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The Amusing Death
It was a chilly, dreary day. Clouds of darkness covered up the light source in the sky, beaming down rays of gloom to the usually enticing amusement park. The air was filled with a light fog, blurring out any signs of excitement or happiness.
Ella, Jason, and Madison sat at a round wooden table, its cold metal edges nipping their skin like a winter’s frost. They all shivered in their thin summer clothing, sending lines of goose bumps up and down their bare arms.
Madison wrapped her pale arms around herself, blocking the view of her indigo sequined tank top and sparkling silver butterfly necklace. Her long blond hair blew slightly in the wind, only setting a strand or two out of place.
“I want to go on the Terminator!” she exclaimed, her blue eyes twinkling with excitement.
“That’s the most bad-a** rollercoaster in the whole town. You sure you can take that on?” questioned Madison’s boyfriend, Jason. He put his bright red baseball cap on the faded table and tousled his shaggy brown hair with his strong hands.
“Yeah Maddie I mean no offense, but come on, you screamed your head off on the merry go round,” said Ella. As she talked, her dark brown ponytail swept back and forth like a broom being controlled by a hyperactive child.
Madison opened her mouth with shock and put a French-manicured hand to her face. “I AM offended Ella! I was screaming because I was excited, duh!” she said jokingly.
Ella and Jason chuckled in unison at Madison. Madison stuck her tongue out at both of them and rolled her eyes.
“Have you heard about what happened to this one girl who went on the Terminator?” Jason asked.
“No, what happened?” asked Madison.
Jason started talking in a mysterious voice. “It was a cold, gray summer afternoon like today. The park was lacking of people. It was vacant. It was empty. It was-“
“There was no one there; we get it!” interrupted Ella.
Jason gave Ella a look of annoyance then continued the story. “So there was no one there except one brave soul: fifteen year old Jade Graystone. She had been waiting all day to ride the Terminator because her mom couldn’t take her to the park until she got back from work. When her mom finally dropped her off at the park, Jade ran to the Terminator. She was surprised to see no line of people waiting. This was a warning sign. But she was too excited to think about it. She got on the ride and was having fun until she got to the tunnel. Then the rollercoaster suddenly stopped. It was dark in the tunnel and Jade didn’t know what was going on. When her mom came to look for her several hours later, she was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t in the tunnel. She wasn’t anywhere. No one knows what happened.”
“So she just like disappeared into thin air?” asked Ella.
“Yeah pretty much,” Jason said matter-of-factly. “Or someone killed her and left no evidence.”
The wind picked up sending chills to their spines like the harsh breath of a killer. The park was starting to clear out a bit because no one could take on the unusually chilly summer day. People filed out in groups and pairs, colorful t-shirts and shorts passing by, combining like a rainbow made of humans.
Madison shivered and said, “Well come on, that story doesn’t scare me. Lets go on the ride and then go home because it’s getting cold.” Although she seemed brave, her voice was a little shaky.
“Are you sure you want to go on the Terminator?” asked Jason. His brown eyes looked at Madison with concern.
“Who’s scared now?” teased Madison. She smirked at him as if going on the ride would be no big deal to her.
“I’m not scared, I just don’t want you to be scared,” replied Jason.
“I’ll be fine. Lets go!” said Madison with enthusiasm. She stood up and tugged Jason’s tan, bulky arm. He finally got up after Madison’s constant pulling.
Jason looked at Ella and said, “Okay Ella I guess we’re all going on the Terminator.” His voice sounded rather forced, as if he actually was scared.
Ella looked down and said, “Um… I’m kind of tired. You guys can go. I’ll wait here.”
“Are you sure? We can just go home now if you want,” said Jason, a little too eagerly.
Madison grabbed Jason’s hand and said, “She’s fine, lets go!”
Ella looked up at them and said, “Yeah just go ahead guys. Jason, make Madison happy and take her on the damn ride.” Ella plastered on a smile like a mannequin in a women’s department store. Even though she strongly believed that the story Jason told was a myth, something deep down inside of her told her otherwise.
Ella watched Madison and Jason walk away faster than a cheetah in a track competition. She watched them until they finally melted into the fog, the condensation blurring them out as if an eraser was deleting them forever.
Madison and Jason found emptiness when they reached the Terminator. There was absolutely no one around except the one creepy man who ran the ride. He had gangly greasy brown hair and a sloppy mustache. His clothing selection of an old white undershirt and black gym shorts reflected his bad hygiene. He was standing next to the control machine of green, white, and blue buttons and levers of all sorts, ready to operate the rollercoaster.
Madison looked at the Terminator with shock. Her wide eyes scanned the twists and turns of the blood red track. She took note of the long tunnel in which the track disappeared for quite awhile.
Jason noticed her studying the contraption and said, “Told you it was intense. You sure about this?”
“I’ve never been more sure in my whole entire life,” she replied with confidence. She put on a sincere smile. Her crest-white teeth stood out in the dim afternoon.
The man operating the ride overheard her and said, “Well all right kids. Lets get a move on. I’m planning to shut down early today. So if you want to go on, then go on now.” His voice was rusty with age and his patience was wearing off.
Jason and Madison looked at each other and started walking towards the uninviting man.
He led them to the first car of the rollercoaster. It was bright yellow with deathly red stripes going across it. They climbed inside and sat down on the black seats. The man pulled the silver safety lever down on their legs. They both gripped it as tightly as possible.
As the man walked away to start the ride, he shouted, “Good luck kids.” And it wasn’t just a fun warning. His voice was low and serious as if they actually needed luck. He finally pushed a button and the ride started up.
The first part of the tack was on the outside. Jason and Madison felt the coaster move at high speed, taking them through unexpected turns and exciting downhill velocities. Their screams of exhilaration echoed in the foggy sky.
Then they reached the tunnel.
It was very dark in the tunnel, so dark in fact that when Madison looked at her own hand, she could barely make out the traces of it.
They noticed that the ride was slowing down by the second. It then came to a halt right in the middle of the tunnel.
“Um… what’s going on?” asked Madison in a shaky voice.
“This is just what happened to Jade. I told you,” replied Jason in an equally shaky voice.
“That story wasn’t true,” sighed Madison.
“Yes it was,” breathed an unknown deep voice into her ear.
Madison gasped, Jason shivered, and the voice said, “goodbye.”