Monday, May 9, 2016

A Tragic Dream

Photo Courtesy of & Cut4.
By Peyton Wesner
The forecast called for thunderstorms, but I didn't care.
It was my last day in “City Beautiful”, aka Orlando, Florida, before returning to the cold Midwest, and I was determined for my plans not to be deterred.
            The date was April 2, and my younger brother Nick and I had a humongous last day planned. More explicitly, we were going to spend the morning and early afternoon at Universal Studios before venturing to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for the last Atlanta Braves’ Spring Training game of 2016.
            "Are you ready man?" I asked excitedly.
            "Peyton, are you sure we shouldn't just hang in the hotel today? There is a 100% chance of rain and it’s coming from the Gulf," the 5'7" lanky boy explained nervously.
            "Buddy, think about this with me. It is 8 AM. Our flight leaves at this same time tomorrow. So, we have only 24 hours remaining in paradise! Wouldn't you say it is essential to make these the best 24 possible?"
            "I guess when you say it like that..."
            “That's the spirit Nick! Anyway, I checked my phone and saw the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has only a five minute wait, so we need to hit the road before that time skyrockets."
            We left our hotel room and headed down the long, narrow hallway until we reached the elevator. I pressed the smooth elevator button, opening the sliding, metal doors, and the two of us stepped inside. Inside it smelled like a culmination of waffles, bacon, and maple syrup while the elevator music was the soft but equally strong "Let It Go" from Frozen.
            "Are you hearing this tune?" He laughed.
"Only in Central Florida amigo," I smirked.
Despite some shaking and swaying, the elevator safely spit us out on the first floor. Walking out of our hotel, the sun kissed young, bright rays and the scent of orange grove filled the air. The sky to the east was light blue with a few puffy white clouds. However, to the west, dark, inclement clouds were floating. In fact, if one could look closely he or she could see tiny lightning bolts darting under the aforementioned.
I saw them clearly, but against my better judgement, and living the day like it was my last, I turned my 2016 GMC blue Cadillac with the license plate “DATDUDE” onto Universal Boulevard and it sprinted to the amusement park.
“After we hit up the Rockit, what ride should we venture to next?” I asked as I weaved the car onto the third floor of the seven floor parking complex.
“Man, we have to get all of them today! Maybe some “Wesner Challenge” action as well?”
The “Wesner Challenge” was a quest my brother and I had started in the summer of 2014 when Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts opened. What we would do is simple and senseless. Explicitly, we would ride the aforementioned three times, our second favorite ride Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride on seven occasions, and accomplish the final objective with eleven instances on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
“We haven’t done that since last Christmas have we?” I sighed.
“Correctamundo muchacho.”
“Let’s fix that.”
As originally planned, the two of us made our way to the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit for a quick trip to start the day right.
“Uh, Peyton?” eked Nick.
“What’s up?”
“Don’t you feel the clouds directly above us are pretty dark? I mean, how are they continuing to send people on this?”
I glanced up at the sky and absorbed the ominous feelings from the sight. My brother had a point; I had never seen darker, threatening clouds in my life. But, we were next in line after waiting for two hours! Therefore, I couldn’t allow him to chicken out and make both of our time spent be for naught.
“If you ride this right now, I’ll give you a hundred dollars.”
I withdrew my Pittsburgh Pirates’ wallet and proceeded to take out a crisp, grainy hundred dollar bill with Benjamin Franklin staring back.
“This is yours if you get on this ride,” I smarted.
“Are you two dudes getting on this thing or not?” the ride attendant asked.
He was a teenager—likely eighteen or nineteen—with a black do-rag atop his golden locks of hair. Additionally, he was fried by the sun and wore a tattered red Universal Studios uniform in addition to khaki cargo shorts.
“Answer the gent Nick. We good or nah?” I impatiently inquired although I already knew his answer.
He ripped the bill from my hand and led the way to the loading platform. I followed with a hop in my step prior to taking my seat in the front row of the first coaster car.  
“So what song are you picking bro?”
The ride had the capability for one to choose and then play whatever song they desired while the coaster was in motion; that is what made it one of a kind.
“Well there are so many choices! How can I decide in just twenty seconds Peyt.”
“Go with your gut.”
“Okay, got it.”
For the record, I chose the very motivational song of “Stronger” by Kanye West. The track was always my choice and what’s wrong with an “oldie but goodie,” right? However, what Nick selected was unfathomable.
