It was that time of year again, the time the fair rolled into town. I’d go every year, ever since I was a small child, holding my fathers hand as he took me to hook a duck, ride the tea cups and he’d always win me the biggest prize when he threw the balls at the bottles, always in two hits.
Now I’m venturing without family, instead with friends, Sarah and Beth as we trio the vicinity.
We grab some tickets, readying the games and the rides, entering through the great arch way whilst welcomed by the traveling pack as my father would always call them.
A clown greeted us and it took me back to that youthful time of being terrified, Beth in fact still was and went running screaming.
It was still as I remembered it, the lights draped from post to post, twinkling. The sounds of machines, cheering children and screaming adults from rides and the big coaster I always wondered how they managed to get it all put together i]each year.
The various noises and music, the games dotted everywhere, it was like being home once again, the wandering traveler I was. In fact, it always felt like this when I came back to my home town now, the wandering tourist I always seemed to be each time.
As we eventually caught up with Beth, she stood in front of something, somewhere I was always curious about but would never be allowed to enter.
It was an old wooden wagon, green on the outside with the fading paint. Fortuneteller was engraved in faint gold paint on the front and the door slowly opened as we stood gazing at it.
A frail old woman came from the dark and waived us in, and because my inner child so deeply wanted to see what this was all about at a young age, I had to look inside.
It was all red, velvet with stools and a crystal ball on a table. The woman waived to a seat and the three of us, all crammed in the small wagon sat down.
We were given a warning, “Beware your fortune, for I shall tell. However insidious they may be.”
She said all this whilst still waiving her hands on the ball which grew cloudy with smoke inside. That’s when we witnessed it all, good and bad, happy and sad.
Our whole lives prognosticate in front of us, for-tolled before us, and then we sat in silence, trying to comprehend what we had seen. The visions, some blurred, some as clear as day, some bringing agonising pain whilst others a tear of happiness.
We urgently left, the woman not saying anything or asking for coppers or gold, she just gave an elderly smile upon us.
Standing outside of the wagon, we didn’t feel any of the fair around us anymore, there was a clear reason my father never let me see the fortune teller, enter the wagon and for good reason.
Now we felt broken, scared and as if we had nothing further to do as we’d already seen it all.