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THE LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT
The monsters remained in the shadows…. waiting. My husband and I sat at the top of the Ferris Wheel. Any other time I would have enjoyed the view, but not with death lurking below us. Pete had his arm wrapped protectively around my shoulders as the last hopeless scream faded away from the older man who operated the ride. The same man who had just winked at us and said we had the ride all to ourselves because it was almost closing time. We didn’t even know the name of the hero who had stopped the ride right before… No, I couldn’t think about that.
I tried to dial 911, but there was no signal. I couldn’t text or email. There was no way to communicate or get information.
“We’re safe up here, Lacy.”
“What if they climb up?”
“These creatures can barely walk. They are like zombies.”
I nodded, watching the monsters make their way toward a building that a family had just run into. I’d seen the beautiful family in line when we got our favorite chocolate swirl ice cream in a cup. The two young boys had been so excited about seeing their first monster trucks at the show. I hope the actual monsters didn’t find them now.
Our car swayed, and my hand dug into Pete’s leg.
“What if they knock the wheel down?” My mouth was so dry the words barely escaped.
“It’s too heavy, don’t worry, sweetheart.” Pete handed me my water bottle. The cool liquid soothed my throat.
Words spilled out of me. “All I can do is worry. How can we not? We were enjoying our night at the fair. Heck, we even danced to our song. If we hadn’t had to ride this thing, we’d be safe in our car escaping this… whatever it is. These things came out of nowhere, and it feels like we’re in a horror movie. This can’t be real. Do you think it’s all a show?”
For the first time, I felt hopeful. Yes, it wasn’t real.
Pete’s mouth tightened. “I wish it weren’t real; I really do. You saw what they did to our friends, they…”
Tears overflowed my eyes as I glanced at the dark forms on the ground by the cinnamon rolls. Thankfully, the glow of the colorful fair lights missed them. Yet, I could see their bodies weren’t intact. I shuddered as my fear overflowed until there was nothing left. Pete put his head on top of mine, and we just held each other, listening to the screams and car horns.
“Many people got away. And surely help is coming,” I sniffled as Pete handed me a Kleenex always kept tucked away in his jean pocket.
A rumble was headed in our direction. It was a helicopter! It hovered over the fair, shining its light. Soon another one joined.
“We’re saved!” I cried as Pete stood waving franticly as the car swayed heavily.
A voice came over the loudspeaker as a siren flashed in the distance. “We see you, sir. Remain seated. We will get you out of there.”
“Thank you!” Pete called, but I don’t think they heard him as they began shooting.
The monster’s bodies piled up quickly. Soon three men and a woman repelled down ropes. I had never been happier to hear the steady rain of bullets.
“There’s one! Lookout!” We heard a woman’s voice.
Another barrage of popping and it then stopped. Then the doors opened to the photography building where that family had hidden. I was relieved to see them exit safely. The Ferris Wheel lurched into motion.
“It’s over!” I hugged Pete.
“I told you it would be okay up here.”
I was never so glad to stand on the damp grass. Soldiers wearing gas masks rounded up survivors.
“Attention!” A loud voice boomed, and everyone fell silent.
“There has been a bio-attack on your community and others like yours. Those who have no symptoms in the morning will be taken into quarantine. We will offer you a protective vaccine at that point. Food, water, and blankets will be provided after you check-in.”
Pete took my hand. He never let go of me as we listened to gunshots and tractors removing the infected victims. We survived the night, but many didn’t. After being disinfected, we left behind a town we’d never see again as we were relocated into the new normal.