“So what are you jamming to?”
“Oh, you don’t even know man!” said Nick as a smile trickled onto his face.
I looked down to his song queue to find the title “Barbie Girl.
“NICK! What the heck is this ratty, girly song?”
“Barbie Girl!”
Our car was beginning its descent up the 17 story, 90 degree incline.
“Why did you pick this?”
“Why do you sing ‘Let It Go’ in the shower and attempt to hit the high notes every morning? Huh? How about answer why you sing every single one of Sabrina Carpenter’s songs on road trips to Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and St. Louis?”
I wanted to put him in a rear naked choke so bad, but he wasn’t lying.
“Fair enough,” I laughed to ease the tension. However, I wanted to, on the spot, make him lose consciousness like our favorite UFC fighter Conor McGregor did at the hands of Nate Diaz less than a month ago to date.
His insult aside, the coaster was now at the apex, as I observed the horizon of rides from a bird’s eye. I looked to my right to see the iconic World Expo Observatory Towers, which marked the ride Men in Black: Alien Attack, before quickly glancing to the left to find the second theme park at Universal Orlando Resort, Island of Adventure and its memorable bricked lighthouse.
My head whipped to my little brother as he had a terrified look on his face and his right arm erectly pointing to the approaching dip in the track.
A shriek of pure hysteria ensued from a young voice in the row behind us, dampening the great beginning of Stronger, which was blasting in my ears.
“We are going to die!” shouted the youngster.
As soon as I viewed what was edging our way, I comprehended that the voice was not partaking in hyperbole. What was it? A monstrous twister that outstretched from the sky!
“Oh. My. Gosh.” I uttered.
“What are we going to do?!” yelled Nick.
I turned to him and calmly said three simple words.
“Ride it out.”
I said a prayer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while the “Coaster of Death” continued.
First, we met a corkscrew loop that was unpleasant only because there was a tornado scratching and attempting to tear each and every passenger from its seat. Next, we hit a valley, which actually zipped us away from danger. However, the threat reappeared, for the coaster started its journey back towards death.
Photo Courtesy of Syfy & Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
“Nick,” I gulped.
“Yeah, Peyton.”
“In case this is the end, I have to tell you something.”
A blank stare still engulfed his face as I continued.
“Remember Anna Faith from freshman year? The reason she came over to the house so much in the short stint that you two were dating was we were having a secret relationship behind your back.”
The previous blank face evaporated and anger caught like wild fire.
“What?!” burst Nick.
“Boy, do I feel better now,” I countered as I ignored his question.
“Hold up! She told me, she had to move to Canada, and that is why the relationship ended.”
“Na man, she lives on the other side of town and goes to the private school. We had our three year anniversary a few weeks ago.”
“You mother fu---“
At this point, I could hear nothing more than a full steam locomotive before the curtains of unconsciousness closed my stage of awareness.
I woke up to find a now silent loading platform with no one in sight. The sky was bright blue and birds were chirping beautifully.
“Nick, bro, are you okay?” I said while shaking him.
No response.
“Dude, wake up!”
No response.
There was just one thing to do, punch him across the face and see if he comes too. I unbuckled my safety restraint, so I could acquire some leverage to power my right hand straight. Accordingly, I stood parallel and wound up for what would be a heavy and powerful destructive blow.
I hit the cold, metal platform and wiped the metallic tasting bright red blood away from my nose.  
“And, that’s for stealing Anna Faith!”
I hopped up immediately; though, my lower jaw was still making friends with the floor.
“You’re alive! Man, I thought you were a goner,” I explained.
“Bruh, you be tripping,” he callously said.
“Okay…how about that tornado? What is the last thing you remember?”
“That was the most intense, scariest ride we have ever been on.”
“So, you do have some recollection of what it was like in the eye of the storm?” my voice raised.
“No…I went out just a moment after I saw your body go limp.”
“So, we really don’t know what occurred do we?”
“Nope. But man, I think we were out quite a long time.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because it is 4:57!”
“Then we are running late! Come on, forget the “Wesner Challenge”, we have to get to Disney’s Wide World of Sports!”
Hence, we proceeded to make the long three mile walk from the theme park to the parking garage. Surprisingly, no one else did. To elaborate, as we started walking towards the front of the park, not a single soul was present while the walking path was littered with food, ripped clothing, and memorabilia. Yet, that may not be the worse part, considering the iconic Universal globe was slowly sinking in the canal rather than rotating on land. Moreover, another landmark, the Island of Adventure light tower was nothing but a huge pile of bricks.
