Why Artemis was in Fawcett City she didn't know. Why she was at the Fawcett City winter carnival she knew even less. Why he school was taking her home room class on a field trip there she didn't know and didn't care.
The lights were too bright. The laughter too cheerful. The music too loud. And there were too many little children scurrying around her feet, screaming when they lost the rigged sideshow games.
Somehow, and once again Artemis didn't know how, she had been snagged by Bette to join the girl's adoptive cousin and his friend in attempting to score a prize at the shooting range. Bette's 'cousin' Richard, didn't seem too happy about it, but after some coaxing from both Bette and the other girl, Barbra, he agreed.
As they took their positions at the wooden counter another kid hurried up and took his place beside Artemis. The kid was about ten, maybe eleven, and had dark hair; he was wrapped up against the frost in red and yellow, his grey-green eyes peeping out from between his 'Gryffindor' hat and his scarf, which seemed to have come from the Flash museum.
The toy gun the vendor handed the kid seemed much too big for his mittened hands, and the kid fidgeted for a minute before stripping off his gloves and picking up the gun again. On her other side Richard was looking at the kid too, and, to Artemis' surprise, when the kid waved, Richard waved back. Meanwhile Bette and Barbra were paying for the four games.
Richard blew a ring of steam and hoisted the gun. The other four at the booth did the same.
"Ready, set, fire at will!" the vendor yelled,
Artemis fired again and again, hitting bull's eye after bull's eye, while Richard was hitting the inner rings and Bette and Barbra were firing with varying degrees of shoddiness, the kid on Artemis' left was doing nearly as well as her, but on the last target he missed.
When the game finished, the five of them handed in their guns. The kid looked crushed as the vendor handed Artemis her prize. A giant lightning bolt stress shape, emblazoned with the word 'SHAZAM!'
Artemis bit her lip as she watched the boy trail away, and then turned to her friends.
"Wait for me, will you guys?" she said, the other three nodded,
Artemis tore off into the crowd, eventually catching up with the kid by the Ferris wheel.
"Hey, kid!" she shouted, a little out of breath, for a ten year-old the boy could really move fast,
The boy turned and looked at Artemis, "Yes?"
Artemis held out her prize, "You forgot this."
The kid's face lit up as she handed his the stress shape, "Really?"
Artemis nodded, "Really,"
"Thank you!" The kid hugged Artemis, hard,
"Uh, you're welcome," the blonde archer replied,
"My name's Billy," the kid said with a smile,
Artemis smiled back, "Merry Christmas Billy,"
The two went their separate ways, and Billy turned and shouted, "Merry Christmas Artemis!"
Artemis stopped in her tracks and looked around, the kid was gone. She shrugged,
"Hey, speed of Mercury." She muttered.
AN: This was part of a challenge called Secret Santas. Look it up on the challenges forum if you're interested.
Reviews, as always, are appreciated.
Wishing everyone, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
-Silver (10th Dec 2011)