this is fiction
I sit at a white desk
it has paint smears and pencil marks
my chair is black aluminum frame.
I make fiction from real life
trade in a document for a grade
here it is
The carnival is brightly lit with different coloured lights. Stuffed toys dangle from tents, hosting games for a dollar.
Toss a pingpong in a can, throw a baseball at some bottles.
Guessing games and fishing games.
Money into pockets.
Trailers selling food, kettle corn and caramel corn. Hot dogs on a stick and coloured ice in a cone.
Many of her classmates have candy floss and glossy apples. Sugar rotting at teeth, like maggots eating flesh.
and the rides, Oh the rides.
The ferris wheel is the king. Towering over children and teens.
It keeps the music going, faded out by screams and laughter.
The ground is decorated with red tickets and littered wrappers.
A clown dances around, crunching dropped kernels under foot.
She avoids him, his goofy smile sends a chill up her spine.
She comes here alone, with hopes of riding the teacups.
She had seem a film, where girls sat in them and spun around. The girls were beautiful and they wore fancy dresses. They laughed and smiled. She wanted that.
So she waits until her parents have grown tired of fighting and fall into a drunk slumber. She puts on her favorite dress. The one she wears on Sunday. The hem has come undone and pocket hangs on by a few stitches, but it is a soft blue and the closet thing to what the pretty girls wore in the film.
She creeps out of the house on tip toes and runs down the street towards bright lights and whizmical sounds. At the entrance they are taking money. So she slips under the coloured flags, behind the big trailers and gets lost in the crowd.
The toothy woman checking seat belts asks for a ticket. Pockets empty she is asked to leave. She bashfully gets up from her seat in the pink cup, but she can’t go home yet. The carnival is like nothing she’s ever seen in real life.
Children from her class are here with mums and dads. Parents carry prizes. Children whine and point at the next best thing.
They don’t notice her.
That she is there alone.
That her dress is tattered and her shoes scuffed.
She wanders around taking it all in.
Then she sees it.
A white porcelain face, brown ringlets tumbling out of bonnet, and set in glass eyes. They glitter in the lights. Her dress is perfect, soft silk or satin with lace edging. And the daintiest black shoes. Mary-Janes in miniature.
Approaching the bench for a closer look, the man running the booth takes note of the lost girl. He sees that she has come alone. Then he looks her over. Her skin looks so soft, and her shoulder delicate, shown bare where hand-me-down dress falls off her frame. Her sweet innocent frame. His gaze ventures to her face, her eyes look playful and dreamy, he follows them to the doll hanging in his booth.
She sees him looking at her and smiles. His face is furry and his clothes look gruff. But something about him reminds her of her grandfather. She walks confidently up to the man and asks how much to play.
He crouches down to her level, her breath is sweet like milk and cookies, and her hair smells like flowers. She speaks so soft. She wants to play for the doll, but has no money.
Then without anyone noticing, both man and girl are heading towards the trailer behind the booth.
And the carnival carries on. The lights, the music, the laughter.
The clown is now handing out balloons to kids with sticky fingers. His eyes are crazy and wild. The teacups stop spinning. All the patrons exit to the left. A teenage boy is sick in a garbage pail.
From the top of the ferris wheel the little girl can be seen on a dim lit street . She carries the beautiful doll by its arm. Her clothes are ruffled and she drags her feet. Her hair is a mess and her cheeks are streaked with tears. The doll’s glass eyes no longer sparkle, they just stare at her. They look ashamed. She stuffs a sleeve in her mouth to muffle her sobs and trudges on back home.
my stomach turns when I think that this came from my mind
that my imagination goes to places that don’t impress
places of sadness
where endings are not happy
where people don’t come away with a smile
but this is what I wrote.
(linking up with emily’s imperfect prose)
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