At first glance, her mother’s room appeared vacant. She punched one of the wild wrinkles raised on the unmade bed to test for flesh, found air, and wondered how any god who was supposed to be a father would choose a woman like her mother.
Her father hadn’t. Oren Sterling’s departure had been more magical than holy. For eleven years, he’d promised her each of her birthdays would be better than the last. On her eleventh birthday, she’d nearly fainted when he revealed the pink and silver carousel wasn’t rented and would get to stay in their backyard. If she asked him in her sweetest voice, he’d let the carousel run without the music at bedtime.
She’d count the horses going round and round from her bedroom window until she fell asleep. Now she wonders if he left because there was no way he could ever top putting a carnival ride steps outside of her backdoor. To her, the first eleven years of her life were nothing more than a series of bright flashes leading up to a mystifying disappearance