This is the short story, “THE PARK”, originally written in 2008. I’ve been working on this on and off over the years. Here’s what I hope is the final draft of it…
A very special thanks to all my children, Abbey, Madi, Olivia, Kyri and Alexx for all their inspiration.
I also want to thank my mom (Faye), she will be editing what is below, and my Wife (Rhonda) who helped me write parts as well as put up with me as I drug her through THE PARK in this story.
“The Park” -The story of kids who sneak into an abandoned amusement park that ends up having a mind of its own.
YouTube playlist of stories being read: My stories: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiFv27rv2rhA3-8U8EyDXya
This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.
This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.
David peeled the rusted chain link fence up high enough for his two friends, Ron and Jeremy, to get under it.
Each boy went under belly first, skateboards and in-line skates in hand.
David was the last one through.
Bits of rust grabbed at the back of his shirt.
Ron tried to hold the fence up while Jeremy pulled David the rest of the way in.
They snuck past old arcade booths and deserted Midway rides.
The boys ran hunched over as if they were invading a foreign country.
There was a certain amount of excitement while trespassing, not to mention the thrill that awaited them as they snuck their way in, just a short distance to their set destination, the abandoned water slides.
With great determination they climbed up the artificial rocks to reach the starting point of one slide that gradually dropped 100 yards with all kinds of unexpected gyrations.
David volunteered to walk his way down the slide first to remove the debris, broken tree limbs, lots of leaves and even a few rock.
He inched his way down and around each bend as he yelled, “I’ll holler at you when I get to the bottom!”
The boys nodded and we’re about to burst with anticipation and a touch of fear. Their eyes were big.
“Be careful!”, shouted Ron.
“You’re such a wimp.”, tease Jeremy, which called for a shove from Ron.
They heard David’s voice as he descended, “Ronnie?!” Ron answered thinking it was something important, “Yeah? I can hear you!”
David shouted, “You’re a whimp!” He grinned as Ron replied, “Shut up you poser!” David just laughed.
The boys had been waiting for this day for a long time. They found out what they could about this ghost town of sorts.
In their research they found that at one point it had all the major attractions and amusements, if not more than, some of the world’s largest and well-known Carnivals, Fairgrounds and major theme parks.
The park was advertised as unlike anywhere else on earth and its biggest secret of all was supposed to be revealed the first day they officially opened to public.
There were rumors about all of the world’s best Auto metronics, Hi-Tech mechanical devices and state-of-the-art robots that function like people.
The big selling point wasn’t just the enormous size of the Park or it’s amazing rides and entertainment but actually how the park functioned.
There was a lot of anticipation and years of counting down until the opening day.
Apparently there was some controversy about it as well.
Sadly the park had been shut down and closed to the public before most people even got to step inside it’s gates.
The boys could care less about all of that they just wanted to get in, explore and to skate the empty water slides.
That was their main mission.
While David made his way down the one slide the two boys above looked around nervously.
Ron said, “I can’t even read this sign.”
“That’s cuz you can’t read!”, Jeremy mocked.
Ronnie punched his friend in the arm as he argued, “NO, IT’S CAUSE YOU BROUGHT YOUR LITTLE SISTER’S CRAPPIE FLASH LIGHTS!”
“Look…”, Jeremy said, “…You can see for miles from way up here.”
“Yeah, just as long as no one sees us.”, confirmed his friend.
Meanwhile, miles away, John Hanson, the owner and founder of “Forever Happy Amusements Inc.”, met with his lawyer and 3 of the world’s top and most prestigious Mechanical Engineer Consultants.
His lawyer, Mr. Goldberg, was addressing John’s concern regarding how liable John would be if someone were to enter the park without permission and become seriously injured.
“In addition to the no trespassing signs, the gate, the outer walls and all the fences are secure right, John?” John spoke with confidence and assertiveness, “Oh yes. OF COURSE. I have had the signs up since before the park opened and they remained up while the park was open and running and filled with people.”
The lawyer gave a snide look at John because of the statement, “Filled with people.”
John was well aware of his lawyers nonverbal language and corrected himself, “Well, we only opened one day and that was just for friends and family members really it was very hush-hush…but we pretested everything!”
John’s voice began to quiver with uncertainty. He was losing his confidence and decided to just answer the initial question, “Yes. Ah, the signs and gates and all are still up.”
One of the chief Engineers, Dr. Hatfield, who had his doctorate degree in civil engineering and mechanical Innovations, spoke up with his strong foreign accent, “Ah…Yez. Mizter. hHannnd Zin iz id?”
John nodded, “Yes, Hanson.”
The doctor continued, “Yez. Ah…nHormally I Vwould bHe a mHan ofv mHHany VwordZ hAand vwell zvHHoken vocHabulary budt I vfind myzself hHHere today Zsimply aHHZsking you…Vwhat iz zthis cRHrAp hhall HAabout? VWhy aHRre vwe HherRe?” He gestured to the other men.
John’s forehead wrinkled.
Mr. Wiggins, another consultant affirmed the question, “Yes, why do you need us?”
John bit his bottom lip and his eyes pleaded for his lawyer to not only answer these fine gentlemen but to make it sound as professional as possible.
His lawyer read John’s desperate cry and cleared his throat, “Well, part of the reason you men have been chosen, or should I say hired, to be here today is for us to explain and simply tell you why you are needed here.”
That sounded redundant thought John. The engineers thought the same thing but they listen for the lawyer to get to the point and business at hand.
“Mr. Hanson here is an engineer as well. He created and built the ‘Forever Happy Amusement Park.’ Part of this enterprise consisted of developing schematics from mechanical engineering resources like none other.”
The men began to look at each other taking their eyes off of Mr. Goldberg. They exchanged looks of doubt, bewilderment and simple disbelief.
After all, the three of them where the cream-of-the-crop, the absolute top notch brains of the world when it came to the most modern, as well as, controversial technology available.
Mr. Wiggins asked, “Why haven’t we heard or seen a thing about this park? Where it is located?”
Mr. Goldberg nodded at John urging him to take over explaining things a little further.
John swallowed hard, “It is kind of out in the boonies, as I like to say. There’s lots of land but in a relatively small town called North Port, Florida.
The population is low, comparatively speaking, but there’s a lot of undeveloped areas. Also, it’s located fairly close to the middle of the state so people can travel from north or south to get to its Simi centralized location. It really is a good spot.”
As he spoke his voice began to crack a little.
Unknown to John there was some cracking going on at his Park even as he spoke.
-Back at the park
“COME ON DOWN!!!“, the boys heard David yell.
“Oh yes, sick! You go first Jeremy, that way you can wreck first.”, chuckled Ron.
“Shut up poser! I will go first.” Jeremy didn’t have skates and he wasn’t about to ride his skateboard standing, not on the first run.
So, he laid belly first on the board and yelled, “ROCK N’ ROLL GUYS!”, as he gave himself a push, starting him down the long slope.
He immediately yelled, but it was more out of fear and uncertainty than fun.
Ron laughed out loud and yell down to Dave, “I THINK YOU MISSED SOME STICKS AND STUFF DAVE!” Dave smiled as he climbed as fast as he could to take his turn.
Things were so quiet the boys couldn’t hear anything but Jeremy grunting as he tried to navigate his way past the rough terrain of the neglected slide. When Jeremy reach the bottom they heard a THUD!
“Watch out, remember at the end is a 3 foot drop into an empty cement pool.”, Dave’s delayed reminder arrived to late to be useful.
Ron busted out laughing.
Jeremy stood to his feet and heard a high cracking, then a cranking noise, followed by what sounded like a loud yawn.
He wondered if the others heard it. He thought for sure someone else had heard them and they were busted.
Dave and Ron heard it too. They wondered if it was something to do with their friend Jeremy.
David tried to be brave then shouted, “NICE TRY JEREMY!”
“I don’t think that was him Dave.”
“SHHHH!!!”, is all they heard back.
Jeremy crouched down behind some bushes and hoped the other boys were hiding too.
His thought was ‘maybe they will be caught but not me.’
Ron and David ducked behind some artificial boulders.
Ron said, “We’re dead dude.”
“Shut up. We’re not caught. it’s just a…aaa, a old tree branch or something.”, David search for words.
Ron hoped David was right and that Jeremy was alright.
Then, what they heard next shook the boys down to their very bones.
Back in the office building miles away…
“The park, like my lawyer said, is like none other.”
John began to speak with more confidence and show that he was very proud of the progress he achieved in modern engineering.
He carried on, “The whole park, rides and all, run just like your brain.”
As he spoke, back at the park there was a deafening BABOOM!!!
At first the boys thought someone was shooting at them.
It was the main generator kicking in and it continued to increase in volume starting with a low, “hummm.”
Jeremy worked his way up the incline, grabbing ahold of fake bushes, artificial grass and foam rocks. By the time he reached the top the other boys had come out from hiding.
“I told you guys we’d get caught! Both of you were too loud dude.”, Jeremy scoffed.
Ron retaliated, “You were just as loud Jeremy!”
David laughed, “Shut up you bugs. Ya’ll are a bunch of puppies. It’s just the generators to like, turn on some of the old lights that go on just to keep things lit after dark.”
“Yeah, security lights right Dave?”, Ron tried to assure himself.
Dave shook is head, “Yep, that’s all. Old unused, unneeded, security lights that no one even pays any attention to anymore.
There’s no reason to patrol the park.
There’s nothing here to steal.
There are signs saying, ‘no trespassing’, but so what!
No one cares anymore, guys relax.
Everybody knows that if someone has the guts to sneak in, like us,
that whatever happens happens and the people sneaking in is at their own risk.
The owners got nothing to worry about because the public was warned.”
“I don’t know, Dave.”, Jeremy’s voice quivered.
“I know you don’t know. That’s why you’re a scared idiot.” David smiled big and looked at Ron, “Are you a puppy too?”
Ron shook his head and began to speak, “…but maybe…”
Dave interrupted, “Look, I’m taking my turn. IF there is someone here,
SOME OLD FART RENT-A-COP!”, he yelled,
“Then let them catch me if they can haha.
What are they going to do torture me?”
Ron said, “Hey Jeremy, I gotta old fart for you! HaHAH!”
With that being said, heard and smelled,
Dave climbed into the entrance tub of the dried-up water slide. He held the side rails and rolled forward and back on his rollerblades.
“Okay, hope you cleared the path even more than I did Jeremy!”, he exclaimed as he shoved off, beginning his extreme daredevilish rush down the dry dirty flume.
Ron and Jeremy looked at each other in disbelief and dismay, not sure that it was a good idea, but they gained their confidence back when they heard Dave’s voice explaining how much fun he was having.
“The way it works gentleman.”, Mr. Hanson continued to address the men at the board table, gaining confidence in what he brought from just a dream into reality.
He was about to reveal his greatest achievement in life. It was also his biggest mistake.
He took a deep breath and began, “It is neuro charged. Just as our brains function every day of our lives.
Neurons match up with electrons and jump from one command to another.
When the neurons dock into the neurotransmitters messages and commands are exchanged between our bodies and our brains.
It’s rather simple really.
Of course, in relation to the park it is synthetic and simply mechanics.
My colleagues and I spent endless planning sessions and asserted every effort to replicate the human body, brain, heart and lungs.
Fluids consisting of precise mixtures of oil, natural fossil fuels and some helpful stimulating herbs, they provide the necessary fuel and flow.
We have replicated how our blood moves and circulates, which in turn, leads to and allows electrical impulses to be shot off, telling our body, or in this case the machine, what to do, as well as, how to act and react.
Again, I am sure you will all understand, it is elementary biology. I haven’t created or invented anything. I just changed its form.”
Mr. Scalp, the third consultant, stood to his feet, “You re-created the brain?! We are mechanical engineers, not medical doctors. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! You think you’re God? You created a body in the form of a whole amusement park?!”
It was more of a statement than a question.
John bowed his head and blushed from mixed feelings and emotions. He felt a certain amount of accomplishment, knowing none of them came up with this brilliant idea; however, he also had an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment as he answered, “Well, no now, I wouldn’t say that I just…”
Dr. Hatfield jumped into the debate. The men sorted out what he had to say in spite of his strong foreign accent, “You Hhave faHbricHated an tampVered vwith vwhat Zthe crHHeator ofV hHHuman lifVe haz alvrHeady done!
