When I was seven my grandfather and I would go to the carnival. I would ride the carousel over and over again, it IS my favourite ride. Correction it WAS my favourite ride.
The carnival was once my favourite place; a once a month get away from the eye twitching boys and cooties or whatever problems seven year old me had. I can recall one of my fondest memories. I was on the carousel and sat on my favourite animal, the ostrich. It was only my favourite because it was the furthest from the bench where either moms with crying babies or the crazy kissing teens sat. The guy who was running the ride wasn't paying attention and my grandfather let me stay on three times! The carnival was amazing.
I grew up, sadly but surely, and my grandfather and I grew apart. I still see him Christmas, thanksgiving and birthdays, but it's not the same. I'm now a twenty-seven year old living in St. John's with my boyfriend of four years. I'm also a journalist for the Outcast. I live the life!
Early this morning I was walking to work. It was a beautiful fall day. I saw the crisp red and yellow leaves falling as I walked by holding my pumpkin spice latte. My life is perfect!
I get to work and I get a call that my grandfather has passed away. I'm upset and confused and completely broken on the inside but the outside tells my boss I don't need the day off. I do need the day off. I'm not taking the day off. I remain at work and try to stay focused. Then we are assigned our weekly projects and I'm doing a story on the carnival I'm excited but ill with the news of my grandfather's death. I think doing this story will bring me some comfort, or maybe not.
As I arrived at the carnival grounds it didn't seem as mind blowing as I remembered. It reeked of grease. There was garbage everywhere, a disaster. Yet that disaster was comforting, like the smell knowing your grandad burnt dinner; disgusting and comforting.
As I was about to do my story everything around me was reminding me of my grandad. The clowns, then fortune tellers, the corn dogs, and the various rides. Regardless, I went on doing my job. At this point I realized I hadn't told my boyfriend about my grandfather's passing.
When I was walking past the Tilt-A-Whirl I looked at the man who was operating the ride and for that moment I was positive that it was my grandfather. I was instantly startled. I blinked and shook my head and he was gone. It was just my imagination, or that's what I told myself. A little later, I stopped to take pictures of a balloon making clown when all of a sudden I distinctly heard my grandfather say, "Do you want your balloon flower to be pink, your favourite colour?" This was to much! I quickly began too panic. My heart began to race and my chest was tightening. I immediately ran to the carousel. This was my safe place.
When I arrived, instinct told me to look for my grandfather. Not knowing or understanding why this was happening I just kept searching for him. He was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, I heard his distinct voice call out my name. ”Clara” he whispered .”Calm down and stop looking. I am right here.” With that, a figure appeared before me. It was the spitting image of my deceased grandfather.
“No, that can’t be you, grandad. You’re d-d-d… dead,” I stammered
“No, you have it all wrong. My organs are dead but my spirit isn’t,” he retorted.
I was so puzzled. I started to look around at the crowed carnival grounds and discovered that no one was around. The kids, the parents, the carnival operators, the clowns… they were all gone. It was only me and my grandfather.
?“Don’t be afraid Clara,” my grandfather said calmly. “let’s go for our last ride on the carousel together.”
?Although I was confused, I felt that something was urgng me to go. It was as though I was his marionette. He could pull a string and his and instantly became my seven year old self. We passed through the gates and I went straight for the ostritch. My grandfather lifted my petite body up on the seat and strapped me in. The music started and the carousel began to turn.
?As the carousel began to stop; I immediately became my twenty-seven year old self. In the blink of an eye my body started to disappear. I was so scared and looked over to see my grandad and he was gone. All that was left was a note saying “Clara, if you leave, the memories go to; so you will never leave.” in bold splotchy ink. As I read the note my body was almost completely gone. I was confused and afraid. I was screaming but no sound came out. Then for a second all was calm. Until I was sucked in to the carousel character wit a loud whooshing noise. That was it. I am no more.
?Now my life is confined within the walls of the carousel character. Nothing ever changes.
The carnival music never stops playing and the carousel never stops turning.