Secret Prize Inside

Meyer's Zoo & Aquarium 
Going to the aquarium alone wasn't sad right? People were starting to embrace solo movie theater trips, so why not aquariums, amusement parks, or fancy restaurants? Sometimes you want to treat yourself to a nice dinner without the waiter asking if your date was running a little late. He just wanted to eat a bowl of lobster pasta without judgement.

Didn't matter anyway. Zachary was already here with an exhibit map in hand. The penguin feeding was in a few hours and he was going to be first in line. Out of the way small children.

He had severely underestimated the size of this place. With time to kill, he wasn't sure where to start. Just inside the entrance was an extravagant gift shop and at least six food vendors, looks like they wanted to start off strong. Those didn't catch his eyes, but the large array of capsule and gumball machines sure did.

A few seconds of rifling through his pockets got him the prize of a stray quarter. Success! The big one right in the middle with a mixture of trinkets, bouncy balls, and candy was calling him. There wasn't anything like the silly joy of getting a little surprise. There was a reason happy meals and cereals with prizes were so popular. Anyone who said they outgrew any of those was a lying liar.

The quarter was in and the knob was turned, now to see his chosen prize. Zachary lifted the rubber flap, and watched in shock as the entire contents of the machine started pouring out on to the floor.


To some, the reason for Saoirse's love for aquariums might have been considered depressing. If the girl was capable of such negative thinking, she might have agreed. She'd always loved animals... well, the ones that weren't giant and seemingly rabid raccoons attacking her. But growing up she'd always had pets of different sorts. Fish, though, had always been her most favorite! All the colors and the fluid movements of their bodies through water was mesmerizing! In another life, she thought she ought to be a mermaid. Alas. She was a trash panda. Such was life!

Still! She was overjoyed with the realization that fish hardly paid much mind to Weres. Other animals weren't so keen, and it was rather heartbreaking to have to avoid them! Still, Saoirse could have a grand time at an aquarium. And, for the record, she saw nothing wrong with doing things like this by herself! It made it fun! What was also fun, was exploring all the little shops that made up the grand entrance of the aquarium. She was marveling at a large gum-ball machine when a young looking lad came over to give it a spin. She watched excitedly as he put in a quarter, but that radiant smile turned to shock when the machine started spewing its contents! With a little gasp, Saoirse hurried around to the front and stooped down. She could not hide the little laugh at the ridiculousness of the marvel; little capsules with prizes and gum balls and bouncy balls pouring out of the flap and raining down upon the floor.

"Ahhh!" She exclaimed sympathetically as her hands extended to try and pull down the flap to stop the flow.

The shock of the machine malfunctioning slowed his reaction time. By the time the rubber flap was lowered by some kind bystander, hundreds of different sized capsules and candy had scattered across the floor. He had essentially made a hazardous environment for the price of 25 cents.

He reluctantly crouched down. This was an open area and there was no way he could get away with pretending this didn't happen. Zachary stared down at the sea of trinkets and huffed. Better start cleaning up a little. There was a steady plop plop to the side. Turned out the rubber flap wasn't quite enough to withstand the pressure of the remaining capsules as a few more dropped to the floor. Zachary groaned. He could never come here again. Let the universe swallow him up or smother him with all these tiny capsules.

He kept his eyes locked firmly to the floor and swept his arms out to gather some candy and capsules into a pile. On the bright side he could keep all of these right? He did pay for them after all.

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