12 Short Stories of Christmas: Seven Swans a Swimming

Published December 19, 2015 by ElisaChristy

For day six click here.

One of the carriages on the ride was broken again. A wheel had fallen off leaving the painted swan lopsided and unable to stay on the track around the ride. It wasn’t dangerous exactly, the swan would still go round and round, just slightly wonkily, but according to the manager of the theme park, no-one was to be allowed on the ride except Evan until he had fixed it. As Evan screwed the wheel back on to the side, he tried not to listen to the sounds of carnival music from outside, the songs were so repetitive that it had started annoying Evan ten minutes after he had started working at the theme park, now after ten years he was resigned to the songs and tried his best to block them out.

From inside the ride, there was a creaking noise, as if someone had taken just one step towards Evan.

Evan turned round but there was no-one there, so he went back to screwing the wheel onto the swan carriage.

No-one else at the theme park had worked there as long as Evan. There had been people over the years that like Evan had got to ten years, but no-one ever stayed here any longer than ten years except the manager.

He wanted to leave, ten years was way too long to stay in a job like this, he had started applying to other jobs, asked his manager for a reference, who hadn’t been best pleased that the park’s mechanic wanted to leave him, but as of yet no luck.

There was another creaking sound behind him, closer this time.

The wheel wasn’t going back on. He looked more closely at the axel of the carriage. It hadn’t fallen off, it had been sawed off, the broken metal had jagged edges from where it had been vandalised. Evan put his thumb on one of the sharp edges, and immediately took it away again, as the jagged edge cut his skin. He put his thumb  in his mouth to stop the bleeding, one drop of blood fell from his thumb onto the floor of the ride and he heard one last creak behind him.


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