When we got off the ride, the park was empty. The once bustling gaily decorated square of the east end was now desolate and lifeless. The air was stale, and empty, and it felt different somehow, colder than before.
Everyone had disappeared. Even the ride operators were gone. The whole park was at a standstill. The rides sat still against the backdrop of blue sky, frozen.
“Let’s get out of here,” Jimmy said, visibly spooked. “This doesn’t make any sense. And it’s giving me the creeps.”
We walked from one end of the park to the other, trying all the exits. All the gates were closed and locked, all the entrances devoid of life. The gates looked like they hadn’t been opened in years, or decades. Some were chained shut, others rusting.
We were trapped. Trapped in the empty wasteland of the park. There was only us and the sound of the wind, and the sight of those giant steel sentinels looming over us, immobilized.
“What is this?” Tiffany cried, afraid. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “But something obviously happened. Let’s go back to Dragon’s Breath, it was the last thing we did before everything changed.”
When we got back to the ‘coaster we saw a door was open, one that had been closed before, the one beneath a tacky sign surrounded by orange flames sculpted in plastic relief: RIDE PHOTOS.
As the three of us stood and watched the screens, the park felt emptier and colder still. It was a video on a loop: us getting onto the ‘coaster all smiles and excited anticipation, it slowly, slowly rising to the top of the track for the big drop, then reaching that point at the very apex where you feel gravity do its dirty work and your stomach drop, and then…
Chaos. The dragon tear down the tracks, rocking back and forth. The screams of excitement turning to terror as the cars derailed and sent the train and its passengers flying into the track ahead in a cyclone of twisted metal. I watched Tiffany flop end over end like a ragdoll, hitting the steel struts of the track. I saw Jimmy hit his head and fall to the grass hundreds of feet below. I watched myself being twisted up and torn apart in the carnage.
“We’re dead,” Tiffany said, staring at the floor. “We’re all dead. And now we’re the only ones left. We’re stuck here… forever.”
I watched the video loop on the screens, and thought about spending the rest of our longest day in the park; the rest of eternity.