The Ferris Wheel May06


Related Posts

Share This

The Ferris Wheel

The storm blew in quickly catching the entire town off guard.  They couldn’t say they were not warned, because the Weather Channel on Television told the whole world exactly where it was constantly.

But on a beautiful blue sky day who was watching T.V.?

It seemed a bit windy all of a sudden, but only the sharp, young, working, women, with expensive hair-dos paid any attention to it and scurried inside.

  Boys with idle kites rushed to bring them out and get them into the brisk air.  They did notice that the wind was doing something different, because it was sending their kites out over the Atlantic Ocean instead of toward the mountains from the sea as usual.  But the building breeze was warmer than usual, so the eager young Boy Scouts stayed to enjoy the sight of their colorful kites getting higher and higher.

The higher they became the more confused they were, circling and twisting each other into mock dog fights, which the guys found thrilling as the kites attacked one another.

Scott’s blue and yellow kite suddenly knocked point first into Mike’s red and white kite making a hole right in the middle of the red stripe, so that it dove for the ground and he was stuck winding the string as fast as he could to save it from being tangled hopelessly.

  It finally crashed into a tall tree and that was that!  Mike cussed out Scott, who was laughing until he saw Mike’s kite twisted into the tree top in shreds.  

Meanwhile Andrew and John were enjoying their own kites battling until they became aware of Mike’s fate and began to bring them down while they still could.  

The four boys stood watching the increasing wind begin to take stuff from the ground and carry it as easily as it had their kites and take as high up as a kite, even rather large stuff that had never left the earth before. 

 Someone yelled at the boys to get in and out of this Tornado before they were carried away themselves.

 They were only kids, but at twelve and thirteen years old they knew exactly what a Tornado was and began to look seriously at the dark clouds that had formed off to their right moving across the ball park grass and lifting a wall of dirt from the edges and blending it with loose leaves from the trees that surrounded the field.  

They ran for home away from the swirling tower, each dropping out as they reached their house.  Scott waved goodbye, yelling “Sorry about your kite Mike!” as he left.  

Mike barely heard him, as he cut through the alley to reach home faster.  The brothers, John and Andrew, were still trying to wrap the paper of their kites around the folded sticks to save them but the strong wind tore them loose and John began to chase his.

“No John! Forget it!”  Andrew shouted, as he watched his kite head off behind John’s and climb above a neighbor’s roof.  “We made these, we can make new ones.”  They dashed into the house and found their parents watching the storm from both the window and the television.  

Their mother began to take some food and water down the basement steps.  Dad decided to drag the twin bed mattresses down the stairs also, so the boys got the picture and began to help him.

This was really a serious Tornado!  It had been fun for awhile but now they must do as they had been trained for years to do even when no Tornado’s ever came close.  Dad was calling it a Hurricane.  The man on the T.V. used both words. 

The boys guessed it meant both were possible.

Their Dad reminded them that when he was a boy they did all of this when the Air-raid sirens were blasting their warning, but the boys had never lived in a war zone and only had seen them in the movies, which they never took very seriously.  They were all special effects anyway.

Both boys grabbed at their cache of comic books as they descended the steps to the rather cold, junky basement.  There were no windows or T.V. down there, just an old radio which Dad turned on.  But the voice was monotonous and they sat against a mattress and read the comic books comparing stories now and then. Almost anything could happen in a Comic book.  Not at all like real life, which was comparatively boring.

Andrew had fallen asleep and John moved closer to the radio. He wanted to know when they could go back upstairs and out to play or look for damage and stuff.

The family lost track of time waiting to be told by the siren and or the radio that the storm had passed and they could leave the safety of the basement.

 Mother was too nervous to sleep or sit and wait so she made a pile of sandwiches which they all began to nibble at for lack of anything else to do.  Dad wondered if they should store some games down here,  Just in case there was a next time.  However as this was the first time, it was hard to take a next time too seriously.   