“How’d we survive this Peyton?”
“All credit to God man.”
“No seriously, how is it physically possible that we are still alive right now?”
“Well, how do we know the others on board didn’t just wake up prior to us and leave earlier?”
“That’s your theory?” sarcastically smarted Nick.
“That is what I will continue to believe until further notice.”
We arrived at a full parking garage with my phone announcing it was a quarter after five. Perhaps Nick’s hypothesis was correct to what happened to our fellow park goers, considering no cars had left from when we first arrived.
The drive across down was rather uneventful and silent, but on a positive, the closer to the ballpark we became, the more cars and people were seen. In fact, it seemed as though no storm had even transpired on the other side of Orlando, for the roads were dry and vacationers wore tank tops and tennis shoes. Yet, the aforementioned soon changed.
As soon as I parked the car—I would say about a half mile from the ballpark—the light blue skies were quickly consumed by dark, bumpy, threatening clouds.
More specifically, these clouds resembled the same rocky waves that resulted in the twister at Universal Studios.
            "It's the apocalypse Mommy!" screamed a young child as Nick and I started the walk to the stadium.
            "Here we go again…” muttered my brother surreally.
            Almost as if his squeak of a comment caused the skies to open, cold rain started to pelt everything in its jurisdiction.
“Come on!” I voiced, determined to withstand another catastrophic event.
Nick and I sprinted past the iconic ESPN Wide World of Sports’ globe and into Champion Stadium, the ballpark of the Atlanta Braves. Sweat was rolling down both of our faces and the taste of salt filled my taste buds because of it. Nevertheless, what met us was something neither of us were ready to re-encounter: A miniature hurricane was loose on the concourse.
Photo Courtesy of Pop Warner.
“You have got to be kidding me!” Nick screamed exhaustedly.
“Go there!” I screamed and pointed towards a small compartment under a condiment stand holding ketchup, mustard, and relish.
I slid under first as my little brother was shortly behind. The smell of fresh popcorn and rubbery hot dogs somehow filled the air and cued our mouths to water with saliva.
Mother Nature sent her beast closer and closer as it was approaching and consuming everything in its path.
I twirled around as if I took a right hand hook to the left cheek. My brother was holding onto the thin rod of the stand with his legs blown into the air by the twister.
I edged towards him, my clothes, which consisted of a yellow Pittsburgh Pirates’ t-shirt and black shorts, and my brown hair flapped and were nearly torn off by the wind.
“I gotcha buddy!” I said as I took his hand like someone holding onto a loved one hanging from the side of the Titanic.
Since my left hand had ahold of him, I tried to transfer it to my more dominant right hand.
“Don’t worry bro! I am going to switch hands so I can hold on long enough for the storm to pass.”
The only problem was, I was unable to make the conversion as my best friend sailed into the gray, debris-filled hurricane. I couldn’t believe I was unable to make the transfer as I had made a similar motion so many times before whether with past girlfriends or my parents when a young boy.
“NNNIIIIIIICCCCCCCKKK! Man, I am going to be so grounded!”
            And just like that, he was gone.
But, the hurricane wasn’t.
In fact, it was getting closer.
As the harsh breeze of the 107 miles per hour winds was ripping apart everything in its path, I cashed in all my poker chips and was ready to face death like Nick had.
I stood up calmly with my arms out like Jesus Christ on the cross, approximately 50 feet from the base of the hurricane.
Then out of nowhere I heard, “Peyton...Peyton. Come on Peyton!”
I looked around with a mouth that was as dry as the Arizona desert. There was no one in sight.
“Peyton, wake up! We have to go!” Whined the voice.
My straight right arm started to twitch as if someone was pulling it to get my attention.
“Well it has been a ride,” I thought.
At this moment, I was within arm’s reach of the end; however, the echo of “Wake up” persisted.
“Leave me alone!” I shouted referring to the youthful voice. “Can’t I go in peace?”
            My head flared with pain, for it seemed as though someone had elbowed me in the head, and I hit the concrete like a ton of bricks.
Subsequently, my lights went out for the second time that day.
I opened my eyes to see my little brother, not a hurricane, winding up for what had the indication to be a brutal haymaker.
“NICK!” I exclaimed excitedly.
I jumped on my brother and quickly put him in a friendly headlock.
“Yeah...that’s my name! Don’t wear it out bro.” He smiled.
“Man, I had a terrible dream about what was going to happen today,” I stated as I released him.
“Really? What went down?”
“Uh...nothing! Quick question though, what is today’s forecast?”
“100% chance of sunny skies AND GREAT BASEBALL!”
He pushed me playfully.

“Thank the Lord,” I sighed in relief. 

No comments:

Post a Comment