by Ryan Shiroma
††††††††††† You are the first to the merry-go-round.† Mom hands you a ticket, and you snatch it into your small hands Ė fingers squeezing like snakes.† How long until I go, you ask, hypnotized by the twirling animals.† Mom says, One commercial break of Sponge Bob.† And you sneer, knowing full well that it wonít be long.† Your grip on the ticket tightens, sugar pumping through your veins.† You tell yourself to choose the pretty pony Ė the white one with the pink saddle.† It winks at you, and your face brightens.† Heís waiting for me, you whisper.† My pony.† My pretty white pony.
††††††††††† When the gates open he kneels to the ground, waiting for you.† Waiting for the birthday girlís magical ride.† And you run to him.† You run with all your might.† But a smaller girl with pigtails brushes past you, her blond hair flopping this way and that.† You turn to Mom.† Thatís my pony, you tell her.† You turn to the girl.† Thatís my pony, you tell her.† Your hands race up her back, and you pull.† You pull and pull with all of your strength, pulling on her pigtails as if they are rope.
††††††††††† Itís only when she falls to the ground clutching her scalp that you hear Momís screams.† But you ignore her.†† After all, pony is happy to see you mount him.† And you smooth his mane, weaving your fingers inside and out.† You look down at the girl crying on her back.† I am the birthday girl, you tell her.† I am seven.
Ryan Shiroma is studying and enjoying the weather at California State University, Long Beach. He also interns at Swink Magazine.† This is his first published piece.
Archived at http://lit.konundrum.com/prose/shiror_seven.htm