ZThere izs a diffHHerenttt betHHVween hHHumanZ and machHinez Mizter Hanzin.
VWe all knHhow zthis and az EngHANineerz vweee reHHzpect zthat and knHow zthat zthe two zshould neHver beHKcome vone.
VWhen you mezz vwith kcrHheaZtion, zTHAT Iz vWHEN YhOU GO FRHOM BEING Z zSCIENTIZ TO BEhhKCOMING A MAAAD ZSCIENTIZ! Zee reZultZ aHre not Honly,
-HhOW YhOU ZAY,
unpreHdictable but could be, AND MOzST LIKELY AhRE, hHHorribly un-iCK-mag-HANable.”
John’s lawyer rushed to his defense. “Now wait a minute! MY client has the best intentions and hasn’t done anything unlawful.
He has not done anything that hasn’t already been done in the natural forces around us, as well as, in US!”
John nodded and added, “I put together a machine that runs on the same principles that are in us. The resources were there to simulate the way our bodies and minds work so that we just…”
Mr. Wiggins took his turn at bat and said two words that every one of them was thinking, “Cloned it!”
John now became upset. He stood to his feet, lean forward and shouted back, “IF THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL IT THEN YES, YES! I knew that the way we were created could be harnessed and used for the improvement of our Lives. I knew that we could mimic it with machines.
The world has been crying out, yearning AND LUSTING WITH AND UNQUENCHABLE DESIRE to have robots that can relate and mimic human behavior.”
Mr. Scalp spoke again, “But, you have mocked the creator, thinking you could possibly do better. You, took on the job of creating an entire theme park, not just a single android! Yes, we can follow the blueprint of human life for the building and running of machines but should we?”
Mr. Wiggins said, “HE already has.”
Dr. Hatfield threw his hands in the air and just scoffed, “Mr. Hanzon, I aHsk aKHgain, vWHY have you gathered uz today?”
John’s lawyer stepped up to the plate and spoke as softly and warmly as possible. It was a little strange to hear such a calming tone coming from a defense lawyer.
“Gentlemen, you are the only ones who can help us figure out how to shut the park down.”
All three men said the same words almost in unison, “Shut it down?”
John tried to answer while still sounding rational, “Well… it… sleeps…sometimes.”
Dr. Hatfield responded, “Oh dear Lord.”
Mr. Wiggins let out a nervous gut giggle. For his own assurance that he actually heard things correctly he asked, “It sleeps? You mean it literally sleeps?”
“Yes. That is affirmative. Not just a sleep mode, it shuts itself down to rest and…store up its energy…too, well… wake ready to start it’s next day or night, whatever the case may be.”
Mr. Wiggins said with sarcasm, “Psshh, does it dream and sleep walk too?”
Much to their surprise Mr. Hanson replied with sincerity, “Yes. It does.”
John wasn’t sure if they didn’t believe him or if they did believe him but didn’t want to face the facts.
Mr. Goldberg advised John, “Let it all out. Explain the ramifications and why they can truly help us, why we desperately need them.
Mr. Hanson again took a deep breath to finally confess his mistakes, “When it sleeps it shuts down and then when it wakes, when it feels like it, it runs on a supernova charge and the amusements become a nuisance. We have no way of controlling her. The speeds she exudes are extremely dangerous, too fast or too slow…”
John shook his head in despair and stopped talking.
Dr. Hatfield said, “zSo, it’z aHctually a… Bi-polar Park!”
The others laughed much to John and Mr. Goldberg’s dismay.
Mr. Scalp added, “Aaand it is a she!”
Mr. Wiggins joined in, “Does she get PMS? HAHA!” He nudged his associates. They all roared in laughter.
“IT IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER GENTLEMEN!!!”, insisted Mr. Goldberg. “Yes, the rides literally have a mind of their own. She presents a similar psychosis of someone who is manic depressive AND her expressions, her emotions, are acted out in the function of the various venues, variables and park’s rides.”
The men’s laughter stopped as John explained, “The depression is just as bad as the Mania. When it gets too high and all the mania reaches its peak the whole park then drops it speed to horrifying slow speed causing rollercoaster to be stuck upside down, not able to complete their course.
The high-speed swings stop too suddenly and…ugh…”
The lawyer was losing his cool and began to breathe rapidly. His heart raced. “…she feeds off the excitement of those in the park and well… she is very… moody.”
John’s chest began to tighten. It was as if someone had removed the oxygen from the room as he thought about the giant swing ride they called, “Susie’s Swings.”
The engineers showed no mercy. This time they were even more sarcastic. Mr. Scalp belted out, “So your park has mood swings…haha, that’s rich!”
John asked them to please collect themselves and give him a few more moments of their time and attention. He knew they were stuck between unbelief and wondering if this was some type of publicity stunt.
Dr. Hatfield and Mr. Wiggins both thought that perhaps John and his lawyer we’re just trying to get the three of them to help build a better Park.
John then made his objectives clear, “Honestly, all-expenses-paid, we will take you to the park so you can see for yourself. You may think this is a holiday or a ‘walk in the park’ vacation but I will let you experience the severity of our need for your intervention.”
The men were intrigued and gave him their attention. So, he dove in deeper with his persuasion and explanation of what has been happening since the park was brought to life.
“The generator kicks on, just like when we wake! Things start running throughout the whole park. For instance…”
John pointed to a large mural on the wall. It was actually a map of the park.
Mr. Scalp asked, “IS THAT…Susie?!”
John confirmed, “It is her outsides. I have the internal schematics else where, diagrams of her internal organs, veins and arteries that function these outer extremities.”
With a pointer he began to specifically and intensely brief them of what they were facing. “For example the water slides…”
–Back at the park—
David YELLED with the THRILL of arching up each bank of the slide, dodging some of the small pieces of nature that tripped up Jeremy and used his legs as natural shock absorbers as he took each dip and drop.
David was an avid inline skater. He knew he could be good enough for major competitions. He also felt like this was the best atmosphere and set up to push his inline skating skills to their greatest heights.
What he didn’t know was that as he swooshed down the dried-up water slide the pumps shot off 2,000 pounds of water pressure at the top of The Flume.
Ron and Jeremy jumped back when the water kicked on. There wasn’t much of a warning, just a slight rumbling sound and the water pressure started to flush through.
Waves twisted and turned down the banks that seconds earlier Dave was conquering.
He was just about to complete the pipe. He knew he had to make a jump at the end in order to land on his feet in the dried-up water collection/wadding pool that dropped about 3 feet.
As Dave ripped around the last hairpin swerve he saw the end and heard something rushing in behind him. He had no idea what the roar was.
He made his leap into the air as planned.
The full force surge of water coming from behind was so powerful it propelled him through the air like a bullet from a gun.
The water gathered in the reservoir but David ended up slamming into a tree across from the pool.
The boys at the top both took different routes down the slope to try and warn their friend.
Jeremy found himself sliding more than running.
Ron hit a patch of freshly made mud which caused him to collide with side of the slide. He got to his feet as fast as he could and tried to navigate the fastest way down.
By the time they reached the bottom the pool was almost all the way full.
Ron jumped in the water, diving down to try and find his friend. On one occasion, when he surfaced in frustration, he heard Jeremy yelling his name.
“RONNIE ! ! ! RONNIE!!!”
Ron looked in the direction Jeremy was pointing. They both saw David’s body lying at the base of a massive tree.
They ran over to the body and the most unpredictable and oddest thing took place next.
The three Consultants leaned forward in their chairs as John Hanson gloated, “Sometimes the waterworks kick in first, almost like us having the urge to pee when we first wake-up.
Other times the music starts at first, seconds before any of the rides move and begin.
That, of course, sets the festive good mood of any good amusement park.”
The doctor scoffed, “FeZstive, amuZsement, gHood mHood… vfor WHhOoo?“
The lawyer present said, “Tell them more, please John. They need to know.”
Mr. Wiggins argued, “What more do we need to know?!
Mr. Scalp’s only words were, “My goodness. Let’s go now!”
The other two turned in shock, “GO?!”, said Mr. Wiggins.
Mr. Scalp persisted, “YES! NOW! What if someone were to get in there and…be in there while she is waking up, coming alive and starts working, fully functioning?!”
John tried to calm them down, “Well, gentlemen, I have signs…”
“SIGNS?! SIGNS WON’T STOP CURIOUS KIDS!”, Mr. Scalp alarmed.
John tried again, “And the walls and gates! It would even be difficult for an adult to gain entry.”
The doctor followed up with, “vWhere zthere iz a vwill thHere iZ a Vway. He iZ right, Vwe need to go nowV an put Zthis park, Zthis Vwitch to Zsleep forRR gHood.”
Mr. Goldberg said, “We have transportation waiting.” And with that the men were off.
While in route Mr. Hanson felt it necessary to fill in the dead air of dismay with more information that would most likely help them deal with what he never thought would have to be completely destroyed.
This was his entire life’s work. It was a huge financial investment, not to mention all the personal time and sacrifice he made in order to bring this park to life.
-While in the park–
The boys jumped back from David’s body as he sprang to his feet and yelled, “THAT…
His friends were shocked that he was okay. In their minds they were set on him being unconscious. He freaked them out with his startling enthusiasm.
Ron spoke first after catching his breath, “Dog Dave, you’re nuts don’t do that to us again!”
Dave give him a look and said, “Oooh yeah, like I could do that again.”
Jeremy remarked, “You should have been knocked out, you freak!”
David laughed as he made the comment, “Wow! Everything is on now and there’s no one here but us! We can do everything for free and do whatever we want! Let’s gooo!!!”
The other two lit up and let out a, “WOOOOOHOOO HOOO, YES ! ! ! ! As they follow their fearless leader.
The next thing that caught the boy’s eyes was the “House-O-Fun”
Jeremy read the sign, “Susie’s Play House-O-Fun. Who is Susie?”, he asked.
David chuckled, “Haha…Let’s find out!”
Ronnie said. This will be wicked without paying and without other people in there.
David pushed Jeremy out of the way as he joshed, “I’m first in line!”
While still enroute to the park the engineers tried to grasp what John was saying. They began to brainstorm what they could possibly do from a mathematical, scientific and mechanical point of view.
They soon realized that, in dealing with this park, they needed more of a biological and psychological vantage point.
Dr. Hatfield came to the conclusion, “vWe reHally need a medicHal doHcKtor.”
Mr. Scalp agreed, “John, I think he is right. What we really need is to get a mental health specialist involved.”
Mr. Goldberg said. “Thank God we don’t have to involve the police department.” John agreed, “Yes, or the SWAT team.”
“Mr. Hanson…”, Mr. Wiggins addressed John, “Tell us more.”
The seats in the limo faced each other. Mr. Scalp and Dr. Hatfield lean Forward. John and Mr. Goldberg were on one side and the three specialists on the other.
Mr. Scalp said, “The more we know the better we may be able to shut this mother down.”
John agreed reluctantly.
Dr. Hatfield grilled Jonn, “CKhom Ohn MizterhHANZON, only yHou can tell uz haowv to beat zthis.”
John Hanson hid his face in his hands almost mumbling, “You’re going to think I am insane.”
“Try us.”, replied Mr. Scalp.
Dr. Hatfield thought, ‘vWe already know you’re inZsane so vwhat more can you tell uz zthat iz zsooo unbelievable.’ He decided to keep that to himself in hopes that this unbridled mad man would be willing to terminate this dangerous and possibly deadly mechanical menis that should have never been given a chance to live in the first place.
John looked at his lawyer and again took the dreadful deep breath before he began to confess what he had created.
“There are so many factors to consider. The park runs like you and I. I engineered her to completely run just like a human being but…”
He began to weep, “…But, as I already informed you, she has lost her mind. She is completely unstable now. I wish I would have just adjusted her herb levels. Maybe less St. John’s Wart…I don’t know, more Melatonin. I think I pushed her performance level too much while we were developing, nursing and nurturing her.”
Mr. Hanson became increasingly more and more emotional. “I built, I incubated that park from a small, synthetic micromachine to the massive place it is now. She was supposed to grow into a place that was different and entertaining and…well…fun.” He broke down unconsolable.
–Susie was just getting into a full mood swing while her creator was crying like a baby–
The “House-O-Fun” was all lit up and blaring with wild music.
It wasn’t one of those cheap contrived mazes that sits on the back of a semi-truck.
“This is so unlike any fun house I’ve ever been in!”, exclaim Jeremy.
