Writing Prompt: Day 192

192 (1).jpgDay 192 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Send your character to an amusement park.

Shannon: My entire body was shaking by the time we got to the front of the line. I had enough adrenaline to run through the entire park without tiring. The haunted ride guaranteed a huge drop and scares when you least expected them. I was pumped and terrified at the same time, but I wasn’t turning back now.

My friend moved into the first seat, and I followed after her. Soon the zombie ride operator came by to check our seat belts. “Enjoy the ride,” he smiled at us with black teeth and lips, sending a chill down my spine.

Erin: Merry go round.

Farris wheel.

Sky swings.

And so many spinning rides.

The spinning was there when I got to the park and the spinning intensified as I left. No matter what I did or where I went my head was stuck in the spinning of my thought. I needed the spinning to stop and on the rides, it seemed normal, but the second I stepped off I knew it wasn’t. I had a problem.

Time for your character to have a little fun.

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 192

  1. “Where are we going?” Terry groaned, her childish pigtails fluttering about as she swayed energetically in the dark backseat. When I grinned in the rear-view mirror, she giggled and ducked my gaze, bouncing as far from her seat as the belt would allow her. “Come on, daddy, I’m bored,” she crowed as I slowed down on the deserted highway. On either side of us, the dark, flat expanse stretched further than the eyes could see, with the brilliant pin-prick stars reaching down to touch the horizon lines. We hadn’t seen any ghost of another human being in at least a half an hour, and we were about to meet the first cross street since we left town, which was home to the only street light for miles.
    With a grunt, Isiah lowered his thundering headphones from his ears and peered out into the desolate landscape. “Dad, where the heck are we going? I have an English assignment due next week,” he whined, slipping the headphones back over his ears before I had the chance to respond, not that he would have listened anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was just flipping through chat windows on his phone and deftly typing to his friends; it was likely they were wondering where he was, but even he didn’t know where we were going.
    After a few silent minutes of driving and Terry fidgeting terribly in her seat, we reached the last turn on this highway to nowhere and I took a right. The paved road quickly devolved into a bumpy dirt path with potholes the size of my wheels and no shoulder between the road and bogs; I hoped no one came down the road as we wouldn’t have any option other than backing the whole way out. Though it didn’t take much luck, we didn’t meet anyone in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere.
    As we climbed a steep little hill, Terry chattering away madly, I slowed the car to a crawl as we crested it and paused at the top. Beside me, Isiah looked up from his phone irately and glanced about in the pitch darkness. I reached over and yanked the metal box from his fingers, turned it off and unplugged his headphones to catch his whole attention. Terry had slipped her restraints and was bouncing on the back of our seats like a child high on sugar as my son glared ahead of us.
    “Alright, we’re here. Can we go now?” he asked insolently with his thin arms crossed in front of his chest.
    I breathed in a deep, chilly breath and retorted, “Don’t you see that we’re almost there? Right down there is where we’re headed.” After a short pause, I shut the truck off and relaxed against the seat, fully intending to wait him out all night if I had to. But he squinted in the distance at spires and odd, shadowy shapes sticking up into the night sky and obscuring parts of the stars.
    Shaking his head, he replied without turning to look at me, “No, I mean, I see something out there, but I have no idea what the heck it is.” I could tell that he was itching to grab his phone back, but he settled for moping in his seat.
    “It’s a fairy tale castle, isn’t it daddy?” squealed Terry with her tiny hands gripping the back of my seat tightly as she rocked back and forth. I began to suspect that she’d eaten the cookies I set out for tomorrow, but stayed silent on the matter.
    Considering this idea, I put my tongue between my teeth comically. “Well,” I began, twisting the key in the ignition again and buckling my seatbelt, “I guess there is a little castle in there, but that’s not what we’re really going to see, sweetie.” I called over the roaring engine as we started rocking down the other side of the hill in the darkness, dipping and bucking as we went along the rough trail. Isiah was stoically staring ahead of the car with only his twitching lip betraying the secret excitement he felt at being called from his bed in the middle of the night on an unknown adventure. In the back, Terry was bouncing in her seat even more, though I was thankful she’d fixed the seatbelt around herself before we set off again.
