My Boyfriend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 5

A car horn sounded out front. I grabbed my stuff and ran out. It was Mark driving, and Brian was sitting in the front passenger seat. I climbed in the back with Todd. He smiled when he saw me.

It was Saturday and we were going to Halloween World , an amusement park down near Branson, about an hour and a half from Chouteau.

"Hey guys!"

"Hey Scott," said Mark

"Hey Scott," said Todd.

Brian just looked at me and grinned. I was really looking forward to spending the day, not only with my best friend, but my boyfriend.

Todd was wearing a tank top and he looked fine. He was so beautifully muscled and tight; he should've been on the cover of a magazine. Every time I saw him, I just wanted to say, "whoa!" Brian smiled at me. I'm pretty sure he knew what I was thinking, especially when he raised his eyebrows at me, as if to say, 'isn't he hot.'

Mark blared the radio for a bit so we couldn't even talk, but then he turned it down. As soon as he did, Brian started talking about the park.

"This place is so cool! I can't wait to show it to you, Scott. They've got this ride called The Splashing Specter that's so awesome! It's like riding the rapids in a big raft, and it even goes through this flooded graveyard with coffins and bodies and stuff floating around!"

I grinned.


"The Haunted House is so incredible too," he continued excitedly. "You ride through on this little car and it takes you all over this huge haunted house. There are ghosts flying through the air, witches, black cats… all kinds of stuff. There's even a mummy that comes out of this sarcophagus and grabs for you."

"Tell him about the Poltergeist , Brian. I know how you love it," nudged Mark.

I could tell from the devilish tone of Mark's voice that something was up.

"Shut up!" said Brian. "You were too chicken shit to get on it last time, to, so you can't talk."

"Let's all ride it this time!" said Todd.

"Good idea! I will if you will, Brian," taunted Mark.

"Yeah, okay, pussy, I'll do it!"

"You in, Scott?" asked Todd.

"Sure," I said, but felt a lot less confident than I sounded.

From the way they were talking, the Poltergeist sounded pretty frightening.

"Just what is the Poltergeist ?" I asked.

"It's a badass rollercoaster," said Mark. "It's the biggest one in Missouri, not that that's saying much, but it's as good or better than those in even bigger parks like Silver Dollar City or Six Flags . It goes like sixty miles per hour!"

I was suddenly less sure that I wanted to brave the Poltergeist , but I didn't want to chicken out in front of the other guys, especially Brian.

I was excited as we pulled up in front of Halloween World and I caught a glimpse of the orange and black banners flying above the admissions booths. I'd always loved amusement parks, but didn't get to go very much. I'd been to nearby Silver Dollar City with Todd a couple of times, but always with either my parents or his. They had taken us up to Worlds of Fun near Kansas City once as well, but this was my first time here. Of course, Halloween World was a fairly new place in Branson, only about a year old.

At first, we just kind of walked around checking things out. I loved the spooky music that played on speakers everywhere we went. There were a lot of cool statues of creatures, witches, and mad scientists, like some kind of bizarre monster movie come to life. Todd screamed when one of them grabbed his as we walked past. The rest of us burst out laughing. He looked like he'd just about shit his pants, but he was soon laughing with us, too. It was just a park employee in a costume. I gave the statues a wide berth when I walked by them from then on. I was glad Todd got grabbed instead of me. It was way cool.

Brian and I shared a bag of cotton candy. I'd never seen orange and black cotton candy before, but it tasted great. Mark and Todd each got huge ice cream cones. I thought those looked good too, but I couldn't eat everything at once.

"Are you ready for the Poltergeist ?" asked Mark in a bad Boris Karloff impression. "There's still time to back out, Brian. I won't tell anyone you don't have any balls if you decide to wimp out on us."

"Bring it on, girly-boy!" said Brian, but he didn't look as confident as he sounded.

I must admit I was nervous as we approached the Poltergeist . I could see part of the track in the distance, and the cars looked like they went awfully high and dropped off a cliff at one point. There's no way I'd have gone on it by myself. I was already thinking I was making a big mistake, but I just couldn't back out. I didn't want Brian to think I was chicken and I didn't want Mark or Todd thinking it either.

