eileen_alphabet (eileen_alphabet) wrote,
eileen_alphabet
eileen_alphabet

Flash Fiction Challenge: Choose Your Own Setting

This weeks Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig was to write a piece where the setting played a key part; we were then given five possible settings to write about.
I picked 'Abandoned Amusement Park'. My story is inspired by real life abandoned amusement park Takakonuma Greenland (and yes, I first read about it on Cracked). A lot of details in my description have been taken directly from that park, while others I have simply made up.

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Kasumi stared at the horse on the merry-go-round. It seemed to stare back, grinning madly, forever caught in a forward trotting pose, while simultaneous going nowhere. It was bright white, but the metal bolts in its body had started to leak reddish brow rust, making it look as if it had been shot or stabbed multiple times. She tried to picture a past where happy children had ridden the horse around and around accompanied by the crisp tones of circus music, and failed. The whole place seemed as if it had never known happiness.

She turned away from the horse, back to Kaito. “Let’s get out of here,” she said, annoyed with how pleading her voice sounded. She wasn’t scared, she told herself. It was all just scrap metal, with rust seeping through the garish colours; there was nothing here that could hurt her. A gust of wind touched a dangling chain and it gave a metallic creaking that sounded like the laughter of a very old woman. Not a kind grandmother, but rather a mean-spirited, mocking, old crone.

Her brother shook his head. “No. This is the first landmark we have found in almost four hours; we’re not going to just abandon it.”

“Seems like everyone else has,” she muttered to herself. Aloud she said: “This place isn’t even on the map. We still have no idea where we are. And we still have no signal, so even if other people know where this place is, we can’t ask them to come pick us up.” She tried to sound reasonable, but just ended up sounding pleading once again. “It’s a waste of time here,” she finished, petulantly.

Kaito wasn’t looking at her; she doubted whether he had even listened to her good, solid reasons. He was looking up. Reluctantly she followed his gaze. He was looking at the Ferris wheel, tall enough to be visible over the trees; that was what had led them here in the first place.

“You can see the whole area from up there,” Kaito said. “We can find our way home.”

Kasumi pulled the sleeves on her sweater down to cover her hands. “But it’s old and not safe and you could fall.” The metallic laughter-creaking returned. She shut her eyes for an instance. Just the wind, she told herself.

I’ll be careful,” Kaito said. He was looking at her now, and yet he did not seem to really see her. He was smiling his loving, calming big-brother smile. Then he started towards the Ferris wheel as if that was the end of the discussion. Which, of course, it was. He didn’t even look back to see if Kasumi was following and after a moment of standing uncertainly, she ran after him. She wanted to stay close.

She ducked her head as she passed under one of the bends of the roller coaster. It looked like it could fall to pieces any moment and crush her. She shivered and tucked her sleeves further down. Was it just her imagination or was the air getting cold and damp?

As soon as he reached the Ferris wheel, Kaito placed a hand on it and prepared to climb up.

“Wait,” Kasumi said, then stopped, having no idea how to go on.

He turned back to her and smiled his big-brother smile again. “Nothing to worry about,” he said. “I’ll be up and down before you know it, and then we’ll know in what direction to take.” And once again, he ended the discussion by simply turning away from her and starting on his way.

She watched, miserable, as he climbed the metal construction higher and higher. And all the while it seemed to be getting colder. By the time he had reached the top, looked around and had started to climb down again, she was shivering and her teeth would have been clattering if she had not gritted them.

When Kaito was about seven or eight feet above the ground, his grip slipped and he fell. Kasumi gave a small shriek and rushed to his side to help him, but he was already getting up and brushed her hands away. He had a frown on his face.

Did you … did you see anything? Did you find the way back?”

No.”

Her heart sank.

The fog is coming in, covering everything. I could hardly see the ground right under me, much less our surroundings.”

The … fog?” She looked around. It was true. Everything was shrouded in a pale white mist. She actually felt a moment of relief; it hadn't just been her imagination that it was getting cold and damp. “What should we do then?”

We'll have to stay until the fog lifts and I can try again. I won't lie, maybe we'll have to spend the night. We should look for shelter, maybe light a fire.” He started walking.

She followed him, looking around. Through the fog, the shapes of the amusement park rides were almost unrecognisable. The roller coaster loomed over her like a huge monster or a dinosaur. The swing looked like some torture devise, designed to hold as many people as possible. She dared not think about what the merry-go-round and the horses would look like.

Tags: amusement park, flash fiction challenge, setting
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