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The carnival was set to end in disaster
in a manner reminiscent of the season finale
of Stranger Things
and the beloved Jim Hopper
appearing to die in heroic self-sacrifice.
The town mayor, having recently been displaced
for his inability to lie,
was in the beer tent recording his predictions
which would form the basis
of his future best-selling novel.
The children had been excited to see
neon, cartoon faces, candyfloss, and hear
the enticing thud of repeated chord sequences
blast out over the recreation ground
casting a net across the town.
The mayor’s successor, in an interview with
the local Herald attributed
his victory to his love of the people,
he needed no other reward than their admiration
and his photograph circulated as widely as possible.
His flagrant display of social interest
culminated in his riding the Ferris wheel
with two disabled children,
having first bought them each candyfloss
with his own personal money.
Mary-Jane, a red-haired thirty-something, in
ripped jeans with pale skin reminiscent
of her Spiderman namesake,
subdued by and stuck to the arm
of a thick-set truck driver,
flashed the new mayor with eyes that said
I need a job please mister
so I can escape, and he asked her
underneath the claustrophobic heat,
to come to his office
on Monday and be sure to wear a skirt
cut above the knee.
His self-satisfactory genius had been the source
of his smile, captured moments before
the Ferris wheel car
carrying the same disabled children
on their second turn and a young couple
from out of town, fell from its full height
and plummeted down,
killing, injuring, and terrifying many.
Upon enquiry, blame was placed
with an unchecked mechanical fault,
the new mayor fought to
“un” circulate his photograph taken
with the dead children;
when asked to comment on the tragedy
his words of condolence were
worthy of the T.S Eliot prize,
although his expense claim for that month
detailed two entries of ‘candyfloss’.
I hammer loudly
on a toilet door,
like a kid eating sweets instead of their tea
or not looking when crossing the road.
There is a pile as high as the Shard
of people who are not me,
some of them have PhDs
and breasts that
stay up on their own,
some of them are nineteen.
The thing I think about
when I’ve been drinking gin or sniffing things –
how much I want to inhale your skin,
knowledge I cannot get from books.
The words are still
urgency I don’t understand,
anyone could guess
I’ll stay in my little space –
hemmed in by white lines –
and say, it’s enough,
as you become
Rachael is a fiction writer and poet based in Lincolnshire, UK. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Lincoln, and has work published or forthcoming with Truffle, can we have our ball back?, Burning House Press, Streetcake Magazine, Hedgehog Poetry, The Centifictionist, Horla, Bratum Books, and Fly on the Wall Press. Her microfiction has been nominated for the anthology Best Microfiction 2020. Follow her on Twitter @rachaelg2601 or Instagram @rachaelcharlottewriter
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