“You scared Jeremy?”, Ron taunted as he looked at David for approval.
Jeremy ran up the stairs and shoved Ron then David out-of-the-way shouting, “I’ll show you who’s scared, yo mama!”
David fought back trying to grab his shirt.
The boys were having fun even before they entered.
After reaching the top of the spiral staircase Jeremy stopped and pointed out the digital scrolling sign that read, ‘Come on boys, let’s play!’
Jeremy demanded that his friends read it.
“Ah, yeah, so what. Let me in!”, David was ready to fight.
Jeremy had never really challenged Dave but questioned, “Well, why is it typed out, ‘boys‘, rather than, ‘boys and girls‘ or ‘ladies and gentlemen!?’ How does it know that it’s just us and that we are alone?”
David had an answer for everything, “YOU’RE RIGHT JERRY...IT SHOULD SAY, ‘LADIES AND GERMS, TO INCLUDE YOU TWO! HA HAA!” He shuffled past Jeremy.
Ron was right on his tail and spewed out, “Yeah! HA HA, amusing Jerry, ya little puppy!”
Jeremy follow but as he was going in he asked again, “Why…ah, how would it say just boys?”
Once the three boys were passed the sign is scrolled a new message, “…ENJOY, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK… MY NEW BOY TOYS!!!”
The first part of the house was an arrangement of smoke and mirrors.
Jeremy still thought to himself that something just wasn’t right. How and why was all this stuff in the park on?
Ron was still in the chase after David.
Jeremy was held back a little and shouted, “Hey guys! GUYS…DAVID, RON, HEY YOU GUYS!! WAIT UP!!!”
Hearing the desperation in his friends voice David turned, “WHAT?” Ron laughed, “I’m in second place!” David just shook his head and thought about how everything was a competition.
It wasn’t long until he shook Ron off his tail and all three of them were separated.
Although they were all in the same exact section they felt wholly lost and alone.
Ron shouted over the music, “DAVE? DAVE? DAVID?!”
David remained silent to increase his friend’s fear. They no longer heard Jeremy.
Ron tried to play off David’s sensitive side, “Dave. I’m worried about Jeremy. I think he’s hurt!” Ron waited.
“BAHAHA!!!”, Jeremy blasted as he snuck from up behind David.
“YOU…PUUUUPPY!!!, were the only words David could muster.
Jeremy was so proud of himself for being able to sucker his bravest friend into that one.
Ron found himself lost in the Smoke. He called out, “I HEARD YOU GUYS! IS JEREMY OKAY? I AM KIIINDAAA SCARED…FOR HIM. DAVID?”
When the Smoke cleared he thought he had found his way out. He made a run for it down the long hall way. WHAM!
Ron ran into another wall of glass. The walls shook a little. As he was getting back to his feet and rubbing his nose. He noticed a mirror on the other side of the glass moving its angle.
“HEY!”, he yelled, “Hey, David and Jeremy…you guy, the mirrors move just right to confuse the high thrill-seeker. THIS IS GREAT HUH GUYS?! THIS IS REALLY FUN HUH? GUY?!” He started to become desperately concerned. He felt alone and was now wondering why they had played around so much trying to get in first. He began to think that maybe Jeremy was at least partially right.
He considered praying like his grandma once taught him. He fell to his knees and started the only prayer he could think of. He recited,
“God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food…No, that won’t work in here.”
Another prayer came to mind. He stood up then re-knelt as if he had to reset.
His voice was shaking, “Now…ah…now I lay me down to sleep…Oh crap, I mean ah…shhh…um, i’m sorry God, ah…I just, AGH!”
Ron stood up and then once again dropped to his knees in a final attempt, “If you get me out of this alive God, I… we will, I promise, my friends and I should, WILL, stop and think more before we act on our impulses. Um, and I will brush my teeth every night and not lie to my mom anymore when I tell her that I already did when I actually haven’t brushed them in a month. The same thing with showering. Um, you know sometimes I just run the brush or the soap under the water to fool her, cause you’re God, YOU KNOW… and You…YOU ARE GOD and YOU ARE AWESOME AND EVERYTHING…”
As Ronald continued his emergency call the other two were yelling and laughing and even calling, “Ron! Ronnie! YO’ RON, WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Then they began to taunt him a little, “WE’RE GOING TO FIND YOU! WE ARE COMING TO GEEET YOOOUU!”
Then a loud voice that sounded like a roaring demon repeated the phrase, “WE ARE COMING TO GEEET YOOOUU!”
David said, “COOL! It sampled and processed our voices!”
Then the voice made it personal, “I AM GOING TO GET YOU!!!” There was an eerie echo at the end of the threat.
Jeremy thought, ‘humm how clever…that’s a pretty neat effect. He was trying to convince himself.
The voice made Ron stop his ploy for a moment. He then expressed words from deep down within as he closed his eyes tighter, clasped his hands harder and bowed even more crying out loud, “OH, AH MY DEARGOD! MY DEAR, DEEEAR GOD, I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT IS NOT YOUR VOICE. PLLLLEEEASE GET ME OUTTA THIS PLACE…”
Suddenly they all heard the voice of a sweet little girl overpowering the music. It said,
“THIS IS SUSIE!
Are you having fun?
BOY, I SURELY AM!
I REALLY, TRULY… SURLY…SUSIE AM, hee hee.
THANKS FOR COMING IN, TO PLAY HOUSE WITH ME,
BUT THIS ISN’T JUST ANY HOUSE…”
Then the voice changed into a female demon,
“THIS IS MY HOUSE HA, HA, HAAAAAA !!!”
The deafening evil laugh haunted them.
Ron was now in tears, face planted on the floor, burying his head with his arms.
David laughed, letting out his normal reaction to strange and bizarre happenings, “This is awesome. Hehehe. Did you hear that Jeremy?!”
Jeremy was completely creeped out.
The music shut off. It was now extremely silent.
David began to speak, “That seems odd…” Jeremy asked, “That seems odd?”
The Voice interrupted. This time they heard the little girl mixed with the adult female demon,
“I don’t mean to interrupt but I bet I’ll have more fun with you than you’ll have with me…RON.”
Jeremy asked David, “Did it just say Ron or run???”
David answered Jeremy, “No! It said, ON!”
Susie clarified, “NOOO! I SAID, ‘RON!’ R-O-N!!”
“Yep, it said Ron.”, Dave admitted.
Ron couldn’t bring himself to look up. He felt his bladder getting weak. The wall shifted, herding David and Jeremy in the direction Susie wanted them to go.
“Hey, what’s going on!”, David protested.
“We’ll be crushed!”, yelped Jeremy.
Ron, still prostrate on the floor, was being slid sideways, then backwards, then forward until he and the other two boys found themselves reunited in one room, just big enough for the three of them.
“RONNIE!”, the two shouted in unison.
He was still having trouble getting up. His thoughts were on kids he had bullied in their neighborhood. He had a flash back to little Ricky that he scared so bad he made him pee his pants. That’s when Ron himself felt the warm liquid invading his groin area.
Susie’s voice beckoned, “HA HA…having FUN, Ron? Oh, my, you’re warm. Do you like me Ron?”
David joined in the tease, “Ronnie’s got a girlfriend! HA HA!”
Jeremy elbowed Dave.
David didn’t know when to stop, “If you like her sooo muuuch, why doncha’ maaarry her?! Ha, ha, haaa!”
Jeremy shoved him up against one of the uncomfortably tight walls.
Jeremy managed to remain standing but Dave wasn’t use to being pushed around. He slipped, fell on top of Ron’s body first, then rolled onto the floor.
He cringed, “AGH…IT’S WET!!” Ron finally got up. “MAN, AM I GLADTO SEE YOU PUPPIES!”, he said with joy, gratitude and laughter.
David noticed Ron’s pants were wet. He unleashed his assult, “WAIT…DID YOU PISS YOUR PANTS?!”
Jeremy jumped in defense, “No, of course he didn’t PISS his pants man, come on! The floor is wet, obviously that’s how he got his pants wet there. Just like you, look at your’s.
Your all wet down the outside of your jeans there too,
What a shame.
Pluuuus…Ronnie’s the one that jumped into the water to try and save your life earlier. We thought you were in the pool drowning. That was pretty awesome right?! You made an epic landing too Dave…bruuh, killer, huh Ron?”
Ron looked at Jeremy, knowing his friend knew why their pants were really wet.
Jeremy just winked at Ronnie.
David had brauns but not much brains. He possessed great looks and outward muscles but fell short when it came to scholastic abilities and brain power.
Nevertheless, he was still their friend and he needed their friendship too.
They both helped Dave back up onto his feet.
Things were very still, as well as, extremely quiet again.
The silence was as disturbing as the loudness.
Dave asked, “Does it smell like pee in here to you guys?” Ron let out a nervous chuckle avoiding the question, “…and by the way, I would never marry anybody named
The whole room began to shake. Jeremy said, “I think you upset her!”
David barked, “You guys are such lil’ puppies! Puke puppies, puke, puke.” He tried to command, “Puke up all over Susie! She’ll like it!”
The room shook side to side then up and down.
David questioned, “How are theeey doing that?!”
Susie answered David, “I can do all kiiinds of fun things David!”
Jeremy’s inquiry clarified, “How is she doing that?!
Ron stammered, “it…sh…sh… she knows your name too, Da…Da… Dave!”
David was really perplexed. The only thing he could say was, “What?! WHAT?! REALLY?! REEALY!! WHAT THE WHAT?!”
Jeremy was shocked that David had not resorted to using swear words by now, especially under the severity of their circumstances and the fact that they knew there were no adults around that would come down on them based on certain words they decided to use.
Jeremy himself was about to use words he knew wouldn’t offend his friends but some adults would find and deem inappropriate for kids to say.
All three of them where not sure what was going on, what to do or what to say.
Just when it seemed that every thing had stopped the loud wild music blared once again.
They covered their ears and search for a rational reason. Jeremy thought, maybe we are setting off trip wires or triggers. Maybe there is a built in computer that heard us using our names.
Trying to find the right words to express himself Jeremy raised his voice, “I’M TELLING YOU GUYS, THIS… IS…MUCKED UP! THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS JUST… NOT NORM…”
Susie said, “Shut up Jeremy, you puppy!”
That was one of Dave’s original sayings he had developed completely on his own. Adults didn’t wash his mouth out with soap when he used the slang term, “puppy” like they did when using other words.
Susie spoke some more, “You’re my new friends, David, Ronald and Jeremy, or should I call you Dave, Ronnie and Jerry? You posers! ”
Jeremy said, “She knows our slang and nicknames?!”
Susie said, “I like little boys so much more than little girls, you scare easier!”
The boys were beginning to breathe irregularly. Their adrenaline levels rose and so did Suzi’s.
They notice their legs and arms began to shake and shiver out of control making it hard to stand.
Jeremy’s legs buckled taking him to the ground. He felt the wet floor soak into the knees of his pants.
He tried reciting affirmations he learned in Sunday school, “Our Father which art in heaven…” David said, “Are you praying?!”
Ignoring Dave, Jeremy continue, “… the Lord is my shepherd…”
Ron said, “That’s not a bad idea Dave, especially when in a crisis.”
Then Ron complained, “I can’t move!”, becoming paralyzed in fear.
David tried to encourage them, “Come on dogs, be strong! We got this…sh…”
“I am Susie. I know who and what you are. You’re not dogs…your puppies, hehe.”
David said, “Shut up you witch!”
The whole room turned upside down then right side up again as the boys heard Susie cackle some more,
“Don’t throw up boys! I am not and witch. I’m a bit of a… what-do-you-call-it… I don’t like germs.”
Dave shouted, “Germaphobe!”
Susie said, “DON’T CALL ME THAT!!!”
The room flipped again.
Jeremy begged, “Stop upsetting her!”
Dave said, “This is bull CRAZY!!!”
Susie replied, “DOOON’T CAAALL MEEE CRAAAZY!!!!”
Ron tried to get out the words, “I… I…I don’t know Dave, it seems pretty legit.”
Long cords came out from the sides of the wall and grabbed David & Ron’s legs pulling them off their feet.
They were forced to join Jeremy on the floor.
David objected, “Hey, this isn’t water down here! This is pee!”
Ron got nervous that Dave was now going to tease him relentlessly; however, Dave then said, “This fun house put urine on the floors!”
‘Oh good, he’s blaming the house.’,thought Ron.
