Roll up, roll up!
C'mon ladies, try your luck.
Win the prize for just a buck.
Shoot 'em up, shoot 'em up!
Holtzmann gasps, her hands squishing in both her cheeks in pure glee.
"Erin! Giant chinchilla!" She points emphatically, bouncing up and down.
Erin glances in the direction of Holtz' frantic pointing. It takes her a moment to track what has Holtz so excited amidst the throngs of people and gaudy amusement park signage. Low and behold, a few metres away, perching above the rifle range game is a giant stuffed chinchilla toy. When Holtz said giant, she hadn't been exaggerating; this thing might be as big as Holtz.
"Oh! Oh! Erin! Curie, Payne, Lovelace and Nightingale would look so teeny tiny next to that thing," Holtz grasps both of Erin's hands in her own. She stares into her eyes intensely and in a serious voice proclaims, "We need to win it."
Erin sighs, thoroughly regretting letting her girlfriend get the large cotton candy earlier, "Holtz these games are all rigged."
"Most of them are, but not this particular rifle one, it's just super hard. Trust me, I was a carny." She winks. Erin is unsurprised by this tidbit of Jillian Holtzmann backstory. Erin rolls her eyes.
"Puh-lease Ez?" Holtz clasps her hands together and gives Erin that puppy dog look that is scientifically impossible to resist, "It's for our children."
"It is not for the chinchillas, it's for you," Erin scolds, then softens, "Which is why we're going home with it."
Holtz grabs her face and kisses her hard, then pulls her by the hand towards the stand.
As they walk up to rifle range game, a muscly bro type is doing poorly, trying to shoot out the little ghost on a tiny piece of paper. Erin smirks, of course it's ghosts. He barely makes a dent in it before running out of bullets. Slamming the gun down, the guy running the booth glaring, jock-boy grumbles, "This game is rigged."
Holtz snickers and Erin can't help but join.
The jock turns to them and scoffs when he sees the source, "You think you can do better, lady?"
Holtz is about to say something, but Erin gets there first.
"No," she slams a $5 bill onto the table, "I know I can."
She turns to the guy running the booth, "I only need one round."
"You sure lady?"
Erin doesn't reply, just picks up the rifle and blasts away that tiny piece of paper with a ghost on it. To the appall of the menfolk witnessing and the utter delight of Holtz, Erin takes down two paper ghosts. It's excessive and braggadocious, but the reactions are absolutely worth it.
"That enough for the big chinchilla?"
The slack-jawed man in the booth picks up a hook and uses it to hand her the prize. She presents it to a beaming Holtz.
"That was the hottest thing I have ever witnessed and I once saw you take down an army of ghosts!" Holtz kisses her over her new fluffy friend.
Erin, suddenly shy, blushes and tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.
They walk away, leaving two dumbfounded men less one giant chinchilla. Holtz is staring at Erin like she hung the moon.
"I knew you were a great shot, but that, oh my god, that was amazing. I thought we'd need a bunch of small ones to trade up for this gal," Holtz shakes the massive plushie, "Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"
Erin falters, the reason is a bit... "Oh. Um. My uncle was kinda in the um... Michigan Militia. He taught me to shoot when I was younger."
Holtzmann has stars in her eyes as she looks at Erin now, "Oh my god, my girlfriend was part of a paramilitary organization. You're so cool!"
"It's not- Really? You think that's cool?" She looks down and plays nervously with the untucked bottom of her plaid shirt.
"You're already the coolest. You're now cooler than the coolest. You, Dr. Erin Gilbert are ice cold and so I'm gonna buy you an ice cream." Holtz pauses suddenly at a cart and places an order for a cone. The pimply girl at the cart grabs a cone to fill with strawberry ice cream.
Erin watches as Holtz heaves the giant toy onto her shoulders to free a hand to grab her wallet, "You sure you want to carry it all day? We can take it back to the car or throw it in a locker."
"This beautiful creature is a symbol of your victory over carnies and dudebros, and you won it for me, so I must display it proudly. Also, it's my new best friend," Holtz quips as she hands over the money for the ice cream.
"Hey! What about me and Abby and Patty?" She bumps Holtz playfully with her hip, crossing her arms in mock anger.
"I can have more than one best friend, Chinzilla here is best at being a giant chinchilla," Holtz retorts, giant new bestie sitting firmly on her shoulders.
"That's not how best friends work."
They're interrupted as the cart girl clears her throat politely and Erin's victory ice cream is handed to her. Erin takes a lick, finding that victory ice cream seems to taste better than normal ice cream.
"Now Ez, here is the important question: will they charge us an extra ride ticket to bring my new BFF onto the ferris wheel?" She nods in the direction of the giant wheel halfway across the park.
"Your ice cold girlfriend will make sure it works out," Erin takes a commanding lick off her cone.
"I love you," Holtz says, genuinely.
"Love you too," Erin kisses her cheek.
The giant chinchilla is let onto the ferris wheel, no fantastic displays of markswomanship needed.