The Carnie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Summer and her parents go to the annual carnival every time it comes to town. There's nothing they haven't done there. When Summer discovers one of the carnival workers, things begin to change for her. Her father won't let her near the carnie, though. How long is she willing to wait to see him?

Won first place in Ikky's Romance contest.


The Carnie

When Summer woke up from an afternoon nap, she just had that feeling – the one that she always got when fall time came around. Sitting up in the bed, she reached over and pushed her window open, breathing in that familiar fall scent. She couldn’t describe it, but she loved it all the same. The leaves of the trees were just beginning to change, and she knew that in a few days time, they would all shine different shades of orange, red, and yellow.

The other great thing about fall was that the carnival came to town. As an only child, it was tradition for her and her parents to always devote an entire weekend to the fun that the carnival provided. There wasn’t a single year she could remember that the three of them didn’t go together. It was always a weekend that she looked forward to.

The carnival workers had been spending the last few days setting things up, and tonight would be the first of a great weekend. She couldn’t wait.

With a huge smile on her face, she jumped out of her bed and ran to her closet, hoping to find something to wear that looked cute and would be comfortable at the same time. She noticed a dress and pulled it out as her smile widened.

A knock echoed on her door and she placed the dress on the bed as she called out.

"Who is it?”

“It’s mother, sweetie. It’s almost time to go.”

"Okay, I’m getting dressed now; I’ll be done in a minute!” Now in a hurry, she scrambled to get her dress on and her hair and teeth brushed. She gave herself a glance-over before running out her door to meet her parents at the front. “I’m ready!”

Her father had a proud grin on his face as he opened an arm for her. “You look great, baby girl.”

She blushed and buried her face against his arm, mumbling against it. “Thanks, daddy.”

Sliding an arm around each of her loving parents, she walked out the front door, anxious to see what new things she would encounter at the carnival this year.


All sorts of sights, sounds, and smells, both familiar and not, greeted Summer as she walked through the front gates of the carnival. She looked around with that ever-growing smile on her face, trying to decide which ride she wanted to go on first.

But one thing she knew for sure – she wanted to save the ferris wheel for last.

“Daddy, can we go on that one first? Then that one after that?! Oh, and can we get some funnel cake after that?!” She kept asking about all the different rides, excitement making her shake to no end.

Her father only chuckled low and patted her hand as it was still in the crook of his arm. “Relax, baby girl. We’ll get to it all. We have all weekend.”

She rode every single ride. She tried all the new food, plus had plenty of funnel cake. She couldn’t have asked for a better night, and the weekend wasn’t even over.

The sun began to sink past the expanse of the horizon, and she couldn’t contain the excitement inside of her anymore. The ferris wheel was her favorite ride with no exceptions. Running with her parents following at a distance behind, she slipped into the line of the ride and stood there, practically bouncing. The line moved fast, and she was so grateful for that.

As she got to the front, she froze in place. The boy taking tickets there had caught her attention. The first thing she noticed about him was the tattoos that decorated his skin and the gauges in his ears. She had never seen any in person before, and they fascinated her. They seemed to define who he was; it was almost as if she already knew him just by the ink that had been put into his skin. The next thing she noticed was his messy hair, and the shade of his irises. They were a bright, baby blue and it seemed to take her breath away.

He lifted the gate and she stepped through just as their gazes met. He froze in place just as she did, and the two of them just kept staring at one another.

“Hi,” she whispered.

He blushed. An actual blush crept up on his face as a crooked smile pulled at one side of his lips. “Hello.”

She jerked out of the daze he had left her in when her father grabbed and pulled on her arm. “Come on, sweetie,” he muttered under his breath.

She looked up at him and noticed the hateful look he had on his face as he stared at the boy. She managed to give him a small wave before her father pulled her away and to the car that they would ride in.

For once in her life, she couldn’t enjoy riding on the ferris wheel. Her mind was on the boy that was several feet below her as well as wondering why her father had been so angry about him.

“Daddy?” She looked at her father as their car came over the top of their ride.


“Why did you pull me away from that boy?”

Her father’s brows furrowed as he studied the view. “He’s a carnie, Summer. We don’t stay around carnies. I don’t want you near that boy, you hear me?”

She couldn’t find her voice to answer, and she wouldn’t shake her head in acknowledgement. She would see that boy…


She couldn’t believe she was doing this, but curiosity was definitely getting the best of her. Her parents had walked out to the car to go home, but she stayed behind.  She honestly hoped that they would forget that they’d left her. She wanted to stay behind and see that boy.

Running back to the ferris wheel, she searched and searched – but to no avail.

“Hello?” She called out, and when she heard the crunching of the gravel beneath soemone’s feet

“Hi,” his voice was a quiet whisper.

She whipped around and stared at him, her eyes wandering over the places that he had tattoos. He only gave her a look of confusion.

