Presenting my 750 word challenge story for the above picture by Slovakian photographer Vladimir Simicek and distributed or owned by Getty Images. This challenge was set by Miranda Kate, please find her, on twitter @PurpleQueenNL. The challenge is part of her #MidWeekFlash game on Facebook, and the link is below the story.
Impenetrable darkness and a chest full of sharp pain were Lucy’s reality when she woke up. For a long moment, she tried to sleep, hoping she’d wake up in her warm bed again. That was not to be, the pain was all too real. Lucy tried to move. She was caught in a collection of ropes.
“Parachute,” she remembered, the jump had been great but an unexpected wind gusted her off course and tangled her chute. “At least I’m alive.”
Lucy felt about, discovered she was attached to an iron bar. Taking out her carabiner knife she sawed through the paracord holding her captive. A mistake – she wasn’t on the ground. As the last cord snapped, she fell from the parachute. A cry of pain burst from her lips, her body thundered onto a hard-rounded object, rolled off and slammed into the wet ground.
“Oh, I’m having a really bad day!” she managed while sucking in air and forcing the pain under control. Rising to her knees, her eyes fell on the object she hit. Before her were the four headlights on the front of a yellow 1980’s bumper car. Lucy counted eight cars amid the mounds of leaves and pools of water around her. The fairground ride had no roof; only the trusses that caught her parachute remained above. The last time she’d seen something like this was on a documentary for Chernobyl. This couldn’t be Pripyat though, for she’d jumped from the plane in the UK.
Rising to her feet, Lucy shrugged out of her soaked flight suit. Fortunately, she’d pulled it on over her khaki shorts and white horse T-shirt. Both were damp but dryer than the flight suit.
“Hallo, darlin’. Nice of you to drop in.”
Lucy spun around and grimaced. A filthy, green-eyed man was coming toward her. “Where am I? How do I get out?” she asked while taking in his torn jeans, unkempt beard and lank brown hair. That scar on his arm was familiar too.
“You’re in Looney’s funfair. I’m Jerry.”
“Yes, now I remember.” Lucy stepped back again, she’d come here as a kid with her friends. Jerry had been here then too, that scar confirmed it. “You look like you never left.”
“No, this is my home. When they closed it down, I couldn’t leave my special place.”
“This was your ride. I remember you looking at me.” Lucy felt anxiety tightening her chest. The man stepped toward her. She paced backwards until she fell over another bumper car.
“That’s right, Darlin’. You were a pretty one. You still are.” Jerry stepped around the rotting car and held out a filthy hand full of broken nails.
“Please, leave me alone.” Lucy cowered away from him.
“It’s okay. I’m not a bad man. Let me help you.” Jerry lowered himself to a knee. The thunk revealed it to be a prosthesis. “You need medical attention. Let me help you.”
Lucy locked eyes with him and nodded. Beneath the layers of grime, there was no hint of malice or deception in those eyes. “Okay, can you help me out of the funfair, so I can get help then?”
“Sure.” Jerry held out his hand again. This time Lucy let him help her up. “Come, we’ll go out the main entrance, it’s closer.”
“Thank you.” Lucy gave him a smile and followed him out of the morbid bumper car ride. He led her past a dilapidated merry-go-round. The old cotton candy stall looked to have caught fire at some point. “This poor old place looks so upset to be lost in time.”
“Yup, I reckon it is. When old Ebenezer Looney died, nobody wanted the place so it closed and fell into disuse. You’re the first person to drop in for a decade.”
Lucy watched a rat looking about a popcorn stand. “What a shame,” she said while drawing level with a darts game. She remembered her boyfriend winning her a teddy here.
“Lucy!” the shout was loud and nearby.
“Seems your friends are looking for you.” Jerry led toward the shout.
“Lucy! Where are you?”
“I’m here!” she called back, now running with Jerry. Soon he led her to a pair of young men and a lady by the old ticket booth. One of the men ran forward and hugged her for all he was worth.
“Oh, Lucy. You scared me,” he breathed.
“I’m so pleased to see you, John.” Lucy kissed him. “Luckily, the bumper cars caught me and Jerry’s a friend.
Thanks for reading! Do you fancy writing a 750 word story for the above photo. Head over to Finding Clarity, follow the instructions and have fun.
Check out more of my tales in the Short Stories tab too.