Caged in at the Carnival – Ashley Salvatore

        Ashley Salvatore

       Mr. Jockers

       ILA period 8



                                                    Caged in at the Carnival


The world around me started spinning uncontrollably as we started to be lifted into the air. My vision was forced upward, as the spinning motion occasionally stopped, only for us to be upside down for a few split seconds, before being thrown forward by gravity. Although a bit frightened, I loved the adrenaline-fueled feeling.

It was a beautiful summer evening, and the soothing sunset caught my eyes as the sun was setting in Easton. My mom, sister, and I were on our way to the Easton Town Carnival. I couldn’t wait to meet up with my friends and go on rides together. As we approached the carnival the artificial light emitting from the rides gleamed against the darkening sky catching my attention to look up.

Wow. I thought to myself. This carnival was even better than I remembered. My first glance was of the the magnificent ferris wheel glowing with neon lights in an endless pattern. Crowds of people quickly rushed by to get their turn on rides. Then the ripcord; a skyscraper high ride with its unmistakable crown-like structure at its top, giving the ability to be seen from a mile away. And the smooth, black pavement, with grass scattered in patches here and there. Unmistakably, the Easton Fire Department standing in the middle of this carnival chaos.

Walking further in, I heard the almost blood-curdling screams of fear yet enjoyment moving everywhere within the darkness. And, to no surprise, the tiny concession stand always catering to enormous lines. As we strolled closer in, I eventually smelled the salty aroma of freshly-popped popcorn combined with the sweet smell of classic pink and blue cotton candy and the too-familiar fragrance of grease-filled fried dough and oreos at the food court. Once being very observant of my new surrounding, I came back to reality, and quickly caught up with my mom and sister as they arrived at the never-ending ticket booth, where lots of people lined up for a night filled with fun.

The line started to shorten, and it was soon our turn to get the wristbands. As I happily skipped to the front, to fill up the space in line, my mom purchased for the wristbands. The police officer handed us two yellow tickets patterned with smiley faces. I could hardly wait for my adventure to begin. After putting the band on, we walked around until I spotted my group of friends who had just finished the ferris wheel. When they got off, we all went to the Fun House and then to get some typical carnival food at the concession stand.

I remember getting sticky, soft cotton candy on a stick, the color of bright blue neon. Once everyone got a delicious treat, we walked over to a small grassy hill, near the bingo area to finish our sweets, before going on other rides. The night seemed to fly by, and when the night was mostly over, it was just me and one of my friends. Not knowing what to do, we took a stroll around the carnival, and went on all of the rides again. Or so we thought.

“The Monkey Cages,” I said in a fearful voice. The one ride we hadn’t gone on yet.

“Should we go on?” my friend questioned. I didn’t know what to make of the situation, but just thought to myself, what was the worst thing that could happen? She gave me a worried look, and I knew I felt the same thing.

“At least we’ll be able to say we went on every ride.”

“I guess so.” I replied.

There was a slight second when we both looked up in amazement, staring wide-eyed at the enormous attraction towering over us. We watched the people as they flew by in their small space of their cage. We felt the wind blow onto our faces, and watched the trees sway. What now awaited me was the ride I was most terrified of. I started to contemplate if I really wanted to do this and instantly started thinking about all of the terrible things that could possibly go wrong if I chose to go on this terrifying ride. I imagined myself on the ride, and became afraid of what was ahead of me. The white and orange design of the attraction was frightening as it reminded me of a spider web, with its eight sides, holding on to the eight cages. It reminded me of a time when I was younger, and I went on. I never did since. It gave me the chills.

Suddenly, I came back to a frightening realization of my situation. I looked around to see my friend standing beside me, an anxious look on her face. I wondered if she over thought this just as much as I did. And, as if we shared the same mind, she reassured me by her calm voice, saying it’s just a ride. The sentence kept running through my mind as we made the final decision and went into the only 1 person line. Why was there only one person in line? Did they know what it was like? Fear and anxiousness arose within me. As we were called up next, I dashed to the outside of the cage, and my friend on the inside. The door to our cage locked tightly (hopefully) with a loud creek. There was no turning back now.

We slowly ascended upwards, into the deep, dark sky that dazzled with stars. I closed my eyes…Woosh! I heard the whirling wind violently blowing in my ears as we kept flipping upside down in the tight space of the cage. My eyes were closed, but I heard the cage slow to a stop. Was the ride already over? It almost didn’t seem possible, until I felt a weird feeling emerge within me, as I regrettingly opened my eyes to reveal that we were stuck upside down at the Very Top. I was surprised by the sudden sensation. Struggling to lift my head from the force of gravity, I saw a peek of the endless sky, speckled with slightly sparkling stars once again. For some reason, the bright stars were always calming to me. It reminded me of how vast our universe is. After having that instant thought in my mind, I wondered when we would start moving, and I would get back to earth once again.

Coincidentally, as if to remind me where I was, everyone started to scream. Soon enough, we realized that we were both having more fun than I could imagine. Swinging the enclosed cage, we started laughing at the feeling of the carnival ride.

“This is more fun than I thought it would be!” I said through bursts of laughter. “Woohoo!” we happily screamed together.

After lots of rounds, (couldn’t count how many because I was too dizzy), the cage slowed to a sudden stop and we were unlocked.

Feeling amazed…and still dizzy, I stepped out first. Looking back, I saw my friend joyfully jumping out of the cage with a pleased smile.

When the carnival started emptying out from the crowds of people, it was about 10:30 PM. The wind started to blow even harder and the crickets chirped cheerfully, evoking in us the realization that it was time to say goodbye.

“That was one of the best rides I’ve ever been on.” she said

“Yeah, I thought I would be scared.” I replied

“I have to get going.” she said, and started to walk towards the bus.

“Until next time!” I yelled out excitingly.

And with the ending of this crazy, unexpected ride, we thought to ourselves how lucky we were that we were both there for each other. As our time for the carnival krept to an end, we shared a final short glance that brought gleaming grins to both of our faces. We were so happy that we experienced the ride. Together.


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