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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)

in the hush of the moon

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5 responses

  1. broken. i work with many kids that have been sexually abused…and that is where my mind took me…it burns the pit of my stomach to think about…your writing is excellent though and that darkness has to be cracked…for if we ignore it it just continues to go on…

    September 16, 2010 at 6:53 am

  2. Melissa

    your writing is beautiful. Your words are heart breaking. You write of a sad reality that leaves me longing, praying for change.
    Bless You today.

    September 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

  3. oh friend… your words are power. this was so good, so stripped and raw and beautiful in its pain. thank you for helping us to reflect. you have such a gift.

    September 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  4. at first i was mad at you for writing this. after the first read, there was a pit in my stomach. your words kept echoing through my mind. so then, i stopped being mad and started to pray. i prayed for those who are trafficked and abused. i’m sure your powerful words will continue to haunt my brain, calling me to prayer. i’m not mad at you anymore, but rather grateful for a reminder to pray for those in hard places. thank you.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:24 am

    • I appreciate this, you expressing your anger. I felt something pulling me back from writing it, but the images keep spinning in my mind and I knew I had to do something with them. I am so happy it brought you to pray. I guess sometimes God makes us do uncomfortable things for a reason.

      September 19, 2010 at 3:28 am

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