The roller coaster cut through the night sky like a crown of stars, each bubble glistening in the city lights before soaring towards the moon and then, slowly, gracefully, full of hope, tumbling back down to earth. I watched it roll over, again and again, until my head spun. My eyes glazed as the crowd rustled, screeched and sang, danced and wavered like a bowl of multi-coloured jelly, quivering in excitement and heated tension. A hand grasped my arm, a finger licked my shoulder blade. The sticky smell of billowing candy floss mingled with seething sweat and the hint of a refreshing shower before the night fell into unchained revelry. I waited patiently. Finally, eyes popping with desire, he took my cheek in his hands, sucked my lips and guided me to the front of the queue. Machinery hummed, just the two of use in the capsule like yokes swirling inside an eggshell as the metal arms tugged us higher, jerk by aching jerk, until we were out of reach, bobbing freely above the shouts and stalls. Fading into the distance, dancers were nothing but shadowy actors, insects sprawling along the beach, the chirping sound of their revelry dissipating into the silence of the heavens. Only the fireworks could reach us now. The moon was rising, pale against the universe, but proud and clearly defined into a lopsided grin. His arms found my waist, his tongue mine, sticky, biting like sandpaper. I leaned closer, aftershave and deodorant engulfing my nostrils. I found his neck and snuggled deep, letting the soft hairs tickle my teeth, bristle as I bit deeper and wrapped his legs into mine. We soared, glided over the twinkling festival below, then a lurch, a groan as we nudged our way earthwards into the swarming mass, tug by tug, gravity drawing us closer until one final bump and a hand slipped from an overall to help us down the steps. I was shaking, legs trembling, adrenaline bubbling as hot as tar. He slipped his mask into place, turned into the crowd. I bit my lips, held a tear, but not for long. Patiently I waited. The world was my roller coaster, my crown of thorns. One more ride and I promise I’ll go home. Just one more, before dawn smothers the party under a shawl of darkness, Carnival gone for another long year.
Dedicated to education and being a father, E. F. S. Byrne has finally found more time to devote to his writing and is currently working on everything from very short flash stories to full-length novels. Weekly micro flash blog posts and links to over thirty published stories can be found at efsbyrne.wordpress.com, or follow him on Twitter @efsbyrne.