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The Prehistoric Forest
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” Garrett told Sam as he finally made it to the top of the fence. He sat motionless for a minute, breathing heavily.
Sam scoffed and started walking towards the trees.
“Where are you going?” Garrett shouted, quickly trying to climb down.
“Into the forest, since you obviously aren’t coming... They aren’t real, you know,” Sam yelled back, not slowing down or turning around. By the time Garrett had managed to get back on the ground, Sam was nearly out of sight. Garrett started running, trying to catch up, but Sam had already entered the forest.
“Sam!” Garrett screamed, his hands cupped around his mouth. “Sam!”
No answer. Garrett trekked on, slower now. He could hear the faint chirping of unknown insects and birds. It was eerily calm. He stopped yelling for Sam; his loud voice seemed to cut through the forest like a knife. By now, he was walking so slowly it was as if there were weights on his ankles. Garrett could hear his loud, fast heartbeat.
All of a sudden, he heard the harsh crack of a stick breaking behind him. He whipped around and saw the menacing face of a monster. The monster’s mouth was wide open, revealing its rows of razor sharp teeth. Its eyes were cold and yellow. Garrett screamed and fell back, his heart nearly bursting from his chest.
The monster’s head toppled to the floor, revealing Sam, laughing hysterically. “Oh my God! You should have seen your face!”
Garrett’s mouth closed into a thin line, the terror long gone from his eyes. “What the hell, Sam! That’s not funny!”
Garrett stood up and brushed the dirt from his pants.
“Oh come on, Garrett. It was a piece of plastic!” Sam exclaimed, annoyed.
Garrett stayed silent for another minute, not looking at Sam. Sam didn’t say anything either, but she silently crept closer to Garrett. He looked up and met her eyes. Sam could feel his still, heavy breaths. They stayed like this for a while, and then Sam made the first move.
She started to hum the Jurassic Park theme song. Garrett tried to keep a straight face, but eventually burst out laughing.
“I can’t believe we drove three hours for you to go to an abandoned dinosaur theme park,” he told her, in between laughs. “Like, seriously, your obsession with Jurassic Park has gone too far this time.”
“Oh, don’t tell me you are not excited,” Sam replied, turning away.
“Yeah, I am, but this is literally illegal. We could go spend thirty days in jail for trespassing!” Garrett explained as he followed Sam, determined not to let her out of his sight again.
“Only if we get caught,” Sam yelled, pushing through the overgrown weeds and tree branches. Garrett just sighed and followed. It wasn’t long before they came upon the first beast: a twenty foot tall , bluish-gray brachiosaurus, with green moss covering its back.
“Oh my God, Garrett, look!” Sam yelled, running to get closer to the plastic figure.
“I see it. In fact, it’s kind of hard to miss,” Garrett replied, staring up at the monster’s head. He was taken aback by the beauty of the abandoned animal. Sam looked back at him.
“See!I knew you would like it!” Sam yelled, her grin stretching from ear to ear. “Now here, will you take my picture with him?”
Garrett snapped out of his trance and took the phone from Sam’s grasp. He walked back to get a good angle. “So how do you know it’s not a her?”
The camera flashed.
“Because he is very handsome. And I have a very good feeling that his name in Billy.”
“Billy the brachiosaurus? Alright,” Garrett said, looking at Sam and laughing.
“Hey! Don’t judge my dino sense. At least I’m not the one who almost had a heart attack because of decapitated plastic dino!” Sam joked.
“Oh my God! If I did that to you I bet you would have pissed yourself! You literally left me! How was I supposed to know it wasn’t a?” Garrett’s rant was cut off by a loud, blazing siren. What Garrett and Sam once thought were trees started to flash bright, white lights.
“Sam! What’s going on?” Garrett yelled over the siren, his heart picking up speed… Again.
“I don’t know! I read about a security system they put in place after a bunch of kids came and vandalised the park, but the fence wasn’t electrified, so I figured it was broken or a hoax or something!”
“You knew there was a security system and you didn’t bother to tell me?”
“I told you?I didn’t think it was on!”
“You idiot!” Garrett yelled. Sam’s eyes narrowed as she crossed her arms. “Be sassy later, we have to go!”
They started to run in the direction they came. Through the trees, the familiar fence became visible. Without speaking, they sprinted towards it. Sam thrust out her arm to start climbing when Garrett stopped her.
“Wait! What did you say earlier? About why you thought the system was broken?” Garrett asked frantically.
Sam’s sudden look of defeat told Garrett that she knew what he was talking about.
“The fence is electrified,” Sam replied, looking around for another way out. “Honestly, what is the big deal? Why would someone go through all this trouble just to protect an abandoned theme park?”
“I don’t know why, but they did, so we have to find a way out,” Garrett answered, running along the fence. “There has to be an opening somewhere.”
Sam followed as they kept running. They were both starting to lose hope when Garrett stopped. Sam ran into him, not excepting the abrupt change.
“What the hell Garrett, we have to?” Sam began to yell before Garrett put his hand over Sam’s mouth. With his other hand, he pointed ahead. Sam was confused and angry, but she followed his finger and saw, far off in the distance, two figures entering the forest.
“If they came in, then there must be a way out,” Garrett told Sam, smiling. “Come on!”
Garrett released Sam, and started running toward where the two beings had once been. After a short while, they approached the approximate spot they had come from. This was confirmed by the vehicle on the other side of the fence that had not been there before.
“I thought you said this place shut down and no one even knew about it...” Garrett stated, confused. He was looking at the van on the other side of the fence that had a “Prehistoric Forest” label down the side.
