Title: Highway to Hell Outtake: After Park Hours
Summary: This is an outtake from my full story Highway to Hell which is a crossover of Supernatural and Twilight. The story deals with monsters and ghost hunting but mostly it's about family and the strength it takes to protect the ones we love. This is a day in the life of Carlisle and his two sons.
Warnings: harsh language, death, supernatural creatures, violence, the dreaded It's a Small World ride.
A/N: I just want to thank all of you for your donations for the Fandoms for the Texas Wildfire Relief cause. This tragedy has cost many people their homes and the lives of their loved ones. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and help.
Thanks to the lovely Twilover76 for her wonderful beta work!
I don't own any part of Twilight, Supernatural or Disneyland. This is all just for fun.
"It's a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It's a world of hopes,
And a world of fears.
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware,
It's a small world after all.
(It's a small world, Richard M. Sherman)
February 15th, 1999
I really should have listened to Charlie Swan.
"You're shittin' me," Charlie said with a perturbed flex of his eyebrows.
I shrugged. "You're the one that said I should 'try to do more family things' with the boys."
"Don't be an ass, Blondie," he scolded. "You know damn well I didn't mean this."
"Look, there have been some omens in the area. I'll take the kids down for a day, maybe bag a few beasties. What's the big fuss?"
He chuckled with manic glee. "Carlisle, I don't think you know what you're getting yourself into," he warned.
"I can spend one damn day with my boys, Charlie," I defended. "I'm not that inept."
"No…it's not that…it's…Mickey Mouse."
I glared at the damn map spread out on the park bench as if it was a battle strategy.
"Can we ride Space Mountain?" Edward asked.
He didn't ask, he whined. Every muscle in my body was strained to fight the urge to turn to him and recite rule number fourteen, but I was trying to make this a fun day for the boys. Disneyland was supposed to be some great place for families, or so I'd been told. It was barely noon and I was already itching for a demon to behead to relieve the frustration of dealing with this park of heinous social torture.
"How is this shit enjoyable?" I mumbled under my breath. After paying the amount of a small down payment on a house to get into the Fortress of Fun, I found it nearly impossible to navigate my way around the place.
Edward hopped back and forth on his feet, standing on tip-toes to see the parade of over-sized cartoon characters marching down the street behind us. Jasper quietly stood next to me. His eyes roamed the length of the street. I had no doubt that he could identify every person within twenty feet of us. He probably had every exit and possible weapon noted as well. The kid was a machine when it came to casing a location.
"What am I looking for again?" I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose between my thumb and forefinger.
"Bathroom, sir," Jazz responded without removing his eyes from the crowd.
"Right," I sighed.
"There are two located ten feet south of us and another set twenty feet north, around the big white mountain, sir," Jazz informed me.
"Why didn't you tell me that before I pulled out the map?" I grumbled in annoyance.
He shot nervous eyes in my direction. "I noticed them on the map, sir," he answered with extreme apprehension.
I sighed again. "I'm not mad at you, Jasper," I informed him, trying to put the kid at ease. It seemed like no matter how many years Jasper lived with the surname of Cullen he would never trust that I wasn't going to drop him off back at the orphanage in Forks.
Damn you, Charlie Swan, I mentally cursed. Charles had been right about this one. This sure as hell was not the 'happiest place on Earth'.
"Come on," I said, grabbing the collar of Edward's shirt and dragging him away from the somersaulting performers lining Main Street.
"Where are we going now?" Edward asked.
"You said you had to pee," I snapped.
"Oh, yeah," he replied vacantly, as if he only now remembered his situation.
I headed for the set of restrooms closest to us. A park employee threw her hand up in front of us before we could cross the street.
"I'm sorry sir," she said with a psychotically pleasant smile. "This road is closed during the parade. Please follow the orange signs to the right, around the parade route." She gestured toward an obnoxiously bright orange sign with what looked like Mickey Mouse's hand pointing away from the restrooms.
"But we need the restroom," I told her. I nodded my head toward the facilities almost within reach.
"I'm sorry sir," she repeated in that same candy-coated voice. "But if you follow the orange signs, you'll find the alternate restrooms located on this side of the parade route."
I could see people walking around behind her, many of them using the restrooms we were headed toward.
"Seriously, they're right there," I said, pointing and practically huffing like Edward did when I told him to practice his Latin. "Those people are using them!" I complained.
"Unfortunately sir, those people are on that side of the parade route. If you follow the orange signs, you'll be led back around the park and can access that side of the route that way." She ended the instructions with another too sweet smile and I gave up.
"Follow the damn orange signs," I told the boys.
We ended up traveling in circles around the parade, and by the time we reached the other side of the big, white mountain Edward was practically dancing in the street with the need to use the facilities.
After he was finished, we continued to follow the orange signs. I felt like some damn lab rat.
"Where are we going now?" Edward was starting to sound like a broken record.
"I have no idea," I admitted in frustration.
