Miss Headband..."

"Let go! I don't want to be stuck with a bunch of toads!"

"They're frogs!"

"Uh... she slapped her captor's hand... they're toads... just because the sign says so doesn't change the species!"


She was shoved into the 'cage', and tried really hard not to step on any toads, which was quite hard due to the fact that the ground was quite muddy. Luckily for her, the toads seemed to be just as afraid of her as she was, so they kept a good distance. As for the other prisoners, it seemed that hats were all the rage... bandannas, caps, hats and all other sorts of headgear filled the cramped enclosure.

[Uhh... why didn't I bail? Oh well, too late now... guess I'll have to wait then... it can't get any worse]

She sniffed just as she overheard the jail people talking...

"This is getting boring..."

"Yeah, let's see some frog action!"

"They're TOADS!"

"No, they're not! The sign says frogs!"

"YOU wrote that dumb sign!"

"Anyway, who wants to get the pail?"


* * *

"OK... now me an' Bryon will watch the booth! Have fun!!!"

Mimi waved to John as he walked away from the booth with Charles' camera safely in his backpack... unsure of what to do...

So far, they had only done two sketches... one was the free one, and the other of the principal, who had given them $30 instead of 25 because he really liked the sketch.

Someone skidded to a stop beside him.

"Hey John! Want to race?"


"Aw come on, John! I have no one else to race with! Marie's gone... and Mimi's still at the booth."

"I really can't, Sophie..."

"Why not?"

"I don't know how..."

Sophie's eyes twinkled... "I think I can remedy that..."

* * *


Shrieks were heard all over the oval as the jail booth people started throwing water at the fro... *ahem*... toads, and were forcing them to jump towards the captives. Marie's were particularly loud... like the girl who got the free sketch, she also had a phobia of toads and moved frantically to avoid both the toads and getting her clothes wet.

Her shoes were turning horribly brown, something she knew she would have to get rid of later else face another barrage of questions at home. Her captor, noticing her plight, caught sight of a large toad that was scampering quite close to her and sprayed water so it would jump in her direction.

Marie screamed and jumped along with the toad, clutching at something... someone who had been luckily holding on to the bars to keep himself steady...

Marie gulped. "Charles?"

* * *

Meanwhile... John was getting the hang of his bike... well, sort of...

"Just keep steady!" Sophie shouted.

"OK" he replied, all tensed up and ready to put his feet down in case he toppled.

"And relax a bit! Enjoy it!"

(This really isn't for me...)

He however, had already made a little progress and could go a short distance unguided. To his relief, the guy in charge of the bikes was coming towards him... signaling his time was up.

He got of the bike and told Sophie they could continue tommorow. Sophie glared, "You'd better show up, then... that's a promise."

Just as a girl in a yellow shirt passed by, he caught sight of Eppy.

"What in the world happened to you?"

"Hehe... just a dare between me and Bryon."


Again, the speakers started.


John's eyes widened as he saw people running towards him. He started running, but Sophie's bike lessons had already worn him out.

"Come on, man! You want to get caught?!?" Eppy shouted.

"Sorry... can't run... too tired..."

"Oh s**t.*

The captors had already surrounded both of them. John looked at them with tired eyes and blew a raspberry.

"Aww man... you're on-duty!"


"Geez... this is sooo stupid... and we ain't touching you, man... you're dripping wet!"

John stared at his shirt. He had forgotten to remove his 'on-duty' I.D. Since there were only three of them working and around 8 or so I.D.s... they had forgotten to take the I.D. off...

(Phew... lucky...)

"Aww well... hey look! Another one!!!"

The group sped away... leaving a happy John and an ecstatic Eppy.

"Hey, good going man! Gimme high five!!!"

John raised his arm and grinned... a few meters away... someone was shouting...

"You can't do this to me!!! I'm valedictorian!!! I have better grades than you do!!! Get away!!! AWAY!!!"

* * *

(Author's note: OK... I'm really sorry about the long wait... a lot has been happening in my life lately, among them, change of country (migration) and a new job (which is really tiring, believe me) ... hope you guys like this chap... and as a side note, I got rid of the original Chap 10 & 11, though I might do something similar to the old 11...

ttfn!!! ;) )