Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)




Third Place:


By Collin Dawson

We’re so close. I can see the top of the Intimidator, the King of roller coasters, towering over us like a giant.

“Today I’m riding them all,” I decide, as our van comes to a stop.

“Alright, see you later,” sings Mom.

My sister Madison and I hurry out of the van. “Wait, Steve. You forgot your inhaler!” Mom reminds me loudly through the open window.

Embarrassed, I huff, “Thanks Mom,” and zoom off.

“Steve, wait up, I’m in charge,” Madison bosses.

I dart away knowing she will follow. Today is mine; let the wonderland of adventure begin.

About half way to the Volcano, I feel a familiar pain in my chest, and start to wheeze. Quickly, I take out my inhaler, shaking the canister and bringing it close to my lips. I spray and breathe deep, holding it as long as I can. Immediately, it starts to work, cooling my chest and relieving the pain. I go again, taking my second puff, and move on.

I climb aboard the Volcano. The attendant pushes all the restraints down, making the train seats look like fists of brass knuckles. We speed off from zero to 60 in three seconds. When we flip, my legs fling forward like spikes shooting from brass claws. The Volcano’s tracks turn inside the guts of the mountain and erupt from the center with spitting fire.

I take on each roller coaster and suddenly the day comes to a screeching halt.  The day vanished, the park closed, and we were shooed to the front gates.

Madison walks through the gate, but I stay in.

“Come on Steve!” whines Madison.

“I can’t, I forgot my inhaler,” I realize.

“Steve, I’m telling mom,” she warns as I run back to find my inhaler.

It’s so dark, I can’t see, but somehow I find myself at the Intimidator. The ground quakes and moans as the Intimidator rises into robot formation. Magically, it stands and something pops from its chest and rolls to my feet. It’s my inhaler. Scared, I stumble backwards, fumbling to take two quick puffs. I fall to the ground and hear strange sounds behind me.

“Brrrrrum, zzzzz, zap, creeeeeeak.”

An army of robots stands above me, resembling my favorite rides: Grizzly, Anaconda, Flight of Fear, and others.

“How do you do that, how are you alive?!” I demand.

“Steve,” booms the Intimidator. “You were sent here to save us, we are in danger. The Avalanche is gone…destroyed… and there have been others.”

“Why me? I’m just a kid.”

“Our powers are limited to the park, but your human bravery is infinite,” spoke the Intimidator.

Just then I hear, “Steve, Where are you?”

“I’ve got to go, but I’ll be back,” I promised.

“Return soon,” said the robot, and with a roar like thunder they disappear.

“Mom, I’m over here!” I shout and then run to her. “I forgot my inhaler.”

As we walk toward the exit, I look back, knowing an adventure awaits.


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