A Spray of Bones

It all went to cock after that first summer. In fact, if you want me to, if you’re really that ghoulish, I can pinpoint the exact day and, of course, I remember everything about it.

It was the day my bright idea crashed and burned in the full public glare. When I got up that morning, I made coffee you could stand a spoon in and two great fried eggs: just right, two unsuspecting shells cracked into spitting oil, the whites sputtering until they blistered up towards the yolks and the darn things didn’t even need fllipping. The undersides were deliciously crusty. Gorgeous orange yolks you could poke with a knife and be wiping off your trousers all damn day.

They’d finished the construction of the park a month before. I was NOT slack, despite what you may have read. I had engineers on the job, all that bullshit. Only the best fibreglass was used – on everything – and an actual architect checked the whole play area out. The Monkey Train was famous, hit the national press – I bet you remember it! – the one where the kids start out on a little train that whizzes around the park, past all the other rides, sitting in pairs in carriages with little seatbelts on, then suddenly, whoosh, it rises up amongst the tree tops with ACTUAL monkeys sitting in the trees, a free chocolate and banana milkshake pressed into their sweaty little mitts as soon as they stagger off the ride, off their faces on adrenalin and straight into the gift shop. Man, it was easy money. Everybody had a good time

It all went wrong when I got ambitious and felt like I had to keep ramping up the excitement and I had the Creepy Caterpillar ride installed. Like the Monkey Train, it looked straightforward and innocent, something for toddlers, but it had a twist. It was scary looking for a start – I thought that would be enough to put off parents of very  young kids. Who’d take a look at Pennywise and hire him for a 5 year old’s party? Exactly! It didn’t go fast either, but on that day we had a horrid combination. A drunk dad, a sad little girl, a mechanical caterpillar with a major technological defect, an operator high on skunk and low from being dumped by his wife.

I was there, jacked up on sugary coffee, arguing with a candyfloss salesman about his cut on the profits, when I heard it. I was far away, but caught a faint mechanical screech, and then human sounds that became a roar.

I remember turning sharply, stubbing my cigarette out, thinking that perhaps a ride had stopped, which meant a pause in profits, and then seeing that spray of bones.

So yes, as you’re asking, I do feel responsible. Of course I do. I mean, there was nothing I could have done about it – my back is COVERED – but I took all precuations and the insurance is paying out. So – there you go.

I’m glad you asked. Really glad we’ve got it out of the way. I feel like there’s a fresh slate carved out here between us. It was great meeting you too and I hope next time we can have dinner as well as a drink before you scuttle off! Anyways, I hope that’s answered all the questions you had – there certainly seemed to be quite a few! – but hey, we all have preconceptions about internet dating!

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Alex Jury

Alex Jury

Alex Jury is a retired cowgirl, now working as a copywriter in London. She loves working with words but misses all the lassoing.
Alex Jury

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