It was early in the day, so the line wasn't too bad. It was only a few minutes before we were sitting in the coaster. It was a good thing the wait wasn't long because I was growing more nervous with every passing second. I felt a lurch in my stomach as the car slowly pulled out to the sound of cackling laughter. Todd and Mark were in the seat in front of us. I noticed Todd giving me a strange look when I had rushed over with Brian to the car. Normally it would've been him and me. Did he suspect something? I hope not, but Brian and I have been hanging out a lot over the last month and I haven't had a lot of time with Todd. He didn't say anything, just looked at me like he was trying to figure something out. I wondered if maybe I should talk to him and tell him about Brian and me. I'd have to think about that. He was my best friend and he deserved to know. We'll see what happens.

Brian reached out and clasped my hand as the car began to climb up and up. As we rose higher in the air, I grew more apprehensive. I could tell he was also scared. He was holding my hand tightly and he had a look of fear on his face. As we reached the top and started to head straight down, he held my hand tight and gripped onto the bar with the other.

After a momentary pause, we began plummeting at an incredible speed, and everyone started screaming. I was glad, because I didn't want to be the only one yelling my head off. I held onto his hand and onto the bar in front of me. Mark and Todd had their hands raised in the air, but I wasn't about to let go of either Brian or the coaster. I knew we were perfectly safe, but I still had an irrational fear that I'd die if I let go even for a moment.

We passed through a tunnel so quickly that it was a mere moment of darkness before we came back out into the light, then ripped around a corner and I was sure the coaster was going to fly right off the track. My stomach rose in my body as we topped out and headed back down again. I felt weightless and was terrified I'd come flying right out of my seat. Brian was practically crushing my hand and I was doing the same to his. I don't think I'd ever been so scared in my entire life. I just prayed it would end soon.

Riding the Poltergeist was thrilling and fun in it's way, but I wanted nothing more than for the ride to end. My heart was pounding in fear and the only way I could keep from panicking was to keep screaming. We zipped up and down, around corners, and through tunnels. It seemed like we were going much, much faster than sixty miles per hour. Judging by the blurs moving past our heads, I would've guessed we were going over a hundred.

At last, we lurched around a final corner, careening into the station. It looked like we were going to shoot straight through, but the coaster suddenly braked hard and we jolted to a halt. My heart was trying to burst out of my chest and I felt shaky all over. I looked over at Brian and he was white as a ghost.

When we stopped and the bars came up, Mark bolted from his seat and ran for a trash can. I soon knew why. Seconds later, he hurled up the ice cream and everything else he'd eaten for everyone to see. I was feeling a little nauseous myself, and could well understand why he blew chunks. I felt sorry for him, especially since everyone in line was watching, but it was kind of funny that he was the one to get sick after bragging so much. I wondered what the people waiting in line to get on the ride thought when they saw him puking his guts out. If I'd been them, I might have started heading in the opposite direction.

On the way out, we stopped to look at the instant pictures they'd captured of us while we were on the ride. Todd and Mark looked like they were having a blast, while Brian and I looked terrified, which was exactly right. I had no intention of ever getting on that ride again. I didn't care what anyone thought about me.

Todd was also looking at the pictures. He looked at Brian and me, looked back at the pictures and then looked right into my eyes, before shaking his head and walking off. I froze as I looked at the picture of Brian and me again. I nudged him and he saw it too. I hadn't noticed it at first because my eyes were drawn to our frightened faces, but there, as clear as day in the picture, were the two of us holding hands. Obviously, Todd had seen it as well. I wondered what he was thinking right now. There was no doubt now that I'd have to let him know what was going on. It wasn't fair to him to keep hiding my secret. He is my best friend after all. Surely, he would understand. At the same time, I really wanted a copy of that picture, just to look at to remember our love for each other. But we hurried the guys along so they wouldn't have time to talk about it.

