It was a bright, sunny, midsummer's day. The sphere in the sky was burning bright, heat beating down on the happy children. The makeshift theme park was contained in tents, a virtual city on wheels. The carnival is a happy fun placed for many people. Laughing children run wild and carefree, dragging their parents across the bright green grass. On the outskirts of the fake city, there was a brightly colored box with large spoked wheels. Stopped and stationary for the time being. The cart would move from time to time pushed by Dave. However, it was Dave’s break. So he left the cart unattended for a brief moment to grab a cup of ice water on this hot day.

Gerald came into the world like the rest of us. One minute he wasn’t here, the next he was. He stood straight and tall, standing and looking at the fake city of fun. The lights were flashing on the ride even though the sun was still shining brightly. A beautiful day. This particular day was Gerald’s birthday. He was propped up by the cart. Gerald cannot stand on his own. Always since birth, he needed something to hold him up. Oh, how he wanted to walk over and ride the Ferris wheel or play one of the different games that were set up. The stuffed prizes all looked so tempting. He wanted to win them all and just hug them, feeling the soft plushy bodies of the animals against his and smelling the sweet fabric. He wanted to be surrounded by the warmth that the animals provided. Jumping with no result, he stayed still. He could not move, not on his own anyway. He longed to get up and throw the dart at the balloon, popping it to win the stuffed whale with the cute little anchors on it. Or to fling the ring onto the sea of bottles in hopes that the metal circle would land on top of one of them. He could win the fluffy, large, pink unicorn. Hugging that unicorn would make him so happy. He had to name it… oh, he still could not make a decision on a name. There are so many! He simply could not decide, Galactic King Glondon, William Emerson Fredrick Peterson Duke of Helmshire III, or Kevin. Oh! Maybe a girl’s name? Ellesha or… no, that name is perfect.

The heat of the sun only grew worse with the passage of time, shining to show its great intensity and power. Summer was the sun’s time to shine, and shine it did on this day, Gerald's birthday. Taking in the sun, Gerald’s temperature started to rise. Slight moisture began to form and fall over his face. He attempted and failed to move to the shade. Gerald just could not cool down. Standing and looking towards the carnival, he had no choice but to remain where he was. The sun was relentless. With all his might, Gerald lunged forward towards the sweet promise of shade. Nothing. He could not move, and he did not move, no matter how hard he tried. He stood, thinking of possible options to get out of his predicament. Nothing came to mind. If only he were at the center of the carnival. Maybe a stranger would help him. But no one looked at him, not even once. He was on the outside looking in, dreaming of winning that unicorn. The trickle down his face turned up its intensity. The trickle became a river, falling down over his face and staining the cart. He looked down at the following river of red falling from his face. Gerald could not go on. Slipping out of consciousness. Dreaming of his unicorn, thinking of Ellesha, longing for happiness…


After a few minutes, Dave returned from his break, downing the contents of his paper cup and feeling the sweet release of cold water flow through his body. Back to his post. Grabbing the bar of the cart, he noticed a nasty, sticky mess.

“Ew,” Dave said, picking up the paper cone stained with red syrup and filled with water.

“I guess I left you out in the hot sun, little guy,” Dave said, discarding the sticky mess into the trash can and wiping his cart clean of the melted remnants of the forgotten snow cone. Dave pushed his cart into the fake city to sell more snow cones, like Gerald.