Now and then they heard a banging noise up stairs and Dad wondered if their roof would hold, while mother was worried about the furniture getting wet if a window came open.

Then as quickly as it came it was gone.  Everything was silent.  They all walked up and finding their house was intact, walked out to the porch to see what had happened.  Everything was a mess.  They saw that everywhere around them was stuff blown about from other places they didn’t recognize as theirs, like lawn chairs and umbrellas, even heavy, broken, potted plants! 

But the clear blue sky was evidence that it was over and nice weather was back again.

Aside from the junky, mess and bent, leafless, trees, the neighborhood seemed to be in fairly good condition. Houses stood it well. 

Andrew and John looked for their friends.  They walked back toward the beach and saw that a few houses had lost part of their roofs.

Soon the brothers  spotted Mike and then Scott out looking for the damage.  It was all so unbelievable that such a short time could make so much difference.

 The four of them walked the beach front where most of the really bad damage had occurred.  More people began to come out and silently walk around looking for pets who had run away to hide from the frightening storm.  

“Look!”  Mike shouted out,  “Will you just look at that!”

They all saw what Mike did.  The huge old Ferris-wheel that had been safely turning on the board walk for their whole lives was now sitting right next to the broken old damaged wooden pier with only the very top sticking out above the water.  

Only the three top most chairs were higher than the water and Scott got an urge to go sit in one of those high-up chairs to look around, while he tried to make sense of this whole new thing.   A Ferris-wheel in the Ocean!  Just imagine that!  The boys walked carefully around the missing boards of the pier to get out to the place where the Giant Ferris-wheel rode up from the ocean floor.  

 For a moment Scott thought he could jump from the pier to the Ferris-wheel, but soon saw that a short swim was the only way to get there. So he went in fully dressed and floated, paddled and kicked over to the top chair and climbed up onto it.  

Mike and Andrew soon joined him and they sat soaking wet, fully dressed,  side by side with their bare feet only a couple of  feet above of the ocean as they rocked gently in the perfectly fine wooden chair.  

John watched from the pier.  The most leery of the four, John was not sure it looked safe.  In fact he thought he detected some movement as the boy’s feet seemed to be almost going lower toward the water.   

 “Maybe you guys should get off of that thing.  The water is pretty deep there.  Just look at how high you are from the bottom of the Ferris-wheel as it used to be.”  

The three looked down into the water below, but it was too murky to see anything.  It felt more like being in a little boat above the surface and they began to rock it and laugh as the chair dipped and rose. Soon they were sitting in the water up to their knees and John could see that the wheel had begun to turn as though they would soon be going under and down to the bottom.

“Come on guys.  Get off.”  John shouted.  But the boys on the ride just laughed.  

“There’s room for one more.  Come on.  You’re a good swimmer. We can get off anytime.  Pretend this is a Water Polo game like last summer and take a big breath to go see what is under here.  The Ferris-wheel slowly dipped and the friends began to go under with it.  

John stood watching as they disappeared into the blue murk and felt that he had to go help them get off, so he dove in and swam to where they sat holding onto their chair rail for the ride down.

But it was like a wonderland!  The boys were smiling and looking around.  Fish of all sizes were swimming and dipping between the seats.  A few crabs took seats and went for the ride with them. A dolphin smiled up at them and jumped their chair then disappeared into the deep. John took hold of the chair full of friends, as they found that they could breathe the underwater bubbles that surrounded them. 

 So they sat four side by side for the entire ride as it circled to the bottom and back slowly to the top.  

Wow!  That was amazing!” Mike declared,   

‘The Ferris-wheel is working and the ride is awesome!” Scott announced.  “Did anyone else see that beautiful Mermaid?”

“I did!” John admitted.  “But I thought she was a delusion… illusion… you know, not real!”

“No. “  Scott insisted, “She was real alright.”

“Are you sure?”  Andrew asked, “I didn’t see any Mermaids.  Only the dolphins that swam around us.”