Mark was still holding his stomach as we walked away from the Poltergeist , but it didn't take long for him to recover. Brian was getting his color back and I was feeling less woozy. Mark and Todd headed off on their own for a bit and Brian and I sat down on a bench near the Bouncing Castle , a ride for kids. He looked like he was about ready to cry.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said wearily. "It's just that I didn't think it'd be that bad. I've ridden that thing before, but I'd kind of forgotten how scary it was. I'm absolutely terrified of heights. I should've never got on that thing. Anything high scares me to death. It's like my whole head starts to spin. As soon as we started dropping, I thought I was going to die."

"You're brave," I said soothingly.

"Not really. I was terrified."

"Being brave is going ahead and doing something even when you're afraid," I told him. "I bet Mark isn't afraid of heights, and look what he ended up doing."

We both laughed.

"Poor Mark, that had to be embarrassing. I'll have to file the incident away for future use, of course. The next time he cuts me down, he's going to get it," he said with a wicked smile on his face.

Mark and I had been friends since grade school, and I had only known Brian for about two months, but I could tell they were tight. I had the feeling they really let each other have it at times. Only close friends could do that. Todd and I were the same. If it had been him rather than Mark who had who had puked after the ride, I would give him shit, just like he would do to me.

The two of us walked around the park for a bit, giving our heart rates a chance to return to normal. I loved just walking around the park, looking at all the cool stuff there. Some of the trees were covered by huge spider webs, with enormous spiders sitting in them. Skeletons held signs pointing in the direction of rides and food stands. There were big Jack O'lanterns, candles, spooky lighting… pretty much a perfect recreation of Halloween. In the center of the park was a huge old mansion, no doubt the haunted house that Brian had described.

"Hey, want to try out the Phantom Falls ?" he asked.

"It's not another rollercoaster, is it?" I asked nervously.

"No. it's got one big climb and a fast drop near the end, but it's nothing like the Poltergeist , believe me. I've been on it lots of times. It's fun!"

Sounded good enough to me.

"Okay, dude, let's go," I said.

We made our way to the Phantom Falls , passing Mummy's Pizza , and Goblin Burger . As we reached the line, I saw that it was a log ride. It looked like fun.

There was a bit of a wait, but it wasn't long before we climbed into a log. He sat behind me and I leaned back against him. I didn't care if I liked the ride or not, it was worth it just to feel his firm body pressing up against mine. Our log slowly floated down a narrow stream and immediately entered a dark tunnel. It was pitch black in there. I felt him encircle my waist with his arms and hold me close. I leaned back into him and placed my hands on his own. He gave me a hug and it was so wonderful that I felt like I could fly.

Light appeared at the end of the tunnel, as well as what looked like thick fog. He kept holding me until we reached the fog, which was a very fine mist of water. We came out of the tunnel, blinking in the bright sunlight. Our log followed the stream as it twisted and turned, going faster and faster, almost like we were riding the rapids. A cemetery came up on our left. I tried to read the stones as we went by, but we were going so fast by then that I could only make out 'Here lies Jed, because he's dead,' and 'Dave… he's finally in his grave.'

We made a sharp turn and the log banged into the side wall. We rushed on faster than ever until we hit a small pool with a splash, and a big conveyer belt pulled out log up and up a steep incline. I was pushed tightly back against him. I liked that a lot, since I was pretty sure he was getting excited. I could feel something hard pressing into my butt and I don't think he had a banana in his pocket. But even if I'd had the nerve, I didn't have time to ask him. The instant we hit the top; the log dropped nearly straight down at high speed. We both screamed and hit bottom seconds later. Water sprayed everywhere, dowsing out laughing faces. We were both soaking wet, and it felt great.

"You're right," I told him, "this ride is awesome."

"I especially liked the tunnel," he said seductively, as we got out of our log.

"Me too," I replied, "but I think my favorite was going up the conveyer belt."

He grinned shyly. I was sure he knew exactly what I meant.

"Let's do the Haunted House next! It's real dark in there," he said, seductively.

"Mmmm, sounds good to me," I nodded.

