Traveling tip number one: Don’t travel with Anthony, ever. I’m not usually one for profanities but weird shit happens when you’re around Anthony.
It had been six hours since my “social worker” Diamond in a total breach of protocol and the law dropped me off on some guy he’d just met. He gave me some vague excuse that made me figure he must have been high. He even blamed me for it.
Anthony had been driving the whole time. Not a word had been said. I sat fastened into my seatbelt finally hours before breaking the silence. The last straw was him cutting off someone talking on their cell phone. “Where are you taking me?” I asked.
“It’s better phrased as “where are we going?” We’re going to Nevada with a couple of pit stops on the way. You’re young, wanna stop at an amusement park?” He asked. “I was thinking about going to this place called Funspot. It’s in Indiana.”
“Indiana? Where are we?”
“I don’t live in Pennsylvania and now, neither do you.”
“What makes you think it’s that easy for me to leave?” I yelled.
“Just a hunch. I get the idea you don’t really like it there.”
“You’re committing a crime.”
He laughed but didn’t say anything else.
He was driving well over the speed limit as I eventually found to be the usual for him. Figuring I didn’t want to jump out and lose the skin on my back and face I went to sleep. When he woke me up it was pitch black outside. “Hey, we’re here.” He said spraying some water in my face.
“Where are we?” I asked looking out. I could vaguely make out some oddly shaped structures but I couldn’t identify them.
“Funspot.” He said handing me a bag.
I looked at the clock to find that is was 5:00 AM. “They’re obviously closed.” I said.
“Of course they’re closed. They closed a couple of years ago. Come on.”
“Then why are we even here? Aren’t we trespassing? What if we get caught?”
“There’s no donut shops close enough for me to be concerned about getting caught.” He said handing me a pair of night vision goggles. “Put these on.” He said.
I sighed and put them on. “I’m making sure to blame this on you wholesale if we get caught.” Once I put the goggles on I could also see that this “amusement park” was literally falling apart. “Really? Why did you even ask if I wanted to go to an amusement park? You should asked me if I wanted to look at a broken down scrap yard!” I yelled kicking him in the shins.
“You… could afford to work out some time.” He shook his head and walked ahead of me through the entrance to a building up front. Not wanting to be out by myself in an abandoned amusement park I followed him. On my way in I saw the no trespassing sign warning that this was private property and it was illegal to go any further. Anthony either didn’t see it or didn’t care. “I went to this park while it was still operating. It was fun but I think it was for a younger audience. My niece and nephews loved it. But for me carting little kids back and forth to rides I’m too big for ain’t all that fun.”
He turned on the flashlight once he got to the other side of the room. The dust, bugs and graffiti left me feeling disgusted and vastly underwhelmed. “Have I mentioned that I’m homeless and this is the kind of thing I see every day?” I asked.
“I didn’t get the memo.” He said.
“Who’s talking? Are you tryin’ to come in here at this hour? This is Leetov’s territory. You don’t come in unless you pay rent.” A man said stepping out of the restroom area. I felt nauseous just thinking what that bathroom might have looked like.
“Oh? We’re just having a look around.” Anthony said. “We’re going to take pictures of the park at dawn.” I ran my hand down my face as he showed them the camera around his neck. This naïve…
“I don’t care what you’re here for. The park entrance fee is 50 dollars.” He said holding his hand out.
“That’s more than it cost to come in this place when it was open.” Anthony scratched his head. He looked so confused and lost.
“We were just leaving.” I said pulling Anthony back. “These guys are dangerous.” I whispered.
“They haven’t made a single threat.” He said before turning to them, “You have no rights to charge me on grounds that it is not your facility. My friend and I would like you to peacefully step out of the way.”
“Hey boys!” The man called out. “This joker wants some free access to the park!” And they came crawling out of the woodwork in droves. I stepped back but there were several behind us. They were carrying daggers, bats and lead pipes with them.
“We’re gonna give you one last chance to leave this place.” A younger man said but when he got closer he rushed in and started swinging. “Lenard calm down!” one yelled but it fell upon deaf ears.
Anthony caught the bat and took it. Lenard started swinging his fist wildly. Anthony kicked his feet from under him and shoved him to the ground. When he shined the light on him he looked completely deranged. His eyes were wide set and gold. He was drooling on himself and he had very sharp teeth like some kind of animal.
“Lenard?” One called out. “You bastards! What did you do to Lenard?”
Anthony grabbed me by my wrist and ran past the gatekeeper, shoving him out of the way. He gave chase wildly swinging a crowbar in our direction. His face contorted into a deranged and almost inhuman expression as drool began to run down from his mouth. I’d seen this somewhere before but I was too busy trying to run to give that any thought. Not all of them gave chase. Only Lenard and the ones we pass right by seemed to think it was that big of a deal. But they were the most persistent.