“Oh,” she shook her head. “I, uh-… I wanted to see you. I stayed behind.”

His eyebrow rose. “You wanted to see me?”

She nodded once and moved to stand just before him.

“Why?” His face turned down in a frown. She immediately understood his hesitation.

“No, it’s not because-…”

“I’m different,” he answered for her.

“Well, that wasn’t what I was going to say…”

He shrugged his shoulders and offered her a reassuring smile. “It’s okay.” He glanced around as if wondering, what next? “Do your parents know you stayed?”

She shook her head once more. “No.”

“What’s your name?”


He smirked. “I like that. I’m Ash.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Ash.”

His smile grew. “So…you think you know the carnival?”

She giggled quietly, not really understanding what he meant. Then he did something she wasn’t expecting, something she would be glad he did for the rest of her life – he held out his hand to her.

She took it.

“Come on – I’ll show you the carnival,” he quickly pulled her away.

He showed her things she never thought existed. That night with him at the carnival was the best night she’d ever spent.

But it was a night that ended too soon. Her father had realized when they got home that she was still there, and he came back immediately to get her. There were no words to explain how angry he was when he saw who she was with. He wasn’t even grateful that the carnies were taking care of her.

“I told you never to go around those carnies!” He yelled at her as he pulled her to the car.

Ash stood at the gates, watching with sad eyes as her father drove them back home.

The one thing she knew as she silently waved at him was that he had taken a hold of her heart, and she wasn’t going to let him let go – no matter where she was.


15 years later…

Summer stood at the entrance to the ferris wheel with a solomn look on her face. How long had it been since she’d last been here? How many nights had she spent remembering the night she’d met Ash? How many times had she dreamed she’d see him again so that they could continue where they’d left off?

Would he even remember her? Could they really continue? They had just been kids…

The carnie that was working the ferris wheel wasn’t him, and she had to tell her heart not to break behind her chest. She gave the carnie a smile and thanked him as he helped her into the car of the ferris wheel.

As she got to the very top of the ride, a single tear slid down her left cheek and fell onto her jacket below. God, how she longed to see him again…

When she finally got to the bottom again and the door of the car was opened, she took the hand that was offered and got out. She couldn’t help but notice how strong and steady the grip of the hand seemed to be, and there was a slight familiarity to it.

She lifted her head, and the breath that she had taken became lodged in her throat.

It was him. Ash had helped her out.

She immediately looked him over, taking in the differences that the years had brought to him. He was no longer the little boy – he was a man. She took in the hard angles of his muscles and the stubble on his cheek and jaw bone. He even had more tattoos.

“Ash,” she managed to mumble on an exhale of the breath that had been stuck in her throat.

“Summer? Holy shit, is it really you?”

She could only nod.

He glanced around, and she assumed he was looking for her father. She shook her head – her father had passed two years ago.

“Ash… You don’t know how long I’ve waited for you.”

He swallowed hard, and she could have sworn his eyes glossed over. He tightened his grip on her hand and pulled her to the side. His free hand cupped her cheek and he brushed the tip of his finger across her soft skin. “I was hoping you’d come find me.”

Summer (Teen)


Ash (Teen)


Summer (Adult)

Ash (Adult)



© - Copyright - 2013 - sparrow01 - All Rights Reserved

Submitted: October 08, 2013

© Copyright 2021 sparrow01. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



awwww... so cute! and most importantly happy ending! :)

Tue, October 8th, 2013 1:43pm


Yes! I have to have my happy endings! :3 Thanks for reading!

Tue, October 8th, 2013 7:40am


BRILLIANT! I really loved this. :) The characters development is amazing throughout the story, i especially loved the '15 years later' part. I think you have captured the readers attention amazingly, the story line is intriguing. I couldn't find any faults/errors. A very flawless and amazing short story. :) Great work! :) I'll let you know if you've won or not after the deadline. :) xox Oh and btw Ash as a teen is HOT *blushes* and Summer is beautiful. :) I love the character pics. :)

Tue, October 8th, 2013 3:30pm


Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I know, he looks sooo good. ;) Thanks for hosting this awesome contest! I can't wait to find out the results!!

Tue, October 8th, 2013 9:58am


O: I really liked it :) It flows amazingly and i love how, even though through out the years, they missed eachother and when they finally meet again, they just jump back in like it was yesterday

Tue, October 8th, 2013 9:32pm


Me too :) I was scared people might think that was weird, how they were able to just continue even after so long, but they had that rare, once in a lifetime connection, you know?

Tue, October 8th, 2013 2:35pm


Okay. I found the story I like. Actually I love this so much. Please tell me you're going to continue! Wow, so amazing. -Ashley

Wed, October 9th, 2013 11:11pm


I actually wasn't planning to continue this. It was just a little short story for a contest. But I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D

Wed, October 9th, 2013 4:30pm

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