“I can tell a Mermaid from a Dolphin.”  Scott said defiantly.  “Let’s go around again and I will prove it.”

They all took deep breathes, but were not sure why as they had no trouble breathing the bubbles created by the movement of the huge Wheel as it turned taking them back under, along with a vast amount of trapped air.

This time they all looked everywhere for that Mermaid, but decided she had been frightened off by the four of them… or probably, didn’t ever exist.

Then there she was, swimming gracefully toward them with two others, their long, golden, hair spreading behind them like a delicate sheer veil and their greenish smooth tails paddling gently behind them.  They carried something in their hands which they handed to the boys as they arrived.  They each took one, but didn’t know what to do with it, until the beautiful Mermaids showed them that it was something to eat.  They each had one and took a bite from it.  

Mike was not inclined to taste anything different, even at his kitchen table, with his Mother urging him to “just try it. You might like it.”  So he just watched the other three nibble at the treat and discover a delicious , sweet, cookie.  

Mike tucked his out of sight into his pocket when no one was looking and pretended to like it, liking his lips.     

The lovely golden haired,  Mermaids waved at them to follow, as they turned toward the deep blue water away from the Ferris-wheel.  Scott wiggled loose from the chair.  It actually was a pretty tight fit for four boys, and he was going to go with them, when Mike held him back, thinking they should complete the ride to the top again.  Andrew shook his head, no, also, as he was not certain they could breathe away from the Ferris-wheel bubbles.  

Then the first Mermaid turned back and took Scott’s hand and tugged him away with a smile that was irresistible.  The three boys watched him leave, but remained seated.  With Scott gone they were not so tightly crowded and almost floated a little above the wooden seat.  It was like being weightless in Space they decided.

Soon they would be at the very bottom again and that was where they noticed the line that had formed. waiting a turn to swim aboard and go around with them.  The dolphin in charge nudged them off as their turn was over and the next in line took their seat. 

 About a dozen crabs took their place next and the boys watched as the next group was four very large Lobsters that sat upon the following chair.  Two Dolphin sat in their chair looking like smiling kids eager to try this new adventure. When the Tuna fish came finally to the front of the line, they changed their minds and sailed away.

The boys could only wonder whether they were frightened of this big thing or bored, because they could swim to the top so much faster.  Three Seals took their place and the Wheel turned again.  Mike began to take a seat again, but Scott reappeared and some other beautiful, Mermaids. 

 They each happily took one boy by the hand and pulled him along.  How could a guy refuse?  

After a scenic swim around some interesting rocks, and flowing grasses, they went into a cave where the beautiful Mermaids lived and all eight of them sat comfortably on a smooth boulder around a big flat table rock and sipped sea weed tea with the sweet cookies and played a game of Sea Shell on a jade green and ebony checkered rock game board.  It was a lot like checkers, so the guys caught on fast,  The game was played on all four sides like that marble game with the holes,  so each boy worked together with his Mermaid on the four different sides. They laughed a lot and had fun.  The boys wondered if the Sea Shell game would work up on top, if they built a big, four sided, game board.  Scott was sure he could do it. 

Soon Mike said the boys had better all get back to the Ferris-Wheel for the ride to the top.

They left the cave and began to head back, but without their beautiful Mermaids leading them, were soon confused. Mike thought he could see the huge Ferris-wheel in the distance and took the lead.  But it turned out to be a giant paddle wheel from some ancient boat that sank on this spot long ago.  

Andrew looked around and picked up a large bronze bell with a name engraved on it, but he couldn’t make out the letters, as they were so badly covered with sea crud.  Still it was interesting, so he tied it to his belt with a rope of sea weed. 

Now which way should they go?  No one had any idea and even the Mermaid cave was no longer in sight.  

Scott pointed up.  That seemed like a good choice, so they began to swim for the surface.  Andrew lagged behind as the bell was holding him back. The boys rose quickly above him, he thought to dump it, but he liked it and wanted it for a souvenir and continued to fight to bring it up.  But somehow the bell anchor was winning and breathing was not so easy anymore.  In fact Andrew began to sink again.       