On the way there, we met up with Todd and Mark, and they decided to join us. As we stood in line, I could see that we'd be riding through the Haunted House in a kind of short roller coaster type car. Each car had two seats, just enough for four people. Brian and I made sure to get in a seat together. Unfortunately, Todd and Mark got in the back seat, so him and I would have to be careful about what we did. I felt kind of wicked. It was kind of a thrill that him and I were dating and that Todd and Mark knew nothing about it. I bet they'd never have guessed that Brian was holding me tight just minutes earlier on the Phantom Falls .

Our car entered the Haunted House through massive double doors that looked like they belonged on a castle. We were immediately plunged into total darkness and he took my hand without any fear that our friends would notice. It was way too dark in there for them to know what we were doing. We could've made out without them knowing it. I desperately wanted to kiss him, but I couldn't work up the courage. It made me feel all fuzzy just thinking about what It'd be like when we were able to finally kiss.

A cacophony of moans and groans surrounded us. Flashes of lightening sliced through the windows, while 'thunder' rumbled in the distance. The affect was almost perfect. I really felt like I was in a big, old, abandoned house with a storm raging outside. I jumped and grabbed onto him as a ghostly voice whispered right in my ear. He didn't mind; it was dark enough that I just kept right on holding him. It felt so good.

We passed through rooms with rotting furniture and ghostly forms whisking about. The ghosts looked like they were real, appearing and disappearing at will. One of them was even playing an enormous, creepy sounding organ. You couldn't turn your head without encountering another bizarre ghostly creature. I knew I'd have to go on this ride over and over to see it all.

Mark cried out as 'bats' flew over us, brushing our hair. That made all of us laugh. A mummy came out of a closet and shuffled between our car and another, just barely missing us as we went on our way. A black robotic cat hissed at us as we passed by, and a zombie chased our car for a while. I loved the dark, spooky atmosphere. I never knew what was coming up. Of course, the darkness was perfect for him and I to hold hands and hug each other. I felt so wonderful when I was in his arms. We didn't let go until the ride was at an end. When we came into the light, we were just sitting side by side, minding our own business. Mark and Todd were none the wiser about what we'd done.

We were all ready for some lunch by then so we headed for Goblin Burger and ordered burgers, fries and drinks and ate them at a table in the open air. I loved sitting there talking with my friends, as loads of kids walked by eating cotton candy and laughing. I could hear the roars and screams from the Poltergeist in the near distance. I loved the sound of it, much more than actually riding it anyway.

After a quick stop at a restroom that looked like an Egyptian tomb, we headed for the Splashing Specter . The line was pretty long, but eight people fit on one big, round raft, so it didn't take us all that long to get on. Brian, Mark, Todd and I got on a raft together, as well as four girls who were about our age. The girls were really looking us all over. One of them was making eyes at Brian big time, and another was practically undressing Todd with her eyes. The two others were flirting with Mark and me. Each of them seemed to have picked out one of us. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from warning them that they were wasting their time with Brian and me.

Our raft slowly floated away from the boarding dock, but quickly picked up speed once we hit the rushing water. In mere seconds, the side of the raft Brian and I were on made a big dip, and water just poured over us completely. Mark had a big laugh at that, but then he got dowsed too. I amused myself by watching the girls watch Todd after he got soaked. His shirt stuck to his chest, outlining his powerful pecs, and the girls were drooling over him. I'm surprised Todd didn't have girls crawling all over him at school, with his sexy face and muscular body, but he's never had a girlfriend, unless there's something he hasn't told me.

Our raft moved right through a flooded graveyard, which was littered with coffins and even bodies floating around, just like Brian had said. It was way cool, like something right out of an old Hollywood movie. The Splashing Specter was definitely my favorite ride of all.

Our raft passed through what looked like a portcullis, to a big old castle, and then we made a sharp turn through a flooded dungeon. There were skeletons in shackles and even torture devices half submerged in the water. Dim torches lit the dungeon, casting eerie shadows across the stone walls. Brian and I even risked holding hands for a few moments, but we didn't have much time. Before we knew it, we were back in the light again.

