Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Thumbs Down, Bro"

by Christina McCarthy

The line went on for hours. Hundreds of children lined up side by side as their skin boiled from the summer sun.

Anthony was getting anxious as they approached the top of the mount. Super Speed. The most outrageous water slide in the state of Arizona. It took you down faster than any loopy slide in the park, with the sharpest turns and steepest drops.

"Hey, Chubbs, relax," Greg said to Anthony.

"I can't help it; we've been waiting all week for this, and it's so hot I want to be in the pool already," Anthony said.

"I am actually a bit nervous about it."

"Why? You're retarded. It's going to be sick."

"Well, hate to be the one to share this with you, but I am quite a bit more aerodynamic than you," said Greg. Anthony rolled his eyes and moved ahead in line.

Greg continued, "Maybe I will just wait until you go and when you land in the water you can give me a thumbs up or down so I can decide if I want to go through with it."

"Yeah, okay, whatever you want."

Before long, Anthony was next up. Greg gave him a quick reminder to give him a signal before Anthony jumped into the tube slide head-first. Greg took a few moments to look around. He hadn't realized how high up he was. The view unnerved him.

"Holy shit!" he heard a girl scream from below. He leaned over the rail to see the pool filling with blood and he went into panic mode. He ran down the metal spiral staircase past the crowded line feeling nauseous from the speed and fear. His heart was beating in his throat and he thought he was going to puke. Ever since he was little he was known to be a nervous vomiter.

When he finally go to the pool, Anthony had been taken out but there was a crowd around him filled with panic. He must have hit his head on the bottom. The paramedics tended to him and Greg couldn't see his body. The entire water park seemed to freeze around the scene. Once you drowned out the shaky voices crying for help, the park was silent.

The seconds seemed like hours. A voice yelled out, "He's breathing!" Then there was a loud splash in the bloody pool. Greg looked over to see... Anthony, naked, bringing his head out from under the red pool water.

"What the fuck!" Anthony yelled. "First my trunks get stuck on base bolt in a turn, now the water is like toxic?"

Anthony climbed out of the pool, reaching for a towel, as Greg's stomach turned in shock at the red and relief at his friend. Anthony wrapped the towel around himself.

"Thumbs down bro, all the way."