Chapter 12:



“This is getting repetitive already…”

At the gates of the large, vaguely fruit-themed subland not even a few miles away from the one they’d visited previously, Frankie showed the same lack of life in her expression that Katie could tell just what was going on inside her head.

“Frankie.” She spoke softly like a mother. “Are you bored?”

“Uh… yeah. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”

“Then why don’t... we go where you wanna go today, Frankie?”

“I don’t…” Frankie uttered, feeling like a headache. “I don’t have anywhere I wanna go. I told you, I don’t like theme parks.”

“I’ve got it! Let’s look around this whole place until we find something that interests you! Mr. Parker said this land was his pride and joy, there has to be something!”

Berryland was on a different scale than the parks they’d visited before. Music played all throughout the park, there were far more rides, and there were even a few mascots running around- gross-looking lumpy fruit people.

Katie showed Frankie just about everything there. There were four different roller coasters and two drop towers. There were even some water rides, but Frankie refused to go near those out of fear of getting her only pair of clothes wet. There was a shooting gallery and an arcade, and Katie swore up and down she’d win Frankie a prize of only she’d pay for her to play.

They must’ve gone on or interacted with every experience there. But to Frankie, it all felt the same. As the sun began to set and their legs were getting tired, the sisters walked along with the crowd on a colorful blueberry bridge, neither knowing what they wanted to say to each other. In their silence, Katie looked up, and saw one more ride in the distance.

“Come on Frankie. Let’s see the Ferris Wheel.”


There wasn’t much of a line that day. They missed the sunset by a half-hour, finding themselves going up into the dark night in a small pink-red capsule.

To Frankie, there was no such thing as “night.” It was about as bright as day was, with all the park lights polluting it. She didn’t really feel like looking out the window. She honestly preferred staring at the insides of her eyelids. But Katie’s voice shook her awake again.

“Is there anything you like…?” She asked, trying not to make it sound rude.

“Percy Phytoplankton.”

“Is that it?”

“I like it when the coasters wake you up in the morning.”

“…If you could visit a Percy theme park, would you?”

Frankie had to think about it.

“Yeah, actually. I’d probably like that. Love it even.”

“We should go to one.”

“No such thing. Percy’s just a cancelled teen’s book series from like 30 BNG or something. I don’t even remember how I got into it.”

“Does that make you… what, like, the biggest fan in the world?”

“There’s so many people out there… I couldn’t possibly think so.”

“Well, that’s good then. Maybe one day we’ll find someone else who likes Percy just as much as you.”

“Why are you doing this, Katie?”


“I get you wanna see all the world before we like, die, or whatever… but why now? You could’ve picked… any other time. That would’ve been nice.”

“Frankie. It’s not possible to go to all the theme parks before you die.”

“It’s not?”

“That’s right. There’s so many of them, it’d be like trying to read every book ever written.”

“Oh. I guess you’re right.”

“That’s why I think about death every single day of my life.” Katie looked up at the starless sky. “I’m so afraid… you know?”

“I get it… mhm.”

“So that’s why I’ve got to start now. If there’s any chance… I gotta make this quick. I should’ve begged mom to go out more as a kid. But I just wanted to spend all my time inside with you. I hate myself for that. But I love you. That’s why I want you to come with me.”

“Katie… why is it you’ve gotta see all these parks in the first place? You’d be happier if you didn’t care.”

“Maybe this won’t explain it, but… I just have to. Life won’t feel real otherwise. Like getting the bad ending in a video game. I’d have to restart.”

“It’s a shame we can’t.”


At the height of its arc, the Ferris wheel came to an abrupt stop as they began to hear strange noises from below them.

“What was that?” Frankie looked all around like it would do anything. Then, unexpectedly, the second she turned towards the window, she saw it drop- a single screw fallen from the connector of the cart.

Pope Evaristus
Steward McOy