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Thursday, October 06, 2005

A short short story.

And then the cars were slowing down. All the hairpin turn excitement dripped away like syrup from our nerves, past the last echoes of morbid anticipation now realized. That anticipation had grown and built and climbed with the ratcheting chain leading to the inevitable drop, the free fall, the hope that used to be knowledge of a track beneath. Then it was all ups and downs and round and rounds, we all had struggled to gain feeling for what was happening. Some of us had a sense, others clung to manuals written by other riders. No one exited without some scream of terror, bark of laughter, or gasp of surprise. Some weeped, unconsolable. I think we all had some expectation. We pulled in, stopped and the lap bars came up. A figure meets the incoming train, hunched in a now permanent pose of tinkering, wipes sweat from his brow with a greasy rag and grins. Twisting the rag with a manic energy surveys his affected passengers, "Anybody up for it again? That one was cool, huh? That last loop, that's a new addition!" One guy steps from his car, drops his manual -- his holy book, as he struggles to the railing to throw up. The engineer doesn't seem to notice as he begins to tighten a few more bolts, waving away the questions. "What? Oh yes, yes, meaning, um.... Hand me that socket wrench there, eh? Be a pal." I give the sick man a sympathetic grin and then grab my friends and get back in line. Posted by Picasa

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