Alex's Carousel

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Alex was... An odd child, to say the least, dark, lonely, a typical "Misunderstood boy", as some may say.

Of course, this must he told in the past-tense, seeing as he's not around anymore. At least I -think-.

Alex was my little brother, you see.  Mum and Dad didn't really get to talk to him much growing up, due to work and other business-such topics, so I pretty much served more as a mother to him rather than an elder sister. I suppose perhaps I wasn't a very good mother, though, since...

No, I'm jumping ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning, ne?

It all began August 8, 2011. It was a rather hot summer day, just like every summer tends to be here in the South, and Alex and I were heading towards a carnival which came into town 3 days per year. I had planned to meet up with some of my friends, though of course they ditched me, so it was just my brother and I. As you can imagine, Alex was in this odd state of an emotionless pout, making sure it was obvious just how much he hated being out and about, especially in this kind of heat. It was his own fault though, dressing in so many dark colours like that. 

Anyway, as the carnival began to come into sight, for whatever reason this time, it seemed a little... Off. No one was there, other than a few workers standing boredly by the different rides and consession stands. I told my brother that since no one else was around, that he wouldn't need to worry about being kidnapped or some bullshit like that, (not that some stranger would be brave enough to take him home anyway, God knows what he does locked up in his room all day). So, I went off to go see what was in the shops and get a little something to eat before testing out some rides. 

But Alex just stayed in that exact spot where I had left him. I figured this was just some protest brought on by taking him here in the first place. But it's not like I was about to leave him home alone or something, he could trash the house or even commit a murder, knowing him. How could I possibly explain that to the cops, let alone my parents? Well anyway, that spot that he stayed in was right outside the old carousel in this carnival. For some reason, people had a tenancy to spread weird rumors about having scary dreams and unnatural nausea after riding this carousel, so a lot of them normally just stayed away from it. But Alex... He just stood there. He didn't really seem interested nor disinterested in it, he just... Stared at it. I couldn't tell whether he was really that fascinated by the old structure or if he was just spacing out. It happens, right? Ah, who knows.

I remember then, he turned towards the one who controlled the ride and mumbled something to him, only presumed that he ordered for the gate to be unlocked. I guess the worker didn't put up any protest or anything, because he did so right away and let my brother in. Alex circled around to the very back side of the carousel though, to the point that I couldn't see him from the shop window any more, and the ride started up. But when the ride came to the point I imagined he had found to play on, he just...

Wasn't there.

He just disappeared. 

I had no idea where he could've gone to, but I didn't like this idea. I reluctantly left the cool air conditioning in the shop then to go and watch closer.

You know how in some older carousels, you can see the actual organ which plays the music, and that can normally open up as a door to the inside of it? Well, I then noticed that this door was open. I looked over to the worker to request that he stop the ride so I could make sure he was safe, but... He was gone now too. As though he had just left the ride unoccupied. But, even so... I realized it was moving faster than a normal carousel should. And the speed continued to gradually increase, as did the music. I could hear the creaking of the old wood, the way the ride sounded as though it could collapse at any moment. And by then, I knew that no one could possibly survive this ride without having their neck snapped by the momentum. 

There was an odd atmosphere swarming in then. It seemed as dark storm clouds were rolling in out of nowhere, that the winds were picking up to an almost stereotypical horror movie scene. And the carousel keep turning... I could vaguely hear little screams from the inside, Alex's voice mixed with a chorus of others. I covered my ears in shock and terror, but then, as the carousel and music and wind all slowed down at once, that screaming ceased. I slowly looked up to see the carousel, halted from its brief reign of terror, now completely still as though nothing had happened, the sun shining just as it had only moments before. And the man who controlled the ride had returned as well, simply standing there at his post. 

"Well, kid?" he gruffed at me. "Are you getting on or not?"

I then noticed that there was a line of other children behind me. I had no idea when they had gotten there, or how I didn't notice sooner, but... I suppose that didn't really matter any more. I simply nodded to the man and borded the ride, just like the routine always is, and it ran through just as a normal carousel should.

But I noticed the kid in front of me.

He had messy black hair and wore a black and white striped shirt, just as Alex did. Though... His arms were too different. Much thinner, more.... Anorexic looking. I knew it couldn't be him because of that.

Anyway, like I said, the ride ran through normally without any change. So, figuring that I would never see mu brother again, if he ever actually existed in the first place, I just started going home. Who knows, maybe I had imagined the whole thing? Maybe I got heat stroke and passed out, dreaming that up and believing it was real? Yes, that's right... I had gone out with my friends just like I had planned and passed out.

But when I returned home, the house was completely empty. 

I tried to shake off the memory, just like any normal kid would do. I mean what could I do about anything? I was scared, yeah, but... It was done.

The next day, a newspaper was thrown up against my door. And without having someone to keep checking up on every 5 minutes, I figured why not... So that was when I read the newspaper for the first time in my life. 

There was an article about how the carnival was closed down that day.

There was a body found on the inside of the carousel, the body of a young boy who could not be identified due to being horribly skewered by the machinery.

But it was said to be obvious that his arms were the first to go. The skin had apparently been torn away, leaving nothing but the blood and muscle and bone. It was Alex... I had seen Alex post-mortem. Those skinny, anorexic looking arms...

It was all him. It was all real. I didn't just imagine it.

But what about those other screams that I heard along with him?