Title: Carnival is Over
Authors: Jaye & Esme
Date: 15 January 2000
Disclaimer: We lie in wait. And just when Hal. and Southern Star
think we have forgotten all about them POW!! We storm the
building and take them! The only difference is that we will be
willing to share them. Oh btw, the title is in no way associated
with the song "The Carnival is Over", by The Seekers.
Authors Notes: (Jaye) What better idea for two Ratfic writers
than to have a day at the beach and write Ratfic. This one
started as a discussion over lunch at a very nice little café
(Cicciolina in Acland Street, St. Kilda - it was lovely and worth
giving them the plug) with a few random ideas being thrown
around, before heading for the seaside. I hope you have as much
fun reading it as we did writing it!
Your turn Esme.
Authors Notes: (Esme)
Yeah, Amen to what Jaye said... What?... I've gotta say something
else?... Okay, the cafe really was great - Cicciolina, Acland
Street, St Kilda (in case you missed it up above). We had heaps
of fun (well *I* did) - even if it did rain on the notebook and
there were ants crawling all over us. And we want *lots* of
feedback, coz feedback has been pretty dead recently.
I'll stalk and haunt you if you don't feedback.
Carnival is Over
"What time is it?" asked Rachel as she swung the car
out of the car park at the Drummoyne marina.
"Umm shit half past one," replied Frank, "no
wonder I'm bloody hungry. That took a lot longer than I
"Yeah well you get that when nobody wants to give you
straight answers," Rachel said wearily. "Do you mind if
we make a stop then? You could at least feed your face."
"Yeah okay I guess Jeff won't miss us just yet. Where
ya gotta go?" he queried.
"Ah great. What the hell am I gonna find for lunch
there?" he whined screwing up his face at her.
"Frank. It's a supermarket. They sell food for Christ
They drove in silence to Rachel's usual choice of supermarket. It
was closest to work and she at least knew where to find things.
"Okay Frank I'll go get what I need," she instructed as
she pressed the button on the keys to lock the door, "you go
and find yourself lunch."
"What about you? Aren't you hungry?" He quizzed.
"Yeah but I will grab myself something later."
"Look how about I give you a hand. Get this *shopping* done
in half the time and then we can *both* go get some lunch?"
"If you want."
They walked into the supermarket and Rachel told Frank to get a
"Where from?" asked Frank.
"Over there," she pointed, "where there are about
two hundred of them."
Rachel skillfully led the way to the chocolate aisle and Frank
followed, trying to keep control of the trolley.
Rachel threw in three bags of party-mix assortment lollies and
Frank added a box of Ferrero Rocher.
"You don't eat that," said Rachel. More of a statement
that a question.
"Yeah I do, I love it," said Frank.
"Really? she asked surprised. She didn't think that his
tastes would stem any further than a Kit-Kat.
Rachel's trained eye scanned the shelves as she mumbled to
herself, "what else do I want?"
Frank looked at her, "you going for a serious sugar-kick or
"Yeah," she said absentmindedly as she added two bags
of sherbet bombs, and a giant block of chocolate. "Okay
let's keep moving," said Rachel as she walked down the
She turned to talk to Frank.
But Frank wasn't there. She looked back up the aisle and saw him
chatting to a 20-something blonde.
"Bloody men," muttered Rachel under her breath.
"DARLLLLIINNGGG" She called loudly in his
He looked towards her and gave her a half grin before farewelling
his new friend, who was already disappearing around the corner.
"What ya have to do that for?" he asked as he caught up
with her, "I was just asking her which aisle the washing
powder was in," he said innocently.
"Yeah sure. Aisle 4 and I don't need any," she replied
with a smirk.
They continued through the supermarket and Frank went to turn
down the next aisle.
"No not that one," said Rachel.
"Why not?" asked Frank.
"Because I don't need anything down there," she
"How do you know?" Frank asked looking bewildered.
"Because that's aisle 7 with baked beans and tomato sauce
and I don't need them."
Frank looked at her with awe. "You know that without
"Yes," she said as though it was obvious. She looked at
him as a smile began to form on her face. "Frank, don't tell
me you go up and down *every* single aisle? Hell, no wonder your
shopping takes you so long!"
Rachel wandered down the next aisle.
"Okay so what's down here?" said Frank, putting her to
"What I need," retorted Rachel.
She stopped and threw in a couple of packets of balloons into the
Frank looked from the shelf to the balloons and then to Rachel.
"You havin' a party or somethin'?" he asked
"What ever makes you say that?" she replied in her best
sarcastic tone as she threw in a couple of packets of brightly
"Nah," she grinned at him, "I have this fetish
about sleeping in a room full of balloons."
