Riderless horses run in circles.
Their plastic making keeps their faces pained.
They have run thousands of miles but never moved.
Children’s laughter and the smell of ice cream drifts through the air like a river of memory.
Families of ghosts hold each other and mourn their time together.
The playful melody now has an eerie emptiness.
A reflection of a kind of joy, now made an anomaly by convenience and laziness.
It’s a blurred rumination of a time that used to be.
The carousel’s horses reminisce to a time when their cage felt like an infinite open pasture.
The music blared through my bones. I twirled across the floor. I was a puppet of the music. The faster I went, the more the world around me blurred and disappeared. Sweat glistened on my face like it was being hit with heavenly sunbeams. A warmth filled my body, it was helium and I flew. My feet never touched the ground. I was dancing in the air.
Eventually, heat and thirst overcame me and I drifted back to the ground for replenishment. I rolled through the fluorescent lights of the café, grabbing my water. I watched the flicker of colors reflect off the skaters on the track. It was loud and hecktick, but it was the most peaceful place I knew.
A woman out on the floor caught my eye. She was clearly a new skater. Her feet kicked up behind her like she was trying to fight off an attacker. As an adult, unlike many of the rink’s consumers, she was seen as a prospective buyer of items from the skate shop. Everytime she went around, she was trying a different pair of skates, but eventually she set on a beautiful pair of Bonts. They were symbols of talent and experience in the skate world, so it was an extreme contrast to see such beautiful figures of such graceful design on a clunking oaf. It took me almost a year of hard work and dedication to even touch them.
I placed my bottle back on the counter and skated to my bag. I wove through a cloud of small children (making sure to show off a little). I enjoyed the faces of awe every time. The same ones I used to make. I zipped some cash into my bag and turned back to the floor.
Panicked faces were stopped in the middle of the rink. A pool of blood- their centerpiece. My family of skaters picked up a red-stained figure from the floor. I was quick to clean up the mess- it’s the only home of mine I’ve ever kept clean. Someone untied the woman’s skates and handed them to me. They were black Bonts with red-stained trim.