Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words: The Carousel

This week, write a post based on this image:


It was many years ago. The photo was suddenly appeared while I was sorting through the stuff that mum had left, but I had not forgotten why she had kept the photo. Perhaps as a warning never to trust anyone again even if he did have a children’s carousel in his front garden.

When Jackson moved into the street no-one really noticed. Not me, mum or the other neighbours; that was until he put the carousel in the front garden. It was not just a carousel, but it seemed to shout at you, to draw you into its ban. There was a cat, a giraffe, a tiger and two strange animals which made you feel nervous. A green slimy looking object with a long nose (yes an object, it could not have been something that breathed or walked the earth) and something that could have been a lion, but a yellow lion. Of course there was a horse, but the horse was a small inconspicuous horse, it was white but small, nothing threatening, although everything else seemed to be threatening about the carousel.

I remember the first time I saw Jackson.

“Hi, just call me Jackson, and what is your name little girl?”

He was a big man, as wide as tall, had greasy hair and smelt like a barber’s shop: probably it was not grease, but some sort of gel to keep his hair in place. He just stood there looking and I froze. Mum told me not to speak to strangers, so I kept quiet.

“Lost your voice little girl, tell me your name, I won’t hurt” and then mum came to my help. She saw me through the window.

“That your daughter ma’am” he asked “she seems to have lost her voice.”

“No, she hasn’t, she is just being careful. I brought her up not to speak to men she doesn’t know.”

“And a very good idea: you never know these days. I’m Jackson and just moved in: nice to meet you Mrs.  Errrrr”

“Jones” said mum “and that is my little girl Jemma”.

“Hello Jemma” and this Jackson type stretched out his hand, but did not take mine. He patted me on the cheek. I took my handkerchief and started to wipe where I felt his greasy touch. Everything about this Jackson seemed to be fat and greasy.”

“Jemma what are you doing” said mum “Mr. Jackson just wants to get to know you. He is new in the neighbourhood.”

“No offence taken Mrs. Jones” said Jackson “and yes, I am new here. Perhaps you can help. I work during the day and am looking for someone that would perhaps look after my place; just some cleaning and dusting to keep it in order. I will pay you, of course, and your little girl could even take a ride on my carousel.”

Now dad had left mum a couple of years ago. She was not sorry, and neither was I. Actually she threw dad out as his drinking got just too much. I don’t know all the details, mum didn’t tell me and to be quite honest I didn’t want to know. There was never a quiet moment when dad was living with us. I knew mum could use the money, so I kept quiet while she spoke to this Jackson about the payment. She seemed to be satisfied and he asked her into the house to see what was to do.

“You can come as well Jemma” he said “I have some lemonade in the kitchen for you”.

I decided I did not want lemonade from this Jackson man, or even go into his house, so I waited outside, leaning on the carousel.

“Hey, you, want a ride?” I turned to the direction where the voice came from, but only saw the animals on the carousel.

“I’m talking, the green one. Do you want a ride?”

I was sure I saw the green slimy monster wink at me, but no, it couldn’t be.

“What’s wrong? I am in charge here, jump on.”

Yes, I saw his lips move. So I looked at him and there I was suddenly sitting on this creature’s back. I do not know how, but was just holding on and he started to move. All the animals began moving, making a noise that sounded like a jungle at night. I once saw a film on the TV about a jungle. I saw shapes passing by, trying to grasp me, I could hear children crying.

“Don’t be frightened” said the green creature “we will take care of you, we take care of all of you” and then I was suddenly sitting on the back of the giraffe, then the lion, afterwards the tiger until I eventually landed on the horse and then everything stopped and I saw Jackson leave his house with mum.

“Come now Jemma, it is time for the evening meal” and mum grabbed me by the hand and dragged me home.

“How was it mum, did you get the job?”

“Job, no Jemma, there was no job. Let us forget it and I do not want you going near that place, or talking to that man called Jackson.”

“But the carousel mum”.

“Do not even speak about the carousel. It is an evil house and anything to do with the house is evil.”

So that was that I suppose, and mum being mum I naturally obeyed her. I walked past the house on my way to school, but always kept my eyes away from the front door, although I could feel his eyes watching me through the curtains at the window. I could still hear the cries of the children and a voice that called “come and have a ride”.

It must have been a month later that there was a police car outside the house. Two children, two of my schoolfriends, had disappeared. They never came home after school and the police seemed to be everywhere in the neighbourhood.

