#fridayflash Spun

He remembers Sarah spinning, her arms outstretched on the strand. The sepia sky, whirligig in the wind, her hair spread with static, her toes making a hole in the sand. So long ago that it might be a story he has spun for himself, a consolation.

Last week she made spun sugar with the twins. Flicking the strands over the handles of saucepans so that it made a mesh that glistened. The girls became ensnared in bright threads, that dangled from their hands like phosphorescent stalactites. They wanted to hug him, to wrap him up with their sweet ropes but he backed away. The phone rang in the office.

He used to go to Funderland as a teenager, he loved the spider armed rides that flung him into the air and rotated at head spinning speeds. It was the thrill of it. His brother Mark and his best friend Freddie with their faces peeled back with the centrifugal force of an anti-gravity machine.

In the new casino, he watched the croupier cast the ball onto the roulette wheel. He kept his hand in his pocket. He knew what was going to happen even as the wheel spun. He should have known what was going to happen to his property portfolio a long time before the world stopped turning. When Sarah had finished cooking with the girls, the pristine, granite topped kitchen had been in a state, he didn’t know if it could be undone.

His grandmother’s house even further back in time, not sepia but black. Soot on the ceiling, spider webs in every corner, the same tales spun over and over. He was only five. She rolled a pound note into his fist. He thought he was rich. He kissed her skin and it was the same texture as the pound note. Eddies in the water, fishing with his father, rumours of whirlpools in the rivers of his childhood.

Wheel spin after an argument with Sarah. The Porche chasing away his fears momentarily. He went to the harbour. From the end of the pier, the water was so black, he couldn’t see into it. Further down the coast a Ferris wheel sedately turned. There would be a wonderful view of the lights from there.


  1. Alison, I love, love, love your prose. You are so very gifted! This has a calming quality about it that was a pleasure to feel. I especially like the line: “The girls became ensnared in bright threads, that dangled from their hands like phosphorescent stalactites.”

  2. Second week in a row, “whirligig” makes an appearance in #fridayflash. Literacy is redeemed, even if that’s not the sort of thing I should be paying attention to in a piece so emotional. Vivid work, Alison.

  3. After the argument with Sarah line I kept expecting this to turn sinister. Glad it didn’t. The cycles of life-wonderful.

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