As I walked through the woods,the trees danced and swayed before me. Leaves stretched up to the sky, like the fingers of an indian woman, begging for rain. Drops of water fell, catapulting from the clouds, only to crash to the ground. The old amusement park loomed ahead. I watched the rain bounce off the rusty ferris wheel and land on the roof of the mirror house.
The vendor carts waited for somebody to remove them from their muddy graves. Time and weather had shown them no mercy, as the umbrellas were torn apart, stripped of all their former beauty. All the food inside was either stolen by the wildlife or gone rotten. The stench had long been washed away.
The games had been vandalized, the graffiti was beautiful in it’s own twisted sort of way. This was not art, it was an expression. The emotions conveyed in them weren’t love, or happiness, it was anger, hate, and absolute terror. Somebody really hurt had came here, the lines were crude, the colors were red and angry. Spray cans littered the ground, blues, greens, greys, and reds decorated the dirt.
The words, threats, to be exact, littered the walls. Some were pictures, depicting men with a glock to their head, tears in their eyes. Others depicting music artists.
That was what we got, in a city full of angry thugs, with guns and a decent artistic talent. Angry graffiti. Call it what you want, but you could never call it empty. Sighing, I picked up a red can off the ground, and made a tiny picture of my own. In the small space between the words “Life is cruel, so be crueler,” and a cartoon XXXTentation, I drew a peace sign. Underneath, I carefully sprayed the words, “Love solves all problems.” I dropped the can and began walking again.
I looked around. The rain had stopped, clouds were disappearing, but so was the sun. It was getting dark. A raccoon darted in front of me. Startled, I gasped, jumping back. That’s when I realized the park wasn’t abandoned at all, it was inhabited. A whole world, made of what ours had discarded.
Full of art, a whole nother universe had been created in the span of a few years. The ferris wheel, mirror house, vendor carts, and vandalized games, they had all become a new dimension. Smiling, I walked to the back of the park, to the decayed carousel. I climbed onto the bench, shielded from the world, peaceful and quiet.
The sun drifted away, like the wind was whisking it to the other side of our enormous planet. The moon poked out from the tops of the trees surrounding the park, illuminating the whole area like a giant flashlight. But, with every flashlight, there comes a shadow behind you.
This fell over just behind the end of the park. I did not fear this shadow. It was a friend to me. I crept along the edge of the forest, keeping quiet, listening to the wind, calling out to the trees, to the park, to the wildlife, to me. “Come,” it sang. “Come to the edge, come fly with me.”
I reached the waterpark, breathing in the smell. Chlorine, mixed with rust and a homey, Earthy scent. I glanced around. A shed containing the tubes for the lazy river, the splash pad, the wave pool, and the lifeguard tower stood in front of me. I paused.
“What are you waiting for? Follow me.” The wind whistled. It drove me to the lifeguard tower. I climbed to the top. Pulling my jacket closer around me, i shivered. Wind was cold, much like the hearts of the people in this world. But strangely, in this small existence, in this closed off park, eerie and forgotten, it was warm, inviting, it called… no, it screamed my name. Like the wolf is drawn to the moon, i was drawn to the park.
The wind howled, pushing me this way, then that way. I laughed. It sang, a melody only those who listened could hear. This night, this chilly, September, fall, night, I was the only human being listening.
The chords wafted around me. I heard the rise and fall of the music, the sweet sound of air blowing through every nook and cranny of this park. It crooned a ballad of love, of pain, of hurt, and finally, of peace.
Tears came to my eyes, but I wasn’t sure if it was caused by the music or the stinging wind. I descended from the tower, fast and quietly, as quiet as a mouse hiding from the mighty cat. Myself, the mouse, the world, the cat.