Trip to the Fair

I was the last of us to go through the turnstile. From the other side, the fairground had been bright and noisy, but from this side… grey, silent. Of my friends or anyone else, there was no sign. I was alone.

I walked among the rides. Dead leaves lay on the damp pavement. Paint peeled from buildings in large, ragged strips. Pennants and canvas, faded and tattered, hung motionless.

The carousel in the fairground’s center lay in ruins, no longer on its bearings, the mounts tearing loose from its platform, its music and laughter long dead. I gingerly crossed the slanted deck and peered into the operator’s cabin. The cobwebs testified to its disuse.

It was the same everywhere: bumper cars, Laff in the Dark, Wild Mouse, The Comet. Spider webs and rust and splinters of broken glass. Rotting, moss-covered wood. Cracked brickwork. And a greyness that seemed to swallow everything.

The silence was punctured by a tortured metallic shrieking. From where I stood, I could see the carousel. It was beginning to turn.

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