Frank gave her a look to try and figure out whether she was being
serious or not.
"Hell Frank, what do *you* think? Yes, David's birthday.
Tonight, party. I just haven't had the chance to do the shopping
for it. Not with all the late nights we've been doing on this
"Okay, party," said Frank, "at least *now* that I
know what you're up to I can help so we can get outa here."
"Oh great," said Rachel.
"Well you'll need party hats," said Frank as he threw
in a couple of packets.
"Frank, he's turning 12," stated Rachel, "for some
reason I don't think half a dozen twelve year old boys are going
to want party hats." She took them out of the trolley and
put them back on the shelf. "Okay Frank," she
continued, "if you want to make this quicker, how about you
go and get some party pies from the freezer section?"
"Fine," he replied, "and with a cheeky grin, what
aisle is that?"
"Aisle 2," she said and she pointed him in the right
He came back five minutes later with the party pies *and* a
couple of frozen pizzas.
"What are they for?" asked Rachel.
"The party," replied Frank casually.
"But I didn't *ask* for pizza," she breathed with a
"You gotta have pizza at a party," said Frank.
"I don't want this pizza because this is Hawaiian,"
"So?" said Frank, not understanding what she was
"Frank," she began, "It's ham and pineapple.
Other than the fact that pineapple is the most revolting thing on
this earth next to beetroot Ham? I'm Jewish, David is
Jewish.. David goes to a Jewish school. Therefore all his friends
at his party will be"
"Eh Jewish?' asked Frank.
"Yes," stated Rachel.
"Well *I* could always eat the pizza," offered Frank.
"Who invited you?" asked Rachel.
"What? I help you with all this shopping and I don't even
get invited to the party?" said Frank trying to sound hurt.
"Yeah okay ya big sook! I suppose I won't notice one
more kid," she grinned.
Rachel's mobile sounded from her pocket.
"Probably Jeff or Helen wondering where the hell we
are," said Frank.
"Yeah look go down aisle umm 6 and get some soft
drink will ya. Take the trolley." She added as she reached
for the phone.
Frank turned the trolley around, the same way he drove a car,
erratically, tossing the contents from one side to the other.
"Goldstein," she said into the phone as she shook her
head as she watched him corner around the end of the aisle. She
closed her eyes and reminded herself *never* to let him control
the trolley again, let alone a car! She then headed in the same
direction. At a safe distance.
"Ah sorry, yes Rachel Goldstein," she said to the
caller. "Ah huh ah huh yeah yep. No
that's okay. If he can't make it then he can't make it. I
understand. Yeah.. no probs. Thanks for letting me know."
"Jeff?" queried Frank as she approached.
"Nah just a cancellation for the party," she
"Well then you'll definitely have room for me ," he
"Yeah," she smiled, "actually yes,
They finalised the shopping, Rachel handing over the plastic,
choosing to worry about the cost later.
Back at the carpark at the water police HQ they quickly
transferred the groceries to her car before wandering in side.
"Do you realise," said Frank , "that we *still*
didn't get lunch?"
She hit his stomach, with some force, with the back of her hand.
"Missin' one meal ain't gonna kill ya Frank," she
replied, "you could do with losin' a few pounds!"
David walked up to Rachel in the middle of the party.
"Hey mum, this is so cool!" Then he grinned
mischievously as he added, "and I'm glad you invited Frank -
so you won't be lonely."
Rachel swatted him over the head, but he dodged her skillfully.
"But when's the magician coming?" asked David.
"Well actually he's not coming sweetheart," said
Rachel, "he had a bit of an accident."
"Well, yeah, he got hit by a car," Rachel replied,
coming straight to the point as she always did. "But don't
worry, Frank is going to entertain you."
"Oh this *will* be good!" laughed David as he ran off
to tell his friends.
Frank had overheard his name and entertain in the same sentence.
He wandered over to Rachel.
"Did you say entertain?" he asked.
"Yeah you didn't think you'd get through this party with out
a contribution did you? You're the one who wanted to fill in for
the cancellation," she said with a wry grin.
"But I thought the cancellation was one of the kids!"
Frank replied, almost choking on the sherbet bomb in his mouth.
"Nah, it was the magician," grinned Rachel.
"Magician? Rach., I know nothing about magic."
"You'll think of something. You've just got to entertain a
bunch of 12 year olds for a while," said Rachel.
"12 year olds? Christ Rachel, I know *nothing* about 12 year
olds," Frank replied looking genuinely scared at the
"What's the problem?" Rachel asked innocently.
"From what I've observed, your level of maturity is about
the same as theirs most of the time - should be a piece of
David came running back into the room and grabbed Frank by the
"Come on! We're waiting for you," he said excitedly as
he dragged Frank into the other room.