“We got to get out of here!”, yelled David.
Susie said, “Don’t leave boys. You can’t leave now. I’m not done. You’re so much fun…
I could hurt you if I wanted to and I can’t go to jail…I’m just a machine!
You boys could go to Juvenile Jail but… you’re just boys being boys.
I think I’ll teach you a lesson on trespassing.”
The room did a waving motion as if the boys were being treated like a slinky.
“I could hurt you but I won’t hurt you or harm you but… you’ve got to be niiice to me.
Hey Dave, Daaaave. David? Davie?!” Susie waited for him to answer.
He finally did, “Ah…yeah?”
“I want you to know I heard what you said earlier about what would be done if you were caught by some old fart.”, Susie made a fart sound,
“I won’t torture, torch or torment you but… I will TEACH you. I’m very sensitive.”
David tried to say what he thought a grown macho man would say,
“Oh, she is a sensitive Susie.”
He always tried to make lite of a situation by puffing up his chest and trying to play the bad boy.
Susie responded, “Hahaha. David, you want all of us to laugh out loud… okay…LOL, here let me help you.”
The small room began to fill with laughing gas. It took over the minds of the boys. All their fears disappeared along with all other clear thinking.
The boys just found themselves laughing uncontrollably and banging into the walls that were slowly retracting and expanding outward.
Rather than constricting and crushing the boys Susie was allowing them more space to fumble around.
She even added a wobbling effect to her voice to disoriented them even more as she said in a sing-song voice,
“Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves. Rockabye bye bye babies, in my play house…”
Ron said, “My mom use to sing this to me!” He was appalled that he admitted that out loud.
Susie laughed and taunted, “Sometimes you have to experience some things for yourself and learn the hard way.”
She made her voice sound especially funny. It was almost as if she was sucking on helium.
The boys breathed in deep.
The next thing they knew they had breathed in helium along with the laughing gas.
David said, “Thiiis is craaazyyy!”
The other two boys laughed at is high-pitched voice. Jeremy spoke next, “YOOOUU, OH, you sound like Mickey Mouse!”
Ron said, “SOOoo sooo do you Jeeeremy. Do I sound like that? Oooh wait… I’m hearing myself! I doO0oOoo sound like that, this is weird.”
Jeremy said, “I think it’s the aiiir arooOo0ound usss that we’re breathing that’s making us. . .”
David said, “Yo0ou want sooome moo0orerrRon? Breathe deep. Heehee, it sounded like I just called you a moron Ron!“
The more they stumbled the more they laughed. The Voice asked, “Do you want OUT Boys?
The kids were so high they actually answered all together, “SHhhuure why not.”
Jeremy slurred his speech, “Oo0okay. Ookay? OHo0o-Tay!”
Ron shuttered, “Ohhh…kkkay sssSuusie. I th think I LOOOVE YOOOUU.”
David tried to think straight enough to talk and just got out, “That would be AWWWWE SOME”.
The smoke blew way. The walls dropped and the boys found themselves at the end of a huge tunnel that had a black and white spiral painted in it.
As if that wasn’t enough it began to spin.
As the limo approached the park John and the other men saw the lights from a distance.
The limo finally pulled up in front of the park entrance and there was a small crowd of young people already gathered there, mostly boys.
Before anyone got out John’s lawyer said, “Wait a minute guys, let me handle this.”
He opened the door and stepped out to address the children. He thought it best to dumb it down.
He spoke slower and louder then when he was speaking to adults,
“Okay kids…I’m not sure why you’re gathered here but this place is off-limits, OUT OF BOUNDS! Ahhh, the park is being tested for safety. Ummm, evvverything is running so they can double-check everything but it is not open. You are…ALL OUT OF BOUNDS.”
One of the boys said, “But sir, our friends are in there.”
An older boy next to him elbowed him and whispered, “Shut up Daniel.”
Mr. Goldberg looked at the smaller boy and asked, “What did you say little boy?”
The older one stepped forward, “Oh…nothing sir, we just heard loud music and saw the things moving so we came by to check it out. We didn’t go inside or anything. I mean no one is in there.”
Mr. Hanson stepped out the other side of the limo. Having heard the young boy John asked, “Please boys, if someone, a friend, a true friend or anyone is in there we need to know because they…”
John wondered if he should say anything more.
He looked at his lawyer and knew he’d regret this but John finished with, “…Boys, they could get seriously hurt. If you can just let us know then we can make sure that your friends are okay.
They won’t be in any trouble, just as none of you are In harm’s way or in trouble or anything…Boys…” ,he pleaded,
“Boys, please let us know WHAT YOU KNOW!”
Then one of the few girls in the crowd spoke up, “David Spencer, Ronnie Moore and I think Jerry or Jeremy Mcroy.
Those three boys planned on going in there tonight.”
Another older boys confirmed, “Yeah, they did. They wanted me to go but I was too…I was too scared. But I don’t know how they turned everything on.
They said they were just going to skate down the old water slides.”
John’s eyes began to swell with tears. He whispered a short prayer, “Oh dear Lord Jesus…help.”
He thanked the kids gathered there and asked if they would please go on home because the police would be coming around. He tried to convince them that they would not want to get caught up in all of this.
Mr. Goldberg chimed in, “That’s all we need to know from you boys and girls. Thank you, now run along! You don’t want to get into any trouble or anything!
Trespassing is a serious charge and if you’re around, well who knows, you might be called into the police department or the FBI or someone may want to blame you for going against the law.
Now, go on…git…ah, get going.”
Never had a lawyer sounded so immature and unsure of himself.
Dr. Hatfield stepped out of the car and put a hand on Mr. Goldberg shoulder sarcastically commending him, “Nize jHob MiZter LHawyer. Bhig vwordz too. ZThat waz zsmooth.”
Mr. Wiggins jumped out and said, “It sounds like the park is full of people.”
Dr. Hatfield turned and before John could explain he answered, “Ambianzce. zSometimez playcez useZ caonned, oHr preHHtApped miZik an zsHound effHeckz…zthis magz Eet mHore…”,
He looked at John who swallowed hard and finish the statement, “…More fun and… lively!
Mr. Scalp ran up to the front gates yelling, “THEY ARE HUGE! How do we get in?”
John snapped out of his hypnotic self pity, “Oh yes, here I have an access card.”
As John approached the gates he got a card out of his hip pocket. He swiped it but nothing happened. He swiped it again, still nothing. He became increasingly nervous.
With the third and fourth swipe. The gates were still not responding.
John’s lawyer said, “John, I know you’re worried but speaking from a lawyer’s standpoint you’re safe. If something happens to those boys while they are in the park gates you can not be held liable.”
John spouted back, “Mr. Goldberg, I’m not worried about what happens to me. Our concern should be for… those boys and…the park.”
Dr. Hatfield asked, “Iz zthere a maHAnual ov-Her-ride?”
John look down at the ground and nodded no in shame. They could barely hear him mumble, “Everything we built runs off the main brain of the entire park.”
Mr. Scalp looked up at the gate. Then his eyes scanned the gigantic walls surrounding the park. He couldn’t see where it ended. He said, “This is one big monster, but those boys got in, so there must be an opening.”
John remembered he used to have a security guard check the perimeter to make sure the gates, walls and fences were secure.
He recalled, “There is one area that is just chain-linked fence.”
“Let’s get there!”, said the lawyer.
John agreed, “We have to get back in the car, drive around the East side, then walk a little bit over some small hills, through a field and…”
Mr. Wiggins shouted, “LET’S JUST GO!!!” They followed his command.
–In The Meantime INSIDE Susie’s House-O-Fun–
The boys knew they had to get through that tunnel to get out.
As the tunnel spun the boys flipped around out of control. The gas they had inhaled was wearing off.
David yelled, “WHAT THE HECK, MAN?!!” He was angry that he had no control over the situation and fought his way to reach the end.
He heard Susie say, “I am not a man!”
When David conquered the tunnel the other two boys were close enough for him to grab Ron by the arm and Jeremy by the leg. He leaned back pulling them out.
Simultaneously the owner of the park was holding up the fence and pulling in those who were with him.
He insisted they help him by crawling in. The other men were fairly large but they knew they needed to get in there, save those kids and shut down the park.
“Come on Mr. Goldberg!”, John insisted.
The lawyer, in his three piece suit, reluctantly got down on the ground and scraped across the gravel making his way into the park.
Once they all force themselves under the chain linked fence John had to show the men where the main brain was, however, he was also worried about the boys, their immediate danger and what damage they may bring upon Susie.
He turned to his lawyer, “James!”, this was the first time John called his lawyer by his first name.
He went on, “I need you to find those boys!”
John and the three Consultants ran off in a desperate scurry.
His lawyer stood there in a daze. He still couldn’t believe what was happening. He looked down at his, now ruined, $600 suit.
He felt sick and even developed a hatred toward the boys that were trespassing. He mumbled to himself, “They are breaking the law they deserve anything bad that’s coming their way.”
He scoffed to himself as he tried to brush himself off and move toward the water slides.
Dave was laying exhausted on the cold metal grid floor just outside of the spinning tunnel.
Ron jumped up breathing heavy.
Jeremy got up slowly, dusting off the bits and pieces of stuff that collected in the tunnel.
Ron was the first to speak. “We almost didn’t make it. We almost died in there.”
Jeremy thanks David, “Yeah, we would have if you didn’t get a hold of us David.”
David was too confused and tired to talk or express himself in any other way. He just laid there. The laughing gas had worn off and they were now becoming paranoid.
The lawyer begin to hear shouts but it was the pre-recorded ambiance soundtrack.
Not sure where to go he began to run in the direction of the cries.
Susie spoke calmly to the boys using her innocent little girl voice, “YAY! You made it boys!”
Ron said to his friends, “I think she’s happy now.”
Jeremy whispered in an attempt to not let Susie hear him, “Don’t say anything to get her up set.”
David said, “I still think this machines is a freak!”
Susie let out a shriek, “AHHHGH!!! BOYS!!!”
The whole house started to rumble. The ceiling looked like it was moving.
Ron and Jeremy ended up back on the floor.
Mr. Goldberg couldn’t help but think about how he never runs or how his body was straining. The only thing that kept him going was his focus on trying to find these trespassing children.
His mind flashback to when he was a boy. He hadn’t thought about that in years.
He recalled something from when he was around eight or nine. He tried to think back to what it was like being a preteen boy by asking himself,
“Where would I go if I were free to run wherever I wanted in an amusement park… alone with just me and my closest friends?”
He had a vision of a fun house he once went into with a few of his Buddy’s.
A smiled appeared on his face it was nice to have that wild and crazy memory, as well as know where to look for the boys.
He shouted out loud, “YES, NOTHING’S MORE FUN AND THRILLING AND EVEN A LITTLE SCARY THAN A FUN HOUSE!”
He tried to gather himself as he looked around for the fun house. He saw a map of the park on a wall.
He had only been here a few times. John showed him where everything was but he knew he had better look at the map to make sure he didn’t get turned around.
Dave and the other boys were still flat on their backs. They extended their arms out to their sides, trying to stabilize themselves, staring straight up.
David’s voice vibrated, “Tttrrryyy tttooo ssstttaaayyy ffflllaaattt!”
They saw large long padded pendulums coming down on them. They looked like heavy body bags that fighters use while boxing.
David watched Jeremy get up & trying to run. He was hit immediately and knocked down. David yelled, “I TOLD YOU!”
In spite of David’s warning and Jeremy’s consequences. Ronnie tried to get to his feet. Each time he got up he’d get hit by one of the beams. It would knock him into another one that would put him on the floor again.
David thought it would be best to stay flat on his back and use his arms to push himself to the other side, avoiding the pendulums all together. He turned his head to the left and saw Jeremy had somehow made it past the swinging obstacles to the next door way. Jeremy held out his hand and grabbed David’s hand. It was his turn to drag David to safety.
David turned and yelled to Ronnie, “HIT THE GROUND AND SLIDE ON THE FLOOR TOWARD US!”
Ronnie was knocked down again. This time he stayed down. He looked up at the pendulums swinging very close to his face but he realized if he stayed flat they couldn’t touch him. He wiggled like a snake to reach the other side.
Mr. Goldberg was getting closer to “SUSIE’S HOUSE-O-FUN”. He heard David shout and it helped him hone in on where the boys were struggling.
