The carousel beckoned with gaudy fingers of lacquered gold, and the old man loomed.
“£1 a ride.” His voice was ashes.
He pocketed the proffered coin and motioned towards the steps. Tentative, I looked up, and in the old man’s glassy eyes lived the reflected tortured mouths of his painted horses in their circular open cage.
Suddenly infinitesimal, suddenly horrified, I froze.
“There’s a line,” someone reminded me tartly, and I shrank before them. “Get on or get out of the line.”
The gilded horses laughed.
I ran, and on a tract less muddy, I collapsed to the floor and wept.