Fun for Sale


Tommy never took the kids to the carnival, but his wife, Tracy, had a job at the corn dog stand. So it was Tommy’s turn to keep them entertained. He bought the children wristbands for unlimited rides with the stipulation they be home by their 8:30 bedtime.

The children insisted on ride after ride, and sweaty little heads and the blur of cars on tracks whooshing by him gave Tommy a swirling sense of involvement he hadn’t yet experienced in his parental years. He appeased their requests of, “One more time, just one more time,” in hopes of being their favorite instead of Mom for a change. Some of the best times of his childhood also took place at the county fair.

Tommy was willing to let them ride to their hearts’ content and gave them whatever else they asked. Stopping first at Mom’s corn dog stand for a couple freebies, the trio went on to funnel cakes, Pineapple Whip and finally the pièce de résistance  — cotton candy. When asked to choose between blueberry, watermelon, and raspberry the kids picked their favorites — purple and pink — and with his last five-dollar bill, Tommy acquiesced. He couldn’t refuse them a little fluff of happiness, and its sticky goo circled their mouths as they moved goggle-eyed to the merry-go-round.

Tracy’s shift ended at 10pm, whereupon she found her family still on the midway. Tommy chased T.J. around the Tilt-a-whirl, screaming his name above the loud calliope music, while little Annalie sat in the grass along the gravel walkway, green around the gills, next to a pool of her vomit. She frowned, wrinkled up her dirt-streaked face, and her eyes widened at her mother’s approach. Dejectedly, she began to cry and said, “Mommy, we’re having too much fun to go home now.”



WORD COUNT: 300 MAX. (+/-) 

from a beetle with earrings


  1. Such an interesting write , Katy. Very real with your choice and words. Like I was there witnessing everyone at the same time. Lovely take on the prompt.

  2. Your story brings back many memories of when I was much younger. We looked forward to the Victoria Day county fair weekend festival every year. And of course the fluff of happiness was a staple. Thanks for the fond remembrance.

  3. I love thinking of cotton candy as a “fluff of happiness” , it’s the perfect analogy for it. Right now, so close to Memorial Day at the NJ shore, it feels like summer to me.

    I like the turmoil, the little girl who didn’t want to go home just yet (despite her motion sickness) and of course that sweet confection.

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