The Palisadian-Post has partnered with Paul Revere Charter Middle School to highlight a series of pieces from its 2021 Literary Anthology. The following piece, penned by Arik Kraft, originally appeared in the Autobiographical Narratives section of the anthology, released in spring, and has been reprinted here with permission.
The sunlight was burning my back as I stared at the roller coaster from below. I was stunned as it zoomed above me making a horrible screech. “Why did I tell Brendan I would go on Superman?” I thought to myself.
“I doubt you’ll actually go on,” Brendan, my brother, said harshly.
I stared into his dark eyes, almost believing him.
“Come on, Arik!” my cousin Kayla said with a big smile on her face.
I replied, “Okay,” trying to smile back and we began to walk up a gigantic hill.
The hill was dull and tiring. On the way up I could hear the shrieks of the roller coasters and the screams of the people, which wasn’t making me feel any better.
My legs were boulders weighing me down as I trudged up the twisting hill. I hoped something magical would happen and I wouldn’t go on. Of course that didn’t happen. I made it to the top and turned to see the ride almost yelling at me. I walked in fear of the villain in front of me. The roller coaster towered above me and I felt sick.
We walked into a poorly lit room that was like being inside a refrigerator: cold, and I was now trapped.
The line seemed to never end. The feeling of anticipation and adrenaline raced through my veins. Screams echoed as we went from room to room and finally I was waiting in front of the seats. I heard the cries of the people in front of me as they zoomed away in the dark tunnel which seemed like a sewer, with light only from the outside. My stomach began to ache as I stared into the darkness.
I was too far into this to turn around.
I wanted to be able to brag to Brendan that I went on a roller coaster he was too afraid to go on. We waited for the car to come back. I stumbled over to the hard blue seats. An overhead belt covered me and the seats were like rocks I was sitting on. I wanted to get out.
I shut my eyes. I heard the screams of the people in front of me and the wind attacked my face. Suddenly my eyes opened as I zoomed upward. At the top I could see the entire park. There was a weird feeling in my stomach and as I was going down I could feel a smile on my face.
For the rest of the day we were running around the colorful amusement park. It sounded like a symphony instead of the horrible screeches I’ve been hearing all day, going on as many rides as we could.
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