Guest 547 is walking.

Guest 547 is walking.

Guest 547 is walking, sees an intersection, and turns.

'I'm thirsty,' Guest 547 thinks.

Guest 547 is walking.

Guest 547 stops at Drink Stall 1.

Guest 547 purchases one beverage from Drink Stall 1.

Guest 547 is walking toward Roller Coaster 2.

Guest 547 stops to take a drink.

Guest 547 continues walking toward Roller Coaster 2.

Guest 547 is in line for Roller Coaster 2.

Guest 547 is in line for Roller Coaster 2.

'This drink from Drink Stall 1 is really good value,' Guest 547 thinks.

Guest 547 is riding Roller Coaster 2.

Guest 547 is riding Roller Coaster 2.

Guest 547 has died!


"Did you see the distance that one got?" Brett leans back, cackling with glee. "That one train, the last car, flew off the map! Did you see that distance?"

"Amazing," Tyler marvels. "How fast was it going?"

"I think it got up to a hundred. When I did this on another coaster, I got up to one-ten. One-thirty if it's raining," Brett continues.

"A hundred thirty? I've only ever seen things at the maximum height get up to 90," Tyler demures, putting down the natty that they got from Josh. The Natty was warm - Josh never refrigerated the 24-packs he bought for minors. Risk mitigation, this was - Josh was on thin fucking ice as it is, and he couldn't afford the questions that would come with why he had a 24-pack of Natural Ice in the fridge. He could keep a 24-pack hidden as a crate pretty easy, though, and Brett would just need to drive the half mile down Wooster Road to pick it up - from where Josh stood, it was an easy, low-risk way to make some cash. Tyler and Brett couldn't take the risk of cooling them down when Josh got it for them. So room temperature it was.

"No, no, see, I put boosters when it was at the maximum height, got it up to 60 miles an hour, then took it all the way down from 65 elevation down to zero." Brett explained.

"That's amazing," Tyler concurs.

"Right? it was still going up when it left the park! Shit's awesome," Brett marvels. Brett picks up his can, and takes a drink. It doesn't work. His can is empty. He sets it on the compressed wood desk. The aluminum sounds a matte chime on the desk.

Silence falls between Tyler and Brett, with only the chorus of Comfortably Numb blanketing the room. The guitar solo begins. Between texts, Tyler lets some partially in-tune humming break his sinuses. "Oh, shit," Tyler exclaims, "wait, you said it was at 60?"

"What?" Brett replies, clambering over to the 24-pack, secreted to the side of his desk.

"The height, you said, it was at 60 or something, right?" Tyler asks.

"Yeah, couldn't go higher than 65," Brett throws out.

"Right, but that's the 'too high for supports' thing, right? But did you raise the land? Right, cuz you can fuckin just raise the land as high as you want, you don't need any supports at all, you can just go up to the maximum height and don't need any supports." Tyler interjects.

"God, that's fuckin genius. Yeah, I, uh, I think I saved this game before we did this," Brett replies. "We can just go from there."

"Nah, man, delete this coaster, and use that money to remake the coaster. The money you made while building the coaster will still be there, and you'll need it for the land costs, right?" Tyler interjected.

"Yeah, that's right, that's right," Brett replies. "Yeah, let's just demolish it." Brett focuses on the screen. He turns the screen once, and Brett demolishes the ride. "Hey, uh, Tyler, can you take over, you seem like you've done this before," Brett asks as he stands, "my eyes are getting kinda tired."

Tyler puts his phone on the desk. "Yeah, sure," and he takes the computer chair. Definitely softer than the plastic chair he brought in, which Brett lazes into. The computer chair's pretty comfortable, but Brett's back and hip flexors are still tight. Brett tries to stretch while sitting down, arching his back. He doesn't fix the issue, but it's good enough. Brett stretches his neck for a moment, and looks at the desk where Tyler left his phone. Brett picks it up.

"We want to be using a Steel Corkscrew Coaster for this, right?" Tyler asks after demolishing Roller Coaster 2.

"THIS. That letter from hopper just DESTROYED me," Brett recites a text conversation from Tyler's phone.

"What?" Tyler asks, before realizing, "Wait, how'd you get my phone unlocked?"

Brett leans back onto the chair's hind legs, "Gotta lock your phone, man," Brett instructs, before showing Tyler the screen, "but don't worry, man, I drafted your response, you can just send it to Liz whenever."

Tyler reads it. "Motherfucker, give me my phone back." Tyler grabs his phone, and the side of his thumb brushes over the send button. "GODDAMMIT, BRETT."

Brett cackles, "Hey, man, I wasn't the one who sent a text saying 'I'm thirsty.' Least you're honest, man," Brett crows, leaning over to grab another beer, opening it and taking a drink. "So how you gonna reply?"

"What do you mean? 'LMAO sorry about that, Brett's a dick and got got hold of my phone' - Easy enough." Tyler replies. Brett nods vigorously, grinning hostility apparent in his agreement. "The hell ever, man," Tyler says as he pockets his phone. Fair enough, Tyler thinks - not like he himself hasn't done the same. He turns to the screen and demolishes Roller Coaster 2 after grabbing another natty. "This shit's so expensive, man."

"Really? I mean, Josh takes his share, but he's taking a risk, man. Like, Breaking Bad - the drug runners aren't being paid because they're driving, they're paid because they're taking a risk. This drink is really - it's, hah, he's, it's - it's really good value," Brett says, almost keeping it together there.

