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“What the hell did you just say?” Aaron asked his avian friend, his tail curling up between the chair.
“Purple Spells Disperse Grey Cloudy Dreams,” Brent replied back, a smile on his fluffy face, “That’s what Mr. Eisner said about the new parade float. He said that it would have Queen Grimhilde over her cauldron, creating the poisoned apple to give to Snow White.You and I will have to get that thing working before the parade starts at 1:00 pm tomorrow. Thank God we have tonight to work on it.”
Aaron sipped a little more of his black coffee, the bitter taste making him grimace like it always did. He looked at his watch to make sure that he was still on his lunch break, and saw that he had 20 more minutes before he had to get back to the Epcot center. He was also glad his next break would be during the parade. He worked his ass off so he didn’t have to work in the parade.
A thought crossed his mind. “Do you have any idea if Susan is working near the entrance?”
“Susan?” Brent replied, gulping down a root beer within an uncomfortably fast amount of time, “You mean the short dragon girl at the entrance? Yeah, she is. Why?”
“I just want to give her a card since it’s her birthday coming up?” Aaron replied, his tail wagging back and forth fervently.
“Nah dude quit lying. We all know, since you two are dating, that you want to…(Brent looks around and sees many children around, then moves closer to Aaron) get it down in boogeytown with her.” Brent replied with a twinge of laughter in his voice.
Aaron blushed a little, knowing that Brent would say that, and then replied, “Yeah, that, but it is her birthday coming up, so I got her a card.” Aaron moved in his chair and, after a small scuffle with his jeans(“I swear to God they need to make these pockets larger,” he scoffed while Brent snickered.), pulled out the small 2 inch x 3 inch envelope, an outline of a card presenting itself. “I’ll probably give this to her before I have to get back to the Epcot center.”
Aaron then looked at his watch and saw that he had 10 minutes before break ended, so he told Brent he was heading to the entrance to meet Susan. As he got near the entrance, he saw a young red panda fall in front of Ella, who was playing Cinderella, and start to cry because he got a scrape on his knee. He saw Susan and, trying to rub off the frown he had and greeted her with a hug, even though he wanted to kiss her, but it was an unspoken rule here at the park.
“How ya doing,” he asked her, refraining himself from saying something cliché to her.
“My usual self, which is good,” she replied, her smile lighting up his heart. After they were done hugging, Susan turned towards the injured child and frowned towards the mother.
“I’m glad most of the children are already inside so I can say this: That women over there is a total cunt. She’s been complaining to Ella for the past 10 minutes because her son wasn’t getting a photo with her. Now she’s blaming her for her child falling down. I swear if this kid ends up being a dick to others in his later life I’m blaming it on his mom.”
“Man you women sure hate other women,” Aaron said back, a blank expression on his face. He thought by saying that he would get a little punch on the shoulder(if they were back at his place it probably would’ve been a slap on the face), but she just shrugged her shoulders.
“Drawing from my own experience, trying to reason with another woman, especially a mother of a young child, is like trying to reason with Stalin. They might listen to you, but they would rather put you somewhere else and want to tear you shreds before they would listen to you.” Susan remarked back, her eyes wandering from the child to a Dip-and-Dots vendor parallel from her. She hadn’t had Dip-and-Dots in a while, and the thought of getting one once her shift ended started to take centerfold in her mind. Aaron’s coughing due to his asthma brought her back to reality. Aaron took out his inhaler and took a huge breath before releasing the trigger. His lungs expanded as the medicine took effect.
“God asthma is like the poor-man’s cancer. It’s not visible on the outside, but man is it visible on the inside,” Aaron remarked as he sat down on a bench to rest for a very small amount of time. Susan stood next to him, greeting guests as they came into the Magic World. She gave him a few small pats on the back as reassurance, which he appreciated. It’s what he liked her: even though she came off as intimidating, she was friendly when you talked to her and cared for the people around her.
Aaron then checked his inhaler and saw that it was empty. “Fuck,” he muttered to himself and then looked at Susan.
“Hey since me and Brent are working on that float tonight, do you mind if you get one of the refills that I have in my medicine cabinet? I’ll give you one of the spare keys to my apartment. Call me when you have it.”
She agreed, and he gave her one of the silver spare keys with a Dali mustache on it(it was a sticker, as Aaron loved Dali) and gave her a hug.
“Are you sure I won’t come in to see just copies of Dali paintings littered about and maybe a copy of Destino lying around?” she said sarcastically. He smiled and responded, “No, just the Destino dvd and two reprints of Dali’s works, ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Hand.’ Don’t touch them, as those were pretty costly(around $50 each).”
As he left she waved to him, her smiling burning an image of happiness in his heart.

