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At The Fair

The wind carried the smell of candy floss through the streets, signaling the return of the Fair. He ran down to the boardwalk, feeling the pull, the need to return.

The carousel spun; children galloping on horses, riding fire engines, flying planes... Purple, red, green, pink. Purple, red, green... yellow.

He lurched forward. Another flash of yellow beyond the carousel; hair curling around the shoulders of her green coat. He pushed through balloons, prams, children counting out coins for the next ride.

"Emily!" Her name was lost as guns popped and bells dinged.

Then he saw her by the candy floss stand, biting down on a toffee apple the colour of her lips. She turned, her hair dancing in the wind, her eyes dawning in recognition.

"Daddy!" A smile like the sun bursting through clouds.

"I'm coming, Emily. Just wait..."

Her arms outstretched, sticky fingers waving in anticipation. The air knocked out of him as a man caught her in a twirl, her laughter echoing, in rhythm with the screams from the ghost train.

She had brown eyes, not blue. The man carried her away.

She had to be here. He had to find her. And then a hand in his.

"Emily?" A surge of hope as he turned around.

"Come home, Tim." Not Emily. His wife, with a tear stained face. "You know she's not here."

He looked up as the big wheel turned in the sky, under a rainbow, round and round. As if it had no beginning. And no end.

Story by:

Vikki Gemmell

27 January 2014