Carousel: Part 2 of 3
If you haven't read part 1 then do so here. If you have then here is part 2 that you have not been waiting all that long for, but hopefully part one was good enough that you really wanted to know what happens next.
To refresh your memory; Jill had just been chucked off the carousel and "One drop of salty water trickled slowly down her face followed by others."
From where Col sat he had a good view of the whole event. For a moment he looked at his sister then back to the beautiful white beast. His little hands twisted around the pole that held up his steed and made it fly. He bit his lip then swung his leg over the unicorn and slid down. Giving it one last pat he wound his way between the other elegant creatures towards his sister, just as the music began again.
They sat together; Col wound his fingers around Jill’s. Together they listened to the music and watched the unicorns dance around again, whirling faster and faster. Clothes and tassels flapped, children screamed, some in joy others with fright at the speed, and again the mysterious beast appeared just for a moment galloping on the spot.
Children tumbled off and more ran to get places. Col and Jill went back to their parents. Jill whispered, “Somehow it would not be the same, maybe later we can ride it.” A strange sadness filled the hearts and minds of the two youngsters, it may be thought to have come from the fact that they were taken from their ride, that is not so, it came from something much deeper, they themselves had no idea. Jill could not dispel the look in the unicorn’s blue eyes from her mind.
Stalls were set up everywhere, banners rippled out from poles and trees. The glow of illumstones became more noticeable. The family walked into a nearby stall. The children forgot their sorrow upon seeing the beautiful trinkets. Jill at once moved over to look at an unusual object which, upon inspection, turned out to be a miniature carousel, with only four unicorns prancing around it. They were encased in a hard substance. Jill lifted it carefully, as she moved it, silver and gold sparkles floated around the animals, her mouth parted in wonder. “So beautiful,” she whispered.
A small round man, the stall keeper, hurried over and snatched the carousel from her hands. “That, my dear, is not for sale. That, little one is real gold and silver it is made from, and the stone casing, well, no one except a great lord,” The man gestured vaguely northwards and flung his arms wide.
A magnificent crash made everyone cringe; Jill jumped back as fragments of the tiny carousel hit her. The man’s dark face grew darker. He glared at his hand which still held the gold and silver base, and then back towards a tent pole behind him. His mouth opened and shut a few times, Jill backed further, and her foot kicked something as she ducked behind Father. Stooping she picked the small object up. At the same moment Col gazed in astonishment at the piece of carousel that had literally flown across the room into his hands. A tiny white figure of a unicorn decked with gold and silver lay shining on his palm.
Mother and father never noticed the little figures in their son’s and daughter’s hands as they pushed them out of the stall before them. They all wandered around the fair looking upon many wonders and great sights, but soon it grew very late and they went to an inn beside where the fair sprouted. The distance to their own house was not great but dark cloaked men roamed the roads at night.
Col and Jill looked out the window; they could both just glimpse the carousel. Then they slipped off their shoes and snuggled next to each other, listening to their parents breathing and the minstrels at the fair. A model unicorn lay with fingers curled around it; the other poked its head out of a pocket in Col’s shirt. Many parts of the fair grew silent and were packed away, ready to travel off the next day. All the inns and drink-houses in the town overflowed. Of the minstrels by the carousel only the harpist played, softly, ever so softly. The music wound it way into the night, calling.
The greater moon rose up, closely followed by the second. Silver light spilled through the open window and splashed down onto the children’s bed. Jill sat upright as something prickled at her hand, light shone from between her fingers. She nudged Col, and pressed a finger to her lips. The two tiny unicorns glittered in the moonlight, glowing of themselves.
Four little feet pattered across the floor and slipped into shoes then out the door. Two faces peered into a lighted room then backed away and padded out a different, smaller door, out onto cobbles that reflected back the moonlight. Not a word passed between the children as they crept through the trunks of great trees towards the fair.
One illumstone shone white into the shadows. The minstrel sat near it and another lady moved noiselessly towards the carousel. The minstrel jumped as Col stepped on something, her music, though, did not falter. Jill and Col followed the other lady onto the carousel. A white light reflected off the young lady’s silver dress, she moved among the carousel poles running her hand up each creature’s horn.
Turning, she gazed a moment at the children. Jill stepped up next to her, “They are so sad. Can we help?” she whispered. The lady’s eyes sparkled.
Keeping her voice low the lady replied, “Yes, help me get their halters off.” Her eyes went to Col’s pocket.