The Misadventures of Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep looked around. One minute, she was tending her sheep in a vast green meadow; the next she was surrounded by tall buildings and loud vehicles buzzing around at super speeds. She felt a nudge against her calf and looked down to see the black face and egg-shell white coat of Serta, the littlest of her sheep. He was staring up at her with questioning eyes.
“I don’t know where we are either, Serts,” Peep said tragically. These things happened from time to time in The Land – a rift in space and time would open up and transport its inhabitants to undisclosed locations. It had something to do with too much fantasy in the air, or some such thing. Peep never really paid that much attention to her lessons.
One thing she did know, however, was that she had to get home to Fairytale Pastures. Gripping her shepherd’s crook in one hand she scratched Serta’s head as the two set off in the unknown land.
The ground they walked on was hard and black, the sky a sickly shade of gray. People were dressed so strangely – black slacks and button-up shirts on both women and men. They all looked at her with confused or curious glances but quickly looked away when she met their eyes. These same oddly dressed people dined in fancy restaurants with crystal chandelliers and white tablecloths. The buildings which didn’t look like farms of homesteads were packed narrowly together and reached up into the sky like spires. The giant metal vehicles whirred back and forth between them, occasionally emitting a loud “honk!” at unsuspecting foot traffic.
She saw a sign on one of the buildings that read “Liquor and Coffee” which she assumed made that building a tavern She went inside looking for a table but all she saw was a long bar with stools lined up against it. Despite the raised eyebrows and nervous chuckles aimed in her direction, she marched resolutely up to the bar.
“Hello, I’m lost,” she told the barkeep.
“Oh,” he responded, “You must be looking for Pasteur’s Arena on 22nd and Main.”
Pastures Arena? She’d never heard it called that before, but the description seemed to fit. Maybe they just had different names for things in this world. So she nodded to the barkeep and asked him for directions. When he finished, she placed a large bronze coin on the bar counter and left with Serta. The little sheep made a worried bleat but Peep reassured him that they were going home. Shrugging his wooly shoulders gently, Serta ambled after the rushing Peep, doing what sheep do best.
Twenty-second and Main turned out to be nearby and as Peep approached she saw outfits more akin to what she was used to. Girls were wearing poof-skirts and corsets with little bonnets and Mary-Jane shoes, while men had tunics, leggings and swords.
“Hi!” Peep said, poking one girl in a pink and white floral dress, “My name is Little Bo Peep. Can you tell me where I am?”
“Ohhhhhh …” squealed the girl, “You DO look like Little Bo Peep! And you’ve even got a real sheep with you! What a cutie! Can I take a picture with you?”
Peep’s mouth dropped open, “Uh thanks, his name’s Serta…and sure?” She responded to the second question.
One of the girl’s friends ran over with a camera and she threw her arm around Peep’s back and gave the camera a cheesy grin. “Make sure to get the sheep!” She called out to her friend.
‘Click’ went the camera.
The girl was talking a mile a minute, “I don’t think you’ll get in there with Serta though. There’s a no-dogs policy.”
Peep looked at the girl, “Where’s here?”
“Pasteur’s Arena, of cours, for SuperAnime Con!” The cute girl bubbled, biting her lip confusedly. When Peep gave her a blank stare she said, more hesitantly, “Washington, D.C.?”