Three weeks it had taken Marian to persuade her father to take her to the funfair. His agreement was only finally secured by her assurance that there was a bar on site. Marian loved the fair: the dizzying rides, the feeling of the air rushing over her. At speed, the world softened. Hard edges were smoothed out, cruel words stripped from the mouth and carried away before they could find their target.
Once there, her father threw a filthy, crumpled five pound note at her.
“That’s it, so make it last. Come and get me here when you’re done,” he barked, and disappeared into the heat and noise and smell of the beer tent.
Five pounds was plenty enough. Marian bought her token for the ride and a bag of hot donuts. She ate the donuts, wiped sugar from her chin and cheeks, and joined the queue.
“Hold on tight!” the young man grinned as he checked her chair.
“I won’t!” she laughed back over the tacky 80s music.
As the chair rose gracefully into the air, gathering speed, Marian threw her arms out wide and a huge grin spread across her freckled face. The chairs began to sweep higher and lower, up and down, faster and faster. Marian unclipped the chain that secured her, pushing herself forward and off the chair. She fell briefly before stalling, and hanging in the air.
Then she began to rise, higher and higher into the cool night air, as far below her the lights and sounds of the funfair receded into nothingness, and the grubby beer tent disappeared entirely.