"Jesus Christ, dude," Tyler mutters, looking at left pocket after feeling a buzz. "I - wait, we demolished this one already, right?"

"Iunno, did you?" Brett giggles. He'd been way more entertained messing with Tyler's phone and watching the chaos unfold. His phone goes off afterward. He stands up to grab it from his nightstand. He picks it up, looks blankly at it for a moment, and starts cracking up. After composing himself, Brett forces out: "Tyler, how'd you do that? That's cool as shit."

"What?" Tyler says, batting down Brett's inquiry, if a little off-put by Brett's outburst. He demolishes Roller Coaster 2, and the screen snaps open the screen for Guest 547. 'I have the strangest feeling someone is watching me.'

"'Guest 547 died!' How'd you send that from the phone number '547'? Is there a website that does that? That's amazing, dude."

"What?" Tyler asks absentmindedly. "My phone's been in my pocket, since I guess I can't leave it out on a counter without someone jumping into it," he says, demolishing Roller Coaster 2.

"Well, good job, whatever you did," Brett grins. "Haven't you demolished that Roller Coaster yet?"

"Dude, I fucking did it twice, I don't know what's going on." Tyler replies, his sloppy frustration rising. Tyler definitely thought he demolished it, but Brett knew that Tyler's word was more a suggestion than a commitment, so Brett wasn't too surprised Roller Coaster 2 was still standing.

"Hey, Tyler, I think we're being haunted," Brett teases, "What if Guest 547 was one of the guys we just killed with the roller coaster? He's here to haunt us from beyond the grave. Like, digitally, though."

"Probably," Tyler deadpans. "Probably the reason why I can't demolish the roller coaster. See, he's right there, on the screen. Can't pick him up, see? Prob'ly haunting us now. See? Can't even see him in his image. Don't wanna scare you, man, but I think he's haunting us now."

A middle-pitched three-beat pulse sounds on Brett's phone. "Again, how are you doing this? It's awesome."

Tyler hears the same pulse on his phone. "What do you mean? Oh, this text message? This is awesome. 'Guest 547 is lost and can't find the exit!' Holy, shit, man. This is really good, Brett. Like, you got it down to the number. 547. No idea how you're doing this, but it's awesome."

Brett was impressed. He knew Tyler was lying, as Tyler was obviously the one who sent the text, so Brett could only admire how convincingly Tyler was committing to this. He asks Brett - "Mind if I take over?"

Tyler grabs his beer. "Thought your eyes were getting tired," he mumbles as he gets up. In truth, Tyler was annoyed with the game right now. He did delete the coaster. If Brett's shitty 2008 Dell wasn't gonna run RollerCoaster Tycoon right, then Brett could handle the damn computer himself. Tyler takes a drink.

Tyler takes a seat on the floor, because his cargo shorts were aggravating his backside. Air conditioning didn't really work in this room. He didn't really like Brett's house - it was always hot here in the summer, and the computer fan didn't help matters. But as long as he got out of his own house, that was what mattered.

Brett takes hold of the mouse and begins his lecture. "Okay, Tyler, here's how you demolish a roller coaster," he says, leaning over his shoulder, before asking, "wait, what're you doing on the floor?"

"Chair's too hot," Tyler responds flatly.

"Ha, yeah, it's really hot in here," Brett agrees, before trying to cobble his patronizing character together as a three-beat pulse rang on Tyler's phone. "Okay, so you, uh, see this trash can here on the screen? Right, that's the demolish button. You see this thing I'm holding? It's called a mouse, and you take your right hand and use your pointer finger to press down on this button here."

Tyler rolls his eyes and looks at his phone. "Right, right, your shitty mouse and computer isn't working, feel free to show me how it's done." He sneers appreciatively at his phone. Tyler has known Brett to be a dick, but he's never really seen him plan things through. "Nice job, dude," Tyler says earnestly, replying to the new text from the 547 number. Brett, who was demolishing Roller Coaster 2 at the time, was taken aback by how earnest Tyler was and lets out a full-bodied laugh. As sarcasm goes, Brett thought that Tyler did pretty well there.

"No, but really, dude, how are you sending these text messages?" Tyler marvels. Brett was clearly playing the game as he sent messages from this 547 phone number. 'He's selling the shit out of this bit,' Tyler thinks.

"What do you mean?" Brett asks, before remembering, "Oh, the 547 ones? Yeah, how are you sending them?"

Tyler was impressed. He knew Brett was lying, as Brett was the one who sent the text, so Tyler couldn't only admire how convincingly Brett was committing to this. A three-beat pulse sounds on his phone.

"How are you doing this, bro?" They ask in unison. While looking back at Tyler, Brett's peripheral vision caught site of an image. "Tyler?" He asks and points, as Tyler turns around.

In relief of the faux wood paneling that lined this room stood the effigy of a man, moving in discrete pixellated fidgets. The man was 9 squares by 20, each about 3 inches in size. Squares, not cubes - not that it registered to either of the alienated, stilled onlookers in this moment, but the likeness before them was entirely two-dimensional. The animate effigy speaks in a voice both familiar and alien.

"I want to go home."


Look, sisters and brothers, if there was ever gonna be dialogue in something I write, it was gonna be weird. K-Mart surrealism fits the bill.

Also - first fic in the RollerCoaster Tycoon category? Nice.