Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the twenty-fourth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s piece is a 773-worder by Cindy Vaskova.
Fragments from the past
Joss bent a little and carefully passed through the hole in the fence.
It was a bit cold so she zipped her jacket.
She took a few steps before stopping.
It’s here alright, she thought looking at the construction before her.
It appeared as a black silhouette on the pale background of the sky painted with only a few lost clouds and the sun somewhere in their hug.
The rusty rails of a rollercoaster still stood tall, but the train which ran on them was long gone. She could still remember the loud noise it made, the joyful screams it gathered as it descended.
She turned around. To her left there was another construction, mostly demolished. She knew what it belonged to – the Giant Ferris wheel.
Only its foundations were still there, and the torn seats from a few of the cabins thrown on the ground.
The multiple lights that glimmered in the night from the body of this giant monster of beauty were captured in her mind.
She easily drew the lines of the wheel in her imagination, put the seats there, filled them with people and made it spin slowly, revealing a spectacular view of the city in the far distance.
Joss smiled but her smile was sorrow.
This truly was the place of her amusement park, the one from her childhood. Or it once was.
She first came here with her father, than on several school trips.
That was twelve years ago.
Today the colorful attractions had turned into a few piles of junk, scattered around a field with dry and lifeless grass.
Nevertheless she remembered how it used to look back in the day.
Joss continued walking.
When she was little she needed hours to go on each one of the rides.
There were 43 attractions.
She started naming her favorites in her mind: the Star Fire, the Flume River, Indie’s train, the Flying Dutchman, the Crazy Castle, the Music Express, and… She looked up at the late sky. Where she stood now used to be the most extreme and terrifying attraction in the park – the Tower.
Once upon a time you scary giant rose here too, she thought, looking up at the invisible construction of the Tower.
“Once upon a time you were all here,” she repeated, this time with a spoken whisper.
It was the happiest day of her life, her first visit. It was summer, end of school days; she ran under the sun all afternoon, and ate ice cream. Cherry flavored.
The amusement park was the only place she felt truly happy.
Surrounded by all the people, their laughter, their joy made her feel like she was home. She felt loved.
There were no tears, no worries, nothing bad or fearful.
For Joss the true meaning of life was captured in those few hours of fun and play.
She used to believe that she had found that very special place where her heart would feel eternal happiness and which will bring a smile on her face every time she comes back to it. That’s what home was – a place to come back to.
Then a few months later it was taken away from her, doors shut down, buildings and constructions demolished and turned to scrap, to garbage.
Land property issues, they’d said in the newspapers, a false contract.
She looked at the dead field again with tears steaming her eyes. It was empty like her heart was for some time.
She wiped them as they rolled down her cheeks. She had no reason to be here anymore.
Everything was gone.
As the sky had almost darkened Joss walked away refusing to take the memory with her, and left the amusement park back through the hole in the fence.
With her departure, a strong wind blew through the lonely place.
Out of her sight, in a three-mile radius, radio stations sped up then slowed down and buzzed with a weird noise before turning off.
White noise danced on TV screens.
On the field the echo of a child’s laughter passed. Other laughs followed, it growing louder.
Music started playing as the Ferris wheel span slowly, suddenly stopping a kissing couple at the top.
Many children ran around, pulling their parents’ hands towards some magical ride that caught their sight.
A little girl with a cherry-flavored ice cream stood near the entrance looking at the distancing figure of a woman. She waved and smiled to her as past and present mixed together, then ran towards the rollercoaster in this parallel world of memories, followed by her dad.
The wind ceased.
The field was dark and empty.
I asked Cindy what prompted this piece and she said…
A few days ago as cleaning some forgotten boxes I found an old flyer of this amusement park I used to go to. Several years ago it got closed, sadly. But the colorful drawing of the attractions on it made me remember how much fun I had there. I figured out this park must have made so many kids feel joy and afterwards when it got closed all of them probably felt robbed somehow. I know I would feel like that. So I thought this monument of the past, of excitement and laughs should be put down in words. A story should be told.
Thank you Cindy. I loved it, especially the idea of the clouds and sun hugging. :)
Cindy is a first year student in Journalism. Other than that normal bit of her life, she writes short fiction stories – every Friday, and has a novel in progress in the background to which she dares go near from time to time. Cindy has her own blog, where she posts her writings, while doing some tweeting in between.
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