Scott broke the surface first and took a big gasping breath.  Mike was right behind him, then John surfaced.  But where was Andrew?  John dived back down to look and saw him sinking deeper and began to swim down after him.   He ran out of breath and resurfaced to get more air and call for help from the others.

The three caught Andrew as he was sinking and began to pull him up but the bell was just too much weight, so John took out his pocket knife and cut the seaweed rope to let the bell go crashing down.  Then the four went back to the top to try to figure out just where they were.

To all of them, they seemed to be exactly, nowhere.  Land was not in sight.  Not from how low they sat in the water. Neither was the Ferris-wheel visible.  So which direction should they swim?

Dog paddling and not choosing a direction was not much help, so they conferred.  After all, they were all four, almost Eagle Scouts.  So they should be able to figure it out.  Where was the sun? Straight up!  Not much help there.  Which way was the wind blowing? There wasn’t a breath of wind.  There was only a total quiet, after the Hurricane.

  All they knew for certain was up and down.  No help what-so-ever.  

 Mike spotted an airplane, not just an airplane but an Airliner full of windows and people!  It was descending, so they must be going to land.  They all began to follow the plane to what they hoped would soon be real, rock dirt, land.

The same Hurricane that sent the Ferris-wheel into the Ocean littered the sea with debris, so they picked and chose from what they caught floating by and soon tied together a raft so they could get out of the water and paddle after that long gone Airliner.  

Luckily it must be a big busy Airport because soon another Airliner took its place and soon land fell into view.  Unfortunately it was a high cliff with the after Hurricane waves crashing boldly into the rocks.

Not a single good place to go ashore was in sight.  They continued to paddle along looking, but then they heard a noise and looked up. 

 A red striped helicopter belonging to the Coast Guard Patrol was hovering and a rope with a Guardsman riding it was on the way down to their rescue.

They learned from him that someone had seen them from a Plane window and reported four boys hanging on to some old boards looking to be in trouble.  Thank goodness somebody got that right!

Soon they were dry and warm, wearing the gray Coast Guard sweat suits they kept on hand for these regular rescues from the sea, of usually wet and freezing people.   A few phone calls later they were waiting to be picked up by three sets of anxious Parents.   

Everyone, including some newspaper people, wanted to know how they had gotten so far from home out on the Atlantic Ocean.  

Had they been washed out to sea by the Hurricane?

No.  They had all four ridden that out safely in their own basements. 

 It was the Ferris-wheel afterwards!  They had climbed up to sit on it and then… well then…  

They simply could not explain it.  How would they? It was all just too fantastic.  Had they fallen in and imagined the rest?  When Mike took off his wet clothes to put on the dry sweat suit provided by the Coast Guard he had found the Mermaid cookie he had hidden and kept it.  

Now as the boys stood together alone they looked at it.  Since Mermaid cookies are made under-water they do not dissolve in water, thus it was as whole and crisp as ever.  The boys looked at it in amazement.  Then the three who had eaten theirs, each took a tiny bite and said it was as sweet as they remembered. 

It was obvious that at least this cookie was not in their imagination. So… what about the rest of the tale?

The huge Ferris-wheel stood in place for months, while the authorities tried to get someone who could dismantle the thing and take it away.  It was roped off by the Police Department to keep kids and other tourists away.  However those four boys were not the only ones who often came down to look at it with wonder.

Now and then it turned a little in the stiff Atlantic current and when it did, a chair would appear on the top with a crab or lobster sitting upon the wooden seat, and one time someone spotted a seal and pointed it out.  Everyone cheered.

But only four, almost, Eagle Scouts could even imagine the line-up at the bottom, waiting patiently for a turn to ride the huge Ferris-wheel up and back down.  

None of them would ever ride a Ferris-wheel again that they didn’t think of beautiful, beautiful, Mermaids.


Beverly Mosier  May, 2014