• asj

12 minute write: The rollercoaster

Another bite sized fiction piece

Why do we place all our trust in mere metal and cloth belts? I have asked my boyfriend this question about eighteen different ways in his car on the way to the amusement park. There's a new giant rollercoaster opening today, and he wants to be among the first in line.

I don't get it.

I ask again. "What do we do if we feel like we're slipping out of the seat?" He sighs hard, grips the steering wheel harder, clenches his jaw. I know I'm making him mad. But I can't help asking. I want to know what to do; I want there to be a thirty-minute long instructional video to watch before we have to strap into this ride. I want there to be an answer; I want the engineer who designed the rollercoaster to be on hand to talk with me.

The ads, I had to admit, made the experience look amazing. Each seat in the rollercoaster included its own speakers for music that would blare into the rider's ears. The tracks were state of the art; there would be special effects even though the ride, several stories high, was outdoors.

But, I reasoned, it was still built by people. And people make mistakes.

So my questions continued. "What do they do if you meet the height requirement but you're too thin and you slip through?" This made him laugh. "That for sure isn't happening to you." I reddened. "What if--"

And then he interrupted me. "You need to stop this. You're already ruining my fun." He kept his eyes on the road and his hands on the wheel, but he accelerated down the freeway. My heart stopped as we sailed, then flew past one car after another. It felt like the tires barely had purchase anymore. I pinched the edges of the seat, trying not to look like I was holding on. I was definitely holding on.

He glanced over his shoulder, then cut across three lanes, fishtailing onto the freeway exit. The rollercoaster loomed.