November 16, 2017
By Anonymous

There I was, laying on the cold layer of Colorado dirt on the hard, dark earth. The cool breeze rolled over my limp body and rustled my hair. I opened my eyes to see the glimmering light of the sun shining down on this tragic scene. My head slammed back as I struggled to raise it from the ground. The wave of pain submerged my body into a pool of defeat.

“Mom! Let’s go!” I shouted up the stairs and the sound of my high squeaky voice bounced off the newly painted beige walls. I darted across the cushiony velvet rug and onto the cold kitchen tiles as I spotted my jacket on the kitchen table. I snatched it and started racing to the car. But Timmy jumped in front of me before I could get any farther.
“Where are you going?” he practically screamed at me in his little six year old boy way. I almost shoved him aside and continued on my way, but I knew that was probably not the best idea. So I took a deep breath and looked down at little Timmy. Two big eyes stared back up at me with excitement and curiosity on his mind.  
“To Elitch Gardens. You can’t come,” I blurted out. But just to my luck, my mom strolled up behind me just at that very moment.
“Alex!! You do not get to decide that!” my mother boldly stated, staring me straight in the eyes, “Timmy, of course you can come!”
I rolled my eyes and turned towards the door that led to the garage. But once again, Timmy got in the way.
“Why are you going again? Didn’t we just go like...yesterday?”
“For your information, that was three and a half weeks ago. And anyways, I want to go on 667!” I exclaimed with a little bit too much enthusiasm because my mom gave me a look.
“What’s 6611?”
“Not 6611, dummy. 667! It’s this new roller coaster. One away from death!”
“Wh-” But I cut him off there and brushed past him on my way to the garage that was flooded with Colorado sun.
Slam! The car doors shut us in the chariot that would tear us away from our home and into the hard world.
As I watched the bronze plains of Colorado shoot by, separated only by a thin sheet of glass, a bit of fear dwindled in my eyes. But I pushed that feeling back, back into the dark corner of my brain, where my thoughts go forgotten.

My bright blue sneakers bounced off the beige sidewalks with every step. My eyes wandered around the amusement park, which was filled with people. I spotted the Rocky Mountains through seats of carousel rides and popcorn stands. The snow covered the tips of the mountain peaks like hot fudge on a sundae.
I peeked back over my shoulder, trying to find my mom or even my little brother. My five foot height didn’t help me much. The sway of people, like palm trees during a hurricane, pushed me forward. She must have just gone on some silly baby ride with Timmy, I thought to myself. I tried to move forward, in the direction which I thought was near the roller coaster that would give me the thrill of my life. But the crowds started to overstimulate me. I didn’t know where I was going. Just find a map. Or an employee. Or-
My thought was interrupted by what appeared in front of my eyes.
There it was.
The red numbers on the sign dangling above my head flickered. It read “667”. Straight in front of me lied a pitch black tunnel, that was the polar opposite of the warming sun filling the outside world.
The feeling was back. It lingered in my heart. A tingling feeling surfaced in my stomach. Despite my greatest instinct, I took a step in.
A few seconds later, I emerged from the dark shaft and took my place in the surprisingly short line for the ride. 
Right in front of me, I noticed a track. Before I even had time for my thoughts to collect, a roller coaster sped up as fast as lightning and halted to a stop in front of me.
Women and men of all ages wandered off the cart dizzily. Confusion and shock loitered in their eyes as they slowly stepped back into the tunnel.
My heartbeat grew faster as I watched with amusement. The feeling shot into my mind again. The feeling of trepidation. Maybe I shouldn’t ride it, I mused. But I had to get on. I had gone too far to conclude the journey now.
“Next!” an older man wearing a blue top coat and khakis bellowed out. I and a few others of various ages hesitantly stepped forward and sat down on the cold metal seat. Click! My seatbelt buckled into one long strap, which I thought would protect me from the harsh ride about to come. 
Without a warning, the coaster started pulling itself up toward the baby blue sky. Once we hit the top, I was astounded. One minute turned into eternity. We were above all. Tiny swirls of color appeared to be people doing their own thing in this huge world. They were little specks of color in an exquisite painting. I looked down on the tips of trees scattered below. I closed my eyes for just a moment and took it all in. The bright sunrays bursting warmth on my tan face. A whiff of fresh air brushed past me. The only sounds reaching my ears were the songs of birds chirping. I could stay there forever.
But sadly, I was ripped from the scene.
The cart flew down the track as fast as light. Literally. My breath was taken from me.
Fear. Pure Fear.
I shut my eyes tight as we flew around sharp twists and flung down steep tracks. Just then, I knew I should have trusted my instincts. I knew I shouldn’t have gotten on this ride. It would be over in a minute. I just had to get through that minute. The wind flew past me, tousling my golden hair as I regained my breath.
Then, a new feeling came. It was as if… I was flying. No. No! My eyes burst open. I tilted my body slightly over the side. Sure enough, we were off the track. The only thing below us, to cushion our fall was the rigid, rocky dirt, twenty feet down. I braced myself for the belligerent landing I knew was about to come. My whole body tensed and my eyes were now shut as tight
as possible. I held my breath.

I knew that was the end. I could feel it in the aches in my head and the rips in my skin. In the distance, I heard the faint sound of sirens and cars drifting past on the bustling highway. But I loosened the tight grip I had on my body and my eyes drifted shut. Just as I was drawing in my last breath, strong arms lifted my limp figure from the dirt that was etched into my skin. My bright blue eyes fluttered open. A man with dark skin and determination in his auburn eyes looked back at me with a glance, asserting me that it’s going to be okay. I lifted my head and rested it on the navy blue scrubs that were plastered onto his skin. Hope flooded into my heart and I hung onto the little strength I had left.

The author's comments:

This piece is inspired by my own fear of roller coasters, and teached people to listen to their instinct. 

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