Midway – Creepy Pasta
By Dakota Priest
I pull up to the house and flip off the running lights and tug my keys from the ignition, picking up the bouquet I have nestled safely in the passenger seat and stepping out of my freshly vacuumed car. I trot up the stairs to my front door, spinning my keyring on my finger until I reach the lock, where I find the house key with ease and slip it into the lock. The sight of my gorgeous wife greets me upon entry, as she is sitting on the couch watching her favorite TV series. She jumps up and greets me with a grin and a kiss, “Hey, baby,” she whispers, excited to see me after both our staggered shifts. I pull the roses from behind my back and watch her eyes light up. She deserves them. And I just wanted to do something special for her. I take off my suit jacket and hang it neatly on the coat rack as she takes the flowers to the kitchen, running water into a vase and setting it on the dining room table. “I’ll be right back,” I call as I head upstairs to change my clothes.
I return in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt. She bites her lip, admiring how the tight sleeves cling to my biceps. I smirk and wink at her, giving her butt a flirty tap as I turn her around and hug her tightly from behind, placing a series of kisses on her neck. She closes her eyes and sighs, whispering, “I love you so much.” I reply in kind, stroking her cheek as I do.
“Come on,” I say, pressing on toward the door, “we wanna get there before the lines get too long.”
In a minute, we are buckling up in the car, and I am becoming reacquainted with the wonderful smell of these strawberry under-seat mats I got from the car wash. Outside feels great, but just the slight chill from the a/c is heavenly. We don’t agree on much music, but that’s okay. We have one song from one band that we both absolutely love, and we used that song at our wedding reception. I turn it on in the car and catch a short glimpse of her looking out the window as she hums along to the music. I love my life and circumstances. We’re not rich, but we have everything we could ever want.
After a short drive on the highway, I pull up to the nearby carnival near a big shopping mall in our town. We park the car and walk a long way to the front gate, where we buy our entry tickets and ride wristbands. It’s about 7:45 p.m. at the end of spring. The sky is still light, but the sun is setting, causing radiant refractions of pink, blue, gold, and fire orange to burst all over the place. It looks like the cotton candy machine created all the clouds we can see. And it’s wonderful. We make it into the front gate and flip a coin to see which ride to get on first. I want to try the Zipper. She likes the rocking boat. We end up landing on the boat. Just as well, I wanna get warmed up for my flying, tumbling experience. She walks off to the bathroom first, and I stand in line for the rocking boat, admiring the sight of the pretty lights and spinning carousels, the children having the time of their lives and their parents taking hundreds of pictures. There’s a group of girls behind me in an adjacent line. Very attractive young women. I coincidentally lock eyes with one of them, watching as a little boy runs past her group to his mother, holding a giant inflatable hammer that he just won. The lady smothers a bashful smirk with her hand and nudges her friend, pointing me out. I smirk and look elsewhere, taking a step up in the shortening line. When I glance back past them, I find that all of the girls are looking my way, and one is waving trying to get my attention. I raise my eyebrows to show her I notice. She points to her friend with both thumbs, then points at me. I tilt my head. They’re adorably forward, but sorry. I’m not interested. I toothily grin, absolutely flattered, but waving my hand in polite declination, shaking my wedding ring hand like Beyonce in the Single Ladies video. They fall out laughing and turn away, just after two of them make broken heart symbols with their hands. I turn around to the front of the line as well, waiting for my wife to return. Sorry, ladies. I got the prettiest one.
She runs up behind me and jumps up onto my back. It’s almost a surprise, but I kind of expected it, as she is easily excitable and overstimulated when going to fun, new places. I spin her around and set her back down, ready to get on the ship. We approach the platform and are welcomed aboard by the operator, shown to our seat right in the middle of the boat, and strapped in for a good ride. I look at her face the entire time. She’s beautiful, especially when she’s smiling. I’m glad I was able to make her happy.
When our ride is over, we dismount the platform, walking back to the midway and onward to more rides and attractions. “I want cotton candy!” she shouts while swinging my arm. We stop by the cotton candy stand and order two sticks, one pink and one blue. I get the pink one. Arm in arm, eating cotton candy under cotton candy skies. This is the way life should be. The sunset is brilliant. I’m so lucky to be where I am with this gorgeous girl beside me. I am the luckiest man in the world.
A small, but extremely bright flash in the distance makes itself present. We are all caught very much off guard by it. The gigantic mushroom cloud that immediately follows the light disagrees heartily with my assertion.
By Dakota Priest