I looked up and noticed that one of the girls was looking at us oddly; I'm sure she'd caught us holding hands. She didn't say anything, but she kept looking at us, more out of curiosity than anything else. I wonder if she guessed we were boyfriends. She'd been checking out Brian before but once she'd caught us holding hands, she seemed intrigued by both of us. I prayed she wouldn't say anything in front of Mark or Todd, but I noticed Todd giving us a disgusting look at the same time, so I think he probably noticed as well. He didn't say anything, but he was clearly not very happy with what he was seeing. I guess I'm just going to have to tell him the truth about me and Brian and see what happens. He's my best friend, so how bad can it be.

We rushed through the churning waters, hitting turns that kept the raft slowly spinning. Water splashed into the raft as it dipped with the waves, and in less than a minute, we were all soaking wet. None of us minded. It was a warm day for October, and it was refreshing to have water spraying on my face. At last, we rolled back up to the dock, and all too soon the ride came to an end. Todd scowled at Brian and me as we split up again. The two girls who had been watching Mark and Todd the most went off with them. The other two stuck with Brian and me for a moment, but the girl who had caught us holding hands pulled her friend away. Before she did so, she whispered something to Brian, and his eyes grew wide with astonishment.

"What did she tell you?" I asked suspiciously, as they went their own way.

"She said, 'you guys are really hot together,' and 'your boyfriend's the cutest boy I've ever seen in my entire life.'"

"Are you serious?" I said, blushing.

He grinned.

"Yep. I guess we need to be more careful. A slip up like that in front of the wrong person could get us in really deep shit."

"I think we may have already slipped up," I said. "I think Todd may have noticed us holding hands as well. He gave me kind of a nasty look just now, and he didn't look too happy before that either. I think he may have seen that picture earlier. He's probably already told Mark what he suspects."

"What are we going to do?" he asked, looking a little worried.

"I don't know yet," I said. "We'll just play it by ear for now, but I think I probably should talk to him alone the first chance I get. He's been my best friend since I started school, so I think he'll be cool once he finds out the truth. I hope so anyway. Otherwise, I don't know what I'll do. Deal with it when the time comes, I suppose."

I tried not to think about it right now. I didn't want to let it ruin such a fantastic day. I loved amusement parks and being here with my boyfriend made it all the more enjoyable.

"Hey, you want to go to the Chamber of Secrets ?" he asked.


I had no idea what it was, but it sounded spooky and cool.

He led me along and soon we came to a skeleton holding a sign that read ' Chamber of Secrets' this way. Enter if you dare.' We followed the path and came to a huge stone arch that looked like the entrance to a castle or something, but it led only into darkness.

We walked beyond the arch, and I suddenly cried out as the floor moved beneath us. I realized we were on some kind of moving sidewalk, like the ones you see at airports. He giggled and I punched him in the shoulder. We were moving along in total blackness; he sought out my hand in the darkness and held it. It made me feel warm inside.

A dim, red light became visible ahead. As we grew closer, we saw that we were in a tunnel that looked like it was hewed out of solid rock. In some places it looked like an actual cave, while in others it seemed more like an underground passage beneath a castle. The moving pathway carried us past beautiful stone formations and treasure chests filled with silver and gold.

"This is so cool!" I said.

"Yeah, I love it here," he said.

I heard a clinking sound coming from up ahead. As we neared, I could see dwarves mining the stone for precious metals. I knew they had to be some kind of animatronic robots or something, but they looked real. Some of them glared at us as we passed. Torches were on the walls now, lighting our way with flickering firelight. We passed more dwarves, as well as a beautiful underground waterfall lit up in a rainbow of colors. Bats occasionally flew above our heads, and the tunnel was as quiet as a tomb, except for the constant drip of water. I really felt like I was deep underground.

The reddish light grew dimmer until there was just barely enough for us to see. I yelled as something reached for me. At first, I thought it was Brian fooling around, but his hand was clasped in mine and whatever touched me came from the other side. I felt something brush me again and this time I saw it; gnarled hands were reaching out for us from both sides! We both squeezed into the center of our moving pathway, but still, they could reach us. Low guttural growls issued from the darkness and soon I could make out glowing yellow eyes peering at us.

