Flying fox at park stirs up terrible trauma

By Beth  Moyle - Year 13, Blue Mountain College

As I look towards the park, my eyes travel to the flying fox.

Its chipped, rusted red bars are a piercing memory of a toasty summer's day in my past.

Seven years have passed and yet the memory is as fresh as though it happened yesterday.

I'm 10 years old, a naive, energetic child filled with life.

I gawk at the park our car is approaching.

''Just 10 minutes please, Dad,'' my older brother Dan nags excitedly, his eyes gleaming and chocolate brown curls bouncing wildly on his head like springs.

Dad gives in, letting out a sigh.

Giddiness rises in my throat like a lion's roar as the car crawls to a stop.

Bam! Dan and I explode from the car like bullets from a gun.

Our brains switch off as we rush towards the inevitable fun.

Dan and I, competitive as always, race towards the vibrant red bars of the flying fox.

I was winning.

My pasty legs launch me on to the platform like a loaded spring.

With heightened confidence, I leap for the bar like a lion chasing a bird.

I feel my fingers grasp the bar of the flying fox before it spins and escapes my hands.

My heart skips a beat.

My stomach drops as I realise I'm free-falling towards a painful stop.

Time slows for a moment and I see my brother bounding towards me, his face beaming and arms moving like a train's wheels.

My legs fling in the air and I feel the breeze slip through my fingertips.

I desperately attempt to claw for the warm metal bars of the flying fox.

Instinctively, I put my hands down to catch myself.

A sharp jolt up my arm demands I buckle under.

Seconds later, my chin smacks into the ground like a tonne of bricks, spiralling my world into a haze.

My mouth is packed with blood and grit. The smell of woodchip mixed with the taste of blood muddles my thoughts.

I gingerly hoist myself up and attempt to ignore the new sensation in my wrist.

It feels like a hot wire is wrapped around it, restricting my blood flow and leaving it numb with electric pain.

In shock, I look down and see a throbbing ghastly lump on my wrist.

Small rough hands wrap around me and try to yank me up.

Dan, unaware of the damage, is still giggling about my fall.

My Dad, clambering out of the car, eyes wide with worry, bounds over to me and wraps me in a bear hug.

He plucks me from the ground as effortlessly as picking a flower and cradles me close.

My throat is too tight to utter anything.

I point towards my wrist and my Dad's eyes trail from the muddy mess on my chin to the throbbing, unnatural lump on my wrist.

Tears prickle my eyes, primed to crash down me like a wave.

They blur my vision and run freely down my cheeks, sweeping away crumbs of soil and bark from my aching chin.

I'm carried tenderly to the car and placed down like a glass sculpture.

I'm wrapped in my favorite silky brown fur blanket and my eyes grow heavy as the familiar smell of dust and home hit me.

Even now, when I look at flying foxes, I still remember the piercing pain, the pain I never want to endure again.

I'll never forget that feeling as I anxiously glance at the chipped red bars of the old flying fox and think back to that day.

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