Good morning all. Today I feel glorious. I know it is foggy, damp and cold, at least where I am, but still the feeling remains. Recently I was pulled into a project that seemed simple enough on the outset, something I could easily fit within my schedule. I morphed into this behemoth that took over everything. And the more I kept trying to make it work the worse things became. Yesterday I just finally had to call it and had to put the project on ice until a few logistics were worked out on someone else’s end. I expected to feel regret this morning, but instead I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Hence the fabulous feeling. So lets take the fabulous feeling into the day and start with a writing prompt. Everyone ready? Woo Hoo! Let’s go.
I rather enjoyed this one. Not sure where it was going to go or if I’ll be able to use it elsewhere, but it was fun.
Friday, January 22nd: It was thrilling.
It was thrilling. Never before had he felt so free. He couldn’t believe he waited this long to try a rollercoaster. All his life he avoided them. At first it was because of his mother’s insistence. She claimed they were death traps and that they would stunt his growth and shrivel his brain. She claimed that the pressure from the speed and the turns would do horrible things to his internal organs, things medical science could not undo.
And so as a child he stayed away.
Later, he didn’t give them a thought. Amusement parks weren’t really places he went during his high school and college years. And it wasn’t like rollercoasters were waiting on every corner attempting to lure him into some sort of internal organ scramble. He never really gave it a thought.
When he was older and the occasional trip to the amusement park arrived, he would take his kids. None of them seemed enthused by the long lines and none of them really had a dare devil streak. They mostly liked the food on a stick and when he took them, he let them eat their fill. There were the inevitable stomach upsets but for them the amusement park was always about hot dogs and cotton candy as well as deep fried everything. They played the boardwalk games and occasionally left with stuffed toys of varying sizes.
He worried sometimes that his kids favored the shooting games but as the love of firearms never left the amusement park, he decided it wasn’t something to worry about.
‘Besides,’ he always thought, ‘budding serial killers would enjoy the house of horrors more.’ His kids steered away from them as well. It was strength and skill they wanted to test as well as their capacity for deep fried goodness.
Now, his wife was gone and the kids and grandkids far away, he found himself with a craving for a funnel cake. He decided he might as well go and asked around his circle of friends to see if any of them were interested. Several were and when they hit the amusement park they reverted to eight year olds on a sugar bender. Somehow he ended up standing in line with Mike for one of the roller coasters.
He was pretty sure he was told it was a bathroom line, which looked nearly as long. Then suddenly he was climbing into the little cart. The teenaged attendant gave them both concerned looks as they settled and once he saw that, he knew he wasn’t going to back out. He admitted to a certain amount of nervousness, but when the first drop came, the nerves faded and there was a sheer delight in the thrill of the ride. He left the roller coaster eager for more and he and Mike left the food stands for the others as they moved from one ride to another. Finally their day was running short and they boarded the biggest coaster of the park. By unspoken consent they left it to last. But now it’s time had finally come. He almost giggled to himself as he and Mike sat down.
The hydraulic whoosh and click as the safety mechanism came down made him want to clap his hands like a small child. His grin was wide with untamed joy as the lock clicked into place and the cars began to move. Slowly the train of cars clicked its way up to the top of the first hill. There it paused and he realized he could see the entire park. He looked down and saw the rest of their friends waving. To his surprise, he saw his daughter standing with them, eyes shielded from the glare of the sun by her hand and the same look of frowning concern that his mother always wore when he looked at the roller coasters as a child. It gave him a moment’s concern and he felt his smile dim. Then, the coaster went over the edge of the first hill and the elation of the ride once gain filled him, erasing all his previous concerns.