‘What a view.’ Felix never imagined that thought would ever cross his mind while looking down from a Ferris Wheel, probably because he had always kept his eyes shut.
Earlier, the yin and yang of excitement and trepidation had pulled at him when he and his dad arrived at the summer carnival. Like any boy, he loved the atmosphere, essentially a kid’s version of Nirvana: the lights, the sideshows, the games, the rides, the junk food. Dad would spoil him rotten, too.
However, for Felix, there was a price to pay for so much indulgent fun, and he was standing in front of it now, looking up… way up.
“Can’t we see the 'Impossible Zoo' tent?" Felix asked. "They have zombies."
“Zombies are fake. Take your ticket,” Dad said sternly then nodded towards the Ferris Wheel. “Go.”
This particular ride was the bane of his existence due to his abject fear of heights. Ever since Dad took him on it for the first time when he was six and the boy had a meltdown, his old man insisted he ride the confounding amusement solo each time they went to the carnival for the past five years. He intended to scare the kid straight. It wasn’t working.
“Can I bring Oscar?” Felix asked. He clutched the small fishbowl he had won at the darts game.
Dad rolled his eyes and said, “Yes, you can take the turtle, you little wimp. Go already.”
Felix managed to rip his sneakers from the ground upon which they had apparently been super-glued and trudged ahead like a dead boy walking. He felt Dad’s eyes shoving him from behind.
A teenager with a dirty shirt and dirtier hands took his ticket and locked him into the chair. Felix grasped the rusty bar in front of him; it was sticky and smelled of cotton candy. Then the ride moved and stopped to load the next chair with passengers. This was the second-worst part, the start-stops swaying the chair, stirring his stomach. The worst part was when it did this while he was at the very top of the ride which was where he was now, squeezing Oscar in one arm and keeping his eyes shut.
Stuck up there, helpless, listening to the sounds of the crowds below, he heard lots of chatter, laughter and then screams… and more screams… and even more screams. Prying open his eyes, he peeked down below.
Amongst the mobs of people running around in a mad panic, he spotted Dad. He was still staring up at Felix with wide, fixed eyes, but he did so lying on the ground. His skull was cracked open and his brains were being scooped out like lemon sherbet. His twisty noodles of guts spilt out around his severed torso reminding Felix of the funnel cakes swimming in pools of red raspberry sauce.
Felix lifted the fishbowl, showing Oscar the ongoing mayhem. ‘What a view,’ he thought again, then said, “I knew zombies were real.”