VentureRealm Amusement Park -ch10


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Chapter 10 of



Chapter 10


Princess Michelle was now in full costume and heading toward the Saloon when something new caught her eye. A fenced in area was being built. She wandered over and spotted the crew leader, Tommy, looking at a diagram on the hood of a truck.

"Hey Tommy." Michelle greeted. "What's this?"

Tommy looked over and smiled. "Mornin' Princess Michelle. This is your animal interaction area."

Michelle blinked. "My what?"

"Petting zoo." Tommy chuckled.

This was news to her. "I get a zoo?"

"Sure do. Some calves, foals, goats, lambs, piglets, ducks, chicks, rabbits, peacocks. I even heard there's going to be one of them z-donks. Cross of a zebra and a donkey. Queen Tessa hired some 4-H kids coming out of high school to work this. Pretty cool, huh?" Tommy asked.

Michelle nodded. "Sounds it. I had no idea this was going to be here."

"Queen Tessa said that she had talks with several farmers and ranchers, along with the animal shelter people to get this together. Full-time vet and the 4-H kids will work the people and animals. Some of those kids want to become vets and see this as a way to work up for college money. Over there is a blacksmith. Some boys that took metal-shop in high school will be working that. They'll be making real stuff for sale, including horse shoes for the shelter horses all over the state." Tommy informed her.

Michelle looked surprised. "Shelter horses?"

Tommy nodded. "Yeah. Rescued horses, you know? Sometimes the shelter gets calls about livestock and they have to take them. Those animals are in a bad way. Queen Tessa worked out a deal. If they buy the horseshoes from here, she's going to only charge for the material to make them. Farriers and veterinarians can buy them too, but they pay full price. She worked out a deal for the baby animals to be here too. The babies are here for six months and then they go back to the farmer or rancher they came from for new babies. The park feeds and takes care of them while their here and pays the upkeep. Kind of like a lease deal. I think. That's how it sounded to me. The park is leasing the babies til they get a certain size then trades them back for youngers."

"So, we won't have animals too big for the kids to play with?" Michelle asked.

Tommy shook his head. "That's how I heard it. You might get some ponies for a ride thing, but I don't know. I did hear that Captain Dave just hired some more people for Security and they're dog-handlers."

Mark was walking by and called out. "Tommy, your crew got plenty of water?"

"We're good Mark, filled the cooler myself this morning." Tommy called back to the First Responder.

Mark gave him a thumb's up then looked over to Michelle. "Morning Princess. Make sure you all get in good stretching before starting your rehearsal and have water nearby."

Michelle smiled. "Thank you Mark, we will. Don't forget to look after yourself as well."

"Aye aye Princess, I always do." Mark said and continued on happily.

Tommy smiled. "There goes a happy guy. He ain't content unless he's fussed over folks."

"He means well." Michelle chuckled.

"No Ma'am. Inside the fence, we belong to him and if anything happens to us, he takes it seriously. He'll never forgive himself if he can't take care of us. He took care of SEALs and Marines during the war." Tommy explained.

Michelle hadn't heard the full story and was impressed. "Wow. I should start thanking him better from now on. I didn't know."

Tommy nodded. "Just like that fella, Zeke, Queen Tessa hired. He was in the war too and had it plenty rough after coming home. I still feel bad about how we all acted when we found him that day."

Tommy relayed the events of the day Zeke was found under the trailer and how Tessa handled it.

"Tommy! You're about to make me cry! I thought I had hit the lottery when she called me. Now I wonder if I was worth it, after hearing about that." Michelle said sadly.

Tommy gave her a serious look. "No joke. Zeke would crawl across burning, busted glass without a stitch of clothes on, with Queen Tessa standing on his back if she wanted to go somewhere. He'd only stop to salute Captain Dave along the way. The Security here would follow Captain Dave through Hell itself, but Zeke would carry Queen Tessa personally. Well, have a good rehearsal. I gotta stay on this, so we do it right."

Michelle nodded. "It'll be great Tommy."

Michelle turned and headed toward the Saloon. It appeared there were some stories she hadn't heard before floating around. Feeling thrilled to work at the park, she now wondered if she were truly worthy of it, especially her position.

"NO." Michelle shook her head and said firmly. "Tessa picked me, personally. I'll prove I'm worthy of her trust."

