The Unfairground – Friday Fictioneers – October 2015

Copyright Ted Strutz

Copyright Ted Strutz

He’d enjoyed the swings, but now he seemed uncertain, so until the roundabout gathered speed, I paced alongside the undulating red and silver horse.

The second time around I saw his expression relaxing from angst to delight.

And the next time I looked he was chatting confidently with the pretty little girl on an adjacent unicorn.

“Again” he pleaded, when the ride stopped.

This time he joined a group of older boys on a row of gleaming Harley Davidsons.

Reassured, I took my eye off the ball, and then he wasn’t there.

It’s not true what they say… about swings and roundabouts…

 

Our genial host has now officially retired.  My very best wishes to you Rochelle for a long, happy and productive retirement.  I hope the B-B misses you … I know we at Friday Fictioneers would.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to The Unfairground – Friday Fictioneers – October 2015

  1. Dear Sandra,

    It is true what they say about roundabouts. As a mother this story gave me chills and tears at the same time. It put me in mind of an old song “Turn Around.” One line was ‘turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four.” Your story is beautifully subtle.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS Thanks for the retirement wishes. Cheers to B B.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sandra says:

      I debated whether the last line should read ‘it’s true’ or ‘it isn’t true’. When I googled the saying I found mixed constructions – some said you lost on the roundabouts what you gained on the swings, others vice versa. But the overall view was that life balances out, which it doesn’t in my story so I left it at ‘not true’ and hence arrived at the title. But it could go either way. Thanks for reading and commenting Rochelle, glad you liked it.

      Like

  2. micklively says:

    HD handling is more shopping trolley than swings or roundabouts. 😉
    Good piece.

    Like

  3. The swings as gateway drug.But the real troublemakers ride Triumphs, so there’s that Good story.

    Like

  4. misskzebra says:

    Had to read this twice. The second time around was so much sadder. 😦

    Like

  5. A real history here. Perhaps he’ll be home next time she looks.

    Like

  6. Kir Piccini says:

    My Mama heart just about beat outside my chest reading this. Especially since once you see your child enjoy something it’s as if you can look away for a moment. But not today, never today.

    It was a great interpretation of the picture.

    And best wishes to Rochelle!

    Like

  7. Wonderful title that says a lot. Well done, Sandra.

    Like

  8. paulmclem says:

    Knowing you Sandra, I don’t think is as simple as a kid who has just gone missing. I think there are layers here most are missing. Or is it me who is wrong 🙂

    Like

  9. Indira says:

    Very nice title but the story made me sad. Very well written.

    Like

  10. Part of me feels like there might have been a time skip in this story and that by the end we weren’t on the roundabout anymore.

    Like

  11. wow, gave me chills! well-penned, Sandra 🙂

    Like

  12. What goes around doesn’t always come around. Perfect title and deftly done subtle story.

    janet

    Like

  13. ceayr says:

    I think I do dark until I come here, Sandra.
    Superbly done.

    Like

  14. Oh you make good and bad choices in life.. alas as a parent you might be powerless. There are definite differences here..

    Like

  15. Well written, but sad. You have the babies for such a short time. You have to try hard to enjoy the time. Good story with layers. —– Suzanne

    Like

  16. Francesca Smith says:

    A rich and multi layered story here indeed. It does seem that, sometimes in life, what one hopes will come round never does.

    Like

  17. Amy Reese says:

    It is a parent’s worse nightmare to lose a child at one of these places. I liked the way you ended your story. It was very effective. Well done.

    Like

  18. plaridel says:

    hauntingly surreal.

    Like

  19. It’s so true, and then you’re old at the end of all that too. Ya gotta keep your kids off the Harley Davidson’s. I’ve never heard that expression though.

    Like

  20. I like the way you allude to what it is like being a parent. The only trouble is we do have to let them be more and more independent. When my kids first started driving and made longer and longer trips, I was anxious about them. Especially in the beginning. Oh well, once you are a mother, you are a mother forever. And still worry about them. I never let my son have a motorcycle though.

    Like

  21. Great title for a great story.

    Like

  22. Loved the title and story. So true, about life not being fair.

    Like

  23. subroto says:

    “what you lose on the swings…..”
    Life is an ‘unfairground’. Very subtle ending

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    That’s very sad. Not a lot she could have done once he took to the motorbike, though it sounds like she blames herself. Great title!

    Like

  25. gahlearner says:

    So sad and chilling. Then the ‘if only’ starts. If you watch all the time it’s not good, if you don’t, you could lose them… unfairground, indeed.

    Like

  26. Graham Lawrence says:

    Cleverly done. Lovely words 🙂

    Like

  27. liz young says:

    Motherhood is one of the most terrifying jobs around.

    Like

  28. Oh, this is hard hitting. Masterfully crafted story, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Good boys ride Harleys too. Mother likely did a fine job! I enjoyed your take on this prompt.

    Like

  30. hafong says:

    Good take on prompt, Sandra. Sadly it reminds me of real accidents.

    Lily

    Like

  31. ansumani says:

    A chillin story so cleverly crafted ! Not taking my eye off even for a second 😦

    Like

  32. erinleary says:

    Every parent’s nightmare….well written and full of unspoken pain. Nice one, Sandra.

    Like

  33. mjlstories says:

    Leaves a shudder. Good story.
    That thing about sayings is interesting too – they often seem to mean one thing to some and opposite to others! (And never go into the Brit/America couldn’t care less vs could care less thing!)

    Like

  34. Such a beautiful, somewhat heart-breaking story. At first, I felt a clutch inside (okay, that was an unintentional pun), thinking he had died. Then, I realized that he must have gone.
    Great story!

    Like

  35. Oh, wait. Did he die after all? Now, I’m sad again.

    Like

  36. Dear Sandra,
    Chills … but for the loss of my daughter for an hour while on vacation once. It was the longest hour of my life. Your story brought it to mind. This is realistic in so many ways. Your writing always brings out huge emotions whether sad or happy. Super write !!!
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  37. So chilling and moving, Sandra. As a mother, it’s the kind of story that gets under my skin… and makes it crawl. Brilliant.

    Like

  38. wildbilbo says:

    It’s stories like this that make me a helicopter parent. A horrible thought written very well (as always). Nice.
    KT

    Like

  39. Dale says:

    I can’t believe I’d never heard that expression but boy does it ever apply to this fabulous story. We have no choice but to take our eyes off eventually…

    Like

  40. rgayer55 says:

    Perhaps there’s a Junior Biker Bar on the other side of the ride and he’s having a cold one and chatting with the cute girl from the unicorn. Boys are known for disappearing acts, and they’re not always hijacked by those up to no good.

    Like

  41. Corina says:

    Well done! As you can see, people have their own take on this. You’ve made people think and feel!

    Like

  42. This story is terrifying and I didn’t see it coming. Well done!

    Like

  43. Very well told Sandra, a cute childhood piece becomes a teenage tribute. Nicely done

    Like

  44. Your stories are always so deep. I don’t know how you manage to do that consistently but you do.

    Like

  45. Margaret says:

    What a wonderful use of the prompt, and of the ‘swings and roundabouts’ saying. The dilemma of parenthood – delight that they’re independent and coping, side by side with the agony of letting them go to fend for themselves. Such a tragic outcome in your story, but so economically and movingly told.

    Liked by 1 person

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