   After his shift at Epcot was done, and once the park had shut its doors for the night, Aaron walked briskly towards the warehouse that housed the parade floats. He passed by the statue of Walt Disney himself, looked at it for a bit, then walked on. He came to work here due to a friend’s mention of a job offering in the phone, and a week after being interviewed he got the job. He always loved animation as a kid, especially the independent creators like the UPA, Don Bluth, Ralph Bakshi, and many others. He felt that he could escape himself and the small Ohio town he lived in, which would not have anything go on, which became an inside joke between him and his classmates. He would always joke that there was so little going on in small town Ohio that the next big headline from the local newspaper was how a  local little league’s team did well after 10 seasons of losses, and then were found out to be scamming the other teams and eventually forfeiting all of their wins.
   These things dispersed as the cranky and noisy doors to the warehouse zoomed into Aaron’s ears, and the voice of Brent calling out to him.
   “‘Eyo, smartass,” Brent said, “Meet the next Einstein at Epcot?”
   “No, but did you meet your crackdealer?” Aaron remarked back with a smug look on his face.
   “Hey that person was breaking the rules that you can’t spread ashes here. The wind blew just in the precise way where it got into my face. Thought the ashes would come alive and try to bury their memories in with mine.” Brent was a little ticked, but brushed it off as the two hopped onto the float to get everything rigged up.
   “So what are going to make the smoke color with?” Aaron asked, the fur on his arms already covered in fur, “Are we gonna make it with Disperse red 9 or Violet?”
   Brent, after making sure the hydraulics were in working shape, replied, “Violet. Manager said it would make it spookier.”
   The two men worked on the float for the next two hours, making sure that everything was in order. The final act was to make sure the smoke worked as intended.
  “Alright,” Aaron said to Brent, who was holding the controls, “let ‘em rip.”
   Brent nodded and pressed the on switch. A churning sound came from the underbelly of the float, as if the thing was groaning. Then, as if a volcano cam alive, purple smoke started to flow its way down, eventually, in the span of three minutes, covering the small warehouse. Aaron was pleased with this, even though he thought this much smoke was unnecessary, but he didn’t have a say in it.
   As he went to call out for Brent to shut it off, a shadow in the smoke caught his eye. It stood about 20 yards away from him, standing with something in its right arm. Aaron’s security instinct took in as he called out, “HEY! You’re not supposed to be here!”
   “What is it?” Brent replied, an unease in his voice crawling out. Aaron could hear his footsteps heading towards the stairs.
   As he was about to tell Aaron what was going on, the figure then started to ran towards him, in which the only two things he could discern was an agape mouth and a noose, which quickly surrounded his neck. It locked on tight, and dragged him towards the float, near the cauldron. Aaron’s voice couldn’t cry out for help, almost as if it was lost in the smoke with him. The figure then stopped near the cauldron, and looked at the lamppost above the cauldron. It quickly took off the lamp and tied the noose around the post. Aaron was now in full panic mode, squirming and trying to hit the figure, but his fists seemed to always miss the figure. As the figure finished tying the noose, it then stepped back to watch Aaron squirm.
   Aaron knew he didn’t have much time before he lost consciousness, so he grabbed the robe and pull it off him, but it was as if it was made of metal, unmoving. His breathing became more rapid, which was starting to trigger his asthma. As he felt his body go limp, an arm materialized out of the smoke and grabbed him, somehow freeing him from the noose. A shriek could be heard from behind the two men as they ran outside, closed the door to the warehouse, and sank onto the ground.
   “Brent,” Aaron coughed out with as much energy he could, “Call Susan and tell her to get here immediately with my refill.”
   Brent scrambled to get the phone from Aaron and dialed Susan in a hurry. After ten minutes, Susan, along with a small security team, ran towards the two men, Aaron barely breathing, but still conscious. He grabbed his inhaler and took a whiff.
   “Asthma’s still a bitch,” he remarked to lighten the mood, the security team going in to stop the smoke. The three people started for the exit, knowing that they could go home after such an incident.

Aaron, even though getting about 3 hours of sleep, came back to Disney World the next day, a look of gloom on his face. He tried to wipe the memory of last night out of his mind while working, but he couldn’t. He could still feel the burns of the rope on his neck.
   Like the day before, he went to the same place where him and Brent talked to each other. To his surprise, Brent was already there with Susan, their faces looking like they’ve been through a warzone.
   “Hey,” Aaron said quietly to them, “How’s...How’s it going?”
   Susan was the first to speak after a minute of silence, “Not well. I’m surprised you didn’t hear what happened this morning.”
   “Wait, what happened,” Aaron said back, a look of discomfort and suspicion on his face.
   Brent’s wings drooped a little as he spoke, “The handyman, Randy, was found hung on the float. He went to check up on it about 4 hours after we left, just around the time the park opened, and someone went to check on him 10 minutes later and saw his body hanging there. They decommissioned the float and are currently investigating the incident.”
   Aaron jaw wanted to drop, but because of last night it wouldn’t. Sad as it was to hear Randy being killed, he was glad that the float was being decommissioned, so as not to endanger others.