“Hannah, bring your bags down, we’re gonna leave shortly.” I rushed into my bedroom and grabbed the 3 overflowing suitcases off the shaggy rug in the middle of my tiny bedroom. I raced down the steep stairs, fumbling over my feet. I quickly grab my phone off my chocolate brown kitchen table and run outside to help my family pack the car. Buzz buzz goes my iPhone, vibrating the table ever so slightly. A text pops up on the screen from my friend Brooke reading, “So pumped for this week!!” My other friends Luke and Chad chime into the conversation stating their agreement. A smile a big as the Chesire Cat’s is smeared across my face as I think about a week full of adventures ahead at Disney.
Ever since I was a little girl, it had been my dream to go to Disney World. It brought me so much joy to think of all the magical theme parks and joyful characters and princesses wandering the streets. I try to think of all the magic that awaits me upon my arrival at Disney, but I just doze off instead. 16 hours in a car really takes it’s toll. I wake up to the ringing and beeping and buzzing that most people know of as a group chat. Brooke, Luke, and Chad all start talking about what we’ll do when we get to Orlando. “Don’t you guys sleep?” I text. “Hahaha sometimes, but I can’t when all I can think about are all the creepy abandoned parks and haunted rides.” Luke says. Confusion clouds my thoughts for a second, what is he talking about?
After a long night spent in the car, my parents and I finally check into our hotel. I meet up with Brooke, Luke, and Chad in the lobby. My parents let my friends and I roam around the park by ourselves for the day. While wandering around the park, we stumble upon a station for a boat. “Hey what’s that? We should go on that!” says a curious Chad. “I don’t know, there’s no one in line for it. Are we sure it’s even a ride?” says Brooke, sounding a little nervous. “Let’s at least see what it is first, then we’ll decide.” I say, trying to come up with a compromise. The 4 of us wait in the empty line for about 10 minutes until we hear the ringing of a bell coming from the water. An empty boat pulls up, but nobody is driving it. “I don’t know guys, this seems a little sketchy. Maybe we should go on another ride instead, there are plenty more.” says Luke. “Aw, come on Luke, don’t be a chicken,” replies Chad in a taunting voice. Before anyone has the chance to stop him, Chad sprints onto the small boat. We all look at each other and step onto the boat, one after the other.
The boat scoots along the water slowly. After what feels like years, we arrive at a swampy, empty island. Green trees as tall as skyscrapers cover the edge of the island in bright green. A tall, faded, ripped up sign stands at the front entrance way. We stop suddenly when we approach the sign, but none of us can read what it says. “Woah, wait, I think this is that abandoned park, Discovery Island,” exclaims Luke, “the one I read about!” “Shut up Luke, I’m sure it’s not. It doesn’t look like it’s even abandoned.” said Brooke. “I don’t know Brooke, it looks pretty abandoned to me. I’m gonna have to agree with Luke on this one.” said Chad. “It seems a little sketchy,” I say. “Nonsense, it’s Disney, how bad could it be?” asks Luke.
We walk onto the island, but there’s no one else around. Vacant shacks and destroyed signs cover the ground. It is completely silent on the island, none of us know what to say. I try not to step on any sticks or branches as we walk on the dirty sidewalks. I didn’t really know where I was going because all the signs were either destroyed or covered in vines and leaves. I wandered down one of the muddy pathways and approached a small shed like building. There was a sign just above the doorway that read “Reptile Discovery.” I turned around to look at Brooke, Chad, and Luke. None of us speak a word, not even Luke. I turn the handle of the creaky wooden door and climb over a pile of twigs and rocks to find a small room inside the shed. There are jars covering the walls with small lizard like reptiles inside. Before we can stop her, Brooke runs out of the shed. The three of us chase after her because after all, we’re supposed to stay together. “I can’t be in there, how could they do that to the poor lizards?” says a distressed Brooke. “Um what are you talking about? They have food and stuff inside,” says Chad. “But didn’t Luke say that this place was like deserted or something? Because if that’s true then they left these poor animals here by themselves.” We all fall silent for a minute, she has a point. Then it gets me thinking, is this place really deserted or are there still people wandering around? Are we alone on this island?
We start walking back to the entrance of the island hoping that the boat will still be there and we can just go back to the resort. As we’re walking back, I hear a noise in the bushes. “Guys what was that?” I whisper to my friends. “I don’t know, but I heard it too.” says Brooke. “Let’s go before it kills us or something!” screams Luke. “Well it wouldn’t kill us if you didn’t scream!” I tell Luke. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m just really freaked out!” screams Luke again. “Would all of you shut up already, let’s just go. I’m sure it was nothing,” says Chad. I turn around to look at Chad when I see what looks like Mickey Mouse in the woods. I must be hallucinating, there’s no way there could be someone else on a deserted island. I told myself over and over that there was no one here with us, but I suddenly woke up from my daze when I heard the screams and gasps of my friends.
“Quick, quick, hide behind this shack,” said Luke. We all rushed behind the small wooden shack and peeked out the sides to see if Mickey Mouse was gone. “What was that and was it real?” asked Brooke. “I don’t know,” I said “but it was pretty creepy.” We all looked around frantically to see if it was gone yet. The only sound that could be heard was the buzzing of beetles in the bushes. I felt like it was probably safe to go and make a run for it, but my friends had other ideas: staying hidden from the creepy Disney character.
I started getting restless. I’m sure we were all just creeped out because we were alone on some random, abandoned park. Yeah, at first I believed it was actually Mickey Mouse, but now that I was coming to my senses, it was probably my imagination. I pushed myself up off the cold, gray rock I had been sitting on and started to look for a sidewalk to follow out. As I started to make my way out, I realized I was on my own on a deserted, abandoned island. I looked straight at the ground to avoid scaring myself.
I try finding my way back to the entrance, but all the signs were broken or destroyed. I whip my head around. What was that I think? I think I’m going crazy, but I know that I heard a twig breaking. Crack. Crack. There it is again! I whip my head around to see a huge character coming at me. I run into a huge patch of trees looking for somewhere to hide. The big character is holding a huge pointy stick that looks like a spear. Before I thought I might be hallucinating, but I know that’s not the case anymore. I hear the thumping of the ground below me as the character comes. I run faster to hide up in a tree. Panting harder and harder every step. I climbed up one of the lush, green trees. I could barely grasp the rough wooden branches. My hands felt like they would just slip off. Thump. Thump. Thump. I could feel the ground shaking. I climb higher, but my foot misses the branch. As I feel my leg dangle from the tree, I feel Mickey Mouse’s stuffed hands grab my foot. I start screaming and crying. His grip is getting tighter and tighter and I can feel splinters in my hands from grabbing onto the tree too long. Eventually, the character loses hold and I sprint up the tree like a squirrel.
I’m pretty sure the character is gone after ten minutes or so. I peak through some holly green leaves and look towards the ground. I see the character sleeping against a rock. It’s snoring really loud, so I figure now is my chance to make a run for it. I slowly climb down from the tree and sprint towards the entrance. I keep looking back behind me to see where Mickey is. Since I’m not looking where I’m going, I trip over a small hole in the sidewalk. The world around me starts spinning. I start to feel sick. I hear voices. They sound like my friends Chad, Brooke, and Luke. A black shadow is all I see: darkness. I wake up laying in my bed in my hotel room. Was I dreaming or was I not?