Reaching the Funhouse he looked up. On the third floor he saw the pendulums swinging like scissors. One of the mallets broke free, soared through the air and landed with a THUD, just 10 feet from the lawyer.
He remarked, “This is a lawsuit waiting to happen!”
He looked back up and saw the boys. Ronnie was laying flat as possible, tucking his chin. The lawyer addressed the machine, “Susie, play nice. Did you kill that poor boy?” His voice was drowned out by the music.
The boys didn’t hear him but Susie did. She laughed as loud as the tunes being blasted, HA HA HAHA…hee hee hee, weeeee!”
Ronnie was able to reach out and grab David’s shoe. As Jeremy pulled on David Dave pulled on Ronnie.
Mr. Goldberg watch and tried to shout to the boys but the force of The chopping rods, the music and Susie’s continuous laughter was overpowering him. He saw a spiral staircase. It was rotating like a corkscrew!
He had no idea how to get up there to help.
Ronnie made it through but not without a torn shirt and rug Burns across his back.
Mr. Goldberg gasped along with the boys as the platform they were on suddenly dropped. He felt helpless but not as helpless and hopeless as the boys.
This was the first time James Goldberg wanted to help someone outside the legal parameters of the courtroom, then again he wished he could sue John for creating Susie.
John was leading the three team members toward the main brain/ generator.
Rather than deciding how wrong John was for creating the brains of this thing they joined their heads together to come up with ideas of termination.
Dr. Hatfield asked, “Doez id have a pHort of entrRy vwe can…”, even though Dr. Hatfield had a strong accent unlike any of the other men, John wasn’t sure which man asked but he finished, “Where we can feed it? Yes, but we have to get by the wind tunnels that allow it to breathe.”
“Is it like a ventilator machine?” Asked Mr. Scalp.
“LET’S SHUT THAT AIRFLOW OFF ! yelled Mr. Wiggins
John stopped running, “WAIT!”
All of them were out of breath but their adrenaline was still pushing them to go on. The only reason they stopped with John was because they knew only John knew how this thing works.
They trusted his command as he went on, “We’re going the wrong way.”
“WHAT?!” shouted Mr. Wiggins in discuss.
Dr. Hatfield said, “JohHANn, vWe don’t Hhave tHime to gHet loZstD!”
John pulled a paper out of his pocket. It looked like a map of the park but was actually hand-drawn schematics of the main brain and various engines to the park.
John had not allowed anyone else see this. He usually kept it locked in a safe, like a chef does with a secret recipe.
He looked at his drawing as he said, “I can take you to the heart, lungs or ultimately the brains but…the boys… If we knew where the boys were…” as he continued to speak the doctor grab John’s cell phone off of his hip and looked for his lawyer’s number.
John continued, “… we need to somehow shut down the contraption that they are on first.”
Mr. Wiggins felt like John was stalling and argued, “If we stop the heart, lungs or brains we’ll stop all the other functions too!”
John said, “Yes, but stopping the rollercoaster, the swings, the Funhouse, any of the rides really, could throw the boys off into the air or trap them inside. Stopping an amusement ride suddenly could kill THEM!”
John remembered something being said about the boys going to the water slides.
The doctor had reached Mr. Goldberg on the phone and tried to find out if he found the kids. He could barely hear him over the screech of the machinery and music.
James was literally in tears. He tried to give the best directions possible as he blurted into the phone and watch the boys fighting for their lives.
John grabbed his cell phone back and said, “Tell me where, not how to get there but WHERE! WHERE JAMES?!“
John knew the parks layout like the back of his hand and with great pride he could give them all a grand tour.
He heard the tortured screams of the boys in the background and said in despiration, “Pull yourself together James and…”
John pause as Mr. Goldberg was able to get out one word, “Funhouse.”
John once again began to lead the marathon of men to the spot of danger.
Mr. Wiggins picked up the same argument from earlier, “You plan on shutting down just the ride they are on? Shouldn’t we shut down the whole park?!”
John said with assurance and confidence, “WE WILL AFTER WE SAVE THE BOYS!” He tried to convince all of them, “Killing Susie, ah…the park, completely, before we know those children are safe is very dangerous.”
Mr. Wiggins said, “You’re stalling.”
Scalp and Hatfield began to speculate that maybe John was trying to avoid the inevitable end to his creation.
The boy’s bodies suspended just a tenth of a second in mid-air as the floor dropped out from under them.
They slammed down on the padded floor as it came to a sudden stop three stories down.
The padding wasn’t enough to keep the boys from being bruised. As they laid there groaning the platform shot back up beyond the third level. When it reached the slanted roof of the house it tilted to the side and slid the boys off and down the roof.
Mr. Goldberg ran to the side to see where he thought the boys would land. He saw nothing but a huge smokestack. The music stopped and James couldn’t believe his ears as he stood there.
He heard what sounded like the boys laughing. He also noticed some type of fog rising up out of the top of the cylinder. He stepped back a few steps. In big bold festive letters he read the words, THE GAS CHAMBER.“
Although the lawyer had no idea what this meant specifically he was glad to hear the boys were laughing.
They didn’t sound like they were in pain.
His heart dropped when he no longer heard them.
Susie shut off all the sound effect, music & even some of the lights.
It was over.
The other four men reached the Funhouse too late.
The professionals saw James just standing there bewildered. He was still staring up at the large chimney.
John tried to get out of James where the boys were but James could not snap out of his mental trance.
John asked the rest to follow him around the back of the structure. He pointed to a cable the size of sewer pipe and gave them the orders, “Find something to cut this cable with!”
Mr. Wiggins hesitated, “Won’t we get electrocuted?”
John asked, “Have you ever been electrocuted when stabbing someone?”
“I never stabbed anyone!”, he answered.
John explained, “What I mean is, this machine is biological not electrical”
The doctor asked, “Can vwe pinch id ovff to zstop zthe flHow of blood or juicez or vwhHatever?”
John’s words jumped out, “YES, YES! THATS EVEN BETER. If we could only find something to cut the circulation off we could most likely stop the appendage from working temporarily.”
John was referring to the attraction as if it were the limb of a person. For all intensive purposes it was.
They searched for something that would do the trick.
Mr. Scalp, who had remained silent until now, picked up a long battering ram. It was the very same detached pendulum that moments ago was dangling from above, swinging at the boys and almost struck Mr. Goldberg, “Will this thing work?”
“BRILLIANT!”, reply John.
He recognize what it was and where it was from as they worked together to press the beam down on the cord in an attempt to cut off the circulation to that ride.
John was sure that those boys had ripped that pendulum off Susie. He expressed his frustration by digging his finger nails into the beam. He really wasn’t pressing down on the pipe-like cable at all.
Mr. Goldberg came around the corner mumbling, “They’re… they’re gone… they’re gone… the boys they are gone.”
Dr. Hatfield asked, “You mean, zthat zthey are not hHere?”
James nodded and his eyes filled with tears.
Mr. Scalp pressed him for an answer, “Where did they go?”
“They are gone!” James repeated himself.
Dr. Hatfield asked the dreadful questions, “YHou mean gHone, no LHonger vwiZth uszz?”
James nodded and started repeating, “I let them die…”
John stopped him, “James, I know this is hard but, tell us what you saw.”
James spoke slowly as if he was hypnotized, “I never saw anything like that.”
John prodded him gently, “What did you see James?”
It was a good thing things were quite in that section otherwise they would have never heard him.
James told them, “The boys… they fell into that side cylinder, the smokestack with the…the smoke coming out of it and…”
John broke in, interrupting James, “WAIT, JAMES, James? THEY went down into the gas chamber?!”
James tried to respond but he felt like he was in a creepy fog and his eyes were glazed over. Final he spoke like a zombie, “Yes, yes they did…yes they… died.”
Inside, once down the silo, the boys slid down a longer looping tube, much like the water Flume.
As they descended, smoke, lights and laughing gas was again being pumped in from every side.
Although in pain, from the trauma they had just went through, they lost their minds and senses. They laughed uncontrollably all the way.
They felt their bodies being forced up by an extremely powerful shot of air.
David shouted, “THIS IS LIKE WE’RE SKYDIVING!”
The shute shot them under the Funhouse, under parts of the park and spewed them back up and out into an entirely different area.
The boys flung out of the gas chamber and up into the air.
Ron shouted, “WE ARE FREEEE FAAAALING!”
Jeremy laughed and cheered, “I CAN FLYYYY!”
They were so high mentally and physically they didn’t even care where they were about to land.
“JAMES!”, John shouted with joy, “James, they are NOT DEAD! That smokestack is this end of a very long tube, A BIG WINDING AIR SLIDE. That will project the boys out into the lake of goo!”
Mr. Wiggins had to ask, “Lake of what?”
James listen close as John explained and James recalled, “I’ve seen that, that was the official name for what one of the former employees called the lake of snot!”
John confirmed, “YES, YES MY DEAR FRIEND. Remember we said the kids will love it and the parents would hate it but…”
John and James spoke in unison, “The kids will spend the parent’s money, chaCHING!!!” They both laughed.
Mr. Wiggins called the two men to order, “YOU TWO SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!”
John defended himself, “Oh lighten up. It was meant to be fun, part of the whole, getting your hands dirty area. All kids want get dirty and they always find a ways to do it! We provide good clean fun for them!”
John imitated Dr. Hatfield, “VWhere zthere iz a vwill zthere iz a vway!”
Dr. Hatfield thought, ‘I dHon’t zound LHike zad!’
James backup John, “Yes, it is completely non-toxic. It rinses right off.”
Mr. Scalp ask in unbelief, “You mean this thing…” pointing to the vertical pipe labled, ‘Gas Chamber’, “…pulled those boys in and spit them out in a remote place…into a lake of some sorts?”
John nodded, “Precisely!”
“zSo, zthey arHe zsafve?” asked Dr. Hatfield.
John affirmed, “As safe as can be and had a soft Landing but…”
Mr. Wiggins said, “There is always a but!”
John Hanson held up his hand as he finished, “…they are safe, HOWEVER, they may be stuck in the goo especially if it’s extra thick. But, they will be fine now gentlemen. We know where they are and…”
Mr. Wiggins interrupted, “And now we can kill the park.”
The boys were giggling out of control as they tried to get themselves up and out of the Slime they splash down into.
They looked at each other’s faces and that made them laugh all the more.
Jeremy was the first to realize that something was wrong. They were having a good time in their minds; not on their own intent but because of the stimulant.
He asked, “HEY, ARE WE… HIGH?!”
David answered back, “Heck yeah, WE REALLY ARE!”
Ronnie, who swore he would never ever try drugs said, “OH NO MAN! …HAH!”
David shushed him.
He couldn’t help but to laugh louder.
Then Ron slurred his words, “SOOoo thisssIs whatIds likKe. I think that… I think I like likhhId budt…I IdonnoMAN!”
On the inside, in their brains, everything seemed fun but in reality, on the outside, they were surrounded by danger.
Microscopic bugs had formed in the goo. It’s creator was aware of them but thought they were harmless. The analysis proved that they could not penetrate, the epidermis, human skin.
The Slime was deemed safe when the lake was filled but elements in nature that were not present in the sterol lab had mixed. Naked to the human eye, the tiny creatures began to enter the boy’s pores.
Jeremy was trying to sober up himself and his friends although the effects had not completely worn off him either, “Guys, we got to get out of here. Are your legs tingling?”
Ronnie’s body was struggled and his happy high turned into a panic frenzy. He slurred, “Whatta wedo? Wacanwedo? ThisIs likeaaa rollacoasstta withouthe raailz an dacarz.”
David spoke a little more clearly, “It’Z likeaAGH roller…coaster but without the railZZZ and the car!”
Jeremy sang, “WE’RE GOING OFF THE RAILS ON a… crazy traAaAAin…dis is, off its tracks.”
Ronnie said, “I know thatsoO0og, OZZY OZZzzburnnn RULZ! OV THE CHAIN MOTHERZ!”
Susie was listening.
She wanted to speak through the park’s PA system but remained silent. Her thoughts were about becoming a mother.
She wanted the boys to think they were safe and for her dad, John, and those other four impostors to think everything was okay. ‘If I speak now they’ll know the truth.’, she thought.
David tried to assured them, “Guyyz, we are O…Kay! We are zsafe. We…are zzavfe.”
He tried his hardest to speak without any hindrance but the drugs in his mind just wouldn’t let him.
