"The Merry Go Round at Buster Park"


Inspired by the songs "Slow Revolution" and "Through the Dark" both by Alexi Murdoch


The merry go round swung into perfect equilibrium the day St. Barnabas, the church, was destroyed. It was a beautiful building too- one of brick, stone, and federalist papers that signed in founding ink and sweet justice. The sweet justice of God.

The merry go round was located in a small park in the middle of a small cement square. It was a marvelous piece of beauty. Two hundred and sixty seven electric halogen light bulbs covered the top and exterior which was red. Inside on the walls that covered the mechanics were painted scenes of the town, Buster, and it's history. Beautiful retellings of indigenous peoples living in the lush forests and going about their lives, followed by the European conquest, the Christianization of the New World, the justice of industrialization, the war that ended the humanity barrier and the war that started it up again, and finally small mural of the merry go round itself, situated accurately and precisely in the city park.

Accompanying this merry go round was a small box filled with neglected stuffed animals managed by a mechanical claw, a dart game with balloons with rewards, and a cotton candy booth with Mister Jimmy Harmond who always answered his customers with a 'smile and a song'. This morning, four children: Joel, Marian, Fredrick, and Konstantin, accompanied by their parents, visited this small amusement park which was as if beauty placed it there amidst the cherry blossom trees, which were blooming beautiful pink flowers that reeked of pollen and fertilization but the people of the place didn't mind it much. You get used to things I suppose.

It was springtime in Buster.

This merry go round had fifteen spaces for figures but only six remained: a horse, a donkey, a angel, a dragon, a lion, and a Pegasus.

The horse's name was Lafayette. He was the first resident here and will be the last resident. He was even mayor once. A respectable horse whose beautiful yellow and white paint had been chipped during war and restored during peace, was once a proud steed of the Revolution, he served Washington, and Mister Boone. He had seen the world and his position was firm and bolted in the past. This of course was a fantasy and it was in the horse's head.

It is true that one who lives in the past must also live with death and decay and it is no question that Mister Lafayette was dying. You could tell in the face: the head downcast, the eyes uncertain of the future, the way he rears is unsteady, despite no change in position. Truthfully, Mister Lafayette was afraid- afraid of being forgotten, of being branded an obsolete object. Something of irrelevance.

The donkey, Mister Bridges, was anything but an ass. He was rather, someone that if you needed a hand or a ride, he would happily assist you. An idealist, who like most idealists had a sense of optimism and humor. He was gray mostly with a hint of black boasted the top of his head and bits of white a small beard. Mister Bridges imagined himself being a knight's horse. He detested his appearance, but the lion, Leonidas, who didn't say much, thought that Mister Bridges was the most noble of all the creatures in the world. Mister Bridges, who sported a top hat and smile with a stereotypical tooth of a smart mouth, just sat in front of Lafayette, apologizing him for kicking so hard every waking moment of every day.

In truth, Mister Bridges wanted nothing more than to sit down. He was always up in the air, always making a face. He wanted to stop the charade, wanted to commit himself to a higher calling, a deeper belonging, something of service and humility, perhaps a farm hand or a pony ride benefactor. However, he put up the face and the charade for the children, who, those who went up to him, enjoyed themselves, they liked to lean on his back as if he were a lounge chair. Mister Bridges made no complaints.

The cherub, Agnes, was the angel of the establishment. She had a long flowing robe and behind her a rotating cup that had a mechanism that if rotated made the occupants go faster. Agnes' hand, straight out, as if banishing a creature to the depths, was warding off the evil, malevolent dragon whose name was Justinian. Her face was beautiful, as if she were one of Botticelli's daughters. The hair, which was golden, flowed in a stiff wind that was unmoving and she discovered that it was rather annoying to look at her hair all the time for it was in her eyes.

In truth, Agnes was weary, and wished that the sculptor who crafted her made her more loving in appearance. Angels are supposed to be caring and loving, not a damning lioness. She actually loved Justinian who was in retrospect, a decent fellow, he had a bit of a temper but so do all dragons, but he was by no means a devil to be condemned. So, Agnes felt sorry for him because when children went to ride him they always portrayed him as being an evil serpent or someone who destroys. Agnes tries to tell them, the children, that Justinian was a nice dragon that he means no harm, but they don't listen to her. They just see her as beauty and her dragon friend as the serpent trying to kill her or seduce her.

Justinian, the dragon was a mighty beast of honor and glory. He used to be a fearsome warrior of his people, a truly evil sort of evil. But all that changed when Leonidas, the lion at his backside, gave him some sense and made him see the destructiveness of his nature. The dragon changed because of this revelation and became a protector of dreams is what he called himself. All Justinian wanted to do was to protect anyone who needed him. But sadly, his heart of gold did not match his outer rage against the world. The green, red, and silver sequence particles against the dark forest green paint body and cherry red apple mouth and yellow accents did not scream: 'protector of dreams' but protector of gold and selfish courses. This made Justinian feel a bit sad, and he wanted to hang his head and cry every day, because he knew that he would never be loved in the way he wanted to be.

Behind him was Leonidas, the king of the world, the royal prince of the universe. His mane was luxurious and his eyes were closed, his head was up and his nose was up in the air as if he were being cross toward his subjects. His orange- yellowish paint was fading as if his reign were coming to an end. His tail lay underneath him as if he were afraid of it being stepped upon or burnt by Justinian's fire. That or it just added to his condescending appearance.

In truth, Leonidas was longing to look upon the faces of children and smile. He didn't get a chance to do that. Him and Justinian were similar in the fact that they were both being portrayed as something that they weren't. Leonidas was wise, true, a talented ruler who listened to his people and carried out the best intentions. A politician with a humanist outlook, Leonidas was a friend to all who came into his realm and an enemy to those who denounced his friend's true nature, which he knew well. He disliked the fact that he was looking up definitely at Helios, the Pegasus, who was his advisor and friend who just kept looking back with worry.

Helios, the Pegasus, was a beautiful blue horse back in his prime, with wings outstretched carrying passengers away from the cynical world but was too afraid to fly up and really experience it all. Helios was the pride of his race, the leader of his kingdom, a king of horses. He ventured gallantly towards the Kraken and justly assisted Hercules in the slaying of beast and man. A horse of yearning for freedom, destiny, the chance to dream. The type of horse that was forced to look upon Leonidas in fear, someone which he called his friend, he has to look upon in fear.

The dream that Helios had was to fly, he wished to look upon the stars and say that he danced and died with them. That he rose with the sun and raced comets. He wanted to be free of his bonds and venture on into the world and searched for others like him, but he knew that he was the only one. He knew that he was the only Pegasus carousel horse left. There used to be others, on this same realm of Leonidas' but they all were killed, vandalized, abused, victims of war.

That was Leonidas' regret, not being able to do anything when the war happened, when his subjects were beaten and taken away from their home, the kingdom they loved and the people that cherished it. All the lion could do was sit on his tail and scold. Forever scold at the removal of Pegasus', Mermaids, Centaurs, and Minotaurs. All that remains of them is stubs of metal poles and broken hooves and tail fins.

Every single night these six figures cried for their brothers and sisters who were no longer present with them. They used to sing songs, they used to laugh, but now they were caught in an infinite slow revolution of misunderstanding and ill appreciation.

It was springtime in Buster.