Chapter 5:



“So this is… “Fairytown,” or whatever?”

At the gates of the large, vaguely fantasy-themed subland not far from their home, Frankie showed so little life in her expression that her sister quickly became genuinely worried for her.

“Frankie? Are you still upset about that rude boy in the locomotive?”

“No… already forgot about that whole thing, honestly.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go in and ride something!”

Frankie gently grabbed Katie’s wrist.

“Kate… do we really have to do this? I told you I don’t like amusement parks. Going outside is like, an insult to me. I get that you want to see everything this world has to offer. I get that you wanna ride all the rides you can before you get old and die or whatever. But do you really… have to drag me along too?”

Katie blinked nonchalantly, undaunted.

“Yes, absolutely. You’re my sister, Frankie.

Frankie dropped her sister’s hand.

“I’ll say it again- I do not get you.”

Katie looked to the sky, replenishing her energy and breathing out a hearty gust of air before her smile returned.

“Let’s go already! You can complain once we’re done!”

Frankie sighed as her sister tugged her through the gates and into the cheery atmosphere of Fairytown.

The first thing Frankie noticed was how all the trash cans were shaped like fairies with their mouths open. Disgusted enough already, it didn’t make things much worse. The hot winter air beat down on her as the sun shined, illuminating the many plastic structures around her, from chalky dragons to a minuscule, shoddy-looking castle at the park’s center.

She watched as a trio of kids ate speciality ice cream in line for a spinning attraction identical to one just down the road from her and Katie’s house. When she looked up, she saw plenty of coasters, but none of them interested her in the slightest. Frankie was seldom scared of such attractions- she just found them plain and trite like all other amusement machines. Once you’d been on one, you’d been on them all.

The feeling wasn’t mutual.

“Ooh! Frankie! Look at that one up there! “The Golem…” sounds awesome! And look how high the drop is…! I think we can reach it if we go this way! Come on!” Katie once again pulled her sister through the crowds of people and towards the giant wood coaster marked by a giant sign inscribed upon a large statue of an anthropomorphic rock man.

In line for the coaster, Frankie checked her phone, one of the few items she was lucky enough to have kept in her pockets before she was whisked away by Katie.

“taking off in t-minus four minutes !”  The text from her mother read, apparently already set to go up into the stars. Frankie would have wished to be in her place, were it not for the moon being nearly just as park-ridden as Earth, being owned by Kidney himself and all. 

That said… she wondered if maybe, just maybe… there was a spot on that moon they hadn’t found yet. Somewhere completely silent, away from a single coaster or bumper car… one last empty oasis in a universe filled to the brim with maximalist human fun-farms. One could only dream… but, it only…

“Hey. Hey! Frankie, we’re up!”

Katie snapped her sister out of her daydream. As her eyes opened she saw the young lady at the ticket booth motioning for a rider’s licence, guarding an artificial cave at the head of the line housing an empty coaster cart.

“Here you are, ma’am.” Katie offered her card to the woman with a smirk. “Just two.”

“Alright, checks out. You two have fun.” She gave in response, handing the licence back to her. “Oh! Ma’am- please set your hat and any loose belongings in this box. This ride can reach up to twelve G’s!”

Frankie didn’t know what that meant, but she set her carmine cap in the box anyway.

Once the two shambled to the coaster, Katie insisted they get on the front car.

“There’s no reason not to! We’re the first ones here! And don’t tell me you’re scared. You watched that horrible animation with the microscope man over a million times with me!”

“That was my fan film…” Frankie corrected, holding onto her pride as a devoted Percy Phytoplankton fangirl. “Whatever. Front, back, just get in already. I just wanna get this over with…”

“Yay!” Katie glistened, the two stepping into the front seats. As a staff member checked their seatbelts, they were ready to go in no time, the rest of the cart filling up instantly.

“This is gonna be fun, this is gonna be fun…” Katie chanted from within the lightless cave, awaiting the machine’s ascent. The absent-minded Frankie, hardly there, wasn’t even taking in anything going on around her until she suddenly heard a low whisper in her ear as someone from the seat behind uncomfortably leaned over to inform her of something.

“You had better enjoy this.” Drew’s pretentious voice buzzed next to her ear. “Or else.”