Further down the moving path, the light gradually changed to green and I could see goblins on either side of the path. Some reached out to try to grab us, while others threatened us with short swords and clubs. They looked totally real, as if they had just stepped out of a sword and sorcery adventure!

The path wound on, carrying us past one fascinating sight after another. It was kind of like exploring a cave, walking through a haunted house, and being inside a fantasy novel, all at the same time.

"This is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my entire life," I said.

"No doubt," he said. "If you've liked it so far, just wait until you see what's up ahead."

The halls greenish light gradually turned a sort of purple, then back to mostly red. It began to get much warmer and a thick grey fog surrounded us. Suddenly, there was a deafening roar. I held on to him tightly and jerked my head toward the noise. A spout of red flame erupted from the mouth of a giant dragon! The room was momentarily illuminated by the light of the fire, then it dimmed to a dull red golden glow. I gazed at the dragon in amazement; it was about as big as I expected a real dragon would be, and was so real I was almost afraid it would leap up and attack us.

I smiled at him and he grinned back at me. We both stared at the dragon as the pathway slowly carried us along. Now the corridor was a vibrant green, with flashes of a reddish gold light from the ancient creature. Steam, or rather smoke, wafted around it, and every few seconds it sent a blast of flame into the air, then moved it's giant wings a bit and stretched it's claws. I could swear I could even see it breathing.

I was so entranced by the dragon that I almost didn't notice the pile of treasure it was guarding. There was a mound of gold as big as a small hill, piled of coins, jeweled cups, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and chests full of all sorts of treasure. I'd thought the Chamber of Secrets was the coolest thing ever a few minutes before, but now that I'd seen the dragon, it was definitely the highlight for me.

We passed beyond the huge lizard and the light slowly dimmed back down again to total darkness. He grabbed me and hugged me tightly. I hugged him back right there on the moving pathway. It felt so good to be in his arms. We parted as the light began to grow again and we reached the end of the ride.

"That was without a doubt, the most awesome thing I've ever experienced in my whole life!" I said as we walked away.

"Hugging, or the ride?" he whispered mischievously.


I'd have hugged him again then and there, but we were once again in the full light of day, surrounded by people of all ages having fun.

We walked around the park, going on a ride now and then, and just generally enjoying each other's company. We met up with Mark and Todd some, but were by ourselves most of the time. I noticed that Mark was looking at us suspiciously as well. Apparently, Todd had told him what he suspected about Brian and me. We'd have to deal with this soon, no doubt. I just hoped they would both refrain from telling anyone else at school. Otherwise, I'd be in deep shit.

I wasn't going to let it bother me now and keep me from enjoying the rest of my day with Brian. We explored the Chamber of Secrets two more times, rode the Splashing Specter once more, and the Phantom Falls three more times. Each time we went into the tunnel alone in the Phantom Falls and the Chamber of Secrets , we hugged and held hands. It was romantic and wonderful. If I could've worked up the courage, I would've kissed him, but I just couldn't do it, not yet.

Before we left, we found this little booth where they made key chains and stuff. We found a pair that formed a heart when they were put together. He bought them and had our names inscribed on them. He kept the one that said 'Scott' and gave me the one that said 'Brian.' I know that we'll keep them with us forever.

We met up with Mark and Todd at six o'clock at the entrance to the park. I could sense the tension in the air as we walked toward the car. Now doesn't seem to be a good time to bring up Brian and me. I decided to wait until at least tomorrow in order to give Todd time to think about it, and maybe cool off a little.

Since we had a cookout and hayride to go to on Mark's farm later tonight, we just went through the drive thru at Wendy's and got ourselves a hamburger to hold us till later. We all talked and laughed on the way home, and Todd seemed to be back to his normal fun self, but I could still tell he was thinking about Brian and me. We finally arrived back in Chouteau about eight thirty and Mark dropped Todd and then me off at our houses, before him and Brian continued on to the farm. I would clean up a little, change clothes, and meet them out at the farm in about half an hour.

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