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Atlas & Alice | Issue 3, Spring 2015

shelf the size of Manhattan falling into the ocean, pointed it out to Sebastian at the breakfast table set up on the dysfunctional carousel. Horses had long since been graffitied or had holes punched in them. Someone had broken the poles holding some of them up and they lay strewn around the men. Jackson slid the newspaper across the table, his finger resting on the story. “Should we be preparing for disaster?” Sebastian asked. “That's basically what we're doing,” Jackson said. “Sitting here?” “When it happens, we're just going to be sitting around, doing the same things we would have been doing otherwise,” Jackson said. Jackson's father flew into town, showed up at the park. He found Jackson dousing a ride in kerosene. Raccoons were painted on the sides, pelican and alligator statues perched on top. “Glad to see you're getting better,” Jackson's father said. “I'm doing better than ever,” Jackson said. He produced a book of matches, asked his dad to stand back. He held a match against the matchbook. “What are these machines for?” he asked. “I don't know, Jackson. Tell me.” “They're supposed to be exciting, but they only do what they're designed for. They spin in circles or rise way up and drop you from the sky. You ride and you either ride again or you go do whatever you had been doing before it started,” he said. Sebastian found a group of teenage boys smoking and wandering the grounds one night. He pulled a gun on the boys and brought them to Jackson. “I found these hooligans trying to enjoy your park for free,” Sebastian said. Jackson took the handgun from Sebastian, tossed it in the overgrown bushes. They stood next to a water ride perched over a pond full of stagnant water. Jackson smelled something rotten. He told the boys to go home, to forget his idiot friend. “We just wanted to have fun,” one of the boys said. “There's this big park with all these rides and things, and it's just empty and falling apart.” Jackson kicked at the bones of a dead bird. He asked for a cigarette from the boys. “How do you think this world's going to end?” he asked. “I don't know,” one of them said. “By fire or by flood, I suppose.” “What if it ends quietly and we just don't notice?” Jackson asked. Jackson opened the park up to admission for the one ride. People wandered in nightly, looking for anything to do. They heard about the park and the one working roller coaster in the middle of it. People remarked on the ugliness of the park, wondered how anyone could want to live there. After a couple weeks, crowds of people showed up nightly. Jackson ran the coaster long into the night, drinking and searching the news. Sebastian stopped riding, instead reading manuals on park maintenance. He inspected the ride, tried to ensure it would not collapse and kill anyone. He brought his 81

Profile for Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 3 | Spring 2015

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 3 | Spring 2015

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