This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.
The faint waft of sweet roasted popcorn and fried onions teases my nostrils, a temporary distraction to the heavy sense of dread anchored in the pit of my stomach. My mind scrambles for logic, chastising my decision to embark on such a high-risk act of insanity. The commitment is now marked in stone, there’s no turning back. A rush of adrenaline charges through my extremities. my gums thirsty for saliva, my head giddy with fear. I take a shaky breath in, a last ditched attempt steady and compose myself, to no avail.
Propelled to ninety degrees in a split second, I’m rudely jolted into an altered state of gravity. Launched into a frenzied attack of thrusting, discombobulated, jerking body convulsions. Frozen in fear, yet recklessly shaken like a floppy ragdoll. A cacophony of high-pitched shrieks and screams merge with the sound of mechanical clanking and clinking of the metal rails accompanying the twists and turns as I dip and swerve into submission.
I feel the dryness of my breath hitting the back of my throat. My eyes wide and startled into paralysis, heart pounding, knuckles clenched and clinging on for dear life to the metal rod pressing into my ribs. A blur of topsy turvy horizons, twisted distortions, contours, colours and shapes flash across my eyes. A momentary flashback to a childhood memory, recalling the panic and helplessness of losing my footing and tumbling uncontrollably down a hill.
As the momentum shifts to a lower gear, I snatch a glimpse of wondrous far-reaching landscapes. I gracefully surrender to the final offerings of inclines and undulations, safe in the knowledge that the end is near. A welcome wave of relief floods my body, as I touch down and am reunited with the stability of firm terrain. Rejoicing in the sweetness of surviving this ordeal intact and unscathed. Terrifying and yet dangerously thrilling, I’m left craving for more.