Friday Fictioneers – Parental Guidance – Don’t!

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Parental Guidance - Don't 180117

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Parental Guidance – Don’t!

My legs swing free and a warm pine-scented breeze caresses me all over, even my toes, as I feel the first juddering of the ride, whose lurid seats resemble a beetle’s carapace, curved, metallic green, dangling from metal poles whose rust I notice as the music pounds and the movement quickens, and my feet swing out, my sandals skimming inches from the safety rail, the lights above me flashing red and amber and blue, and a disco strobe accompanies the heavy rock that endlessly pummels my ears and – we’re slowing.

Thank goodness that’s over.

“Did you enjoy it, kids?”

77 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Parental Guidance – Don’t!

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly. I worked hard at choosing the precise words, and also at loading the piece with graphic sensory descriptions. But the element I tried hardest to render was accelerating the pace by gradually bringing the word stresses closer together.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Kids love these rides, don’t they? I think most grown-ups (certainly me!) prefer something a little gentler – an old-fashioned carousel, for example!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comment. I was experimenting technically, to see whether I could find a way of imitating the fairground ride. I think that’s the longest single sentence I’ve ever written, weighing in at 91 words!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think that my parents thankfully never had to experience the fears…. I grow fond of roller coasters when I was old enough to go myself… I remember how my mother told me how she went with her little sister who stood up during the ride, and my mother had to pull her down… after that she ceased to love amusement parks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m so glad the very long sentence worked for you; it’s a risky technique because it can very easily become muddled. I had to write and re-write several times!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Irene
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I was tempted by tragedy, mainly because my twist is bathetic. That’s very risky with flash fiction, because it can leave the reader feeling ‘So what?’ But I felt too upbeat for a miserable ending!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • it’s perfect as it is. It does not have to be tragic to have tension. The inner tension was greater than any thriller and the positive end a breath of relief.

        Like

    • Dear Moon
      Thank you for reading, and for your very kind comment. I wrote the piece more or less as a technical exercise, and I’ve learned a lot from writing it, and from people’s reactions to it.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My oldest brother used to wait until we were on the ride, then point to the seat in front of us and say the ride was held together with baling wire and cotter pins–which wasn’t far from the truth.
    That same night, a person on another ride got sick and threw up while in mid-air. The vomit splashed on several of the riders below. I was merely an observer, but it soured me on carnival rides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Russell
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Some of those old fairground rides used to be dreadfully ramshackle – thank goodness they’re now much better maintained. I can understand the attraction of the adrenaline rush – I’ve enjoyed downhill skiing – but I’m not a huge fan of carnival rides.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  3. Wonderful use of sensory details to convey the emotions of the scene! I’m getting the impression from many of the stories and the comments that a lot more people dislike carnival rides than I ever realized. Or maybe writers are especially unlikely to appreciate such rides. The rides are always full at the fair, so clearly someone enjoys them besides me — or I wouldn’t have to stand in such long lines!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I recall being in Spokane, a few years ago, going on a small cable car route, in Riverfront Park. A carload of teens passed across from me, with the boys laughing at the lone older man (me). Most likely, they were masking their own fear of the ride. I was sitting serenely, hands relaxed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the descriptive writing. It is a relief when they’re old enough to do these things on their own, isn’t it!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Well, Anie, the title is a joke. The phrase ‘Parental Guidance’ usually appears on films, DVDs etc to advise parents what age a child needs to be for the content of the film/DVD to be appropriate. I’ve turned that back-to-front. The guidance is to parents themselves about whether it’s suitable for them to go on the ride. You’ll see from the story that my answer is ‘Don’t’ – because you won’t enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh, thank you I did not know that expression and it makes sense! Well, do I find your advice good? Not everything in life is enjoyable. Without low no high, without anger no fun and without hate no love. Some things are for learning, some for the fun of others, both of them indirectly benefit us again. So after it did not bring any permanent damage, I would say, good decision!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Usually, it’s the other way around. Years ago I took my little daughter on a small roller coaster for younger children. I was afraid she might be scared but I misjudged her. She wanted to go again and again. Good writing, Penny. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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