Henry and His Never, Never, Never (Short Fiction)

07 Aug


Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.

Henry had been looking for something to do.  His friend Natalie invited him to hang out with some of her friends for the evening.  He thought it would be a good way to get out of the house and have a little fun.

Being the only male in a group of three women didn’t bother him.  He found their company pleasing and was, for the first time in several weeks, having a good time.  They went to eat at a nice little French restaurant Natalie had recommended to the group.

After eating, the group was thinking of what they could do next.  Henry suggested the movies, but nothing was playing that any of them wanted to see.  Natalie then pointed to a nearby billboard and said, Why don’t we try that?

The billboard advertised that the fair was in town for the weekend.  None in the group had been to the fair since they were kids.  So, they decided it would be something fun to do.

As they parked the car they all started pointing out different attractions that caught their attention.  Natalie pointed to the Ferris-wheel and talked about how she used to ride it over and over again as a child.  Henry remembered enjoying the House of Mirrors as a child.  He enjoyed seeing himself as skinny and tall, and then pudgy and short.

The group entered and bought some tickets.  They rode rides and played games.  They bought cotton candy and hot dogs and ice cream.  They strolled along, each of them remembering the sights and sounds of their childhood.

As they turned a corner, one of Natalie’s friends went running to their left.  She stopped and shouted at the others to come over to her.

This was my favorite ride as a child.  I can’t believe they still have them, she said with a giant smile on her face.  Henry looked at the ride and felt a cold, stabbing pain in his gut.

Oh no, Henry said, Count me out of this one.

Why, Natalie asked?

Henry again looked at the ride in front of him.  It had been over twenty years since he last rode one; but, the memory was still etched in his memory.

Come on, Natalie encouraged, They’re great fun.  I use to love to ride them as a kid too.

Henry continued to protest.  There was no way he was going to relive that feeling he had so many years ago.

I said it then and I’ll say it again now, Henry said, There is no way I will ever get on that ride again!  Roller coasters?  Fine.  Haunted houses?  Okay.  But this ride?  Never!

Oh, I think you’re being silly, Natalie said as she pushed Henry on the shoulder, After all, it’s just a little carnival ride.

But Henry was not budging.  He could still remember the scene of his last ill-fated attempt on the ride.

Henry whispered to himself, The tea-cups!  There’s no way on this earth I will ever step foot on that ride again!  No way!

Natalie prodded again, Come on Henry, just one last ride!

Henry remained firm.  Look, you guys don’t understand.  The last time I rode this infernal ride I was throwing up for three hours.  I got so sick, I thought I was going to die.  

So you ladies go right ahead and knock yourselves out, Henry said, backing away from the ride, I’ll stand right here and watch.

As Natalie and her two friends went spinning around on the tea-cups, she caught sight of Henry watching and smiling.  After a few turns she was thinking she may soon be seeing her French food again!

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Daily Prompt


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