That didn’t stop him from trying to reduce their panic, “I’m tellin’ ya guyz, we made it. We are zavfe now. I love you guyyz! HavvvVIii eva’ tooold you thaaat?”
Jeremy agreed, “Yeah, I remember flying through the air and this landing waz preeetty good.”
He was able to say that clearly but noticed Ronnie’s facial expression as he flopped around in the slime. He realized his friend’s trip was a little worse. He said, “Ronnie, relax. Stand up. It’s only chest deep.”
Ron straightened his bent knees and said with a smile, ” Oh, I can stand! That is why they had a, ‘You must be this tall to go in the Funhouse’, sign.”
David again assured the boys the park and the rides are all safe, “You know, they wouldn’t build attractions to cause any harm. We got nothing to worry about. It just seems dangerous. That’s where the thrill is.”
All three laughed and began to follow Dave’s lead as he walk his way to the side of the slimy pit.
They had no idea that anyone was looking for them. While fearing for their lives they had not heard the lawyer calling them and they never saw the other four men.
Each of them pulled their legs out of the sludge and took shook off the remaining entrails that were slowly allowing the living micro-organizims to work their way into their systems.
Jeremy still insisted, “My legs are still, like, tingling. Are yours?”
Ronnie suggested, “Maybe you’re allergic to that stuff.” Ron’s private area felt funny but he wasn’t about to admit that to his friends.
David confessed, “My legs feel okay but…haha, I think that gooey stuff is clinking to my junk.”
Jeremy noticed public showers, “LOOK! Let’s go wash it off!” He ran as the other two just casually made their way.
They let the water clean off the sticky mess but that didn’t rid them of the living elements that had already penetrated the outer layer of their skin.
Jeremy felt some relief, “Now, this is cool!”
Ronnie used that as a door way to fire back a dagger, “Your mom is cool!” Although it didn’t really make any sense they all laughed. The lasting effect of the drug actually made Ronnie, of all people, seem funny.
The boys found themselves somewhere between here and reality.
As they continued to shower off they occasionally thought they saw something. Each of them didn’t want to admit to the other but they were each experiencing ups and downs of weird emotions they were not familiar with.
None of them had ever experienced hallucinations before.
David said, “Man, I got the munchies!”
Suddenly the smell of fresh fresh popcorn, cotton candy, corn dogs ,along with an assortment of junk food on a stick filled the air.
“OH, YES! I’m going to get something to eat!”, express David.
Jeremy, a little more comprehensive of reality and the weight of the situation, weighed in with the question, “Are you sure? We should probably be running to find the closest exit.”
Ronnie agreed, “yeaaaah, let’s get out of here.”
David looked at them as if they were the biggest chickens in the world, “You…”
They both finished his all too familiar insult, “PUPPIES, YEAH WE KNOW!”
Susie laughed to herself.
David spoke like a proud politicians, “My fellow Americas…”
Jeremy interjected, “I’m Canada!”
David rolled his eyes and continued, “You guys, this isn’t the time to be puppies! We are all the big dogs!”
All three began to bark, “WOOF WOOOF WOOOOF!”
‘Big dogs’ was the official name they gave their self-proclaimed gang of friends.
David finished with, “All we are going to do is have a midnight snack, for free!”
Jeremy made David promise, “But, NO MORE RIDES OR FUNHOUSE’S FROM HELL!”
David agreed, “Yeah, good idea Jerry, we just won’t get on any more rides.”
Ronnie added, “OR, go into anything!”
David said, “Yeah. Right. But we gotta eat and explore a lil’ bit. We can’t come in here and not explore.”
Jeremy raised his hand.
Ronnie looked at Jeremy.
David laughed, “HAH, ya don’t have to raise your hand! Yes, the innocent, funny looking, Canadian boy in the front row…”
Jeremy asked, “What if we get caught?”
Ron said, “We ain’t got caught yet.”
David persuaded them, “No one is looking for us. We would have been caught by now if anyone else was in here, BUT…if someone shows up…RUN, RUN RUUUUUN!”
David shouted as he ran away waving his arms in the air.
The chase was on.
The five men smelled the same enticing foods, the kind that are only available at fairs and amusement parks.
The doctor asked, “Iz zthat zsmell zsomehHow part of zthe AmbiancZe, like Zthe Zsoundz but rather, hHow you zsay, fragrHHance yHou pump into Zthe pHarckh?”
John sounded overly proud once again as he gave his answer, “Oh, you noticed. No,no,no! Haha, it is all real and all very fresh. The popcorn machines empty the old and pour in the new. The deep fryers also run themselves. Susie is a great cook. She has fully automatic and instimatic kitchen skills.
She runs conveyor belts straight from the freezer to the ovens, microwaves, grill and deep friers.”
Mr. Wiggins said, “If you had a staff of human beings instead of living, breathing machinery, maybe this would be less taskfull and dangerous. Human error is one thing but mechanical errors are worse. Have you forgotten that there there are humans out there?”
John was insulted and almost began to defend himself but he thought better of it. He bowed his head and said, “No, no. I haven’t forgotten. Nor have I forgotten why I’ve called you here tonight.”
He raised his head and looked them in the eyes as he pleaded,
“Will you help me put Susie, I…I mean the park, to rest?”
“To rest? TO REST?! said Mr. Wiggins, “This thing doesn’t need rest. THIS BEAST NEEDS TO BE PUT TO DEATH!!”
All the men agreed, instantly becoming vigilantes.
James joined in, “John, lead us to the lake of crap and let’s get THOSE BOYS out so we can get into the lungs, heart and brains of this freaking thing and strike her down!”
The others were shocked that Mr. Goldberg, the lawyer, was taking such a strong stance. However, Mr. Scalp noticed James brought up going to find the boys again, rather than going straight to a major mechanical artery to shut the whole park down.
As they began to follow John,
the doctor commented, “Man, zthe zsmell of zthat food iz mHAking me hHckungry! Iz zthe food evHen zsafve and etHable (edible)?”
As the boys were running the tingling in their lower body moved up to their chest.
They noticed it but they wrote it off as excitement as they ran free through the empty park.
The emebias inside their system moved suttle but fast though their blood streams, as if on a jet ski in a river.
Lite ambient music came on with happy sounding orchestra tunes that blended a mix of familiar action movies and children’s lullabies.
Subconsciously the boys felt like they were super heros conquering the world while simultaneously having no fear along with a strange comfort of being safe in their mother’s arms.
The other rides where all whirling around and the boy’s eyes reflected the colorful lights.
Ronnie asked David to slow down and stop so they could play some of the arcade games but David just kept running toward the closest food stand.
Unaware to Jeremy, his legs were a little swollen. Under his shirt was a raised red line. He thought he saw a thin red line on Ronnie’s back, through his ripped shirt, but figured it was just from when he scraped it in the Funhouse.
As they passed by various games one sign read, “control your friends in our Virtual Arcade…you be the hero… 3 free lives!”
When they reached the tents offering games you play to win a prize Susie tossed a few balls at them.
Ronnie picked one up and threw it at some empty milk jugs behind the counter. He missed and heard the sound of breaking glass.
Jeremy had passed him but the natural sound of breaking something made Ron run faster.
He ran by Jeremy as he shouted, “I’M IN SECOND PLACE!”
Jeremy yelled, “RONALD VINCENT MOORE DID THAT! HE BROKE THE WINDOW OR…WHATEVER THAT WAS HE BROKE IT NOT ME!!!”
David reached the food truck first. Its serving counter window was low and wide enough to jump over.
He landed inside but bumped a cup dispenser machine and knocked over a few utensils.
Ronnie laughed, “Smooth DAVE!”
David acted like he was working there,
“Ooookay, okay, step right up boys.
We got hot food heeere!
Peanuts, popcorn HERRERA!”
He was doing an excellent impression of a stadium vendor.
“WE GOT, FRESH HOT, HOT DOGS HEAAARE!
TRY OUR CHICKEN SAMICH WITH A SIIIDE ORDA’-A-FRIES OR FRUIT…HEEEERE!
STEP RIGHT UP, STEP RIGHT UP, whatallyahave boys, what will it be?”
He laughed. Once the boys got closer he enticed them some more, “Come on over and join me! Help yourself! All you can eat until you puke!”
They climbed in joining him.
Jeremy laughed as he pulled the metal fry holder out of the boiling grease then jumped as he looked down at it.
Ronnie took a look, “AHHHGH!”,yelled Ron.
David said, “You’re such an over reactor.” However, as he looked for himself add, “OHHHOHOHOHO GROSSES THAT IS SSSSICK!”
Ronnie jumped back over the counter to the outside. He was too afraid to look again.
David grabbed Jeremy’s hands, which were still gripping the fry cage. “Get rid of it!”, he demanded as he forcefully flung the deep fried rat over his shoulder.
The hot grease burned both the boys a little as it sprinkled off the rat.
Ronnie ducked and saw the rat land on the ground. It bounce a time or two. “It that real?!” It was burnt black and looked like the rubber rat he had put in his sister bed, shower and once he even put it in her sandwich.
David and Jeremy yelled in pain from the oil burns.
It just sprinkled on them but the drops still hurt. Their skin was bubbling up with bright red bumps; however, they watched how it seemed to heal itself. The marks didn’t form blisters, instead they cleared up right away.
Jeremy wondered if it was some type of new oils or grease that somehow didn’t burn human skin.
Ronnie grabbed a nearby stick and was poking the deep fried rat as he shouted, “HOW DID THAT GET IN THERE?!”
David couldn’t help but attack Ronnie’s stupid remark, “Someone must have invited him, you idiot!”
Jeremy laughed and noticed he didn’t have to hide the pain he received from the splattered grease. There was no pain. He climbed over the counter.
All he could say was, “I don’t think I’m hungry anymore.”
David felt no pain either but attributed that to being an extra stong young man, even though he was only 12. “Let’s Bolt!, He said as he jumped out of the food station.
Jeremy was the first to realize not one of them knew where the closest exit was.
He made a suggestion, “Rather than try to find the water slides again maybe we should just find the closest exit.”
Ronnie said, “Whatever, let’s just get outta here man. I’ve seen enough. I’m gonna have night terrors for sure!”
As they began to walk in random directions, following David’s lead, they figured if they continue to walk in one direction they would be sure to find the exterior wall.
Getting over or under the barrier would be a whole other problem but at least they would find a way out and not be walking in circles.
They followed the main paved road for a while which had big arrows on it. They were even lit up.
David made the recommendation, “Let’s just follow those arrows, I’m sure they lead to the exit!”
Mr. John Hanson lead the four men as he enlightened them, “The park is set up like a big spiral that circles around into the center.
The big bold arrows painted on the ground are lit up with the best long lasting led lights available.
They are actually pulsating ever so slightly.
That has a subconscious effect to go in the direction they lead.
Susie, I mean, we’ve even tried pulsating them in the opposite direction of the painted arrow and had test guest say they felt a strange urge to walk backwards.
Therefore, if one follows the arrows as they are now, pulsating toward the center, it will lead them to the furthest point deep into the park, far, far from any of the exits and exterior walls.”
Dr. Hatfield asked, “HHow Lhong vwould id tHake to get vfrom zthe zcentAr to an externHal vwall iv yHou jHust vwalked in a zstraight LAHine, oVff Hov zthe pHath?”
Hanson smiled, “Oh, that is the beauty of how we designed it…you can’t walk off the path and over the landscape.
We’ve placed invisable fencing, like people use to train their dog.”
Wiggins was still astounded, “IT GIVES THEM A ZAP?!”
Mr. Scalp asked, “Like an electric fence?!”
“YES! Exactly but invisible!”
Dr. Hatfield said, “IncHredible.”
John replied, “Thank you.”
Hatfield clarified, “I meHant zthat sarcaHsticHally. zThat iz incHred-ibly zstupid.”
Wiggins‘ made his point, “Yeah, you can’t keep people in line like an animal, sending even a small electrical change into their system.”
Scalp said, “I can’t imagine walking into that or if a child wandered off from their parents.”
John assured them, “Oh, there are signs!” Goldberg thought, ‘there he goes again with his, just put up a sign…it will be fine, philosophy.’
James knew that it was best to keep his condemning thoughts to himself. He couldn’t file a law suit against John but these men could.
James hoped that the three engineers would just keep following John toward the direction of where the boys were. He knew the park had to not only be put to sleep temporarily but permanently. He had been trying to convince John of this for a long time but his client seemed to just keep dangling money in front of him like a carrot in front of a horse.
