Circled silver, the sleek but pockmarked wafer with twin rope handles worked gravity and the slick grease of snow. Carrier of a neophyte snowbird, it set off uncontrolled, over an undetermined course.
Bailey Evans, 6, first-time visitor from a climate where Christmas lights hung from palm fronds, knew not the workings of a flying saucer ride. Delighted with the spectacle of a fourteen-inch snowfall after a lifetime with nary a flake, her well-adapted cousin expended little effort convincing Bailey to suit up and slide down.
Her maiden voyage launched on the big hill off Lawson Ave. Regulars knew the nuances of saucer steering, the trail spots good and bad. Bailey came absent their skillset, and in motion, the forces of nature held her fate.
One-third of the way and with increasing forward speed, the saucer revolved so she faced uphill. Bailey caught the right track spur, a path toward the icy water of an open brook.
Kids yelled and kids ran. Two morphed into human tumbleweeds, defeated by the combination of moving feet on slope and snow. Bailey turned at the speed of a second hand, exposed to the sight of a steeper drop and water.
So did they all. “Jump Bailey, jump! Jump!
Bailey didn’t jump. Her eyes evaluated the lay of the hill. Her body leaned left and lifted the saucer right side. Her direction inched left, imperceptible to those who feared the coming dunking.
Fifty feet, forty, thirty.
“Bailey, jump!” Six children shouted as one.
Bailey leaned so far, she almost fell out. Twenty, ten, to a ten-foot drop and freezing water
The saucer rim lapped the embankment, a foot of it supported by only air. Bailey drifted to a safe stop, and the visitor from Florida became a new legend on Lawson Hill.