    It was a few very bumpy minutes before we finally arrived at the entrance facing an enormous rotting gate of wood panels that might have been twenty feet tall. As I shut off the gas, leaving the headlights on to see by, I turned to Isiah and Terry, unable to contain my exhilaration. “You kids ready?” I practically giggled, pulling three headlamps and a couple flashlights from the center console and passing them to the kids. Fixing mine over my short hair with ease, I swung my door open with a horrible cry of old metal and hopped to the ground. On the other side of the truck, the passenger’s side door opened, a second set of boots hit the ground, and the door slammed shut with a thunderous sound the echoed in the quiet. Suddenly, Terry was perched on the dim front seat with her pink runners dangling dangerously over the edge as though she was about to jump from a great height.
    “Catch me, daddy!” she squealed as she let go of the wheel and fell into my outstretched arms. Giving her a quick tickle, which elicited a high-pitched giggle that could have shattered my eyeglasses, I let her down and adjusted her headlamp. I switched it on and was immediately blinded, forcing me to feel my way to the truck to shut my door. With the car’s light still on, I made my way to the gate, picked up the heavy chain and shook it violently. When it came crashing at me feet, I earned a highly coveted glance of approval from my son before I swung the door a few feet open.
    Isiah was fiddling with his light, using the flashlight to adjust the battery panel, and Terry was still bouncing off the walls with energy. But, as soon as I cleared my throat, they both looked to me with all their attention. “Okay, now, this is a very special place to me. I want us all to stay together, but I really wanted you to see it before they tore it down in a month,” I explained, holding out my hand to the ball of energy and slipping through the open gate and into the unknown darkness.
    As I was out of the range of the headlights, I turned on my headlamp and took a few tentative steps forward, pausing to wait for Isiah. When he slumped through, the light at his head flickering as he paced toward us and our circle of light. With Terry’s tiny hand in mine, I set off at a slow pace to avoid us being separated in the condemned place. Stepping through a crumbling archway, I stopped again and turned in a slow circle to take all the once-brightly-hued buildings in. “This, kids, is where I took your mother on our first date. I was working as a ticket taker at the amusement park when we met in school and I just couldn’t keep my eyes off her,” I reminisced with unseen tears accumulating in my eyes. I started forward again, pointing to a few of the game booths, “This is where I won your mom a stuffed teddy bear because I knew the secret to winning; you had to hit it at an angle.”
    Off we went, stopping outside the video game hut to read some of the graffiti that plastered the entire building. “This wasn’t here, but they were always tagging the game consoles in there; one thing I hated doing was repainting over the graffiti,” I laughed, recalling the sun beating down on my neck as I cleaned the funhouse mirrors outside the next structure. All that was left of the kooky glass were stripped bolts and faded plaster. “To the right were all the food booths where you could get hotdogs and popcorn and any kind of sweet thing you could imagine,” I added, mostly for Terry, as we continued to pace down the empty fairgrounds.
    In the distance, rising like an ancient, crippled serpent, was the shadow of the main attraction; an enormous, dangerous rollercoaster that was the subject of more lawsuits than I could count. We headed toward it with Isiah shuffling a little behind us, staying deathly silent as his light bounced up and down. “And that was the most terrifying rollercoaster in the world, at the time, anyway,” I stated, pulling my son out of his stupor to gaze up at the towering structure.
    “Wow,” he mumbled, craning his neck to see the top. “So you took mom on that thing?” he asked breathlessly.
    Chuckling, I replied nonchalantly, “I took her everywhere at this park, but that was the ride she liked the most.”

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  2. The group arrives at the red and white Coney Island entrance. Josh steps ahead of everyone and gets them through with tickets. Then they get a map and crowd around it in the shade.
    “Let’s do the Cyclone.”
    “Yes!”
    “No. Let’s go to the aquarium.”
    “I agree with the Cyclone.”
    “I’m hungry, let’s get hotdogs.”
    “You really want to eat before going on the Cyclone, Finn?”
    Finn looks at the rollercoaster in the distance. “On second thought, let’s go to the beach.”
    “Am I the only one that didn’t bring his swim shorts?” Rick asks. Finn sulks at the reminder.
    August decides to delegate, “Okay, how about we go to the Cyclone, and then get hotdogs on the way to the aquarium, then find some carnival style games to play.”
    No one disagrees, though Jacey is a little pouty at not getting to the aquarium right away.
    “Lead the way, leader,” Josh states. August takes the map, but doesn’t look at it as he weaves through the crowds. People shriek as the Cyclone passes over them again.

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