AN: Hey, I'm on a roll here! We now return to Emmett's POV…enjoy!
I had expected the crowds, but was really sick of waiting in this massive line.
Phantom Fright Night at Kennywood, our local amusement park, was always packed. The event went on for several weekends surrounding Halloween, but tonight was Friday the 13th, making things extra crazy. It was prime scaring time and the people were out in droves.
Edward and I stood, waiting with the masses, to get our tickets.
After an exhausting week, I was looking forward to the night out with my man.
I still couldn't believe he'd never been to Fright Night before. I reached for his hand but was distracted by my phone vibrating. Again.
Rose had been bugging me all day with texts. Where Edward was nervous, I was excited, and Rose was over the moon. She had been counting down the hours, through a series of increasingly frantic messages. Adding more and more expletives and emoticons as the day wore on.
Luckily, the texts would soon be coming to an end. She and Jasper were waiting just inside the gates for us. So, once we could get through this line, we'd be home free.
Even outside the gates, we could hear the echoes of spooky music and chilling screams. I was psyched. I hadn't done this in years.
It was a tradition, in high school, for Rose and me to come every year. As we got older, and busier, we just kind of stopped coming. So we were both excited to get back into it and to introduce our partners to it as well.
Jasper had never been here either. But, he was a recent Pittsburgher - so that was forgivable.
Edward, on the other hand, well…he had no excuse. A fact which I continued to tease him about and which he was getting very annoyed with me for.
The line finally moved forward a bit, as I replied to Rose's umpteenth 'Where are you guys?' message. Honestly, I loved that woman but she was so impatient. I grabbed Edward's hand, pulling him forward with me. After about 10 more minutes we were finally able to get our tickets. We made our way through security, down the hill, and found Rose and Jasper waiting for us on the other side of the tunnel.
Rose ran up and threw her arms around me like I was a long-lost soldier returning from war. I mean, seriously, it hadn't been that long since I'd seen her.
"Em!" she squealed excitedly in my ear. "This is gonna be awesome."
I wrapped my arms around her and gave her an affectionate squeeze in return. "Hey Rose, excited much?"
She stepped back and slapped my arm, giving me her usual look of playful disdain. "Oh, shut up."
As she turned to give Edward a hug of his own, I shook Jasper's hand, "Good to see you, man. How's it going?"
"Hey there, Emmett," he drawled, "I'm good thanks. Curious to see if this place lives up to all the hype."
I laughed in response. "Yeah, well I'm sure Rosie here has told you all about it."
"I heard that," she retorted, cutting in to our conversation.
"Hey there, Edward," Jasper said holding out his hand in greeting and effectively cutting Rose off from any further comments.
Smart man. I loved my Rosie, but she needed a special type of guy to put her in her place at times. Jasper seemed like he could definitely hold his own with her. Good thing, because she was a force to be reckoned with.
"Come on boys. Time to get our scare on!" she exclaimed, grabbing Jasper's hand and pulling him into the park.
"Well," I looked to Edward with a smile, "Ready babe?"
He smiled back, a bit nervously. But, took my hand and followed me in all the same.
He had told me he wasn't really into scary things, and was a bit nervous for what the night would entail. I assured him that I would be by his side the whole time and to let me know if anything bothered him too much.
Everything around us was decked out for Halloween and with the intent to spread terror. Lightning flashing and rumbling thunder, workers in ghastly costumes, fog machines, scary music…you name it. The park was completely transformed into a festival of fright and I loved it. Some of it was cheesy, in a good way, and some of it was just downright scary.
I didn't know how Edward would react to it all, but I'd happily continue to hold his hand, if necessary. We first went through the Arcade, which had been converted into a haunted maze. Workers in costume jumped out randomly, making some patrons laugh, some scream, and some cry. Certain movements would trigger air cannons, causing us to jump. It was so fun. Edward seemed to be enjoying it, though he did grab for me a few times.
Then we rode a few coasters and the Ferris wheel, before stopping off for some junk food. We all got in different lines and met up to eat our corndogs, potato patch fries, funnel cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade. All my Kennywood favorites.
We headed into another maze, letting our food digest before taking on the Phantom's Revenge coaster. This one was pretty scary and Edward grabbed my hand immediately, while Rose clutched Jasper tightly. He soothed her saying, "It's okay darlin.'" And I gave Edward's hand a reassuring squeeze.
We passed through cobwebs in the foggy darkness and could hear screams ahead, but nothing jumped out at us. The thrill and fear of anticipation was getting to us. All of us. Rose was beginning to freak a bit, as were a few others in our group.
Suddenly we were thrust into a hall of mirrors. We halted in our tracks as strobe lights began to flash and shapes emerged before us. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by clowns. Grotesque, warped looking clowns. Whether we were truly surrounded or not, we couldn't tell because of the mirrors, but it was getting freaky and most everyone screamed.
Several of the clowns were holding picket signs with warnings of 'Stay Back' and 'You Are Not Welcome' and 'Get Lost,' etc. They were looming before us and behind us. There was no apparent way to get out and it was creepy. Before I knew what was happening, Edward was clutching onto me for dear life and sobbing into my chest.
My mind was muddled for a moment as I took in the sight of my Edward, terrified and sobbing. When I finally snapped out of it, I held him close and forced my way out of the crowd. The clowns no longer mattered. The music and lights and people no longer mattered. I had to get my man out of there.
Jasper shot me a questioning glace, but saw the look of determination on my face and grabbed Rose, pulling her along and following me out. I don't know if anyone noticed what was happening or not, but I really didn't care.
I stroked Edward's back and murmured, "I've got you babe. You're safe. You're okay," as we made our way out of the maze and towards the park entrance. I kept up my litany of reassurances as I headed blindly to the exit and Edward stumbled along keeping his face hidden in my chest and continuing to cry quietly.
He was trembling in my arms and I was worried.
When we finally got out of the gates I attempted to pry Edward away from me and find out what was wrong. But he wouldn't budge. I spoke to him soothingly and Rose and even Jasper tried too, but to no avail.
"Guys, I think I'm just gonna take him home," I said helplessly.
"Yes, home please," were the first breathless words that Edward had spoken.
"Of course, beautiful. Let's go home," I assured quietly.
I held tight to him and used my other arm to give Rose a hug and Jasper a pat on the back. After promising to call Rose later, we headed to the car.
Getting Edward into the car was no small miracle. But, eventually he relaxed enough to let go of me. Once I got in the driver's seat, I immediately reached over to hold his hand and didn't let go until we were safely home.
Somewhere along the journey he fell asleep, probably from pure exhaustion and the loss of adrenaline.
My mind was whirling with the possibilities of what could have set him off this way. Obviously it had something to do with the clowns. Many kids and adults were terrified of clowns. But, I'd never seen anyone react to that extreme. There was something more here. Something was really wrong.
I carried my sleeping boyfriend into my apartment and laid him on my bed. After ridding him of his leather jacket and shoes and throwing on some flannel pants for myself, I spooned up behind him and held him close. I put my hand over his heart and kissed the back of his neck murmuring, "I'm here love. Sleep tight, you are safe here with me."