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Carousel of Fates

Out in the forest behind my old house, now this is the house where I lived during middle school and high school. Behind the house and the trailer park was an old forest, the kind of forest that whispered because it had forgotten how to rustle. And it was out there that I chose my fate.

I had walked long enough that I did not know my way home, and I prayed for a path that would get me out of what I was beginning to discover was an angry wood. And when I had prayed, I stumbled out of the brush, pushing past saplings that would one day grow to be horrors, and that was when I saw it.

It was mostly oranges and yellows but on the bottom level it ran with blues and greens. That top though, it was all blacks, whites, and grays. It was a carousel, and grown over with vines and weeds.

Well I walked in, and as I did, it seemed as if the roots of the tree I passed reached up and gripped my ankle, because I fell. I cut my hand on a rock and a stream of blood dropped on the ground. 

Vines whipped, and wild overgrown bushes and grasses pulled back and as the carousel growled to life. Dead leaves blew away in every direction. The pipe organ played a song I just can't remember and I looked at the true majesty and the massive horror of the object before me.

The bottom level was kittens and pups. It was tiger cubs and rabbit babies (I'm not gonna look up what they are called). The bottom level was kind, almost loving, and I discarded it immediately. 

As I climbed the spinning stairs to the second level I saw leopards, wildly colored horses and chariots. Everything you might find on a carousal anywhere. A part of me begged to ride here, or to go to the land of the young below me, but I climbed to the third level because we always knew I was going to.

Demons, angels, unicorns, and the manticore. I saw creatures of the deep and nightmares from the sky, and I knew instantly, but I read anyway. I could read. I could read the words as they passed by the core of the spinning ride.

Choose your seat carefully. The darkness leads you to rise, sit atop a demon and your life will be as glowing perfection. Sit upon an angel or a creature of light and you will toil against darkness all of your life. You will suffer and you will hurt but even the path of pain will lead you to love. 

So what do I do? Ride a demon or a serpent and live a life of glory. Or ride a creature of light and live in strife with evil and suffer pain but also serve love.

What do you think? Where did I sit?

This is a story from my life. I went walking in the woods and this event played out before me. Sometimes I think I rode the demon or serpent. When I look at my wife's eyes, when one of my kids lets off one of those hilarious jokes they do, I'm sure I rode a demon or serpent. Sometimes I'm positive I rode the angel. Either way, I'm sure I was there. I can hear the music. I can see the vines pulling away as my blood hits the clearing. But we all know that that can't be. No matter how real it is, no matter how many times I've thought about it in my life and how I still get the song caught in my head sometimes. I mean, it can't be real. It's the scar on my hand that worries me. 

Seeds of Tarako

I've started the edits for the next installment of the Garden of Infamy series. Book two, Seeds of Tarako, is on my block. I stand axe in hand, apron on, preparing to chop and slice and pare it down to the closest I can reach to a perfect story for you. Look for it now on pre-order to be released June 21.

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Here's your access to The Silent War of the Sour Eye. The updated short story collection includes "The Banshee," "The Slave," "The Gilded Mares," "Son of the Demontser," "The Forge of Souls," plus the newest chapter of the Sour Eye, "The Master of the Hoodsmen."

Jesse Teller


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Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

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