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Horror Nights or Horror Days?
Halloween night, the night where the nightly ghouls and the neighborhood witches haunt the streets. Finally that time of year was here once again and I was finally 18 years old. What a better way to celebrate Halloween than grabbing a couple of close friends and heading off to Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights? I already knew that with the right people and the perfect timing, I was going to be in for the trip of a lifetime.
I had planned the trip out perfectly, down to the last detail, even the type of chips we planned on getting to eat in the car. Cheetos. Yuck.
My friend Tatiana helped me with all the plans. After all we had been dating for a year, and then helped herself to the decisions of food. She can be a little bossy at times. She had just turned 18 as well so she was just as excited for the trip as I was, especially since we were going without any parents. We thought it’d be nice to let my 15-year-old brother Randy and his 16-year -old girlfriend Amy tag along for the ride, and of course we couldn’t leave my 15-year-old cousin Mercy behind. After all I did consider her to be my one and only sister.
We decided to head out early in the morning because before we even left, we had to prepare the car with all the essentials and fill it with all the luggage because each girl brought along three separate bags. It wasn’t going to be easy fitting all of us plus 11 separate bags in my mother’s 2008 Toyota Prius. I think we looked like a bunch of tall clowns trying to fit inside of tiny little blue clown car, but it’s all part of the road trip experience.
As we finally began to embark on our journey my mother, like always, decides to warn us about all the latest things currently happening. She kisses us goodbye and says “Try not to pull over on the side of the road to take a break, walk around, or do ANYTHING.” As usual, we completely ignored her advice and decided to leave quickly before she began talking again.
We were finally on the road and almost immediately the car was filled with the sound of voices talking, almost yelling off the top of their lungs. It was so loud that I believe it could over power the roar of screaming fans at a rock concert. Tatiana and I just glance at each other as I to say “This is going to be a long ride.”
Two hours went by and the noise had died down a bit. Tatiana and I were the only ones who were actually awake, while everyone else slept. Tatiana and I were relieved at the peace that there was in the car, we literally shut off the music to make sure they remained asleep. The car smelled of Cheetos and all you could hear was the sound of the tires moving as they moved along the road and the whispering of two very much grown adults filled with the adolescence that they had now left behind. As we kept getting closer and closer to our destination, we saw more and more signs announcing the nightly event that we so anxiously awaited.
As we continued to drive we also began to see vehicles parked on the side of the road. We figured that they were making pit stops and maybe taking a break from the long drive, which at the moment it sounded better and better to pull over for just five minutes. We then agreed to stop momentarily just to take a short break and stretch our legs. Little did we know just how much we wish we should’ve listened to my mother’s advice.
We pulled over and Tatiana and I got out to take a tiny walk for almost a minute when my brother screams “I have to freaking pee!” He immediately jumps out of the car and runs straight into the trees. Tatiana got back in the car to give my brother some privacy; however I remained outside of the car just to wait for him. Four minutes went by and he still hadn’t come out from within the trees. Finally, I begin to see something moving within the trees and I couldn’t wait to get back on the road. As he finally came out I couldn’t believe the horror I was witnessing. My own little brother with two men, one holding a gun to his head, and the other pointing a gun straight at me. I couldn’t believe what was happening, and in broad daylight. I was so frightened; I didn’t know what to do next.
The men dressed in all black, wearing black ski caps on their heads began to move forward. They threatened to shoot us both if we didn’t get everyone out of the car in the next 30 seconds. I don’t know what came over me but I was completely frozen. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t even blink.
The men screamed “Now!” and that’s when I snapped out of it.
All of this was really happening and no matter how much I tried, this problem wasn’t just going to go away. I opened the car doors and said very calmly “ Everyone get out of the car, and look straight at the floor. Don’t look up at anyone or anything, do you understand me?”
They all nodded their heads in agreement, asked no questions and did just as I said. The men then backed us up to the trees and quickly got in our car and speeded off.
As we gazed into the distance and saw my mother’s blue little car being driven away by two maniacs, we began to get more and more scared because everyone had left their cellphones in the car. There was now absolutely no way that we could call for help. Mercy was crying so hard that it looked as if though she was getting ready to pass out.
Amy said “Are we going to die?” Then I said “No! We are not going to die; we just have to get somebody to help us.”
We waved and waved our hands at passing cars but nobody pulled over. All we got was left over food and cups of ice thrown at us. I think it’s amazing how many things can happen in the matter of five minutes and just how much those five minutes can impact your life. At that moment I was scared from head to toe. I had never felt so scared in my life especially since I was the leader of my group and whatever decisions I made at that point impacted us all.
We decided that we would begin what had to be the longest walk any of us had ever walked. Not once did we take our eyes off from what lay ahead, always hoping we would bump into other civilians or even come across the exit to a nearby McDonalds’s. At that point we needed anything that would give us hope. It was like a never ending grass covered road that seemed to be getting us nowhere. We were at the point where we were about to give up.
Then, what seemed to be a miracle, was far out in the distance. We saw a sign for the gas stations that could be found in the next exit. All hope was found again and we started to run. We ran and ran and never stopped to look back at the horrors that we had come across earlier that day. Our main goal was to find a pay phone; luckily I had my wallet in my back pocket.
Before I even called my mom to explain to her what had happened, I called the police to try and get help first.
The woman on the other side of the phone said “Wait right there, we will be there in five minutes.” Five minutes exactly had passed by and a police car was pulling into the gas station. Following the police car was my mother’s little blue Prius. The police officer explained to us that they had pulled over that vehicle for reckless driving. The two passengers were immediately arrested, due to their criminal records and were currently on probation in Miami. The police tried getting in contact with us but unfortunately all communications were at a loss due to the negligence of leaving the cellphones in the car. The police officers gave us back our car and ensured that nothing was missing from the inside of the car (not even the Cheetos).
At that point I felt as if though everything indeed happens for a reason. Somehow I feel like this was supposed to happen, to help to teach me a lesson that the outside world isn’t such a wonderful place like I thought it was. I feel like this happened to show just how much more learning I have to do as an adult and that as an adult I will be learning for the rest of my life. Just because I’m “18” doesn’t mean that I know it all and that I don’t have to listen to my parents. As a matter of fact now that I’m eighteen I have to listen to my parents even more because their insight is what will make a stronger, intellectual, and responsible adult.
I still couldn’t believe everything that had happened that day and still what was left of the trip to happen. And although in the end everything turned out in our favor, I didn’t know whether to be happy, excited, or just concerned at how things turned out.
After all of the questions were asked and answered the police officer’s apologized for the inconvenience and offered to escort us personally to the theme park’s entrance. I don’t think anyone could have had a better adventure and learning experience than we did. Truly this was a trip that we could never forget, even if we tried.