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The Swings of Mortal Terror

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I remember the day I faced my fear of circling heights like it was a long time ago, because it was. My Mom, Dad, and I were going on a trip to Kings Dominion Amusement Park with my brother and our church group friends. We gathered the necessities of survival for the Kings Dominion trip, and then we drove to the church to meet up with my brother’s group. We sat in the church lobby and were debriefed on how to get to Kings Dominion. I remember how happy I was to go to there but reluctant to be surrounded by a whole bunch of eight and nine year old boys. I knew that the trip would be full of Star Wars, Legos, and Sponge Bob, and lots of Sponge Bob. Don’t get the wrong idea about me, I love the little yellow guy, but a person can only handle so much. I was dreading the sponginess of the next six hours. I looked around the room and I saw I was not the only one would go through all the sponginess, two of my friends would endure their brothers’ ranting also. Together we would conquer the talks about Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-wan Kenobi.









Once we split up, my friends and I fearlessly drove through Saturday morning traffic while Ryan Seacrest kept us company with “America’s Top 40” songs. After two hours of endless sitting we finally reached our destination. I could almost smell the vomit and hear the cries of thrill hunters. My friend and I were talking about how we would ride all of the biggest, fastest and screaming-roller coasters at the park. After the first ride, The Dominator, we retreated to Scooby Doo (a little kid ride). The only reason we agreed to go on Scooby Doo was to watch our brothers, obviously. Anyway we were riding the coasters from the time it opened ‘til we passed the food court. Lured by the aroma of hamburgers we armed ourselves with our parents and their money and ate delicious, cheesy cheeseburgers. After our break we rode the Anaconda and then got lost. Unfortunately we ended up near the worst ride ever invented, The Swings of Mortal Terror, or as most people call it The Swing Carousal.


Of course my friend wanted to ride it. She was insane. Stupidly, I went on the metal death trap. As we walked toward the bane of my existence, I was beginning to feel a cold sweat. At the moment the ride was staying still, playing its cheerful music loudly, it was taunting me. As we passed the employee who looks like she doesn’t get paid enough but needed this job, I began to have second thoughts. My body was on auto pilot, locking myself in the chair of doom, my heart was pounding a drum solo. My hand quickly molded around the metal bar in a tight death grip one only does in mortal terror. The music quieted down and I was being lifted up from the ground. I looked from side to side in search for my partner in crime until I found her with our brothers on the opposite side of the dreadful machine. I was lifted higher and higher until my parents looked like ants. I couldn’t think. I concentrated on the song that was stuck in my head--Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty. After five minutes of agony to actual fun I was brought back to earth. As quickly as humanly possible, I jumped out of my seat and raced to my parents. I was proud that I had confronted my fear. I actually rode the Swings of Mortal Terror two more times. From that day on I still look at the ride as terrifying, but I know I can ride and still be alive. The swings and I still have our glorious rivalry and friendship to this day.



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