A wave of people started pushing towards us.
"Parade just ended," Jazz informed me when he saw the annoyance darkening my scowl.
"Stay close," I commanded both of them.
We were pushed along the path with the flow of the crowd. I had no clue where the end destination of the mob was. We moved further and further toward the back of the park.
Before I knew it, we were standing in front of yet another Stepford-level chipper employee.
"Hi, how many?" he asked.
"There're three in my party," I replied. "Why?" I added when he turned to look at something.
"Okay, party of three please step up to row number four," he said, waving us through.
"What the hell?" I grumbled.
"Really?" Jazz groaned behind me as we walked to the blue number four painted on the ground.
"What?" Edward asked.
"Yeah, what?" I echoed.
Just then a boat whizzed into the dock in front of me. I realized the row was specified for seating on the small, pastel colored craft.
I was already beyond the point of understanding what was going on so I just followed the crowd, stepping into the boat and watching to make sure the boys followed me in.
Edward looked around with excitement, while Jazz glared straight ahead like I was about to force him to drink battery acid.
"What?" I repeated.
Jazz rolled his eyes. "You'll see."
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls please keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the boat at all times. And welcome to It's a Small World After All presented to you today by Dole," yet another disgustingly sweet voice announced over a PA system.
Before I could fully process the instructions the boat hurtled out of the dock, launching into a crawling aquatic pathway. The instructions were repeated in seven different languages, but I was too busy trying to ignore the disturbing parade of topiaries that lined the pathway to fully understand them. I couldn't help but feel like I was on one of those rude hidden camera TV shows that Jasper loved watching.
"Where are we?" I whispered to Jasper.
"We're on the demented doll ride," he informed me, grumpily.
"The wha…" My voice trailed off as the doors to the ride opened.
I spent the next twenty minutes believing I was in hell.
I had spent many years researching Hades, finally deciding that hell was custom built for each person sent downstairs. My hypothesis was confirmed when I entered my own private chamber of torture.
I desperately tried to remember the exact moment that I died. I wasn't surprised that I was sent into the pit…I just couldn't recall dying.
This had to be Hell. What other explanation could there be for this hideous place? There was absolutely no other excuse for this "ride" as Jasper kept calling it.
I stared at the endless stream of papier-mâché backgrounds covered in glitter. Each new scene featured the most god-awful creepy wooden dolls with dead eyes blinking and soundless mouths working up and down. And the word 'obnoxious' couldn't go far enough to describe the incessant song playing on repeat.
Yep. This is Hell.
"Does someone find this entertaining?" I mocked.
A surly dude with a graying goatee turned around to glare at me. I noticed he had a toddler sitting next to him. The kid seemed genuinely captivated by the insanity around us.
I met the dude's glare with a cold stare of my own and he turned around.
"Come on," I said after we were finally released from the trip through Hell.
"Where are we going now?"
I scowled at Edward. "We're going back to the hotel."
"But…we haven't done anything!" he whined.
"That's not true," I pointed out. "We just sat through a twenty minute seminar on how to torture a grown man."
"Tragedy strikes The Magic Kingdom today as several families were rushed to the hospital following a deadly accident on the It's a Small World After All attraction. The Walt Disney Corporation has not released a statement at this time, but representatives for the company say that the attraction is closed until further investigation…"
"Turn that damn television off!" I shouted from the shower. I didn't need anymore worries about that stupid theme park today.
There were signs of some supernatural presence in the area that I wanted to look into.
"Where are we heading next?" Jasper asked when I emerged from the bathroom.
"We're going to the Water Treatment Facility in L.A. County to look into this case," I told him.
"There's a case right here," Edward said from his bed. His face was hidden behind a comic book, but I shot him a look anyway.
"That's what I just said. There have been reports of something in the sewers…something big."
"Alligators?" Jazz half guessed, half joked.
"This isn't Florida, Jasper," I reminded him.
"I wouldn't doubt that the two are related," Edward offered, still reading his comic book.
"You wouldn't doubt that Florida and alligators are related?" I asked. "Wow, I can see that genius level IQ test was right on target," I added sarcastically.
He finally lowered the comic book and glared at me.
"No, Dad," he sighed. "The sewers and the case at the park. The ride is a water ride."
"What damn case at the park?" I asked, looking to Jasper for information.
He shrugged. "There was a news report on earlier that just said there were some families rushed to the hospital following a deadly accident. I didn't see any case."
"Are you making up excuses to go back to that place?" I asked with a pointed stare at the youngest Cullen in the room.
"No," he replied, looking put out about the fact that his last trip was cut short.
"Look into it on the net or whatever. I'll head down to the main sewer line access and see if I see anything strange."
"What should I do?" Jasper asked as I walked to the door.
"Watch him," I commanded, pointing at Edward.
The alarm on my watch beeped. "And Edward, take your pills."
It stunk beyond the telling of it once I was inside the sewer. I was almost reluctant to pull my flashlight out due to the smell. I was pretty sure all I would see would be shit.
