My legs straddled the horse and I desperately held the reins with both hands as I bobbed up and down awkwardly, unable to find the rhythm. Pain encroached upon my hips and thighs and my arms stretched back from the horse’s mane, as I attempted to grasp control of the animal’s motions. My chest slammed against the side of its neck as I struggled to hold on.
I ricocheted up, back down into the saddle, then thrust forward again. I heard people screaming in the distance. I wanted to help them but I passed through their screams as the sounds hung in the air. I finally dropped the reins; it was useless to try to control the horse with them. Instead I hung tightly to the horse’s thick neck, my neck buried in its mane, my chin upon its ear.
Strange music mocked me as I rode. Suddenly the horse stopped. The last thing I saw as I flew from the horse to the ground below was the carousel operator’s toothless grin.