Once through the automatic doors, he glanced over at the mechanical horse by the pop machine, the kind that bounced, took quarters, and plunked out calliope music. It’d been there since he was a boy, as if it’d escaped from a nearby carousel. He longed for the days when his daughter’s needs were simple, when she’d plead for one more gumball, one more video game, one more turn—on a ride, within his reach—like this one. If only he could strap her onto this horse’s saddle, weathered just so by the wind and rain, grab the reins, and gallop away.
By Susan Triemert