Our arrival was majestic! Neon lights glimmered from the freshly polished chrome on our bicycles. The blaring music heralded our arrival. The joyous crowd swamped us. A throng of friends dashed toward us, greeting us, pointing madly in all directions as they escorted us to purchase our rides. Tickets, safely guarded in hip pockets, we proceeded to inspect the teeming grounds. A wonder, it exceeded our most romantic visions. It was everything we hoped and imagined. Adults became children and happy children floated joyously above the dance. Prizes bulged from every arm. Lights and music entranced a meandering crowd. Like them, time lost in a fugue, we flitted from ride to ride, snacked a bit and played a few games. I was not very coordinated but my sister loved and excelled at the dart toss.
Sadly, we realized we had come to hold one ticket apiece and enough for but one snow cone. Time seemed a cruel sour puss. It was terribly too early to end our fun. Shutting off the music, lights and laughter felt mean spirited and unfair. We strolled, sat and watched; biding time. My wicked sister snuck behind the dart game. When a dart did not stick and fell to the ground, she snatched it up and slipped it into the little straw bag she had won by rolling golf balls into their lowest numbered slots. We followed our friends who seemingly enjoyed bottomless pockets.
Time ran out. Forlorn, we headed for our last ride. It was decided the ferris wheel was the most inspiring. We would use our last tickets on this orbital tramway to and from the stars. At its peak we could see village to ocean, while crowds below gasping and upturned awaited their own ascension. We purchased a snow cone to enjoy on the ride. I fancied orange, She, grape! With but one cone we chose to mix flavors.
As we approached the wheel, it was announced the ride would close after the next group of passengers. Toward the end of the line, we grew anxious. A quick head count defined more people ahead of us than cars available. We were desperate not to be left behind. Desperate, we traded the darts and all our prizes for one of those spots on line. We boarded the wheel. Triumph and happiness filled us. Our attendant threw us a bold “thumbs up”. As if reading our minds, he drew the wheel to a halt as we reached its highest point. He held us there, inordinately, knowing how special this moment was to us. We teetered and I swung the car, teasing the kids beneath us. Below, the village, woods and ocean appeared seamless and without boundary. Summer sky dense with, low clouds enshrouded us in glowing mystic fog. Before us, the world seemed at peace. As the hoop-la below became static background, I felt alone, content and quiet.
It was then I began to wonder about gravity. It was then my clever sister decided to see if she could drop the ice from our cone, and while in transit, catch it again. As the ride continued, our car dropped, rocking wildly. We waited, and when we had once more reached the top, we chucked our slimy mess over the side of the car. On the trip down; no ice! On reaching the bottom; no ice! Looking behind us, I realized we had bombarded the spooning couple in the next car with our cone. He was shaking and swearing, demanding the ride be stopped. He was wet, angry, and wanted to get us. Their night “ruined”, and with his rage uncontained, we giggled and twittered nervously with secret delight. He did look a little dopey in front of his date! Laughing robustly, the young man at the controls pulled the machine to a halt just as our car touched down. As we disembarked, he cast us a quick wink along with a head start. He became a comical collaborator as the crowd laughed, applauded and flashed us the peace sign. The man dressed in snow cone began chasing us. Our retreat was beat with haste and with time to spare. We reached our trusty two wheel metallic steeds and hastened a grand exit into the moonlight. Upon reaching home, we tip toed, chuckling to our rooms. From afar, a siren’s song wafted. Once, a seductive trill, it seemed to whisper, “Sleep now”. “Sleep now”.
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