Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 11) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #39.
Today I’m featuring contribution Part 11) By Kirsten Nairn
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt and Kirsten’s contribution.
The Big Wheel
Daisy met the others in the woods behind the school, as arranged. They giggled nervously as they changed quickly into their figure-hugging jeans and tight t-shirts and applied their mascara and heavy eyeliner. Clara passed around a half bottle of vodka, acquired from her dad’s drink cabinet and a packet of cigarettes, pinched from her mum’s holiday stash.
Daisy shuddered as she took a swig of neat vodka, but declined a cigarette, opting instead for a piece of chewing gum.
Clara grinned. ‘Aye. Aye. Someone’s obviously hoping for more than just a ride on the waltzers tonight.’
‘Shut up. I don’t smoke, that’s all.’
The girls hid their rucksacks under a bush and made their way down to the seafront where the funfair, known to the locals as the Links Market, was held every year. They finished off the remains of the vodka between them and dumped the bottle in a nearby bin. Alcohol was strictly out of bounds at the market, but they were also under age
The ‘big wheel’ dominated the skyline, turning slowly, not yet open for business. Daisy’s heartbeat quickened as they approached the entrance to the market, but it wasn’t just the excitement of the market’s arrival in town which was wreaking havoc with her heart. She scanned the crowds for the familiar unruly mop of jet-black hair, but it was like searching for a needle in a haystack. Like Jay, the majority of the market boys had black hair and chocolate brown eyes to die for.
‘Can’t tell those gypsy boys apart half the time, on account that they all have the same dad. Only after one thing as well. You steer well clear now Daisy,’ her father’s voice rang in her ears as she continued to look for him.
As soon as the metal barriers were removed and the market declared open, the girls pushed their way through the crowds, struggling to stay as one unit. They knew the drill. If any of them got lost, they’d meet back at the entrance.
‘What shall we go on first? The speedway? The waltzers? The big wheel?’ Clara winked at daisy.
‘I dunno,’ she shrugged. ‘The speedway, I guess.’ She desperately wanted to make her way straight to the big wheel to catch a glimpse of Jay. To satisfy herself he was still there.
As the girls made their way to the front of the queue for the speedway Daisy tugged at Clara’s arm. ‘Listen, you lot go on. I’ll catch you back here ok?’, ducking out of the queue before Clara could stop her.
Nerves threatened to get the better of her the closer she got to the big wheel. The closer she got to Jay. She pulled the crumpled postcard from her pocket, its edges curled through constant handling. She’d lost count of the number of times she read it. Fallen asleep clutching it. Searched for it amongst the bedsheets the next morning. ‘See you next year under the big wheel’ J. She’d pinned her hopes on these few words.
Her eyes flickered wildly from one person to another, frantically scanning the guys working the wheel. There was no sign of him. She made her way around the back, away from the high-pitched screams and neon lights, suddenly plunged into darkness. An eerie stillness made the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end. Sensing she wasn’t alone she spun around and was startled by the closeness of a heavy built market boy bearing down on her, his stale breath and cheap aftershave making her recoil.
‘Looking for something?’
‘I…er…’ she stammered, backing away.
He moved closer, his body almost touching hers. ‘Maybe I’ve got whatever it is you’re looking for?’ he grinned, revealing a row of cigarette-stained teeth.
‘Leave me alone. Please,’ she begged, immobilised by panic.
‘What’s going on? Is he bothering you?’ Jay appeared from a nearby caravan. ‘Markie, what have I told you about bothering the lassies? Come on man, leave her alone. You okay love?’
She saw a flicker of recognition in his eyes.
The caravan door swung open, a heavily pregnant woman taking up most of the frame.
‘Jay!’ she yelled, ‘are you coming in or what? I need you to help me out here,’ She rubbed the small of her back to make a point.
Nausea swept over Daisy; the vodka burned the back of her throat; Hot tears stung her eyes. Humiliated, she turned and fled.
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