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Two by Two
October 5th, 1889 — Pumpkin Regatta — Black Lake

A no-magic allowed rowing competition was exactly the sort of event where Alfred could really shine, and he was eager to participate in this one — although he could have done without the whimsy of using an over-large gourd as his boat, if he were being honest. Rowing competitions with normal boats wouldn't exactly have drawn a large crowd of spectators, he supposed, so it was a necessary evil. Still, he couldn't help but think as he looked it over that their ride across the lake would be a bit... slimy.

He'd left the decorations to Pablo, and was admiring them now before the race began. Alfred had been raised Christian, of course (as had most of the country), so he knew the story of Noah's Arc. It was appropriately thematic, he felt — the two of them climbing into a boat designed to save a pair of animals from a disaster that killed literally everything else. Maybe he was looking at it a little too morbidly, though. Maybe Pablo had just thought it was a nice story, or he'd just fancied carving some animals into a pumpkin. Perhaps it was best that Alfred not read too much into it.

"It looks good," he commented to his friend. It looked good, anyway, while bobbing innocuously in the shallow water near the shore. He imagined it would look quite silly when they actually got it underway — the pumpkin wasn't exactly designed to cut through the water well, which meant they'd spent at least some of their time twirling in circles until they managed to get it moving the right direction. Everyone else was bound to have the same problem, though, and at least Alfred thought he knew what to do about it to get them started in something sort-of resembling a straight line.

"Ready to get in?"

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