SS: Cara’s Amusement Trip

((Dropping a first draft of a fiction story. Children’s. It’s on a similar vein to Short story ~ Aquarium Visit. A dream was more complicated than this. And this is clearly a first draft. But when a story refuses to release, it’s better to get it out. I hope you can understand why this is so important to me.))

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Fiction Short Stories] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

Cara’s Amusement Trip

There is little more fun than the first time to an amusement park.

Cara looks forward to it all week long.

Her aunt is willing to spend the entire Saturday with her. They’ll even get amusement park food. Cara’s eyes light up with the very idea. Mother and Father never allow her to eat “junk food”.

Her aunt made her promise to tell no one. This would be their special day where they can play.

Cara made sure to wear her prettiest outfit. Her mother made her change.

Amusement parks aren’t meant for her prettiest outfit.

Cara pulled out all of her clothes wanting it to be the absolute perfect-est outfit for the amusement park.

She pulls on her comfy black pants with silver kittens all over them. Then she pulls on her white jumper with black kittens all over it.

It would be perfect!

She could even have her black cat bag. And black cat ears. She grins over the decision.

This time Mother didn’t say no.

It’s important Mother doesn’t say no. When she says no, Cara can’t go.

Cara waits patiently for her aunt to arrive.

Then car pulls in front of the house and lets out a honk. Cara runs to the window watching as her aunt cheerily walks up to the house and inside.

“Cara!” Aunt Georgette kneels down offering up a big hug. Cara jumps at the chance for such a big comfortable squeeze. “I see you’re ready.” Her aunt stands up still holding her close. It’s the best. The perfect day- just the two of them. “I’ll handle her. Don’t worry at all Sue.”

Mother frets. She always frets. She seems to think Cara cannot do anything. “Are you sure?”

“Don’t worry. I got this.” Her aunt looks at Cara with the biggest smile. “Ready?”

Cara nods excited to be leaving without anyone else.

“Alright. Onward to an adventure.”

Cara has no trouble strapping into her car seat. She’s capable of doing it herself now. She’s big enough to not need help getting in. Her aunt offers that proud nod before they drive off.

It’s a long drive. Her aunt turns on the music and starts singing. Cara bobs her head along to the song grinning wide over the coming day.

It has only just begun!

They park in the biggest parking lot Cara has ever seen. She’s too nervous to leave the car. Her aunt has to pick her up and carry her across the massive scary parking lot.

Even though they got here early, there’s a lot of other people too. Cara hides within Aunt Georgette’s arms. Cara doesn’t know any of these people.

When they reach the guards, though, Cara is put on the ground. She has to walk through the detector by herself. She’s nervous and looks back at her aunt many times while slowly working her way through the big silver thing. The guard pays her no mind while glancing through her bag. Then Aunt Georgette shows off keys and coins before passing through the thing with ease.

“Onward.” Aunt Georgette takes up Cara’s hand so they can walk further into the park. “It has only just begun.” Her aunt’s smile calms Cara some, but the mass of people around them keeps her wary.

They reach the ticket taker without any fuss. Cara waits with Aunt Georgette as two ticket prove them are allowed inside.

The ticket taker lowers their head to see Cara more eye to eye. “Welcome to the park, young lady.” Cara hides behind her aunt hopeful the person doesn’t ask for something else. They didn’t forget anything, did they? “Shy, huh? First time?”

“She’ll open up once she gets a feel for it.” Georgette tugs Cara forward. “Time to go in. The ticket taker says nothing else as they move into the park.

It’s massive.

Cara thought the parking lot was massive, but inside the park is even more so.

A big fountain sits not far from the entrance. Cara runs up to it wishing she brought coins with her. But she didn’t put anything in her bag.

“Cara. That’s a big no.” Aunt Georgette says catching up. “You cannot run off from me. It’s easy to get lost in here.”

Cara points at the fountain. She begs for a coin.

Aunt Georgette looks at the fountain and sighs. “After the coin toss, we’re going to the lost and found center. You can get a wristlet with my name on it.” Her aunt places a quarter in her hand. “Go ahead.”

Cara holds the quarter tightly in her hand. She closes her eyes really tightly and wishes for the best day ever. Then she tosses the quarter into the fountain.

Georgette chuckles holding out her hand. “Feel better?” Cara nods. “Alright. Let’s go.”

Cara has no trouble walking beside Georgette in the crowded park. She doesn’t know where to go, but her aunt makes it safe.

They get to a building that’s small and white. Georgette walks inside greeting the worker behind the desk. “Can I get a wristlet for her?”

“Of course. She needs to get her height checked first so we can use the right color.”

Cara looks over at the height checking machine. She stands on it while the worker tests her height. It’s a lot like the nurse at the doctor’s office. They check her height every time she goes there.

“Just shy of four feet. That puts her in pink.” The worker hands a little pink strip of paper to Aunt Georgette. “Your name and phone number.” Then her aunt gets a pen.

Cara waits for the time it takes for her aunt to finish writing. Then she is given a pink wristlet for her right arm. She looks at it. It clashes with her outfit. She pouts at Georgette holding up her wrist where the pink writstlet is.

“Nope. That’s so if you get lost, they can find me.” Cara grins. She hands the pen back.