"Rachel I'll get you for this," said Frank as he was
"Oh yes," said Rachel, still trying to look serious.
Frank was soon back.
"Rach., you got those cards we were playing poker
"They're 12 year olds Frank, you can't play poker with
"Nah, I'm gonna do some tricks," said Frank.
"You know card tricks?" Rachel asked in a tone of
"Ah, a couple," he replied, as Rachel handed him the
cards from the drawer.
"Ta", said Frank as he took them from her and headed
back to the lounge.
Rachel couldn't resist and decided to follow and watch.
"Okay," said Frank as the boys sat around him.
"Davy here mate you can shuffle 'em since it's your
David *attempted* to shuffle the cards, several of them spilling
onto the floor in the process. He grinned as he handed them back
"Okay, nothin' up this sleeve, nothin' up this one
either," he prattled off, trying to sound magician like.
"Yeah there is," stated one kid. "You got a card
up your sleeve."
"Little bugger," said Frank under his breath. He
noticed Rachel smiling as she leaned in the doorway.
"Yeah?" asked Frank. Trying to act surprised. He looked
up his sleeves. "Ah, so there is how did *that* get
"You put it there," said another, "I saw
Frank looked back at Rachel for some support. She smiled at him,
rolled her eyes and headed back to the kitchen
He was on his own.
After about twenty minutes Rachel heard balloons popping and
headed back to the lounge to see what was happening.
The children were watching Frank and laughing. As she wandered
in, Frank picked up another balloon and began to squeeze and
twist it. It immediately burst in his face, and the boys burst
"Frank? What are you doing?" asked Rachel.
"He's *trying* to make balloon animals!" gasped David
through his laughter.
"Yeah and I can't understand why it's not working,"
added Frank with a frustrated look on his face. "I've
watched magicians do them, it *looks* easy enough."
"Frank I think they use special balloons," Rachel said
earnestly. "And they would also actually know what they are
Frank tried to give her a look but she just laughed.
"Okay, show's over," she said to the boys who were
literally rolling around on the floor laughing. "Must be
time for some cake."
"Cake!" They all cried as they got off the floor and
Frank just stood there surrounded by the colourful scattered
fragments of the broken balloons.
"Come on, you too," Rachel said to him as if he was a
sulking 3 year old. "It will be all gone if you don't move
Frank and Rachel both sat back on her couch, a bowl of chips
between them, beer in hand. The rowdy boys all departed back to
their homes and one weary birthday boy sound asleep in bed.
"Well that went pretty well," stated Rachel as she
grabbed a handful of chips, crunching half of them in her mouth.
"Gees how can you tell?" asked Frank taking a mouth
full of beer.
"Noise level and mess factor," she replied, "the
louder they are and the greater the mess, indicates enjoyment
"Well, half the bloody mess in here," continued Frank,
"is from all those damn balloons."
"Yeah but the noise level after they exploded told the
story," she grinned.
"Yeah well next time I get *any* sorta invitation from
you," he said seriously, "I'm gonna request details of
the proceedings for the evening beforehand. In bloody writing if
I have to."
"Well firstly Francis, you invited yourself and
secondly," she laughed, "what if *I* want a bit of
spontaneity? If I don't *know* what might happen?"
"Ha! You? Sponta what? Get real Rachel. There ain't a
thought in your head that wouldn't have been plotted, planned,
reconsidered and then bloody spell-checked before it came out of
your mouth. And then you'd *still* be debatin' it!"
"That's not true!" she said defensively.
"Yeah? Okay. Saturday week, you got David?"
"Ah yep. Sure have why?" she asked
"See there you go. Thinking. Asking *why* all the time. You
can't just go with the flow," he said pointing a finger at
her and almost spilling his beer in the process.
"Okay okay, yes I have David," she stated.
"That's what he and I thought. I'm takin' you two out for
the day. David actually sounds keen."
"Great!" she replied, trying hard to sound enthusiastic
and free spirited when she was actually feeling dubious and
concerned. But she wasn't about to let Frank know that. He wasn't
going to win this point.
"So can I ask where we are going?" She asked
brightly, as if it really didn't matter whether he told her or
Too brightly perhaps.
"Frank," she almost whined, forgetting about the whole
idea of beating him at this, "you *know* how much I hate
"Do you?" he asked trying sound surprised.
"You know I do," she replied.
"Well you've already agreed, David is looking forward to it
"Besides what?" realising she was defeated on this one.
"This'll teach ya not to leave me with the entertainment
send feedback to me - email@example.com - and then I can forward it on to Jaye, and
we'll both love you for it!