"Wow," I said after flicking the light on. "That is a lot of shit."
I followed the line back toward the park. There weren't any signs of a monster setting up a home. There weren't even any tracks in the sludge.
I walked on for a few miles, mentally keeping track of any turns I took. I came across bones eventually. They were small, belonging to a child, and they looked freshly cleaned. I made a note of it to ask Edward if any kids were taken yesterday. I walked a little further up the tunnel, stopping when I could hear the singing.
"No…" I said in disbelief.
Edward's words from this morning were in my head. It is a water ride.
"Damn it," I cursed.
I paid our way back into the park of evil only because a fourteen-year-old and a nine-year-old weren't believable as Feds. I, however, was able to pull out my badge when we reached the ride. The boys snuck around back and I let them in once I was alone to inspect the crime scene.
"You have to admit it's less creepy with the motors turned off," Jazz said as we walked through each scene looking for any clues.
I stared straight into the dead, detached eyes of the unmoving doll in front of me. "Yeah…way less creepy."
"You guys see anything out of the ordinary yet? Any theories?"
Edward flipped through the pages of the notebook that he carried. "Well…you said you found the bones of a child; and whatever this thing is, it lives in water….I have it narrowed down to a few hunches. Look around to see if you find a child-sized lizard," he told us.
"As in a really tiny one?" Jasper asked. I could hear the fear in his voice and laughed.
"No," I told him. "He means one as short…I mean as tall as him."
Edward sighed from the other side of the Ireland exhibit. "I'm not that short," he whined.
We entered one of the last chambers, the one labeled Hawaii. "Jasper," I called, pointing to the mermaids at the opening of the scene. "Don't say I never took you to Hawaii," I teased.
"Guys," Edward whispered, further into the scene. He motioned us over, warning us to walk slowly and quietly.
"What is it?" I whispered when we reached him.
He pointed to a small creature standing between a purple sparkling hippo and Hula dancing doll. It was a reptile, maybe three or four feet tall. It stood out in the lifeless display, even though it was standing perfectly still.
"What is it and how do we kill it?" Jazz asked.
"It's a Japanese Kappa," Edward explained quietly. "The only way to disable it is to bow before it. There's a cavity at the top of its head filled with water. If you can get it to bow, the water will drain out and that will immobilize it. If you refill the water in the cavity…legend says the Kappa will forever serve you."
"Okay," I said, absorbing the facts. "Jasper," I instructed. "Walk slowly toward it with your head held high. When you're right in front of it, bow slowly and wait for it to bow back."
Jazz jumped up to follow my command without question. As he walked slowly toward the creature, I turned to find Edward glaring at me.
"Why didn't you go in?" he asked.
"When did I ask for your commentary, kid?" I snapped back at him.
He probably thought me heartless, but that wasn't the case. I knew these two boys would have to face these kinds of evil for the rest of their lives. I didn't know how long I'd be around for that. I had a feeling deep down that I wouldn't be there for too many years longer. There was no room to baby them.
"One day you'll understand Edward," I promised him. He just sneered and turned back to watch his brother.
I continued to watch him with narrowed eyes.
"He did it," Edward said, jumping up to join Jasper.
I followed slowly, smiling to myself as the boys fist-bumped over the success of the mission. The immobilized Kappa stood bent over in front of the boys.
"What should we do with it?" Jasper asked.
I walked to the creature, pulling a water bottle from my backpack. I handed the bottle to Edward.
"Fill the cavity and tell it to return to the water ways until you ask for it," I told him.
He gave me an odd look but followed my instructions.
"Won't the creature keep taking kids if it's still in the sewers?" Jazz asked as we left the park.
"Nope," Edward told him. "It serves me now and I told it to wait for me to tell it what to do."
"Won't it die without food?"
"Creatures born of that old magic don't usually kill just for food, Jasper," I said. "They kill because…that's just what they're meant to do."
"But he's changed," Edward pointed out. "He's not evil…not anymore."
He turned expectant eyes on me and I nodded in agreement.
Even though I wasn't entirely sure it was true.
"Hang on," a voice shouted when we reached the gate. "How bout a nice family picture?" a park attendant asked.
I shrugged. What could it hurt to have a picture taken?
"Come on," I told the boys.
We stood awkwardly side by side and I put my hands on their shoulders. I wondered what we looked like to the families passing by. We weren't the most typical family…hell, we weren't even technically related.
"Smile," I commanded just before the flash went off.
A week later, I dropped a copy of the picture in the mail, post marked for Phoenix, Arizona. At the bottom of the picture I simply wrote "mission accomplished".
Japanese Kappa: reptile looking creature the size of a kid. Associated with drowning and kidnapping kids. To disarm a Kappa you must bow since they are obsessed with manners. They bow too and spill the water from the cavity in their head rendering them immobile until the water is refilled. The Kappa will forever serve the human who refills the water for all eternity. (Wikipedia)