Biographical Non-Fiction posted May 6, 2017


Exceptional
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A dare taken .

The Ride of my Life

by Cass Carlton


I was at the beach with my family. Totally boring!
My mother had me running errands ever since we'd arrived and I was thoroughly fed up.

The younger children had not been well in the past week, so Mum had decided that a few hours of sea air was the best cure for them.
They hadn't wanted to swim, they wouldn't eat the fish and chips we'd bought for lunch, and all they wanted was to go home and get back into bed.

Just as we were about to start packing up, my sister, Lottie and her husband Paul and their small son came along, so instead I was sent off for another tray of tea while they got stuck into the half cold fish and chips.

The healthiest of the children began making sandcastles with young Alf while the others settled down under the rug and fell asleep.

The afternoon turned to evening and the fairground up on the lawns lit up and began its cacaphonic urging to come and join in the night's revelry.

Paul, who thought he was God's gift to womankind, was bragging about his exploits on the Dodgem cars, much to his wife's disdain.

Barry, my younger brother was all ears, but there was no offer of a ride from the braggart to show how clever he was.

Then my four year old nephew said, " I can ride the bucking horses."

I looked at him and smiled kindly, but he insisted that he could. His idea of the bucking horses was the Merrygoround where the horses went up and down on a pole.

The bucking horses ride was in fact a very exciting and dangerous ride patronized by strong and fit young men in their late teens or early twenties.

It was modeled on the same principle as the Flying Chairs, but instead of sitting in a chair on the end of four chains, the rider sat astride a horse tethered fore and aft by a rigid bar with links at the horse's head and tail.

The idea was that the rider would swing the horse out as far as possible to reach as high as they could.

Once we settled just what horses young Alfred meant, the conversation turned to the daring of the boys who rode the big ride so fearlessly.

My young brother Barry, who I privately referred to as 'Cockroach" was still trying to con a ride on the Dodgem cars out of Paul, who tried to distract him with talk of other attractions.

I was talking to Mum and the two littlest children who had woken up feeling much better, when I heard Paul say something about the bucking horses being too dangerous for "kids Barry's size. And probably your big sister too."

I didn't like Paul at all. He was arrogant and rude leaving no chance unmet to make a slighting remark or some veiled insult . Which his last remark most certainly was.

I was built on the generous side, but not as huge as I had been told, but I was very touchy about any reference to my size. A remark about me being "a big sister" made in my hearing was a gauntlet thrown down and a dare to pick it up.

I glared at him but he gave me his most innocent stare with parted lips as though surprised at my response.

"But you are!"he remonstrated "You're older than Barry---" and smiled smugly at his wife who smiled smugly back.
She, too, enjoyed making remarks about my "buxom build"

"So," I snapped "That makes me too big for the bucking horses, does it? Well, we'll see about that Mr. Smartypants Dodgem cars Champion."

I snatched up my purse and in a flurry of blue skirts flounced off to the fair ground. I reached the bucking horses ride and saw to my dismay that a boy from my neighborhood was waiting to get on.

His name was Jeffrey and he lived in the next street from us.
He was a tall, handsome lad usually accompanied by several mates who eyed every girl off and often made cheeky remarks.

He was always very polite to me as I usually stuck my nose in the air when ever I met him at the shop or the bus stop. Actually I fancied him something rotten.

I hesitated for a moment when he said to me
"I thought you were going to get on then. What happened ? Not dressed for it?"

Not dressed for it? I hadn't put my shoes on and my legs were bare under the blue skirted dress I wore . But, I was wearing my best broderie anglaise knickers and a lace trimmed half slip, so I thought "What the Hell" and bought my ticket.

The man at the controls eyed me carefully for a moment and then asked if I'd like him to mind my purse while I rode.
He was a big, burly man with a pair of twinkling blue eyes that summed me up in a lightning glance at my generous build and determined expression.
I handed him my purse with a word of thanks and then chose my steed, opting for one called "Pegasus".
I swung up onto it and rocked it experimentally. It moved easily and I felt a stab of excitement.
This was going to be fun!

Just then I heard someone calling my name and saw to my delight the whole party from the beach approaching the ride, my mother and sister urgently calling me, my brother-in-law's face white as a sheet and guilt ridden.

Too late!

The man tripped the lever and the horses started to move.

For a moment I felt a paralyzing terror, but then something else kicked in and I swung the horse forward. It moved easily and I felt my skirts swish back showing tanned thighs and a froth of white lawn petticoats.

Jeffrey was on the other side of the ride and managed a quick wave before he swung his horse high. I swung nearly to the same height and he grinned across at me in approval.

I glanced down at my family as I passed, noting with satisfaction my sister's look of fury at the lust in her husband's face.

My mother soon realized I was well in control and capable of seeing the ride through and stood there beaming approval. She knew Paul had provoked me and was pleased to see him put back in his place.

I was completely engrossed in swinging higher and higher, only dimly aware that Jeffrey was watching.

It was the closest thing to flying I ever experienced and filled me with a sense of exhilaration never felt since.

All too soon the ride slowed to a stop and I slid off Pegasus and into Jeffrey's waiting arms, my purse in his hand and a smile on his face.

The man at the controls pushed his hat to the back of his head and flashed a grin at me. I think he would have spoken to me, but he was busy taking fares from the crowd of people who were queuing for their turn.

I hadn't noticed that a crowd had gathered to watch a girl with bare legs and white petticoats ride the bucking horses like she'd done it all her life.

Jeffrey and I went out together several times before he went into the Air Force.

Word soon got around about my exploit , and not long after I was invited to a beach party by a group of young people from the church.

It was only to find out if the stories they'd heard were true.
So, I proved it was, but somehow it didn't have the same effect as that first amazing ride.
In fact they looked askance at my long , bare legs and murmured remarks about modesty and self restraint.

I didn't bother with them after that, but whenever my family went to the beach I was always first in line, at the first ride of the evening. and I always rode "Pegasus."









The time of my life: writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a short story. The topic is: The best time you ever had in your life. It can be as an adult or as a child. Please keep it clean. Minimum length 100 words. Maximum Length 4,000 words.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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