Friday, October 28, 2022

“Merry-Go-Round” • by Christopher Degni


The field, once Sara’s favorite haunt, stood graveled and muddy, lonely except for a “Coming Soon” billboard for a 55+ community.

She didn’t love the field so much as the annual traveling carnival that had descended upon it, until twenty years ago, when it had stopped. Sara closed her eyes and reflected on that year of lasts: the last carnival, the last year of high school… the last time she’d seen her brother.

The smell of fried dough filled her nostrils. When she opened her eyes, she was amidst the carnival again, by the fortuneteller’s booth. It had none of the usual pageantry, only a plain-looking woman wearing a plain tee, jeans, and a Mona Lisa smile.

The strange resonance of being in two times at once buzzed in Sara’s sternum.

“We’ll meet again,” said the fortuneteller.

“Sorry?” said Sara—both Saras.

“I said we’ll meet again.” The first time had been a restatement; now it was a confirmation. “It’ll be rough. For a while. But you’ll come around.”

The vibration in Sara’s chest stopped, and she stood in an empty field again. She glanced at the billboard and sighed.

“Not yet.” She kicked a rock. “Maybe in another twenty.”


Christopher Degni is a 2019 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. He writes about the magic and the horror that lurk just under the surface of everyday life. He lives south of Boston with his wife (and his demons, though we don't talk about those). You can find more of his work in, Sherlock Holmes and the Occult Detectives, 99 Tiny Terrors, and the upcoming 99 Fleeting Fantasies.


Aunt Alice said...

So proud of you Chris❤️