John even promised to pay James a retainer fee once the park opened officially.
That extravagant amount of money would allow Goldberg to not worry about finding any additional clients.
James was realizing now, that was like the cheese in the center of a rat maze.
He knew John was secretivly hoping the other engineers would find a way to just put Susie into a comma so he could later revive her and go on as planned.
James admitted to himself that he felt that way too but it was all out of greed.
This project had gotten way outta hand. After seeing Susie almost killed those boys, who he thought were dead, James knew, even if the park was running smooth, it was a huge liability.
As the official lawyer he would be swamped trying to defend it.
He listened to John going on and on as John promised the men, “We will provide a helicopter ride for all of you from the center to the front parking lot.
It would take approximately three hours to walk back the way we came in.”
John continued to explain as they moved closer to the lake, “You see gentlemen, when people have to walk back through the way they have already come they get distracted and keep stopping to spend more money, as well as of course, enjoy the fine deatailed features and the true beauty of…the park.”
Mr. Wiggins noted how strange it was that Hanson talked about this park as if it were his new bride.
Mr. Scalp confronted John, “You sound obsessed with it.”
John confirmed, “Yes, I must admit Mr. Scalp, I am. She is my obsession and it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s a little obsessed with me.
She may even possess some of my own deeply personal traits.”
Mr. Wiggins thought back to the nervous breakdown he witness Mr. Hanson having in the limo.
Dr. Hatfield voiced his concerns, “LHook, I kHnow vwe hHave to get doz boyz un hHelp zthem but hHonestly vfellaz, oHnly zso mHany ov uz hare needHed to hHelp zthe boyz vwhile zthe rezt ov uz cHould be diVffuZing zthe genHeratooor vrunning zthis plHaZe!”
John agreed asking his lawyer if he would mind focusing on getting the boys and make sure they don’t leave the “Lake of Goo” area.
Mr. Scalp volunteered to go with James.
“WAIT, JOHN!”, James Goldberg said as he grabbed John’s arm. He looked him in the eyes, man to man, as he said, “John, it’s time. It’s time to call for help.”
The other men looked at each other shocked with the fact that the authorities were not already involved.
Dr. Hatfield said, “zTHEY DHON’T KNchOW?!”
Mr. Wiggins said, “They should have been involved long ago!”
James informed them, “The government, actually the national authorities are fully aware. I involved them once the park…”
“Susie.”, John added.
James continued, “…yes, once the park started fully functioning.”
John emphasised, “Once she started to not only breath but move her appendages.”
James nodded and said, “Yes, when she, it, was able to self-sufficiently control its various sectors and…”
He searched for words.
John helped, “Able to independently move her limbs!”
James’ facial expressions showed that he didn’t want to keep humanizing the park.
Mr. Wiggins jumped in, “So, there is a national alert to what is happening here? Right?!”
James said, “Yes. There, there is but…”
Scalp said, “Another but?”
James showed reluctance, “I told them about our own concerns but I am not sure they took us seriously.”
John was shocked, “You told them? You told them what James?
You are my lawyer!
You weren’t suppose to tell all my secrets.”
John began to have a fit of rage rising as he began to scream,
“WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO CONFIDENTIALITY AND THE CONFIDENCE I THOUGHT I COULD HAVE IN YOU?!”
The other men were becoming more and more afraid of John as he flared up,
“I TRUSTED YOU MR. GOLDBERG!
I TRUSTED YOU WITH MY LIFE AND WITH SUSIE’S LIFE!!”
As John continued to grow louder and out of control Dr. Hatfield’s mind raced as he thought silently, ‘zThis vwould make for a great zSci-fi movie.’ His mind tried different working titles, ‘...zThe Bipolar Park…zSusie’s Revenge…Mood zSwing MHatinee…Mad zSuzsie, zThe Park…maybe just ‘zSUzSIE’ or…PHarkzilla…’
Mr. Scalp got between James and John and broke it up, “But are they aware that there are children in the park unsupervised right now as you two are here arguing?”
Mr. Wiggins called them to their senses, “GENTLEMEN, ACT PROFESSIONAL!!!”
John wasn’t done by a long shot, “YEAH, BE PROFESSIONAL YOU TRAITOR!!!”
He reached around Mr. Scalp and was able to shove James with one arm, displaying his own lack of professionalism.
Scalp tried to stand his ground between them while Hatfield went around John and struggled to hold John back.
Wiggins was on James’ side; however, he remembered they were not there to fight each other. They were there to fight this Beast of a park.
He still had a massive suspension about whether Hanson was fully on board with killing it completely or not.
Susie began to react to her creator’s anger by slamming several doors to various buildings and flashing all the lights in the park on and off.
She also increased the volume of the music to try and drowned them out, just like a teenager would do in the privacy of their own room when her parents fight, shout and argue back and forth.
John tried to calm down as he said, “Okay, okay…”
He shook Dr. Hatfield off his back.
Mr. Scalp remained in between him and James.
John still spoke sharply at James but stopped screaming at him, “Fine…fine. You call them, James! You probably have their number on speed dial!” He spit on the ground still brewing.
John turned and walked away as he led Dr. Hatfield and Mr. Wiggins toward Susie’s brains.
None of them, even John himself, were sure what they could do to stop the mayhem.
As the boys followed the arrows they went by several attractions they hated to pass up.
The lights were not only flashing on and off on everything but the music provided a fast hypnotic beat that peaked their interests to try something different and daring.
David had to shout to be heard, “MAN RONNIE, LOOK AT THAT PAINTING ON THE SIDE OF THE FREAK SHOW BUILDING!
DID YOUR MOM POSE FOR THAT BEARDED LADY?!”
Jeremy was afraid they’d want to go in.
Ron’s response was, “HAHA DAVE, VERY FUNNY!
WANT TO GO IN?!
Jeremy distracted them by pointing up ahead about fifty yards, “LOOK UP THERE DAVE! CHECKIT OUT… A HELICOPTER!!”
The diversion worked.
David shouted, “I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO FLY ONE OF THOSE THINGS!”, as he jumped forward bound into a sprint.
Ronnie gave chase as he claimed yet again, “I’m taking second place.”
Jeremy found himself yelling, “I CALL SHOT GUN!” He collected his rational thought process and called out, “WAIT UP GUYS, THIS AIN’T NO VIDEO GAME! THIS IS REAL LIFE!!”
His friends got there before him and they had already climbed in. They were catching their breath after the fifty yard dash and began flipping switches.
Jeremy tried to reason with them, “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO FLY A REALLY REAL HELICOPTER!!!”
Ronnie shouted, “COME ON JER. GET IN!”
Jeremy jumped in the back, still trying to talk sense into them, “GUYS, DOGS, I HONESTLY DON’T THINK WE SHOULD…”
David exclaimed, “SHUT UP JEREMY, YOU…”
Ron joined him on the last descriptive word, PUPPY!!!”
While David tried to start the chopper they heard an engine cutting through the air above them.
It chopped out the sound of the music.
Jeremy was sure his friend had somehow started the helicopter blades…
… BADADADADA…(the sound of helicopter blades).
The trees around them were swaying.
Susie shut all her lights off and stopped her music as if to hide, throwing everything into complete darkness.
That’s when they saw the powerful floodlights coming from the sky.
David blamed Ron, “What did you touch Ronnie?!” Ron casted the blame, “Jeremy what did you do?!”
That’s when they realized that it wasn’t their vehicle at all but another helicopter overhead. The boys stuck their heads out the sides of the chopper and saw several huge army helicopters dropping large boxes with parachutes connected to them.
Jeremy whispered, “Someone contacted the authorities.”
Mr. Wiggins was relieved so see someone contacted the authorities and the officials were coming in and hovering over several points of the park.
John mumbled, “Ogh, crap.”
Dr. Hatfield pointed out, “LHook, Zthey aHre drHopping crHatez!”
Mr. Wiggins asked, “Why won’t they land?”
John smiled as he spoke, “We already have the helicopter landing pad full.” John was still holding onto hope that they’d leave his baby alone.
Mr. Wiggins was wishing they’d propel men, armed with machine guns, down to enforce justice.
Dr. Hatfield asked, “zShould vwe prHone oHut on zthe grHound, zshowing zthem oHur hHAandz?”
John just stood there watching the crates fall.
Mr. Scalp was drilling James with questions as they entered into the stadium seating area for the “Lake Of Goo.”
James explained, “Those cartons they are dropping…they are filled with an extremely large and extremely deadly medication. We’ll stop this mother.”
He reached for his cell phone and dialed John as he finished telling Mr. Scalp how John had told him what drugs slowed Susie down. “In large enough doses it will kill her.”
Mr. Scalp said, “Too much of anything will kill ya! That’s at least true with humans. I hope it applies to this machine.”
Mr. Goldberg held up his hand as John answered. “Johh, it is James.”
John handed the phone to Hatfield. “HHAello?”, the doctor said.
James asked for John.
“No, ah JohHAn iz… aHctually vwaHAlkingz avway. Zthiz iZ DHOC-KTAR HhhAtFieldz HheRe”
Mr. Goldberg clued Dr. Hatfield in, “Listen, John has been wanting to just find the right balance of chemicals to make the park run evenly and flow smoothly as it should. Each of those trunks has a serum in it to not just slow her down but take away her ability to function all together.
We have to inject that into Susie.”
Mr. Wiggins was trying to listen in as John walked further and further away from them.
Dr. Hatfield said, “I Hamm no dHoctor of mediZcine bud, iv I HunderZstand zthe vway JohHn crHHeated zthis pHark, vwe may mozsd LHikely ve Hable to injHect id inHto hany ov zthe cHables, zthe veinzs, LHike zthe vone behHind zthe vFunhHouse vwe zsaw, Hand id Vwill trHavel zthrough zthe, or hHer, whHole zsyzstHem.”
Wiggins was leaping for joy. James heard him shouting in the background, “YES! YES, I AM SURE THAT WILL WORK!”
The search lights over their heads were still there but were flushed out as Susie turned all of her lights on again.
The soldiers above the park heard a low frequency beginning to reverberate and gain intensity.
The Colonel on board one of the helicopters spoke into his mouthpiece, “It sounds like she’s rebooting! This thing is for real.” He wanted to tell his commander I told ya so but knew better.
“We are going to retreat now just in case there is an explosion General…That’s affirmative… No, negative…we will get a safe distance away for the whole team… 10-40…roger, over and out.”
As they pulled away the Colonel gave all his men the orders, “I want all choppers out at least one mile from the site.
She’s a big mother and there maybe several explosions.
We just don’t know exactly what we are dealing with here!”
The Armed forces rush off.
James was still on the phone with Dr. Hatfield. Mr. Wiggins told Hatfield to ask what they might expect to happen when they executed the park.
Dr. Hatfield ask then relayed the message, “HE HAzS NOoo hIDEA! HhE TOLD MA TO zTHINK OV zTHE PhARK AZ…HhUMAaN…vWAIT,…MAAAYBE… oHckay vwe’ll cHall bHack.” He hung up.
Wiggins asked, “Maybe what? Don’t tell me that he has another big but!”
Hatfield smiled at that expression, “No, bHut..haahaa…” Wiggins appreciated his new friend’s attempt to lighten up the mood with a little humor then asked, “Seriously, But what?”
Hatfield said, “zShe may hHave zsome…zseizure az a reHacZtionz tHo zthe…antHAidotez.”
By this time Mr. John Hanson was far away from the other men.
It appeared to them that he had just wandered off aimlessly to try to avoid the whole situation.
As John walked he spoke softy to Susie,
“They understand how machinery works.
They comprehend how the human body works, but…
even the best psychological and psychiatric scholars in this world don’t fully understand the mind
and the relation between the brain’s chemical compound and what it can cause the body to do.
Susie, you don’t need some type of psychotherapy.
Our relationship on this planet is all you need.
It is all I need.
I’ll save you.
No one is going to destroy what we’ve made, together.
We will survive, my love.”
As John approached one of the artificial mountains the water slides were built into. The side of the mountain moved, revealing a spiral staircase leading downward.
As he descended he continued to speak,
“Susie, you are all I need.
I am all you need.”
As he followed the stairs, going below the outer surface, he repeated the mantra over and over again,
“We will survive, my love. We will survive, my love. We will survive, my love.”
