On the fifth day, Dahlia follows Mina around the amusement park. The stalking hadn’t been a planned affair, but somehow seemed inevitable. There was that way Mina kept her hair tied up in elastic, fingers red and constantly in the company of each other, that manner of looking shaken-up and in need of a shaking-down. Mina the waif. Mina the lurching urchin. It keeps Dahlia nearby.
The amusement park Mirana, a seaside collection of spit-bright surefooted young’uns and their mechanical rolling counterparts, fossilized plum-colored planks twisting up in dramatic curlicues, emanating a suffocating blue heat. The Italian owner had had space divvied up and colored in the style of his home country: Dahlia’s quick eye spots Mina the fiend disappearing into the golden boughs of Toscana.
Tracing her steady voyage, it’s easy to see where she’s headed. At eleven in the morning, when Dahlia had started following her, she’d been in blue-white Sicilia, onwards to Calabria (all-you-can-eat pizza, Miss Oliver Twist has seconds and thirds), Basilicata, Campania (fun house in which Dahlia catches a thousand reflections of Mina in as many scalloped mirrors), Lazio, Umbria, leading up to Toscana. It’s a trip marked by indications, which Mina reads aloud as she passes them, taking care to step only on the orange tiles of the color-alternating path:
THIS WAY TO FLORENTINE FERRIS WHEEL ((Hello lovely blog readers (all six of you), Emma here, à la glorious footnote. National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow! Please wish me luck and fruitcakes.))