A Ride on the Carousel
The face of evil often hides behind a mask, waiting, watching, for an opportunity to strike. He lurks, his presence unknown, his victims unaware, until that moment he shows his true self.
Does evil beget evil, the man wondered. For he had been born to evil, had lived with it all his life. For him, evil wore the mask of father, and only he knew what was hidden behind the mask.
There were no ‘once upon a time’ fairy tales in his life, no happy childhood memories. Some might say he had a choice, once he was old enough to run, to escape from the life he’d been born to, but why, he asked, would he want to.
He’d endured years of abuse at the hand of his father, but it had served its purpose, had taught him about the pain, and the pleasures, of living on the dark side. He had learned and listened well. He’d found his ’project’ and proved himself a worthy Devil’s Apprentice.
The beautiful carousel in the park looked benign, a silly and simple ride on a summer’s afternoon. The music could be heard for miles, a charming arrangement of notes that lured his chosen victims close, where he seduced them into a complacent and willing obedience.
The devil’s playground, he laughed.
The young women had smiled as they rode his painted ponies, round and round, wanting to be seen, expecting the attention. They were so full of themselves, and yet he found them vacuous. They had been enslaved by their own vanity. One by one they were drawn to the mirrors on the inner panels of the carousel. They prepped and preened, feeling entitled, feeling smug with their perceived superiority.
He had drawn them in through the mirror, and given them what they wanted most, admiration and endless beauty. They had made their deal with the devil.
There were now twelve lovely horses, riding in a perpetual circle, up and down, round and round, his collection complete.
The horses appeared to be carved of wood, caught forever mid stride, as if trying to run away. Their manes curled, decorated with flowers, their saddles shone with a gilded touch. Beautiful, yet their eyes had a wild look, their expressions frozen in a grimace, their mouths open as if to scream.
He stroked his hand down the neck of the white horse, as a man might stroke a lover’s back. “You’re looking a little worn here, Belinda. Those nasty children, they’ve kicked and scraped at your golden reins. I’ll have to touch it up for you. Wouldn’t want you to look less than perfect now, would we?”
One by one he greeted his ‘herd’, his ladies as he liked to call them, and inspected them for any imperfections. He smiled, the crowds would soon be arriving, and he wanted his fillies to look their best.