Of Murder and Minidonuts

Scott Pearson

The screaming didn’t start until after the incident with the corn dog, which had been precipitated by the minidonut situation. Kate Sullivan and her nineteen-year-old, Max, had been walking down crowded Judson Avenue at the Minnesota State Fair when she realized what was happening with the minidonuts.
       Using her best scolding-mom voice, Kate said, “Just what do you think you’re doing?” She had to raise her voice to be heard above the din of the fair—they were surrounded by thousands of fairgoers, many of them teenagers yelling into cell phones. On top of that, music blared from a nearby booth sponsored by a local rock station, vendors cajoled passersby to buy their wares, and a loudspeaker in the distance goaded people to try a death-defying Sling Shot ride at Adventure Park. It was hard to say what dominated more, the sounds or the smells; the air was thick with the scent of deep-fryers and people sweating in the late-summer heat.
       Max, his sun-bleached blond hair hanging in his blue eyes, froze for a second with his fingers still in his mouth, where he had just stuffed a minidonut. He held the greasy waxed-paper bag of fresh hot donuts in his other hand. Pulling his fingers out of his mouth, he said, “What?” with a puff of cinnamon and sugar. . . .

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