That night the carousel burnt. It was turning, the flames turning with the carousel and Jackson? He was tied to the green monster and burning with it. Since that night I never heard the children’s cries any more.

“What did you see in that house” I once asked my mum “nothing for your eyes” she said and she took the secret to her grave, but she had kept the photo.

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words:The Carousel

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Daily Prompt: The Full Moon

When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NIGHTTIME. 

Nera the cat had a haircut

“Ready Mrs. Human?”

“For what Nera?”

“It’s full moon, the night when you take a ride on your broomstick and I come with you as your familiar.”

“Of course Nera, I almost forgot. I have been too busy sweeping dead mice together that you and your two feline colleagues leave outside the window after a night out in the fields. Have you oiled your broomstick?”

“All ready Mrs. Human, so let’s go.”

It has become quite a routine with Nera and I. Every full moon night I feel the urge to put on my pointed hat and join the bats for a nocturnal flight. With age I noticed even my nose becomes more crooked. I had to buy a new broom last week, as the old one was losing the bristles. I think I lost some having a fight with a bat on my last flight. It was one of those vampire bats, you find more and more these days. I think it has something to do with the new department at the local hospital, the blood bank. They gather around the windows every full moon hoping for a few breakages.

“Quite right Mrs. Human” said Nera my chief cat. “If you ask me it has to do with all that radioactivity in the air. It never used to be that way when people used coal and gas for their energy. Since those nuclear power plants exist, you get all sorts of strange things happening.”

“Ok Nera, where shall we go tonight? I thought we could pay a visit to Old Nick down at the graveyard. I heard there is a ghoul party going on: lots of spirits and fun with some dry bones.”

“OK, let’s go” and Nera and I gave a start kick on the broom and flew off.

“Mrs. Human, not so fast, I can hardly keep up with you. Since you bought that new broom with the automatic gear change you leave me behind. I only have an average
three gear execution and have to slow down every time I fly a corner.”

“Sorry Nera, I will buy you a new broom for your birthday and then we can wizz around together.”

“Mrs. Human, put your foot on the breaks, I can see the graveyard below.”

I breaked, but not soon enough and flew into the marble statue of an angel.”

“Hey, be careful, you nearly broke off the tip of my wing” said an annoyed angel. “All the same with you witches, the faster you travel the more damage you cause.”

“Mrs. Human, I think I will stay with my normal broom, those automatic broomsticks seem to have their problems.”

And I landed eventually with a bump at the graveyard. I could see candle light illuminating a few graves and there was singing to the rhythm of the bones.”

“Hello Old Nick, quite a party you have here.”

“We are having fun: nothing like a full moon night to wake things up. Some of the departed can’t wait for a nice full round moon illuminating the night sky. Even a corpse can get bored from time to time. We have a few new residents and they are still getting used to things. When they see what a nice friendly bunch we are, they soon get acclimatised. Where’s Nera?”

“I am here Old Nick. I cannot let Mrs. Human travel on her own, you never know what could happen, especially with that new broom.”

“Yes, I noticed she almost decapitated one of the angels. We cannot have that in a well organised graveyard: all those new-fangled developments with the brooms. Things are just not like they used to be. I have even seen some witches wearing pink hats and they have small straight noses. Where will it end?”

Actually I was thinking about a pink hat myself and having my nose straightened, but I suppose I will leave that idea on the side for now.

“Did you say something Mrs. Human?” asked Nick.

“No, no, just thinking out loud. Nera I think we must be going. I cannot drink too much of those spirits, I might fall off the broom and a witch swaying from side to side on the full moon highway is not exactly ideal.”

“Yes, Mrs. Human I am with you, although those bones were quite tasty. Where did you get them Nick?”

“To be quite honest, I think a dog buried them in the field next to the graveyard, but we will keep that to ourselves. It might reduce the reputation of the graveyard. “

So I saddled my broom, Nera jumped onto her broom and we waved goodbye to Old Nick and some other colleagues and flew home, arriving nice and safe in the early morning hours. After putting our cloaks and hats away in the cupboard under the stairs, we crawled into our beds and slept soundly with the noise of the festivities in the graveyard still ringing in our ears.

Daily Prompt: The Full Moon

Some ghoulish Pingbacks

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  96. Full moon |
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  100. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon 20|8 | familyphotosfoodcraft.com
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  109. Night Time | Aurora Morealist