Merry-go-Round by Alex Hurst

Two posts in one day? Madness! Except today, Illustrious’s schedule coincided with my newest short story release over at Out of Print. I visit many of my familiar themes in this piece, so if you’ve liked past work of mine on that blog (“Passing Over: The Handbook”, “Scalawag”), I think you’ll enjoy this one, too.

Out of Print

Westerfield Playground is a sad place.

A girl died here. Spun off the merry-go-round, hit a tree, neck buckled like a sippy-straw. She died before the ambulance arrived. Her father cried and screamed, and refused to let the paramedics move her. The whole neighborhood saw it happen.

For months, bouquets and colorful candles surrounded the tree like a skirt. For a while there was a picture, too. The rain kept wearing her face off, though, so they brought a new one that was laminated. They say plastic is forever, but even that shell meant to protect the memory of her smile corroded, and the rain seeped in, bleeding away all of the pigment until the photo was nothing more than a ghost.

Someone eventually tore the laminate off the tree, and then the bouquets and candles disappeared, too.

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2 thoughts on “Merry-go-Round by Alex Hurst

  1. Wow, this is a powerful story, Alex. From the second paragraph, where the girl’s neck is described as “buckled like a sippy-straw,” the story held my attention. I like the shorter sentences as well. Very concise, and great dialogue.


    1. Thank you so much, Miranda. 🙂 I’m really glad you enjoyed it. That’s also my favorite line in the story. I originally wrote it as a 100-word story, and expanded it out for this month’s blog to 1,500, and that’s basically the only sentence that made it into the final cut. 😉


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