Wednesday 21 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 121

This weeks picture was taken by Slovakian photographer Vladimir Simicek and distributed or owned by Getty Images. Bumper cars abandoned in the empty town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine.

This one wrote itself. I love it when that happens.    

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How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


She’d been so excited; her and her best friend Marie getting ready to go to the fair. Depeche Mode, People are People, 12 inch vinyl on full blast in Marie’s bedroom. Hair, make-up – the works.  It would only be there a few days, so they wanted to make the most of it.

She still remembered the butterflies seeing him standing there between the cars of the Waltzer, spinning them faster and faster, making the girls inside scream. He’d laughed as he’d watched them. She couldn’t wait to be one of those girls and have his eyes on her too.

He hadn’t looked much older than her, only a couple of years, sixteen or seventeen maybe. His dark golden tanned skin from working outside had aged him a little. His dark hair and complexion off set by violet blue eyes that caught you like lightening and drew you in. They’d made her stomach jump every time they’d rested on hers, which ended up being quite often.

He hadn’t just laughed when he’d spun their car faster, he’d hung on and winked and chatted, asking her out, asking her to meet him on his break. She hadn’t hesitated.

And there’d been no time for lots of dates and getting to know each other, he’d only be there for a few days; they’d spent their time exploring each other’s mouths and upper bodies behind some the rides and caravans.

He’d wanted her to go further, but she hadn’t been ready. How she regretted that now.

Now? She was bought out of her reverie to look at the view in front of her. It hadn’t changed for decades, except for the undergrowth slowly taking it over. No one had dared to touch it after what had happened that last night.

She’d rushed along that night, having wasted time buying a special present. If only she had been earlier – even five minutes earlier – he might not have been there, he might not have been anywhere near where the cars had landed.

They hadn’t been the Waltzer cars – he hadn’t been working on them that night, he’d been covering for his friend on the Meteorite. If he’d been on the Waltzer he might have stood a better chance. No, he’d been working on a ride that had sat directly opposite the Octopus, so when a couple of its arms had worked loose he’d been in full view.

She wondered if he’d seen it happen, watched it in the slow painful way that disasters seem to unfold, as it had for her when she’d arrived on the scene to witness the devastation: the smashed and broken rides, the fires, the screaming people, the chaos, and blood ... so much blood.

And she’d rushed to what had remained of the Waltzers, and he hadn’t been there. And she’d run from ride to ride, hoping to see him, hoping to hear him, hoping that he’d be alive somewhere and trying to help others.

But he hadn’t been. He’d been crushed under the weight of a car that had worked free of the arm as it had collapsed, landing squarely across the Meteorite. They’d said he wouldn’t have suffered; they’d said it had been instant.

A tear rolled down her face. The abandoned twisted remnants in front of her stood as memorial of that fated night. There was talk from time to time of cleaning it up and putting a proper stone monument in, but no one wanted to face it; too much had been lost that night; too much of the town was buried here.


  1. The Bumper Cars

    It wasn’t the “Summer of ’69.” It was 1972. She didn’t know I existed, I thought, until she rammed me with her bumper car on a school outing. I mean, I was of course hopelessly in love with her and had been since tenth grade. I would have said “she wouldn’t give me the time of day” except I didn’t know that phrase and I wouldn’t have known what it meant if I did.

    Then she hit me with a yellow bumper car. And laughed about it and about my incompetent efforts to turn so I could do the same to her.

    I’d forgotten all about that. It was, what?, almost fifty years ago. Still, when she laughs, she displays the impish grin she first sent in my direction that afternoon.

    I reminded her of it when we saw the news and the picture of the remnants of Playland, which was about to be razed.

    “Of course I remember it. You’re an old fool now, but you were a young fool then.” She kissed my forehead. “It was the only way I could get your attention.”

  2. I like your story. Funny how we both--I never read yours first--went back to high school memories.

    1. Thanks. It's like I waa back there - well the first part. 😁

  3. Whoa, I should have known a you starting a story out so sweetly was bound to take a turn.

  4. Very good story, Miranda. loved it from start to finish.

  5. I needed more words for this one. However her is my story Jerry's Ride hope you like it.

  6. Love this image... but, wow did it turn dark on me: Don't Cry Yet

    1. Wow, that was terrifying, yet perfectly written.