Friday Fictioneers: Easy Pickings


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Pinkie waits by the big wheel.

The rink is closed for the night, the wind cutting across the ice, bringing winter with it. Fairy lights shiver in the black fingered trees, the smell of fried onions from the food stall reminds him of summer and richer pickings, long nights of beer and open jackets and easily lifted wallets.

‘Alright, Pinkie.’ Rose is smiling, a soft, wet-eyed smile that makes him want to punch her. Her hand in his is cold, slightly damp. Like a dead man’s.

‘The wheel is it?’ he says. It’s high up there. High and windy.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to write your own tale.

Apologies, but due to a heavy workload this week I won’t be reading as many FFs as usual, though be sure if you read and comment on my story, I will reciprocate … eventually!

Fairgrounds and seasides always have a darker side for me. On the surface it’s all family fun and bright lights and loud music, beneath there’s grime and dirt, rather like the rides themselves. Perhaps it’s all those holidaymakers with money in their pockets that attract folk wishing to have a slice of that money and not always legitimately.

Anyway, for some reason the image reminded me of Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock, the tale of the sociopathic teenage killer Pinkie Brown. There’s death and violence, sex and Catholicism, all mixed together in a rather distasteful brew – or at least I found it so when I read it as a teen. For those unfamiliar with the novel, look here.

In my story, I picture Pinkie meeting Rose, his girlfriend later wife who is oblivious to the extent of her spouse’s depths …

14 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Easy Pickings

  1. Evocative. And I know what you mean by the darker side of the seaside amusements, having spent several years working, if not on the funfair or in the arcades, at least in the environment. Though I had regular year-round employment, most of the workers are seasonal; working long hours, by the end of the season there’s an incestuous undercurrent to every relationship.

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  2. I read the critique and I don’t really think I will read that novel. 🙂 But your character snippet is vivid, at first inviting and ‘normal’ it moves to sinister and creepy. You can even make the trees feel creepy.

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  3. This is like an alternative history; an alternative fiction. Maybe Pinkie kills Rose this time, and has to flee, and as a result escapes being murdered himself? You made Rose sound very unappealing, with her wet-eyed smile, and her dead man’s fingers. And Pinkie is appropriately psychopathic, wanting to punch Rose. I suppose there are relationships like that in the world, that never proceed quite as far as murder…
    Good, thought-provoking tale, Lynn.

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  4. Dear Lynn,

    If you watch enough Twilight Zone or read Ray Bradbury, they also had a fondness for going dark at amusement parks. I’m sure they would be proud of your apt descriptions and atmospheric writings. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  5. Amazing.. we both went with Graham Greene… (for me it was the film “the third man” based on his novel) as soon as you wrote Pinkie I knew it was Brighton Rock.

    I know I have to read that book again, but I still remembered the story.

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  6. Wonderfully done. I, too, worried she’d be taking an involuntary dive off the top but you assuaged my fears by your footnote!

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  7. I remember having to read Brighton Rock in school. I don’t remember that particular book very well, but I do remember a short story I read (also for school) by Graham Greene about a bunch of kids trashing some place, and how the theme was supposed to be something about how “destruction, too, is an act of creation.” I didn’t get it then, and I’m still not sure I get it now, but I’ve been studying Hinduism, and keep coming across the notion that something new can only be brought about by the destruction of the old, and maybe that’s what he was getting at. Anyhoo, this piece was full of vivid imagery, and took a dark turn, which I like and which you’ve become so adept at. (My fears were not assuaged by your footnote, I think she took the involuntary dive.) Goodness!

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  8. The world of your imagination is a very dark, creepy and disturbing place, Lynn, one that belies your friendly and sociable exterior I would think. And I mean that in the nicest possible way!

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