By Jessica Parker <email@example.com>
Submitted September 16, 1997
Summary: Lois, Clark and their teenage daughters experience the ups and downs of the Valleyfair Theme Park's "Wild Thing" roller coaster.
*AUTHOR'S NOTE: The settings of this story are the Valleyfair theme park and the Mall of America, both in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. I just visited both attractions last week. Basically I got the core idea after riding Wild Thing at Valleyfair. If you have ever been on that ride or even been to the theme park, you know what I mean when I say it is the most awesome ride there. I tried to somewhat describe the ride as accurately as I could. I actually bought the picture with the statistics on the back when I rode it, and I copied them because I thought they were kinda cool and so you could get a better idea of what this ride was like. Any comments are welcome. Just please, if you don't like it, try to keep any vulgar language down to a minimum. Keep in mind I am only 16 and I'm writing this at, like after midnight, so go easy on me. :)
13-year-old Jessica Kent stared in awe at the huge roller coaster in front of her. She and her identical twin sister Jennifer were at the Valleyfair theme park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with their parents, Lois and Clark. It was the girls' summer break and Lois and Clark had decided to take them to the huge theme park for vacation.
"Wow! Jennifer, we just have to go on Wild Thing! Mom, Dad, will you come with us?"
"Ah, no, Jessica. Clark, why don't you go on ahead? I'll just…stay here and hold the purses."
"I don't think so, honey. You're not getting off the hook that easy. You're coming with us," he said, grinning.
"No, I've never really liked roller coasters."
"Come on, Mom. Please? For us?" Jennifer asked, giving her mom an innocent puppy-dog face.
Lois rolled her eyes and sighed. "Okay, okay. I'll ride it…but just this once. And I get to ride with your father!"
"Yay!" both girls yelled. The four of them got in the line then boarded the roller coaster, Lois and Clark right behind the hyperactive twins. They brought the long metal bars down across their legs and the girls placed their purses on the floor as Clark adjusted his glasses. The worker came by and checked the bars, then gave the usual "Welcome to Wild Thing" and warning speech. Finally, the ride began.
It started off very slow. As soon as they were out from under the boarding area, they started to climb…and climb…and climb…until they had a pretty good view of the whole theme park. They started slowing down and Lois started getting nervous. "Having fun yet?" Clark asked her, not at the you-must-yell-to-be-heard part of the ride yet. "Well, okay, maybe this won't be so bad after a…CLARK!!!" she yelled. The hill had apparently grown tired of getting higher and higher because they went down the other side of it at a break-neck speed, almost straight down! "CLARK KENT I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs as their speed increased at the bottom of the hill, while going around curves and up other not-so-high hills.
The ride finally slowed a little bit and Lois gritted her teeth, trying to catch her breath and get her heart to beat at an almost normal rate. Then it hit her what was about to happen and she started to brace herself, only she was a little too late for that. The ride went down the second (or was it the third?) hill and into a dark tunnel. "OHMIGOD!!! AHHHHHH!!!" she yelled as they went to the bottom of the hill, which was at the middle of the tunnel. Suddenly she noticed a blinking red light as they went back up out of the tunnel. A curve or two later and the ride was over and they were all safely back in the unloading/loading area. Clark tried to help Lois out of the ride, but she just gave him a glare that he would not have survived if looks could kill. She shook a little as she stood up and found herself needing to lean on him if she didn't want to fall on her butt. As they went down the ramp, Jessica saw a Wild Thing picture booth. "Come on! Let's go see! the pictures!!" Lois looked conf used.
"Pictures? There were pictures? What pictures? No one said anything about pictures. I didn't know they were gonna take pictures!" she babbled to Clark.
"Well, let's go find out, shall we?" They hurried to catch up with the twins, who were already way ahead of them.
When they entered the booth, they saw pictures of everyone on the ride when they were in the tunnel. So that's what that blinking red light was…Lois thought. However, her interest was short-lived. Jennifer had already spotted the picture of the four of them, and Lois's face turned bright red with embarrassment.
Jennifer and Jessica were in the front, and both pairs of big brown eyes were shining with delight, their arms raised and their jaws hanging open since they had been screaming at the time. She and Clark were right behind them. Clark had this goofy grin on his face, but her face was pale and her eyes were as big as saucers, her hands planted so firmly on the bar that they almost left an imprint on it. Her mouth was clamped shut, since she was obviously gritting her teeth at the time, trying to keep from screaming. She was so busy looking at the picture that she didn't notice Clark buying it for the girls. He snuck up behind her and told her they needed to go see what else was at the fair. Not until then did she notice the extra package. As they were walking, Clark pulled it out and started looking at the statistics. Lois grabbed it from him, thinking it was only a brochure or something. Her eyes grew big as she read them:
Designed by: D. H. Morgan Manufacturing Inc. La Selva Beach, California
Type of Design: Out and back steel coaster with two "S" curves and a 360 degree spiral, tubular steel track
1st Hill: over 200 feet 2nd Hill: 103 feet 3rd Hill: 130 feet 4th Hill: 103 feet
Length of Track: 5460 feet
Length of Ride: 3 minutes
Maximum Speed: 74 mph
Number of Trains: 3
Capacity per Train: 36 passengers
Capacity per Hour: 1700 people
Cost: $10 million
Unleashed: May, 1996
Being the incredible investigative reporter she was, Lois soon figured out that the Wild Thing package did in fact open, and that the same picture she'd seen on the screen she saw in the package. Her face turned a deep shade of red and she glared at her soon-to-be-ex-husband-if-he-did- this-to-her-ever-again-or-ever-showed-this-picture-to-anyone. "I'll get you for this, Clark Kent, if it's the last thing I do," she muttered. Yep, she thought, Mr. Boy Scout is gonna pay for this. This…means…WAR!!!
(for now, anyway…)