I forced myself to take a deep breath as I moved toward the edge of the pond. Cindy who was sitting on a near by log, looked up from her bowl of beef stood and shot me a look that could kill. I tried not to chuckle, but the girl looked more like a drowned rat than a fairy tale princess.
"I'll get you one day Brewer." She said as she pulled her robe a bit tighter around her. The air was starting to become a bit more chilly and the smell of burning oak and cedar logs was starting to perfume the air. The laughter of children was starting to dye down now. All there attention was starting to shift away from the venders, attractions and visiting. All eyes where now starting to focus in one the main event. The charity dunking.
"Okay everybody!" Bellowed Mrs. Fox as she peered toward the gathering crowds. "If I might have your attention. Are next volunteer is.. Straight from the streets of Tokyo herself everybody favorite Sailor Senshi is. Put your hands together for… Sailor Mercury!"
An odd silence fell over the crowd. And a deep blush colored my cheeks as I stepped into the circle of people. Cheeks still blushing, I offered them a little bow before peering toward the four uniformed men. They returning my bow with a small smile With all eyes fixed on me, I offered my shoulder to the two men doing the dunking.
The men smiled and then gently took me by the shoulder and started to guide me toward the chair. I could feel the eyes fixed upon me. And a mummer passed through the crowd. From the corner of the crowd, sitting upon a bench, nursing a bowl of hot beef stew was Cindy, a towel was draped around her shoulders and she was giving the sink eye to all those who dared look in her direction.
As I passed by her, I stuck my tongue out and she returned by giving me the middle finger. A gentle tap on my shoulder reminded me why I was here. Blushing and becoming shy, I was guided over to the wooden chair. Once I was standing by the chair, I felt a firm hand upon my shoulder, the hand then pushed me down into the chair. Once seated the leather straps started to come out and in a blink of a eye I was tightly secured. I forced a laugh as I looked around and through the crowd I saw Mrs. Fox standing there smiling at me.
"Okay it seems she all secure. Now Sailor Mercury, I think you should know that six people donated twenty five dollars each to get dunked. That mean's your into the pond six times. How does that make you feel?" She said walking up to me and placing a microphone to my mouth.
I blushed at being put on the spot so easy. Taking a deep breath I peered into the microphone, and after clearing my throat I spoke out in a strong clear voice.
"I would like thank all the people who donated.. Together were raising a lot of money for charity." I said taking a deep breath and smiling a big old smile. The crowd around me cheered and clapped and whooped and yelled and out of the corner of my eye.
"Okay folks." Mrs. Fox said taking a deep breath as she peered toward the crowd. "Okay everybody, lets let her have it! One the count of three!" She bellowed.
I blushed as I felt the chair being lifted up in the air and moved toward the pond. The silvery moon shinned off the water. I felt my heart jump into my throat as I peered toward the crowd. Princesses, super hero's and ghouls and vampires alike had turned out to see me get dunked. I then looked down and noticed I was still wearing my boots. "Hold on!" I called out and everybody stopped and just peered at me.
"Can I please remove my boots?" I said taking a deep breath as I looked down at my skirt.
A grumbling passed over the crowd as they lowered me down again. Instead of unbuckling me, one of the female staff members came over and removed my boots and tenderly placed them in a bag and set them to the side. She then smiled and removed my socks too and set them to the side too.
"I think we need to punish are volunteer for delaying her dunking." She said as she took a deep breath and stood up and brushed off her pants. "How about we give her another dunking!"
Before I could protest. I felt myself being raised back up in the air and twirled toward the pond. Once more my heart seemed to jump into my throat as I peered down at the crowd and at the wavy surface of the water. I took a deep breath and wrapped my fingers around the wooden arm rest and closed my eyes. And then it happen, I felt myself drop.
A loud splash filled the air as I felt myself going under the water. The sudden onrush of cold water took my breath away. For several seconds they held me under till at last I was forced to open my mouth and then I felt the seat being risen up. Closing my eyes, I broke the surface of the pond, causing water to splash onto the muddy banks from the force of the waves generated by me breaking the surface.
I spat out a long stream of brown water and took a deep breath before I felt the seat once more give way, sending me down into the deep water. The water was colder this time and I swear they held me under a few seconds longer than the last time they did it. Butt once again I found myself being lifted up. Once more I forced myself to spit out a stream of water and take a deep breath. My hair hung over my eyes and water in long streams dripped from my blouse and skirt and off the tip of my toes.
Slowly a little smile crossed my face as I felt myself drop again into the water. This time they went all the way down and I felt my feet touch the sandy bottom of the pond. And once more I was lifted up. But this time I little chance to recover before being dunked again only halfway though and it was fast, it happen in a blink of a eye and then I was lifted up and spun around.
"Looking like a drowned rat there Brewer!" Shouted Cindy from her bench as she peered toward me. Across the bench, I noticed Matthew peering up at me. He smiled and offered me a little smile and a wave. I tried to wave back but I was dunked again!
"Doing good Maddy!" I heard voice call out as I was lifted again. My chest was starting to rise and fall with each breath I took. The water was freezing cold and the wind was starting to blow now. Smiling I looked down, my outfit was soaking wet and the chilly late October wind was blowing around me. I closed my eyes as I felt the chair move downward again and felt the water wash over me once more.
"We love you Maddy!" Another voice cried out. Through the dripping water I noticed Robin and Lily standing in there on the shore. Both where clapping there hands and shouting there support. I offered them a little smile before being dunked again! This time they only got my feet a little wet.. A sigh of relief escaped my lips. It seems they save a gentle one for last. But I spoke too soon as the raised me up again, higher than before this time and brought me down again! A big splash followed.
"Aright! Aright!" Called out Mrs. Fox. "I think she had enough." She waving her arms. The guards nodded there head and turned me toward the shore. Slowly they eased me down and slowly they removed the straps. Once the straps where removed I was helped up and greeted by a smiling Lily and Robin. Standing behind them was Mrs. Fox a women with stunning red hair and to the side stood Matthew.
"You where so cool!" Said Lily said to me as she rushed up to me. "See, she would be perfect for are little project." She said grinning softy.
"Totally, she could be are first 'Petite'. This is going to be so cool, think of it Robin, you and I business partners in the first maid inspired café in Mississippi!" Robin said smiling softy. She then gave me a slide glance.
"And this cutie will be are first student!" Lily chimed in.
"Okay everybody! Lets give the girl some room here. Madeline thank you for being such a good sport. I still have some duties to attend, so go get warm by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate and some soup." Mrs. Fox said as she gave me a wink and vanished into the darkness.
"Right, go enjoy yourself!" Lily said smiling. "Don't want are first student coming down with a bad chest cold." She said before vanishing too.
"Madeline.. We'll be getting in touch with you soon. Keep your grades up and keep pushing forward." She said with a wink. She then vanished too, that left me with only Matthew who walked up to me and wrapped a warm blanket around my shivering shoulders and placed some hot chocolate into my hand, He leaned in and I could smell his old spice body spray.
"Madeline." Is all said, and that all he needed to say as I wrapped my arms around him and he wrapped his arms around me. We stood there for a good minute squeezing on each other. After a minute of hugging we walked over and sat down by one of the bonfires, and for what seemed like hours we toasted marshmallows, feed each other S'mores and cuddled. We then became a pair.. Or so I think we did. That night we moved beyond talking.. We been talking all summer. Yes that night we started official dating I believe.