Kevin Arriola
Kevin Dillinger
The rusty creak of the revolving Ferris wheel reverberated throughout the entire fair, causing booths to vibrate against the faded paint on the small town's streets. The smell of Coney dogs and flash-fried food fought the overpowering smell of thick rust that emanated from all the rides. Small goldfish stared blankly, transfixed by the color of the jar that held them, not unlike the people wandering the fair's streets. The small mock-train ride that passed through the fairgrounds was the only thing that was remotely new, and even then the leather seats were split open, causing those nearby to suffer the stinging smell of insulation if a wind happened to blow.
"This place is amazing! I swear it gets bigger every year!" cried the girl in the seat behind me, causing me to flinch; something was fake about her high-pitched voice.
"I think we should go home, Mom said we have to be back home by eleven," said the almost identical girl next to her. The only thing setting the two of them apart was that this one wore a green ribbon in her hair. Both had red hair, both looked dirty and wore torn sweaters, and both weren't over the age of fourteen.
"She is probably asleep anyway, like always," said the plain one. "Besides, the fair only comes once a year."
Green Ribbon looked outside the open-air train for a moment and shivered before returning her eyes to the back of the seat in front of her, my seat. "I want to go home."
“Why . . . ‘cause Granny told us that monsters are born at fairs like this?” The plain girl sighed in annoyance. "Fine, one more trip on the Ferris wheel and we will go home, unless you want to walk home now on your own," she teased and giggled.
"Fine . . . one more ride . . . but this has to be the last one," said Green Ribbon, clutching the plain girl's arm, defeat in her shivering voice. Tears clouded her youthful eyes, eyes that I wish I still had.
I sighed as they walked off the train, the next stop being the monolithic Ferris wheel that seemed to overpower everything else with its presence. I wanted to reach out and grab Green Ribbon, but she slipped away too quickly, as if beating me in my own race to extinguish my urge. I sat on the train as it began to move again, both the girls walking toward the rusting leviathan at a quick pace, walking out of my sight, walking out of my life.

For the first time in years I decide to follow them. For the first time in years I am moving on my own, and not just when the fair moves but of my own accord. My legs crack as I stand, rust falling from my rough-cut pants. Swiftly I follow, unseen, unnoticed, behind the two girls as they get in line for their ride.
The girls squirm with impatience, each with her own reason for doing so, until the conductor lets them through to their cart. I walk through as well. The conductor doesn’t check me, they never check me. I sit in the cart behind theirs, watching the two of them patiently, they so endearing as the ride begins.
The creaking returns, only it seems louder since I am at its source. The steel of the Ferris wheel creaks like my bones and screams like my voice. As the ride continues to rotate, I notice Green Ribbon never opens her eyes. She keeps them squeezed shut.
"Oh come on, Sis! Open them!" the plain girl says with a coaxing, almost intimidating voice.
"I don't want to, it's scary and ugly," retorts Green Ribbon, as I begin to reach for her.
"You only live once, Sis, you have to open them. Don't be a little girl!" she says with a laughing gruff tone, as if quoting someone. My hand grows closer, I loom closer.
"I just don't want to see it. Is that, that bad?" Green Ribbon says, tears flowing out of her eyes. I reach out and brush them away.
"If you don't open them, we have to ride it again!" says the plain girl, now obvious anger in her voice.
"But you said we don't have to after this one! You said we'd be going home after this one!" Green Ribbon cries. My hand can no longer keep up with the waterfall of tears.
"Then open them!" the plain girl's command is now echoing everywhere, impossible to ignore.
I try to call out to her to keep them closed. I try to save Green Ribbon, but my voice is nothing more than the shrill screech of the Ferris wheel. Slowly her eyes open and she stares at me, a long gangly figure with no eyes or form to call my own. Her eyes are stricken in horror for a moment, but then, my heart sinks as they light up and she smiles. My hand no longer touches her cheek.

"Wow . . . it is pretty up here!" exclaims Green Ribbon, as the very ribbon that has named her flies from her hair, caught by the wind, carried off, never to be seen again.
The girl no longer sees me, and her sister smiles happily. I sigh, or I would if I had a real voice. The girls walk away, vanishing just as the fair will soon only to reappear somewhere else. The Ferris wheel is eternal. Even if it is taken down, it will always spin again.