“I thought it was,” Sam replied, also staring at the mysterious car. Sam was confused, and a little alarmed, but her thoughts were interrupted by her friend.
“I found the entrance they used,” Garrett stated plainly. Sam’s previous thoughts were gone, suddenly replaced by joy.
“Oh my God, that’s great Garrett! Where?” she exclaimed, smiling for the first time since she left Billy.
“There,” Garrett replied, pointing at the lock that held the gate shut.
“S***! They locked us in! I swear to God, let’s just find them and turn ourselves in. This is ridiculous. Maybe if we just explain that we just wanted a few pictures, they will let it slide,” Sam explained.
“Or we will get jail time,” Garrett responded, matter-of-factly. Sam glared at him, followed by an awkward silence. “Fine.”
“They went this way,” Sam stated, walking back into the forest. They walked aimlessly for a while, passing the old, plastic figures they had come to see. Eventually, they wandered upon an old gift shop.
“According to an old map I saw, this means we are exactly in the middle of the forest,” Sam explained.
“You’d think once this place shut down they would have at least shut the door,” Garrett replied, looking at the entrance to the store.
“Maybe they did, and those guys we saw are in there right now,” Sam offered.
“Are you sure you want to turn ourselves in?” Garrett asked, nervously.
“It’s our only option, Garrett. They will find us eventually,” Sam replied. Garrett nodded is agreement, and they went inside. There were broken snowglobes and dusty stuffed dinosaurs everywhere. They walked up and down the aisles, looking for the two people they saw earlier, but also perusing the old shop. Sam made it to the back of the store, by the cash registers.
“Hello sir, is there anything I can help you with?” she asked Garrett from behind the counter. Garrett smiled, despite his nerves.
“Yes, actually, have you seen two angry men and/or women come in, looking for two stupid teenagers?” Garrett replied in the same, calm tone as Sam had.
“I can’t say I have,” Sam answered, the nerves starting to take over her calm voice. “But we should probably keep looking.”
Garrett nodded, knowing she was right. He started to turn around when he noticed the bathroom.
“What are the odds this toilet still works? I really have to pee.”
Sam laughed and replied, “Really, really low. Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our luck is not really here today.”
Garrett chuckled, but walked toward the bathroom anyway. He slowly opened the door, slightly scared of what he might find in a twenty year old, abandoned toilet. He creeped around the door and peered inside. Garrett’s jaw nearly hit the floor.
Sam was looking through the torn and faded post cards spread across the floor.
“So, how gross is it?” Sam laughed, not looking at her friend. Garrett didn’t answer. “Garrett?”
Sam got up and walked toward the bathroom.
“You should have known it would be disgusting, it’s been here for?” Sam started, before her face mirrored that of Garrett’s.
The two friends were not looking at an old toilet. They were gaping at the shiny, steel door at the end of the empty room, and the large metal box filled with different colored buttons attached to the wall adjacent to it.
“What the hell is this?” Sam asked quietly, not really knowing how to feel.
“I have no clue,” Garrett answered, his face still frozen with shock. Sam started to walk in before Garrett pulled her back.
“What are you doing?”Garrett asked in a sort of whisper-yell.
“I want to go inside,” Sam told him, as she shook his hand off of her and wandered further into the small room.
“That is an awful idea! Someone obviously went through a lot of trouble to keep people out of there, so why do you want to go inside?” Garrett asked, bewildered.
“Because I want to see what’s down there,” Sam said. “Come on, we went here for an adventure, so let’s go on one.”
Garrett had pure terror in his eyes as Sam pulled at the steel door handle, and let out a huge sigh of relief when it wouldn’t open for her.
“Darn. I’m so upset we can’t get in. I guess we have to leave now,” Garrett exclaimed sarcastically, as he turned around and started walking towards the door. He had made it about halfway to the door before he heard a loud, screeching sound. He ran back to the bathroom and found Sam, with her hand on the green button on the metal box, and the door, wide open.
“What did you do?” Garrett yelled, looking around to make sure nothing else had happened.
“I opened the door,” Sam told him, smiling slyly. She walked to the doorway. Her calm facade began to crumble away, and she finally felt the nerves Garrett had been feeling since he climbed the fence.
“Just because you opened the door doesn’t mean we have to go in. Please, Sam,” Garrett pleaded from across the room.
Sam thought about following Garrett’s advice, but she wasn’t like him. She had to know what was down there.
“You don’t have to come; I just want to see what’s down there,” she explained, turning towards Garrett. Sam started to walk through. Garrett looked back, towards the door of the gift shop, and then looked forward, into the dark hallway where his friend was no longer visible.
“Dammit,” he said under his breath as he ran through the door. He kept running until he literally ran into Sam. They both yelled.
“Oh my God, you scared me!” Sam said, her hand on her chest.
“Are you sure it was me that scared you, or could it have been the creepy, dark tunnel we’re in?” Garrett replied, already regretting his decision to follow Sam. He looked around. What was once a tunnel had turned into a large open space, though it was too dark to see just how big it was. Sam, facing Garrett, started to walk backwards.
“Come on, are you telling me you are still scared of the dark?” Sam laughed. Garrett did not. He started to turn around, annoyed at Sam’s nonchalance, when he heard a thud.
“Ow!” Sam yelled. She had walked into something hard. She wanted to see what it was. She pulled out her phone and turned on the flashlight. What she saw sent a chill through her bones.
Sam had run into a large cage, the size of a average living room. Inside the cage, staring at her with ravenous eyes, was a real, live velociraptor.