The Fair

People swamped the corridors as a mother tried to convey her brood from one end of the fair to the other where the Ferris wheel promised a good view and easy ride. Groups three and four wide would stall in the middle of the path, ogling the scene, hungry for anything that would capture enough attention to engage it. The best the mother could do to navigate the clumps of aimless amusement-seekers was bump from one to another in spurts. She corralled her children around her and tried to weave between the sputtering movements of the crowd, the three-year-old’s hand in her left and five-year-old’s in her right. The older children walked behind in the wake the three made, their mother determined and game faced at the helm. Beats of pop music overwhelmed the air so that she could hear nothing else nor talk over the squealing electrics of synthesized sounds wrenched into space through tinny, under-capacity speakers. Men yelled from behind counters, “Only two dollars to play. Don’t you want to win that little girl a teddy bear?” “Come on, Sweetie. You can win big today.” She imagined them with long, elastic arms grabbing at her children, pulling them into an arcade lair. She imagined the roller coasters of screaming people disengaging their tracks and scooping the five of them into their insane frenzy. Continue reading “The Fair”