Olga Collazo Perez attends Full Sail University, where she is earning a BFA in Creative Writing with a focus on narrative game design. She enjoys a wide spectrum of games and genres from mobile to MMOS, fantasy to mystery. Her story, “Partners,” is published in the June 2021 edition of Adelaide Literary Magazine. She is president of the Full Sail Creative Writing Club and a member of International Game Developers Association (IGDA.) She prides herself on being a cat mom and provides refuge for stray kitties and lonely neighborhood cats.
While the floor, seats, and frame of the Ferris wheel compartment were all metal, the walls were made of ancient wood. Maya sat on the edge of her bench, back straight. The breeze blew through the open-air car and did little to ease her anxiety. The compartment creaked. Maya eyed the roof above her. “You don’t look very comfortable,” Ryan said. Her voice trembled. “I’m fine. Thank you.” The whole wheel stuttered to a halt. Maya let out a cry of surprise but snapped her mouth shut. She took a deep breath. The compartment groaned its complaints while it swung in the wind. “You’re clearly not fine. Relax, we aren’t going to die.” She stared at the floor. “Hey, it’s ok. Look at me. See? Perfectly sturdy.” He stomped on the floor with one foot. “Oh, dear god, please don’t do that.” Ryan chortled. Maya glared at him. “Alright. I’m sorry. I won’t laugh at you anymore.” She continued to give him the evil eye. He cleared his throat, awkward in his attempt to put on a serious face. “You know, when John told me about this little adventure, I thought I would be bored to tears or annoyed beyond reason. But I am very well entertained.” “Excuse me?” Maya said, dumbfounded. “You’re entertained?” “Quite.” She scoffed. “You know, you have a reputation for being a handful.” “Are you–” “Little did I know you were this timid creature, afraid of a little wind.” His smug tone caused her anger to overtake her fear. She stood up. “A little wind? We are ‘joy riding’ in a hanging deathtrap on the world’s most infamous murder wheel. Look around you.” Maya waved her arm open to encompass the whole of the compartment. “This thing looks older than my great-grandparents and probably hasn’t been serviced since the ‘60s. If that isn’t cause for a little healthy fear, I don’t know what is.” Ryan stood up. His head bumped on the car’s ceiling, Maya might have laughed had the situation been different, but instead she glared at him. He met her gaze as he taunted her. “Quit being a baby.” “Fine. I’m a baby… and you’re an idiot.” “That’s rich coming from someone like you.” “Someone like me?” She huffed and crossed her arms. “What about someone like you? Rich, snobby, full of himself. As if—” Without preamble, the ancient mechanisms of the Ferris wheel lurched into motion. Ryan braced himself on the frame, but Maya was caught off guard. She stumbled to the edge of the half wall. She cried out and tilted backwards over the wall, more out than in. “Maya!” He reached for her, snagged her around the waist, and pulled her to safety. Maya gasped for air and hid her face in his chest. “Damnit, woman, be careful!” He held her close. She looked up, on the verge of another tirade but found herself disarmed by the concern in his eyes. He tucked a black curl behind her ear. He smiled. She smiled. Sensibility kicked in and snapped her brain towards logical thought. Maya pushed herself out of his arms. She cleared her throat, her face flushed. Ryan sniggered. Clearly, there were things more dangerous than this deathtrap.