A longing for something different

For the more than this competition.

When I was a child we couldn't have been closer but time forces people apart, circumstances change, people change and boredom can be one of the worst forces for change there is.


4. The desire for speed- Alice


At long last I’m going to see her. It still feels strange travelling by train without her- when she was four she used to love going on the train. Even in a packed train station with hundreds of other excitable children she would still move faster and more boldly than everyone else. We were always on time however she insisted on running through the forest of people haplessly tripping over leather clad roots and eagerly pushing around suit encased branches. She was enthused by the sound of a train whistle and the diversity in people’s appearances intrigued her but it was the speed of the train that enthralled her. She loved to go fast.


For her seventh birthday she was taken to a children’s theme park. The rides were relatively mediocre and mainly consisted of fairground attractions: spinning teacups, waltzes, a carousel. She regularly went to fairs the novelty had worn off somewhat. The crowd pullers were rapids, a log flume and a couple of medium sized rollercoasters. She shrieked happily when she got soaked without warning on the rapids and log flume and I had expected a similar reaction to the squirrel coaster and the runaway mine train. What nobody had anticipated was the look of utter awe on her face, she was completely addicted. She never even contemplated going ice skating for her birthday again.


As soon as she was tall enough she went on the most terrifying rides in Britain- the only thing that could stop her going on a ride was if it was rumoured not to be as scary as it looked. This carried on for years- she would get up in the early hours of the morning and freeze in line for hours, her feet throbbing, for an intense thrill that would last two minutes. The only time she ever stood still was when she was first in line for her latest conquest. Only when she hit 16 did the magic start to wear off. She has always wanted there to be larger loops, bigger drops, and tighter corners, she dreamt of spinning, going upside down, backwards all ridiculously fast at crazy angles, she hoped there would be surprises: unexpected vertical drops, faces jumping out of the blue, suddenly shooting backwards, the unexpected caress of ghostly fingers, abruptly plunging into blackness and she needed to go fast. Unfortunately the rides weren’t being designed and constructed quickly enough for her and so she lost interest in one of her loves in life and the one option for any celebration which guaranteed satisfaction was taken away from me. Her supposed to be surprise 18th birthday party was held in the draughty village hall, with the rattly radiators, creaky benches, leaking taps and cracked windows, where the biggest surprise of the night was the appearance of her friend Molly’s shoplifting ex boyfriend.


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