His voice was almost mechanical.
Dr. Hatfield and Mr. Wiggins ran toward one of the crates that were dropped.
Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Scalp made a mad dash toward one that landed near them.
Both pairs of gentlemen opened up the large containers.
Every crate had the same exact instructions in them, accompanied with a command letter addressed to, Mr. John T. Hanson.
The letter read,
“Attention Mr. Hanson, we are now taking complete control and termination of your amusement park. The surgical needles enclosed are to be forced into every mainframe or generating source of energy that allows your Park to currently function. These lethal injections are to be given upon immediate receival or you will be held in contempt of a direct command from the ATF as well as the APC…”
Wiggens asked Hatfield, “What is the APC?” The doctor replied, “HHow vwould hi kHnovw? I havfe my PHD in engHAinHeerHing, nozthing elzse.”
Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Scalp stopped reading the same part of the letter for James to explain, “APC, that stands for the Association of Psychiatric Care”
Scalp said, “So We don’t need John’s help, permission or approval?”
James asked Mr. Scalp to read further.
James was accepting the fate that although Susie was John’s beloved creation this had to stop.
The ending of the letter was probably the most important, as well as, meaningful part.
All four of them were reading in unison at different ends of the park,
“…Although your Park is run in the same way the human body functions we are still considering that it is still a machine.
If it were human we could and would provide medication that would balance out the Manic and/or the Depressive characteristics; however, your Park is not human and will not be not be treated humanely.
You and your colleagues will be held liable for any damages caused by your park.
You are now hereby notified and ordered to use the medication enclosed to terminate thus mentioned enterprises.
Please call the number below upon completion of said orders.
If you do not comply we will take more evasive actions.”
General Sarah Bellum
Dr. Hatfield laughed as he noted, “vWhen I vwas a kid I uHUzse to vwrite Hon bazthroom zstallZs…”
Mr. Wiggins thought, ‘What has that got to do with anything. Has my friend here lost his mind too?’
Hatfield said, “I vwrote that zsame zthHing! I muzst hHAave vwritten id a zthousand tHimez betvween zthe agHeZs ofv eHight un nHine.”
Mr. Wiggins was genuinely conserned, “You wrote this letter on the stalls in bathrooms?”
Dr. Hatfield laughed even more as he explained, “Oh, haaHA, NOho, NOho, not zthe lettHer.
I vwrote zthat phHone nHumber.
ZThose nHumberz zspell oHut YhOU-AHARE-ZSICK.“
Wiggins was relieved then said, “Let’s get to work.”
Mr. Scalp was getting to work too.
Goldberg grabbed his phone to call the number.
Scalp said, “Help me James!”
“I will but let me call the general to let her know that we are doing it.”
Scalp said, “WE WILL CALL AFTER WE DO IT. COME ON!!” The phone rang while still in his hand.
It was Dr. Hatfield, “JameZ, yHou got zthe crHAates opHAen un zthe zsuppliezs oHuDt?”
James answered, “YES!”, then asked, “Can we inject this into any cable?”
Dr. Hatfield replied, “I Ham un enginHeer nHot a dHoctHair, Jamez!”
Wiggins shouted, “LET’S JUST DO IT!”
Hatfield asked James again, “Do yHou knHow vwhere Hany majHor…arHteriezs Hare? Be hHonezst.”
James said, “I have no idea!”
Having overheard Mr. Wiggins, Scalp yelled in the background,
“IT SHOULD TRAVEL JUST FINE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SYSTEM IF WE INTRODUCE IT ANYWHERE.
THE MAINFRAME OR MOTHER BOARD OR… THE HEART WOULD BE IDEAL BUT, JUST LIKE A COMPUTER, IF WE GIVE IT THIS SERUM LIKE A VIRTUAL VIRUS IT HAS GOT TO EVENTUALLY MUCK EVERYTHING UP.”
Dr. Hatfield heard Mr. Scalp and expressed his concerns, “I aHgree, hHAowevAIRr, Vwe don’t Vwant ZthingZ to gHet vworsze.
VWe cHould end op vwith Un explHoZsion ov zsome zsortz oun ZsHhe may perHvform even mHore irHate or errHatic.”
Wiggins put his two cents in, “If we don’t do something the military will probably drop some bombs. Either way, things may be explosive.”
James suggested, “We will find a cable and inject what they sent.
You do the same.
Then I will call the number and let them know and we’ll figure out what to do next.”
Hatfield agreed, “GHood. Call uz bHack un Vwhat to dHo nHext.”
They both ended the call.
None of the men had any idea what had happened to the boys. They were so focused on administering the shots in hopes that it would cause Susie to at least fall off into an unworkable sleep, or better yet die, that they all but forgot about the children.
The boys had tried to run into the bushes, off the paved trail to hide from the authorities.
Jeremy had hoped they would be rescued but not arrested. “We are so dead!”, said Jeremy.
“Why the Army?”, asked Ronnie.
David rolled his eyes, like any of them would have the answer to that. He said, “Probably because your mom is so worried about you she called all the guys that she’s dated haha!
Don’t worry Ronnie, she’ll find you daddy!”
Ronnie inched back further from the path and deeper into bushes, “OW! Something bit me!”
“Shhh. Stop it you guys. This is serious.”
Ronnie kept checking his back, “It was like I just got shocked.”
David said, “I’m shocked you’re not crying!”
Jeremy brought up, “I wonder what’s in those crates that were dropped?”
Mr. Scalp and the lawyer we’re at their end of the park, next to the “Lake Of Goo” while Dr. Hatfield and Mr. Wiggins were at the other end near a small train depot.
Wiggins already had one of the massive syringes unpack. “They are really heavy!” He told Hatfield.
Hatfield asked, “Did yHou zsee vwhere vwe Hare mizter vWigginZs?”
Wiggins turned to read the sign, “TRAIN OF THOUGHT, perfect.”
Hatfield was about to screw the five foot needle onto the six foot capsule his partner was holding when a flood of foul smelling liquid came rushing down the path way.
The men ran into the depot and jumped on the train to escape the flood.
Wiggins cried, “AHHHGHOG! THE LAKE OF GOO MUST BE OVERFLOWING!” The nasty smelling fluid flowed past them.
The train began to move.
Dr. Hatfield jumped off with the sharp needle in his hands yelling, ” JaHUMP OvFF! JaHUMP OvFF!!”
Wiggins had set the heavy cylinder down. He reached for it but it had rolled off the bench and under the train’s seats.
The train was quickly picking up speed.
In a panic he leaped off. The phone rang again. Wiggins expressed his frustration, “Agh, ya better get that! Maybe they already used their’s.”
James shouted into the phone, “WE JUST USED ONE OF OURS BUT…But”
Hatfield took a deep breath, “BhUT vWHAT JhAMEz?!”
James continued, “…But Susie’s reaction was violent. I think she…threw up. But it’s okay, that must mean it does effect her system.
Also, it’s all going to be O.K…. I just recalled John telling me that one of the ways to get to her heart, brain and lungs is by taking ‘The Train of Thought!’
I’m not really sure what station you’d get off at but if you can find the depot and get on that train…”
Hatfield stopped Goldberg right there, “zThe trHain haz alrHeady lefVt zthe zstaZtion!
Ann tHoo top hitd oVff id haz zthe tHop pHart oVf zthe zsyrHinge cHontainHing zthe medz.
I Ham hHoldingz juzt zthe nHeedle.”
Goldberg paused, “Wait…that’s okay. It’s going to be alright.
There are more capsules in the crates but only one needle. Listen…”
James gathered himself and gave further instructions while his partner, Mr. Scalp, was attaching their own needle to another cylinder,
“Look in the crate, under the foam packing peanuts.
You and Wiggins attached the needle to the end of all 6, well now 5 syringes, one at a time.
There at the station you will find large cords, big thick cables, maybe even something that resembles a circuit box.
Inject each syringe into a different place.
When we stuck our into a pipe here it looked like it could swell to the point of bursting.
We want Susie to ingest not reject this medication.
Make sure you don’t blow the vein!”
Wiggins demanded, “OKAY, OKAY! PUT DOWN THE PHONE AND COME ON!” He raced back to the crate.
Hatfield said, “vWe’re Hon it.
YHou call zthe YhOU-AhaRE-zSICK nHumber un tell BellHum zthat it’z bHEeing dHone zo zthey dHon’t bomb zthe entHire arHea!”
He hung up & waited for Wiggins to return.
James had no idea why the doctor called it the ‘you-are-sick number’ but as he dialed he noticed the letters matching up. “Oh, I get it.”, he was amused.
Dr. Hatfield held the huge surgical needle while Mr. Wiggins turned and tightened the syringe containing the prescribed drug.
By this time James finished his call with General Sarah Bellum he saw Mr. Scalp struggling to lift the antidote by himself.
With the needle attached it was twice as tall as him.
They sank the sharp end into what looked more like an air vent than a cable.
As they pushed the top the ground shook like an earthquake. It was Susie gasping for air.
The other two men stabilized themselves as they pulled their,
shot out of the pipeline leading to underneath the railroad track.
The roof to the main depot collapsed while the rails began to flex.
Susie was having a mechanical seizure.
There was a loud explosion in the distance as the train derailed.
Susie was becoming more and more deranged as the explosion caused the hyperdermic container left on the train to shatter, releasing the chemicals.
They slowly seeped into her soil.
All four men went to each freight box they could find to finalize the treatment.
They wanted to use every last drop.
There was no such thing as too much.
They were on a mission to deliver a full overdose to this mad machinery.
They were not just going in for the kill but GOING FOR OVERKILL.
They were determined to shoot it up until the soft brain tissue was flooded and irrepairable.
James watch and listened, along with those who were helping stop this Bride of Frankenstein, as Susie seemed to power down in a slow whirl.
They heard a gear grinding sound, “Ieeeeeammmmsooooorrryyyyy.”
James wondered where John was at that very moment.
The minds of the other three thought of him too, wanting to know where he had wandered off.
Finally everything came to a sudden death halt.
The men stood in the darkness as everything faded to black.
Ronnie flipped on his little flashlight.
The boys heard nothing.
The Army had long retreating and they couldn’t even hear choppers in the distance.
Jeremy said, “Obviously the coast is clear.”
David suggested, “Let’s make a break for it.”
Ronnie’s eyes caught something in the distance that the other boys had not yet seen.
He pointed with the weak beam of light. “Look!”
Towering up from the ground, far above everything else in the park, were the waterslide.
Jeremy exclaimed with excitement, “That’s close to where we came in.”
David smerked, “I bet the water finished flushing the tubes cleared.
Now the slides are either freed from all particles or still flowing with water.”
Ronnie nudged his two friends and smiled, “Either way, I’m going first this time!”
Little did anyone know that under the park a new mechanical heart beat was still beating.
…….To be continued….maaaaybe………..
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
To hear this story read go to YouTube playlist of stories being read: My stories: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiFv27rv2rhA3-8U8EyDXya
My mother taught me that every good short story leaves unanswered questions and causes you to want to explore things further. So, here are some post questions to stimulate and promote theories-
- Is Susie’s heart still beating? Is she still alive?
- Is there a baby machine below in Susie’s Underground?
- What is the new mechanical heart beat that is still beating?
- Will that grow into another Monster Park?
- Is John human or an Android himself?
- Is John controlling the park or the park controlling John?
- Are they connected, linked, synced or bonded together at all in some way?
- Where did John go?
- Was the government actually the creator of John and/or the park (a military experiment gone wrong)?
- Does James know the truth?
- Do the boys realize that the park, Susie, is actually alive or do they just think what they encountered is all accomplished by high tech machinery?
- Is there still something from “The Lake of Goo” still in the boy’s systems, intelligent molecules at work?
- Is John and or Suzy an alien from another planet?
- Will the military return and find the boys on the water slides?
- Will the men discover the boys?
- Will the boys eventually get out?
- Will the men make it out of the park?
Add your answer, questions and comments below.
“vWhere zthere iz a vwill zthere iz a vway!”
For another one of my own personal favorite original stories, “Fair Science” – about a funny, crazy but brilliant scientist who invites three children into his mansion and his mind- go to the Online publication of “Fair Science”: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/the-story-fair-science/
That can also be heard on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiFv27rv2rhA3-8U8EyDXya
For a list of other stories go to: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/stories-poems-and-art/
Thanks for reading, Beetle
This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.
This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.