Kamara knew that Diamond Meadows was a hotspot within the city, but he didn know why they were going there at 10 oclock. From what he understood the park closed at least an hour ago.
”Why are we coming to a closed park? ” Kam asked as he got out of the car looking at the dark park entrance.
”You don know?! Omg, you
e in for such a surprise ” Day squealed in excitement when she heard Kam.
”Bro, I can believe you moved here and don even know about the Night Play. Well, allow good ole Deacon to tel- ”
”-Shut up Deacon, let him find out on his own like we did. Plus, I want to see his expression when we get their ” Day interrupted with a big smile on her face.
”Yea, It was kind of an impulsive move on my part. ” Kam laughed as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
”Umm guys are you sure we shouldn tell him, it can be kind of jarring at first, ” Berry said, her first time here was a culture shock.
”Itll be fine. Come on guys lets go, ” Amy said locking the doors to her car and heading towards the park entrance.
The group began to walk through the park. While the entrance to the park was pitch black as the group walked deeper in the lights got brighter and brighter. During this time the other four were joking and scurting around the topic of whatever Night Play meant.
At this point, Kam was wondering whether he was being set up by these four. He was really hoping that that wasn the case, he genuinely enjoyed hanging out with them the last few hours.
When he started seeing more groups of people with smiles on their faces as they went deeper into the park he calmed down a little, he felt safer with more people around.
After about ten minutes of walking the lights at the park were fully bright and he could see everything around him. While it was still creepy being inside a park at night, especially a large park like Diamond Meadows, he did feel safer. After a few more feet the group started hearing a rhythmic thumping sound and as they got closer Kam realized it was music playing.
The closer they got the louder the music got and the larger the smiles on the other fours faces got until eventually, they arrived at the central area of the park. This area, along with its other entrances, is gated off from the rest of the park, as it is primarily used for venues and festivals.
From what Kam knew the gate was only closed during these festivals and was opened any other time, but now it was closed. And there is a small line of people in front of it with two bulky men in black clothes standing in front with SECURITY printed on the front of their t-shirts. They are routinely checking peoples IDs before allowing them past the gate.
Past the gates, Kam could see huge colorful tents on either side of the concrete walkways. Some of the larger tents have signs on them, a few that he could make out are Tease, Henrys Drink Carousel, and Tiddleloo. The smaller tents he could see have small signs outside of their entrances, but he couldn read them from the distance.
As Kam followed the others into the back of the line he heard Day speak up.
”Welcome to the best place in the city, Night Play: The Adults Only Playground. ” She spread her arms out wide as she spoke facing away from the event and towards Kam. She had a large Cheshire smile on her face while she did so that made Kam feel like tonight was going to be much rowdier than he initially anticipated.
”Lets quickly get in line, we got here early so we didn have to wait so long. ” Deacon said quickly making his way towards the short line. The rest followed closely behind him
”Whats Night Play? I did some research on the Diamond Meadows before I moved but I never heard anything about it. ” Kam asked while he followed the group.
He was telling the truth, early that morning when he was researching the history of the world he had also researched the city a bit and had come across Diamond Meadows Park, but during that time he never saw anything about Night Play.
”Well, its kind of an open secret within the city, especially among people our age. You won find anything about it online, the City doesn necessarily promote it. And the locals like to keep it hidden to keep it from being too crowded. But if you are in any circles regarding drinking, clubbing, gambling, or sex work online you would be hard-pressed to not have heard of it. Honestly, when you said you could handle a drink earlier I figured you would probably know about it. ” Amy explained as she took out her ID from her purse.
The group was only three or four spots from the front of the line and everyone was getting their IDs out, Kam following suit.
”Just because I said I can handle my drinks doesn mean that I know about the Super Secret Nightlife in Aline ” Kam countered
”Well, I apologize for assuming. But regardless Im glad we get to see you experience it for the first time. The first time is always the most memorable, for a variety of reasons. ” Amy commented with a slight smile as she remembered her first time here.
”Yea, its a very good time. Though I don participate in everything like the other three I still have a good time going to the bars and gambling tents. If you want to experience the tamer side of Night Play, you can tag along with me. ” Berry offered with a welcoming smile.
”I might take you up on that offer, Berry ” Kam considered, to which Berry nodded.
By this time the group had made it to the front of the line and each showed the guards their IDs. But before Kam could show his ID Day whispered something in the left guards ear.
The large man nodded and asked ”Visitor or Resident. ”
”Resident ” Day said her smile getting larger.
The security guard chuckled before pulling out a small bag of green and yellow wristbands from his pocket. He fished into the bag and pulled out a green wristband before motioning for Kam to come forward. Kam walked towards the man and with a questioning look, looked between him, the wristband, and his friends. His friends had mischievous smiles on their faces, while the security guard had a similar smile.
”Let me see your ID ” he held out his hand.
Kam gave the plastic card to him. The security guard looked the card over for a second looking between Kam and the Card. He then continued to ask him about the details on the card and seeing as Kam got them all correct he gave the card back.
”Alright, Mr.Faye here is your first-timers wristband, this can be used to allow you to get free drinks at specific bars within the vicinity, one free lap dance at any of the strip clubs, a hundred credits worth of tokens that are valid at all of the gambling tents, and (should you chose) you can even use it for a special night with a luck lady at one of our satisfying houses. ” the security guard gave the wristband along with his ID back to him.
Kam looked at the man stunned as he held his items in his hands. He didn know how to process what he had just heard. The concept of the world benign so open about clubs, gambling, and sex work was so different for him.
While he was not averse to the idea, it was definitely a culture shock and something he would have to get used to. But before he could speak the security guard spoke up again.
”Oh, please just remember, this is all voluntary. If you feel that you are being maliciously pressured to do anything please notify anyone of our guards stationed through the even, and they will help you. Again I cannot emphasize this enough this is all voluntary it is one hundred percent acceptable to say no in all valid circumstances. Night Play is a place for enjoyment and relaxation, this and only this. I hope you have a wonderful time. ” The security guards gave Kam a friendly smile and motioned for him to walk by.
Kam numbly nodded his head before turning to his friends. He mouthed the words What the ** as he walked towards them. The four of them waved for him to hurriedly move to them.
”What the hell is this about? ” Kam whispered as he waved the green wristband about.
”It is something that all residents of the city get on their first entrance into Night Play. Think of it as a thank you, or a welcome in your case, for staying in the city. Visitors also get something similar, but its nowhere near as good, at most they receive a couple of drinks, twenty-five credits worth of tokens, and half off on one of the sex work deals. Honestly, if you are into that kind of thing its very welcoming. Im guessing you aren one of those people? ” Deacon answered Kams question while posing another.
”Honestly, I have no idea. Ive never been around it before. ” Kam thought for a second about if he really was interested in participating in some of these activities.
They had been considered mostly taboo in his last life, looked down upon by the majority. While it was starting to show signs of acceptance among the younger generation, he had died before any real progress was made.
”…Im willing to give it a try though. ” after some thought Kam decided that he might as well try it once, just to say he did. After that, he would decide if he would continue or not.
Once Kam said that the group of four smiled at him, causing Kam to smile back. Kam put his wristband on and put his ID back in his wallet, and looked back at his newfound friends.
”I guess we better get started then. First rounds on me! ” he shouted and was greeted with cheers from the group, Day being particularly happy.
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