This carousel makes you ride forever. It takes you somewhere else. It’s a portal, don’t you see? To a world of infinite games, infinite fun, infinite youth. That’s the sales pitch, anyway.
Parents who don’t want their children bring them here, if they have heard the stories. They pretend it is for the fun of their offspring, but it’s not that. The children are tiresome, bothersome, a drain on life, on liberty, on finances. A mistake – an idea that seemed good at first, a little family, until they saw the reality.
As my uncle Malcolm once said: “Raising a child costs as much as a high class sports car, or more. To be honest, I’d rather the car.”
Not long after that my nephew disappeared. Went for a ride, no doubt.
And so they come, on a whisper, not even allowing themselves to full believe, for in ignorance and doubt lies plausible deniability. How could they know they’d lose the children? Surely it was not possible? So how could they be blamed?
All a con, really, given so many left the fun fair childless and free. Eventually you’d have to say they knew. If they were honest.
But then, how honest is a parent likely to be that brings their child here? How would honesty matter to them if the child did not?
No-one knows where the children go. It may be to a better place. They would hardly be leaving an idyllic home if their parents brought them here I suppose. So it could be for their good, for the good of all.
But like most things we never know enough to wisely balance the pros and cons. I can see the benefit to the selfish parents – though I begrudge them any happiness in the act. I can’t see for the children, because the only way to do that would be to follow them. To get on the carousel and ride.
And my friends, curiosity be damned. There is no way in hell I am ever going to do that.
(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018