A nasty wind cut through my jacket as I followed Colt and Linds to the park exit. Linds, exhausted from all the excitement, clutched his neck like a lifeline, her head pressed against his shoulder. 

"Think she's asleep?" I asked. Sam shrugged. "You're a lot of help." 

With a tired grin, she shrugged again. 

I rolled my eyes and kept walking, my aching feet dragging. We were all as exhausted as Linds, I imagined: not only physically, but also mentally. So much had happened today...I needed some sleep so I could process it all. 

Unfortunately, I was next on the driving list. The non-negotiable driving list. 

Even though I knew it was pointless, I turned to Sam, only to find her already staring boldly at me. "What?" I asked. 

"One more," she said, eyes flashing. The wind sent her hair into a crimson whirlwind, but she stayed trained on my face as she brushed it back into place. "One more ride."

"No," I said firmly. "We're done." If I got on one more roller coaster, I was going to puke. There was no way. 

"Come on, Matt...it'll be fun!" She grabbed my arm and pointed at a ride. "That one."

"Tornado Thriller," I read aloud. "No."


"Go on your own."

"It's not as fun by myself."

"I'm not going." She just wanted to laugh at me screaming like a girl again. She couldn't fool me.

"Come on, Matt..." I pressed my lips together and shook my head. This was a moot point. End of conversation. Game over--

"I'll drive for you," she blurted out.

It took a few seconds for her words to sink in. "You'll...what?"

"I'll drive for you," she said simply. "If you'll ride this one ride with me, I'll drive for you tonight. You look like a basket case." She shrugged. "Win-win situation, right?"

Except for the part where I have ride the roller coaster, I thought, rubbing my stiff neck. Was it worth it, not having to drive? The greasy lunch that I'd gulped down earlier now turned my stomach queasy. Getting on a ride while feeling like this...was it worth 4 hours of sleep?

I swallowed hard. "Fine. I ride, you drive. Let's go." 

I could feel the sweat gathering on my upper lip as the ride manager strapped us in. Next to me, Sam wiggled with excitement, bouncing up and down in her seat. "You're insane, girl," I muttered into the harness.

"Thank you."

"I didn't mean for you to hear that..."

"Right, and I'm Jennifer Lawrence."

 I shook my head at her pathetically backward retort and prepared a shot of my own, but then literal warning bells starting going off, and we started moving up the sharp slope before us. 
I grabbed Sam's hand. "Laugh at me, and you die."

She patted my hand patronizingly. "Yes, dear. Feel free to burst my eardrums; I don't mind the screaming."

"Did you just call me 'dear'?" I asked incredulously, but the words were torn from my mouth as the ride reached its peak, and we dropped down, the earth beneath us rushing towards my face dangerously fast.

"THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!!!!" I shouted at Sam, and she laughed gleefully as I screamed in terror. The track twisted and turned, right left upside down--we did it all. My eyes streamed from the speed, and it felt like the skin of my face was burning off.  The whole time, Sam laughed like she was having the time of her life. She waved her hands in the air like she didn't have a care in the world. My hands were glued to the bar before me.

Definitely insane. 

"I'm never doing that again," I gasped out, my legs wobbling beneath me. "No matter what the benefits are."

Holding my arm to support me, she threw back her head and laughed. "You gotta admit, it was kind of fun."

"Kind of? Kind of? There was no fun involved, at all!" My eyes still burned as I stared at her. "You have mental issues, okay?"

"So you keep telling me," she said with a laugh. "Come on, let's go find Colt and Linds. We've got miles to clock!" Her step had a skip in it as she pulled me along, and despite myself, I found myself smiling along with her. It had been fun, in a thrilling, exciting sort of way, but the best part was seeing her so alive like this after today's events.

But I still was never going to do that again, even if she asked me.

if she asked me.

{excerpt from the great ones and the general, by ely s. gyrate}


  1. As concerns roller coasters, I'm having a very hard time relating to Matt. Sammy and I would either be besties or arch enemies.

    ...not sure about that one yet.

  2. I love it!!!!! Great job, Ely! Made me smile :)


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