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Carousel: Part 1 of 3

By 09:51:00 , , , , , , ,

This is my entry (with a few changes) for this months future home school authors writing competition. There is still a week to go to enter if you want. I will post it in parts because a 2340 word blog post is just to long. This story happens in the world and time of the story I am currently writing. (Called "The Relinquished") The world, or the known part anyway is called Elsewhere. 

I have been making this picture for a long time and finally got around to finishing it so I could use it on this post.

So here is part one of; Carousel

Eyes wide with excitement and mouths agape the twins walked towards the carousel. The moment they had wished for all their short lives had come. They stood with many other children in front of the greatest carousel in all of Elsewhere. A week ago their lives had changed in a moment when Father walked into the room announcing that the fair had arrived in town and he had bought tickets for the last night. Gillian had dropped her book with a thud and Colin had been gabby about the fair ever since.

The sun lingered in the sky, glinting off the magnificent scrollwork and shining on the smooth carousel creatures. Everyone knew they did not really exist, but one could almost believe that they could, or did once, the two young children found it especially easy. These creatures, unicorns some called them, were so beautiful, nothing like the camels everyone rode, or the twargs and goats. They were daintier, nobler, than any real creature. The colour of the twisting pole of each beast corresponded to their one twisted horn that glowed in the sunlight.

Children clambered onto the carousel, the line grew rapidly shorter as children left to choose a mount, Colin glanced at Gillian with eyes shining. “We’ll be on next round Jill; will you take one on the outside row? I want one on the inside that moves up and down as well as round.”

“D’know Col, any’ll do, I just wish they were real, that we had creatures like that in Elsewhere. Wouldn’t riding one of those be grand, one that really moved.”

“How would you stay on though? There’s no hump to hold onto and their horn is too far forwards,” Col replied.

“Oh I think if they were t’let us, then we wouldn’t fall, they’d make sure of that,” Jill whispered.

The unicorns began to spin slowly around, the inside two rows rising up and down again. Faster and faster they spun, until if you watched just one place a creature could be seen, white, striding along tossing its head, moving through the poles as if in a dance. The laughter and shouts of children’s joy echoed out, mingling with the song and strings of a jet black haired harpist sitting against a nearby tree. Watching adults smiled, listening to the music while their children enjoyed the carousel.

All too soon the music faded and the mysterious unicorn disappeared. The carousel became still once again, except for the children swarming off it. Col grabbed his sister’s hand and ran towards the carousel.

Col twisted between the unicorns until he came to one wearing green. A light green saddle rested on a darker cloth with silver tassels hanging from the edges. Col smiled and ran his hand over the beast’s neck feeling the hard smoothness and then touching the real leather and cloth.

“I wonder why all your outfit’s not made of the same cool, hard stuff as you are? Perhaps to make it feel more real. I would think that having real tack makes you much harder to clean.” Col thought back to the many evenings he spent beside his father polishing metal buckles and rubbing fat into leather until it shone.  Col settled himself into the saddle and reached forward to touch the headstall. Fine chains of what looked almost like real silver and the softest shimmering cords made up the headstall. He sat back and straightened his shoulders. Fitted out with such finery, he could be a lord riding on a steed.

Jill likewise sat upon an elegant beast. It had a delicate halter of gold thread and chain, with pink flowers twined into it. A real beast, Jill thought, would snap such delicate straps in moments. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, a slight fragrance wafted through the air. Jill glanced around with narrowed eyes. Why, she wondered, should she smell flowers, here in the middle of a fair? She looked again at the flowers in the halter, in the dusk light they could be real, leaning closer to them she thought the smell grew stronger. Jill climbed up and stood on the saddle, leaning along the creature’s neck she breathed in. The smell certainly came from the flowers. Yet how could it?

She leaned out further. Music started and the ride jolted forwards. With a shriek Jill crashed down and landed beside the pearly pink hooves of her unicorn. Yells came from watching adults and children around her. For a moment she just lay there, and then a hand grasped her arm, hauling her up. She caught a glimpse of the unicorns soft blue eyes, then found herself looking into two beady brown eyes.

“Young un get off now, we can’t have the ride disturbed.” The tall, beared man in long boots hauled Jill off the carousel and dumped her a fair distance away before she even had time to protest. As the man marched back to the carousel Jill called after him, “Wait please Sir, please.”

The man did not even turn around. Jill fell to the dusty ground. One drop of salty water trickled slowly down her face followed by others.

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