Riding High

Ned’s knuckles were white, and the ride hadn’t even started.

“Oh Ned, just relax, it’s fine,” Monette said.

“Says you.”

“Trust me. People do this all the time. If it was dangerous, we’d have heard about it.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

“Ned, come on, let go.”

“Monette,” Ned said, turning his head, his eyes wide with fear, “I’ve read about these things. All the problems with carnival rides. People who go on them, and then the thing falls apart and people die, and that’s that, because the carnies don’t care about what they’re doing, it’s just a low-paying job to them.”

“Ned, we saw it go around a few times while in line. It’s fine.”

“Yeah, it’s always fine until we AH!” Ned’s head whipped to the front as they started moving forward, then up. His hands gripped harder, and Monette could see his jaw clenching. She sighed, and looked around as they rose higher. At the top, the Ferris Wheel came to a stop, and Ned’s hands continued to grip the bar in front of him.

“See?” Monette said. “No problem.”

Ned didn’t say anything; he just kept staring forward.

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