- Julien Ramirez
"The Ride that Never Stops"
A 2020 October Contest Winner: Cowley Student
I faintly hear the muffled voice of the ride technician giving the countdown til departure. “Ten! Nine! Eight!” she chants. I open my tightly closed eyes and am instantly blinded with flashing lights above me accompanied by that same generic action music they play at all the rollercoasters. I started yelling, even begging the worker to stop the ride and let me off. But my words were quickly drowned out by the passengers around me, eager to get the ride going so they can get to the next one and the one after that. The coaster jolts into motion and begins to clink down the tracks. I thrashed in my seat, trying desperately to loosen my restraints and flee the ride. I bumped into Maggie next to me one too many times, catching her attention. “What are you freaking about?” she yells over the roar of excited voices. “We can’t be on here! We need to get off before it’s too late!” ”We’re already coming up on the incline, just take a deep breath and we can take a break when it’s over.” She said in her usual reassuring voice while grabbing my hand. Before I could counter her, the cart shot up eighty degrees, leaving me facing the sky. I then stared teary-eyed upwards, horrified at what I saw. The sky was pure gray with fire-like clouds vibrating in the air. I turned to look below me in disbelief but wound up staring blankly into a foggy void. Looking back to the front, I noticed all the carts that were previously there had vanished. It was only us now. I sat still, mortified at my realization. As I listened to the clicking emitting from the coaster rising on the tracks, tears began falling down my cheeks. I squeezed Maggie’s hand and looked to her for comfort, but only saw a faceless person next to me, looking at me as if they were staring right through me. When the coaster’s clicks started to echo out slower, I turned forward, ready to see what was waiting for me, but I saw nothing. No tracks, No clouds. Just an empty drop off, and with that, the cart fell. Bracing myself for the worst, I was met with nothing but stillness. There was no wind that came with it. There was no force pushing me into my seat. There was just Maggie and me, inching closer to the black void. The closer we got, the darker my vision became until I saw nothing but black. My body floated there for what felt like an eternity. I felt no fear, nor panic. Only numbness filled all five of my senses. Then there was silence for what seemed like an eternity until I faintly heard a muffled voice. “Ten! Nine! Eight!” it chanted as I opened my eyes.