“We also suggest taking a picture of their current outfit and look. You’ll be surprised how often the most recent picture is several months old.” The worker says.

Georgette nods and holds her phone up to Cara. “Smile, Cara.” Cara offers her pearly whites for the perfect picture. “Alright. Onward to the rides.”

“Have fun today.” The worker waves good bye as the pair leave.

“If you get lost, Cara.” Georgette squeezes her hand. “You have to find a worker. They can call my number for you.” She taps Cara’s wrist. “They’re all wearing the same shirt. Look.” Georgette points out the different workers. While all of them looked different, each one wore the same shirt. Cara nods.

They walk what feels like forever until they reach an area called Tiny Tykes. Cara isn’t sure what to think of it, but the rides were much smaller than the crazy ones they walked past.

The one to her left has little ladybug cars going around a small track. Cara is caught when it starts moving. Little ladybugs driving in a row. She tugs Georgette to watch it. The kids on the ride laugh and cheer as their parents look over with cameras ready.

“Did you want to ride it?” Georgette asks as Cara stares. Cara nods. “Okay. The line is over here.” Georgette helps Cara stand on the line.

The first time, Aunt Georgette helps Cara ride.

The second time, Cara does it herself.

The third, Cara even stands on the line by herself. It’s not a very big line, but a line none the less.

After the third time, Georgette has her walk onward.

They find flying planes that Cara rides beside Georgette. Then swings that take them into the air. The tiny tykes roller coaster is much smaller than the crazy one from before. Cara still feels nervous staring it down.

“You don’t have to.” Georgette says. She motions onward.

Cara shakes her head watching the train cars stop where the riders get on and off. She grips the fence protecting her from the ride. She can do it.

“Are you sure?” Georgette questions as Cara gets on line. Cara nods fists hold tightly. “I’ll wait out here.”

Cara gets on the line. She has to wait and watch the train go around it’s track. It goes up and down. It spins around. It should make her dizzy.

It looks so scary.

But Cara isn’t going to be afraid. This is her special day. Without Mother. Without Father. Just her and Aunt Georgette. She nods certain of it.

She climbs into the car in the middle as other kids ride before and behind. She will not be scared.

Her eyes close tightly and she holds on to the chair as the ride begins.

It goes fast zooming up the hill and down the hill. It spins pulling her around in the chair. She doesn’t look at all while the car is in motion.

Then it stops.

Cara looks around her. It finished. It wasn’t a long ride. She managed it. She did it. She wants to run and dance. She did it. She climbs out of the car and exits with the rest of the little kids.

And finds herself alone.

Where’s Georgette?

Cara spins looking in every direction.

There’s a lot of people.

So many people of all different types.

Where’s her special aunt? How did she lose Georgette?

No. She’s a big girl. She can do this.

Find the shirt. The worker shirt. The one who can help her. Cara looks and finds someone sweeping. That person has a shirt on. They work here. They can help.

Cara is nervous, but this is no harder than riding the train.

Definitely not harder.

Cara slows before reaching the person. She inches closer as the person sweeps. She looks around. Did Georgette find her? Maybe?

No. Cara needs someone to call the number. Cara holds up her wrist. The pink that clashes. She needs help. The special shirt can help. Cara steps the final foot to the sweeping person.

“Yes?” The worker finally noticed Cara. “Can I help you?”

Cara holds up her wrist where Georgette’s number is.

The worker doesn’t understand. “It’s a pretty color. It means you can ride anything in this section Tiny Tykes.”

Cara wants to cry. She shakes her wrist, but the worker doesn’t get it. She grabs the wristlet and taps the number there. She needs someone to call for help.

“Are you lost?”

Cara nods. The tears are going to come. She’s not strong enough for this. But Aunt Georgette needs her to be strong.

The worker pulls out her phone and starts tapping the number into it.

The sound of ringing isn’t far.

Cara turns to her aunt’s special ringtone.

Georgette is walking around looking frantic just like Cara feels. Cara runs to her side hugging her tightly. “There you are, Cara.” Georgette offers the sweeper a wide smile while shutting the phone off. “Thank you.”

Cara cannot stop the tears. She sobs while Georgette kneels before her.

“You did a good job. That was scary, wasn’t it?” Georgette reviews Cara’s tear strained face. “You put up a good front and asked for help.” Cara nods. “Then let’s take a break. Victory lunch for winner.”

Cara sniffles as Georgette picks her up.

“I’m sorry for losing you in collection of kids leaving the ride. How far did you walk anyway?” Georgette looks at the area Cara ended up in. “Did you follow them to their next ride before noticing things?”

Cara looks to where the roller coaster is. She didn’t think to go back that way. She was so proud of riding it, she didn’t pay attention.

“You did the right thing. Finding a worker and getting them to call me. Does that mean I owe you a big ice cream sundae?”

Cara nods wiping her tears away.

“Alright. Just don’t tell your parents. This is a secret between you and me.”

Cara nods. She wouldn’t tell a soul.


FYI:
Always assume competence. Communication is far more than just words. Cara does not speak. That did not make her any less the child in the story. It did not change her hero like actions, her fears, or her motives.

I’ve been in such a state. Non verbal and needing help. It’s not fun when the helper refuses to help without a verbal cue saying so. Voice is not the only way to communicate.


[About Cat Hartliebe] [Fiction Short Stories] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

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