Sun smote the ground between the soles of Síofra's feet and his shadow. Erin shook her head wondering why he bothered to tolerate her and her vestigial wings if his status meant so much to him. She should be happy. The blue-wing had augured that Síofra would propose to her today. If it was such a good match, why did he have to show off?
The wooden dragons-head laid on the grass beside the xylophone bridge. Paint dripped from a wooden sign announcing the "Tunnel of Love". Erin didn't remember it being so close to the bridge, but things in fairyland had a tendency to drift. She'd never ridden through the tunnel -- never had a lover before -- and the sign looked a little amateurish. Yet, the scales on the dragons-head sparkled in the sunlight and it looked so life-like. Erin let the grin blossom across her lips in diamond twinkles. Those who flew were more susceptible to claustrophobia.
"Why are you grinning?"
Erin grabbed Síofra's arm and let the tingling sensation zip through her blood as a glow surrounded them. "We should ride the Tunnel of Love."
"Why?" A flash of lightning sparked between them as Síofra pulled his hand from Erin's grasp. "We're not even promised."
Yet, thought Erin. "Haven't you ever pondered what wonders lie hidden within the tunnels?"
"It's not about the wonders." Síofra's eyelashes became heavy in the sunlight.
Erin raced forward and he flitted close to her always at least a hands-breadth away. She arched her back as she squeezed her hand into the folds of her blouse, searching for a gold coin. His eyes dropped to her exposed cleavage. At least there was something he wanted. Droplets condensed on the blackened edges of the coin drop in the dragons-head's nose. The yellow-green liquid stuck to her fingers and she shook them while making a face.
"I don't think we should do this," said Síofra.
Erin crossed the dragon's wooden tongue, it was moister than she would've expected, and clambered into the trolley. "You're not going to force me to go by myself, are you?"
His wings flashed mother-of-pearl as he perched on the edge of the trolley.
"See, that wasn't so bad. Everyone does this."
"Why aren't there any tracks for the trolley?"
Plaque stained the edges of the dragons-head's teeth. The maintainers of this ride should have kept it in better shape. "Magic, silly." Erin pulled Síofra from where he balanced on the wooden rim.
Warm wind belched over them with a stink of sulfur.
Síofra fluttered his wings but he couldn't budge Erin's weight over him. "We've got to get out of here. Now!"
The mouth closed and the car lurched backwards falling down the tunnel. Síofra screamed. His wings tore as he beat them against the car's walls.
Erin swallowed the fear in her throat. Tearing his wings like that, he wouldn't fly for weeks. Scratch that. They were unlikely to survive. She clenched her hands on one of the boards on the car. It wiggled as she realized the nails were loose. She pulled and it came away. "Hold tight," she shouted at Síofra. She punched the board into the warm esophagus. Erin clung to it.
The trolley struck Síofra's shin and pulled him from his grip on Erin's waist. His hands slid down her leg and caught on her foot. Below them, light flashed in an explosion as the trolley disappeared into the gullet.
"If we get out of this alive, I'll marry you," said Síofra.
A response to Emily J. Griffin's prompt, "Oh No!", on Flashy Fiction. Constructive criticism and comments appreciated.