IMAGE FLASH <a href="/search?terms=%236" data-href="/search?terms=%236" data-capture="hashtagClick" class="hashtag-link">#6</a><br><br>Travis ran the Big Monster at the carnival and nobody ever
suspected. He wore his yellow reflective vest like a priest and people
treated him as such. Although he was just a lowly carnie, they would
stand in line for him, move to the cars when he indicated, and wait for
him to come by to inspect their lap bars, faces upturned as if begging
communion. When they were ready, he would bless them with a ride. If
they annoyed him, he’d claim mechanical difficulties, make them get off,
and go have a smoke break. They didn’t annoy him often though.
Travis enjoyed his holy work.
The spinning lights were hypnotic, the patterns enchanting. It was
hard to make sense of the movement of the ride. It didn’t make sense and
confused the eye, folding in upon itself, twisting back in strange
arcs. It tipped wrong. It curved around itself, around the rules. Travis
never got tired of looking at the unspeakable gyrations of the machine.
Across the country, town by town, Travis brought his machine. The
people loved it. Their sweaty excited faces grinned, sticky with candy.
Eyes filled with mindless enjoyment. They screamed in joy and praised
the Big Monster as it flung their bodies, turned them upside down, and
listened to their exultation. Travis knew it was listening. He could
hear it, beneath the engines, sucking, pulling, drawing up from the deep
places it slept. Eyelids flutter like bats, algae covered bones creak,
and things long dead awaken.
Someday, there would be enough fervor.
Someday, it would come back.
For now, Travis smiles, and waits, and lets another group of teenage girls onto the Big Monster, blessing them as they go.
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