Chapter 10:




At eighteen years old Katie was louder and twice as excited than any of the children on the giant swing set. Her red-faced sister behind her, stoic as she was, decided to reply, in a feeble attempt to make this moment pass quicker.

“Yeah.” She grumbled. “It’s great, Katie.”

When they got off, Frankie slid her flip-flops back on and promptly turned to her elder sister.

“Okay. You said that was the last one? Were you being honest with me?”

“Last one…. Hmm…”

Katie’s mind raced back. There was the Golem, the bumper cars, a quick stop at Jester’s Cotton Candy, the drop tower immediately following that (wrong choice) and then all the rides in this general area, starting with the rocking sea serpent, then the merry-go-round, then the other spinning ride (the one you sat down for) and lastly, the swings, to finish of the rotating trilogy.

“I think we should go one more on the drop tower!”

Frankie pulled her hat into her hair as her fingertips itched her scalp. “KATIE-” she growled, before toning down her volume as people started looking. “Katie… don’t you think… that if you really want to see everything… we should at least focus… on seeing new things?”

“I’m just kidding~” said Katie with a smile. Someone wasn’t buying it. “We need to find a place for the night anyway. What’s say you and I go find a hotel?“

“One night only. Yes, of course. That’ll be seven hundred dollars, ma’am.”

As the hotel clerk blinked at Katie- the assumed financial head of the pair, as she was the only one social enough to speak to her- the same girl turned around to face her anxious sister.

“Alright, it’s just seven hundred. You got that, Frankie?”

Frankie blinked similarly. She’d been paying no attention to the interaction, just taking in the ambient orange light of the lobby. Talking to people was Katie’s job, not hers.


“You’re holding our money, silly! Now, come on, fork it over.”

Frankie sighed. She asked for this.

The younger girl nervously handed over seven hundred dollars in cash to the employee, careful not to annoy her any further. Before long, the sisters were in their room for the night.

“We shoulda asked the owner for money…”

“Hey, it’s no biggie! Since we didn’t need to pay for food, you’re not broke yet!”

“I’m pretty close. At most I could maybe afford another pair of flip-flops.”

“See? You can even afford the luxury of a second pair of shoes!”

“This is stupid. I’m going to sleep.” Frankie rolled over in her snow-white bed.

Frankie’s phone beeped.

“What was that? Someone texting you?”

“Jus’ mom…” she groggily lifted the device.

“Oh! Lemme know how she’s doing~”

The phone dropped to the floor.

“Wait, what?!” Frankie recoiled.

“Huh? What’s going on, sis?” The wide-awake Katie stepped over to the fallen device, alerting Frankie to quickly snatch it up.

“Hey! I wanna see!”

Frankie glanced at the screen one more time before hiding it against her chest. “No way! Not gonna happen!”

“What is it?!”

“It’s nothing! Just- give me a moment!”

Frankie’s mind raced, trying to figure out her next move. Whether she told her sister or not, she was seriously screwed.

“Hey, Katie…” she uttered. “Let’s say… if we had more time… to go see everything, you’d spread it out more, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well if- if mom and dad weren’t coming home right away, you wouldn’t be so… crazy, yeah? You’d… stay indoors now and then. Maybe even… visit parks without me. Or maybe you’d take breaks! I’m just… asking- like, if you weren’t on such a strict schedule… how- how would you handle that?”

“Hmmm…. that’d be great!” Katie practically jumped.

“Is that right?”

“Why of course! I’d be able to go even harder knowing I have more time to do whatever I want!” She smiled. “Hey, why are you holding down the power button on your phone?”

Frankie ran to the furthest corner of the room as she watched her still-lit phone screen. “Turn off- turn off, dammit!”

Katie chased after her. “Gimme that! Lemme know what mom said!”

“Not gonna happen! Shit, shit, why is this taking so long!?”

Katie leapt at her sister, tackling her hard enough to knock the phone out of her clutched hand. As it quickly slid under Katie’s bed, they both reached for it, but considering one was pinned to the ground and the other was busy pinning her to the ground, neither could quite make it.

“Frankie.” Katie panted. “In a few seconds, I’m gonna go for the phone. And if you get it… that’s it. But if I get it… you had better stop fighting me. Okay?”

“Lemme- go!”

“Okay… here goes…”

Katie jumped off her sister’s belly to grasp out to the cell phone. But as soon as her fingers went under the bed, Frankie’s hand met them halfway, pushing them aside and scrambling to grab hold of the telephone. Her nails scratched across the back of it, dragging it ever-closer. But by the time Katie’s other hand shot in, it was too late. Instantly drawing the case up to her eyes, she pointed straight at Frankie.

“No more fighting!” She ordered. “I’m gonna read the text now, so just calm down.” She turned the phone to her to see a blank “enter password” screen.

“Ha! I win, Kate…” Frankie panted.

“Nope!” The girl smiled, fingers racing through the numbers 737291 as the homescreen opened immediately.

“How’d you-?!”

“It wouldn’t be very sisterly of me not to know your interests. Still, “PERCY1?” I kinda can’t believe that worked…”

“You little-!”

Frankie reached for it, but it was no use at this point. Katie was already reading the message.

“What…. What is this…?”

hey kids!!! your dad and I were having a great time and all but iiiiiiii may have spent a little too much money on a little something and uhhhhhhhh

you know how we said between your college funds and all that we had enough to get back??

uhhh what im saying is girls i spent your tuition on sexy moon robots

(Inserted beneath the message was a picture of many metallic men with beautiful faces.)

we won’t be coming back yet

Katie looked at the phone, disgusted, just as a new barrage of messages came in.

but hey!!! theres a silver lining ok babies- your father got a job up here!!! for WALTER KIDNEY!!! can you beleve it?? they came to us as soon as they found out we were basically broke! LMAO hes gonna be building some new ferris wheel or something… he wouldnt tell me anything about it idk why but like he said it would be big

so we could be here for awhile!!!!

see you not soon <3 (kisses)

Katie set the phone down.

Frankie groaned. “Now we’re gonna be doing this foreverrr…”

Katie sniffled.

“Hm? You alright sis?”

Katie picked up Frankie’s phone again, and started to cry all over it.

“Huh-? Hey- Katie?!”

Katie bawled.

“I didn’t really want… mom and dad to be away for so long… I’m gonna… gonna miss them…” she sobbed embarrassingly all over the floor. Frankie signed for the thousandth time that day.

“Hey… will it cheer you up if we go see… you know… Berrytown, was it? The owner seemed pretty confident in it… you’d… like it, I’m sure you would…”

Katie sniffled, water retracting up her nostril. “You mean it..?”

“Yeah… come on sis, what choice do I have?”

“You always… had a choice…”

Frankie groaned. “Says the girl who forced me outta my own house! Stop acting like I’m doing you a favor and get some sleep so you can order me around again tomorrow! Maybe this time the train won’t have any weirdos on it…”

Katie sniffled again as she smiled. “Thanks, sis.”

“Goodnight.” Frankie had already gotten up from Katie and into her covers instead.

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