Inner Demons

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Authors: Sarra Cannon
first.”
    “Dance with me later?”
    “Sure, I said. Of course.”
    “Okay, y’all have fun, I'm gonna go say hi to a group of Mom's friends who just got here.” She leaned over and actually kissed me on the cheek. Definitely not typical Brooke. I smelled alcohol on her breath and figured she'd been drinking for quite a while before the party got started.
    “So, what do you want to do first?” Drake asked. He took my hand in his and gave me a squeeze.
    I looked around. The ferris wheel was all the way toward the far side of the yard, and it looked like there were a few other fair-type rides. “Let's go over there and ride some of the rides.”
    We got several rides in before dinner. Brooke's parents had a huge backyard and there was a large tent set up on one side of the house. Dinner was served buffet style and included fair foods like pizza, corn dogs, fried chicken, elephant ears and corn on the cob. The area was decorated with hay bales and the tables were covered with red and white checkered tablecloths. It was amazing how authentic it looked. I felt like we were really at the State Fair they threw every fall in Perry. On top of each table was a giant sparkler that never stopped shooting sparks of changing colors.
    Drake was impressed. “Wow, those things are cool.” He pointed to the sparklers with his fork. “How do you think they get it to do that? Normally, the only kind of sparklers I ever used as a kid would fizzle out after thirty seconds or so. But these are just infini-sparklers.”
    “I have no idea,” I said. I wasn't sure how much Drake knew about the Order of Shadows – or even if any of the men in town knew about its existence and the magic involved – so I didn't mention the fact that Brooke's mom was a witch who could probably turn him into a sparkler if she wanted to. “It must have been crazy expensive though.”
    Money was a language Drake understood perfectly. “I'm sure. It's neat. My parents always throw this huge fourth of July bonfire party down on St. Simons Island on the beach. We'll have to get some of these for that party next year.”
    I bit into my corn dog and searched for Brooke in the crowd. She was seated up at the head table on the stage. Someone had put a sparkling tiara on her head and she was laughing at something Foster said in her ear. All of her nervousness from the other day seemed gone and she looked genuinely happy. I wondered if someone had finally explained the ceremony to her or if she had just put it out of her mind for the party. One way or another, I knew that everything would change for her tonight.

Watch The Sky
     
    Together, Drake and I rode all of the rides several times, shared some cotton candy, watched the band perform, and looked at all of the game booths. Some of the games even had stuffed animals and prizes, just like at the fair. Drake tried to win a giant teddy bear with a red bow around his neck, but couldn't ever put the ball in the basket three times in a row.
    “I don't get it,” he said. He sounded frustrated. “I can throw a damn football forty yards down the field perfectly on target, but I can't sink a few lousy hoops. That game is ridiculous.”
    “Maybe it's because you aren't wearing your lucky sneakers,” I joked.
    Drake didn't get it. “What?”
    “Never mind, “I said. It gave me a thought though. Wasn't it possible that Drake's ability on the field wasn't entirely natural?
    “This game sucks,” he said.
    “It doesn't matter,” I said. “Who cares? Besides, it's not like I really want to carry a giant teddy bear for the rest of the night.”
    “That's not the point.” He raised his voice loud enough to make some people near us turn and stare. “The freakin' game's gotta be rigged or something.”
    “Don't overreact,” I said. I was getting annoyed with his tone. So far, we'd been having a good time, but I was starting to realize that it was always all about Drake. He didn't even really care if I wanted the

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