Paige and her tour guides were strapped into the first car of the Infernacoaster, with a metal bar pulled down tight over their laps.
“You know Paige,” Davey said. “You’re not like the other girls.”
Paige blushed. “I’m not?”
“No,” Davey replied. “I mean, they spent so much time worrying about so much superficial stuff, you know?”
“OMG I so know,” Paige said. “I said that the other day right after I noticed that skank face Heather Haskill didn’t even have a brand name screen protector for her cell phone.”
“All the girls I meet,” Davey said as he sipped his soda. “They spend so much time picking out their outfits but you? You just look like you rooted through your hamper and picked out whatever was the least stinky.”
“Umm,” Paige said as she sniffed her armpit. “Wait, what?”
“And then they spend all day on their hair,” Davey said. “Who cares? Its just hair. Women would be much happier if they felt comfortable enough in their own skin to walk around looking like they wake up in the morning and run an eggbeater through their hair.”
Paige sighed. “I use half a can of hair spray a day. It has a mind of its own.”
“And those zits,” Davey said. “They’re adorable. It’s like you can’t even be bothered to run to the pharmacy and get a tube of acne cream. You give off this whole ‘I don’t give a shit’ vibe that is very refreshing.”
“OK Davey,” Paige said. “You can stop with the compliments now.”
An announcer’s voice interrupted Paige’s utter embarrassment.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the Infernacoaster!”
A.J. and B.J. sat behind Paige and Davey. C.J. had the third seat in the car all to himself.
“Wooo!” A.J. shouted.
“Infernacoaster!” C.J. yelled. “Yeah!”
“The only ride that lifts up, up, up into the heavens only to plunge you down into the deepest, darkest depths of Hell!”
“I’m not so sure about this,” Paige said.
Davey reached over and took Paige’s hand.
“You got this, girl,” Davey said. “And I got your back.”
At that exact moment, Paige wanted to live stream footage of her hand tucked inside Davey’s, but alas, her tablet was stowed for safekeeping in a compartment in front of her knees.
The announcer provided a laundry list of warnings.
“If you suffer from heart disease, are pregnant, thinking about ever becoming pregnant, or if you know someone who is pregnant, have been diagnosed as being mentally unstable, schizophrenic, or are chronically constipated, have the gout, the plague, rabies, scabies, or syphilis, take erectile dysfunction medication and have suffered debilitating bouts of priapism lasting longer than four hours or if you are a dwarf who has visited the third world within the past three to five years then it is recommended that you disembark the Infernacoaster immediately.”
“I have none of those problems!” A.J. shouted.
In true celebrity fashion, the boys hucked their soda cups out of the car and began a chant.
Davey gripped Paige’s hand tight, causing his new friend’s heart to thump like it was about to explode.
“Woo!” A.J. shouted.
“Paige and Davey gonna get it on!” B.J. hollered.
“Guys,” Davey said. “Come on.”
The announcer continued. “A reminder that Carruthers Brothers Amalgamated Studios, the parent corporation of Wombat World, is in no way, shape or form responsible for any issues you might suffer as a result of voluntarily riding the Infernacoaster. Such problems have been known to include, but are not limited to: facial ticks, paralysis, blurred vision, sudden outbursts of Tourette’s Syndrome, debilitating diarrhea, hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, dismemberment, decapitation and a rare mental disorder that causes a person to believe that his or her body is possessed by the reincarnated spirit of famously flamboyant nineteen-sixties piano player Liberace.”
“Those are all chances I am willing to take,” C.J. said.
“Also,” the announcer said. “Not gonna lie. You might die.”
“Boo!” A.J. shouted.
“Start the ride already!” B.J. added.
“And now for those foolish enough to have stayed,” the announcer said. “Enjoy…the Internacoaster!”
Rock and roll music blared. The car moved down the track, through an open door and into a dark tunnel. Maniacal laughter cut through the music. At the end of the tunnel, an enormous, plastic red devil face opened its mouth so that the car could travel through.
The car was outside now and headed up a steep slope. Up, up, up they went, high enough for a brief glimpse at a breathtaking sky’s eye view of the park and then…
The boys laughed. Paige’s stomach churned. The car hustled its way up into the sky again, then spiraled down, around and around as special effects encircled the car with what appeared to be fire.
“Wooo!” the boys cheered.
“Bleh!” shouted Paige as she hurled over the side, sending her partially digested breakfast down on the unsuspecting head of some poor innocent bystander down below.
As the car rose up another peak, it slowed down until finally it came to a complete stop at the top of the summit.
“What?” A.J. asked. “It’s never done this before.”
“A new twist?” B.J. asked. “Maybe Wombat World’s changing things up.”
Davey was hunched over in his seat, his head tucked between his knees.
“Ugh,” Davey said as he grabbed his stomach. “I don’t feel so good.”
“Me neither,” Paige said. “Forget the Shock Rocket. This is the ride that puts your stomach in your butt.”
Davey went quiet.
“Davey?” Paige asked as she tapped her new love interest in the shoulder. “Are you ok?”
The boy band member raised his head, then turned it toward Paige. His eyes were totally blank. His retinas had disappeared and only whiteness remained.
Paige recoiled. “O…M…G.”