We ran into the entrance gate of one of the roller coasters before going up the maintenance stairway. The top began to shake. “Are we just cornering ourselves up here?” I asked pulling back.
“We just need to get out of range.” He said.
“Range of what? It’s not like they can’t climb.”
“They can’t see as well.” He pushed me ahead. “Keep going.”
The group was closing off the exits. I climbed up mentally crossing my fingers. Anthony followed. A rock hit my back. Lenard began to climb up after us. He didn’t get very far. He might have been two meters from the ground when he fell. This didn’t seem to deter him. He got right back up and continued climbing.
The others followed suit. None of them seemed to be able to climb very well in the dark. One fell and twisted his leg as he hit the ground before crawling back over to climb up. The higher we got the less stable the structure became. A piece fell from under one of our pursuers impaling his arm. He got up and continued climbing without even pulling it out.
“Something is wrong with these people. This isn’t natural.” Anthony said.
“Good thing you told me. That totally makes me feel better about being chased to the top of a crumbing roller coaster!” I yelled. The top of the roller coaster swayed in the wind. After being unable to continue climbing some of the people began throwing rocks until the rest of their group caught up with them. “Lenard! Blake! What are you guys doing to yourselves?”
I couldn’t hear the rest of what was going on from the distance but the ones who had been trying to climb the side of the roller coaster began fighting with the others. “I guess this is just a typical testosterone thing for the rest of the human race.” I muttered.
“No, it’s not. It’s more like they’re possessed. If you think this looks normal, you really need to get out more.”
“We need to get out of here.”
“Not just yet. The sun’s coming up.”
“I’m not sure what that has to do with anything aside from the fact that the people killing themselves to get up here will be able to get up here more easily.”
The group seemed to have resolved their differences rather quickly. They began hitting the bottom of the roller coaster. “Time to go.” Anthony said taking off. I followed just before the part we were on began to collapse. They moved out of the way and continued. Some of them climbed up the sides like spiders. They weren’t fighting. They were regrouping! How come they can suddenly climb so much better?
“Hold on, lean forward, pray and trust me.” Anthony said before pulling me into the front seat in the roller coaster.
“I don’t want to do this.”I said but it was completely inaudible because when I looked down I completely lost my voice. It was too late to protest anyway. We were already falling out of control down a structure that was crumbling under our weight as we flew down the tracks.
Anthony on the other hand wasn’t nearly as concerned. He was taking pictures. He took my night vision goggles before flashing the camera in my eyes. “You’re not gonna need these anymore.”
It was dawn outside, which explained the sudden increase in their climbing abilities. “I’m going to jump when we get closer to those trees over there. Hold on.” He said. The distance between us and that tree and the speed we were going at plus the amount by which our weight would have increased made any chance of catching a branch or any other landing short of a hospital visit extremely unlikely. But he gave me no time to react. He grabbed me and jumped out almost as soon as he said it. I closed my eyes and I don’t know what happened after that. I think I passed out for a second. When I woke up we were on the ground.
“L-let’s just go.” I said. My legs felt like they were made of gelatin but I managed to walk into a fence.
“Yeah. Half the ride collapsed while we were on it.” He said with a grin like I wasn’t angry.“But we’re alright. I told you to trust me didn’t I? You nearly killed us both blacking out back there. I do this kind of thing all the time so wait here and try not to get in another fight with the fence. I think it’s got you beat.” He said before going up to the people who were chasing us, some of which were hurt rather badly.
They looked like they were getting along. He also handed them a fat stack of what I assumed was money. Really? What does this bastard do for a living? The only thing I’ve seen him do is check into nice hotels, wreck nice cars and flagrantly break the law. Well, the car was my fault but it still leaves the question unanswered.
“I just remembered that I left my RV in the parking lot. We should go make sure I don’t have any parking tickets.”
“Hey! Don’t be a stranger! Come back some time! Just don’t bring that freak with you!” One yelled as we left.
“They’re talking about you. I suppose Diamond might have been right about you being a hellspawn. I was hoping you’d want to go to Six Flags, the one in New Orleans. You have to go to some abandoned places while they’re fresh. They’ll tear down and rebuild on these thing before you know it.”
“Heh, is this some kind of weird hobby of yours? Breaking into places that are abandoned, taking pictures and other blatantly illegal activity and am I hearing you right or are you blaming me for this?”
“Yes and yes, why do you ask? Next time we can go to a real amusement park, that’s actually open.”
“Not a chance.”