Captcha Carnival

Select all squares with empathy

Captcha Carnival
Photo by DeepMind / Unsplash

by Alex Carrigan

Selected by S.T. Brant

Select all squares with


If there are none, click skip

A girl loses a balloon before she realizes her mother is gone.

A clown drops a bean bag in front of a freckle-faced boy.

An elderly man adjusts his hearing aid near the tilt-a-whirl.

A robin flies overhead and continues.

A young couple makes a choice later that night that changes their life forever.

A face painter adds glitter to the spots on the butterfly wings as her signature.

A dad with two kids harnessed once again wishes Stella was here instead.

Whitney realizes that Danni is missing.

A barker doesn’t know he has three weeks left.

A young boy sees a rat go under the Ghost Train ride.

A teenager slams his forehead into a mirror.

A service dog resists the sight of a dropped corn dog.

George hands the clown back his bean bag.

Stella isn’t here.

Melody traces her origin here.

The grass fails to grow back in this spot once the carnival leaves.


After William Lessard

Alex Carrigan (he/him; @carriganak) is a Pushcart-nominated editor, poet, and critic from Virginia. His debut poetry chapbook, May All Our Pain Be Champagne: A Collection of Real Housewives Twitter Poetry (Alien Buddha Press, 2022), was longlisted for Perennial Press' 2022 Chapbook Awards. He has had fiction, poetry, and literary reviews published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lambda Literary Review, Barrelhouse, Sage Cigarettes (Best of the Net Nominee, 2023), Stories About Penises (Guts Publishing, 2019), and more. For more, visit