In the Saloon, when the other show cast arrived, she led them through warm-ups and even spent a few extra minutes doing so. She even made sure each one had a bottle of water nearby. She also resolved to know everyone in WildForest and what they did. During breaks, that's what she did. Michelle didn't go alone either, she had her whole cast follow and learn as well.




Danica had checked the chemicals of the lagoon water first thing that morning, along with the temperature then inspected the practice tails. When Mark came by on his morning rounds, she proudly showed him the full water cooler, juice boxes, thermal bottles of warm green tea and snacks. He nodded to her knowledge, as a competitive swimmer. She knew the toll such strenuous efforts in the water would take and was prepared for it.

When her cast arrived for rehearsal, they all stretched well and exercised. They even swam around a bit to ensure they were relaxed and warmed-up before putting on the silicone practice tails. Since there were more mermaids than mermen, one girl served as a helper. The helper rotated each day so that everyone got a dry-day. The helper also worked the cameras to record the performances for review.

The young man running the sound for the show had been in one of the high school drama clubs and graduated the year before. Danica picked him personally after meeting the shy boy. He was small and skinny, admitting that he had worn glasses until only recently. She suspected he had most likely been bullied. She was very quick to inform him that his skills backstage were what made him very sought after. In fact, she and Michelle had a small contest over him, to which Danica had won. Ethan's jaw dropped when she confided to him of that.

Ethan was even more shocked when Danica informed him that he was required to be able to swim as well, for safety reasons. In case a cast member was distressed, he might be the only one able to dive in to rescue them. He soon found himself practicing at least once per day swimming in the lagoon bringing a cast-member to the backstage area, simulating being injured or unconscious. Including Danica herself. In those drills, he also test called for Medical responders. Mark was glad to participate in those drills and did so.

Before Ethan understood what was going on, he was a Red Cross certified Lifeguard. He found it hard to not focus on the pretty red-head. The fact that she was transgender had no bearing. Actually, very few could tell and wouldn't have really guessed if she hadn't said so. Thankfully, none had issue. Especially after what she told them they were being hired for. For the girls, it was their greatest dream come true. Not only did they get to play mermaid everyday, they were being paid to do it.

After two wet rehearsals they were holding themselves up in the water with their tails.

"Looking great! Let's go get in a dry rehearsal now then take a break." Danica said.

Quickly they all dove then raced for the dressing room. In truth, they swam underwater for speed rather than to stay in character. Without the tails, it was faster to swim on the surface. With the tails on, they truly were faster underwater than on the surface. Backstage they would breach high and pull themselves onto a rubber mat. Ethan and the day's helper would go around and unzip the silicone tail down its spine and drape a towel over the cast-member. It only took one day for them all to realize it was better to be naked inside the tail. A swimsuit bottom, even thong style, would rub blisters. In twenty minutes they were dry, styled, made-up and dressed. They trooped outside and began rehearsing the dry show.

"OH WOW." Danica giggled and pointed. "Chompy is dress rehearsing today too!"

A guy in a shark mascot suit waddled over. "That's right Princess Danica! I can finally start wearing it now!"

One of the mermen looked it over. "Man. You're going to have take lots of breaks during the summer wearing that."

Chompy shook his head. "It won't be that bad. This has a fan in the top of the head to blow outside air down on me in here. I have to take breaks, but it won't be as bad. There's lots of shade that I can stand in too. Mister Mark showed me certain places that I can go to for a cool-down. They're all over the park for mascots."

"At least it's an easy job." Mermaid Lori said.

"There's a lot of rules for the mascots." Chompy replied. "We have safety briefings every morning. We have to drink a certain amount of water and go to the bathroom regularly so we don't dehydrate and fall out. They gave us watches with timers on them and we can only work so long and take a break for so long. We also have to wear a panic button. If we have a problem, we push the button and help comes."

Bryan, a merman, was shocked at all that. "Seriously? I thought mascots just put on the suit, wandered around and acted silly."

"No way dude. Mascots are a tough job. That's why there are at least three for every character. None of us work the same shift two days in a row. An evening shift, then a day shift then off a whole day. No double-shifts. We're only allowed to work six hours a day." Chompy said.

"That's really strict." Merman Justin remarked.

Chompy nodded, as best he could. "There's more. Each zone of the park has an empty mascot suit with sensors in it to monitor temperature. If it gets too hot inside it, an alarm goes off and we're told to go to the cool down rooms until they tell us we can go back out. I think they bring the dummy inside a cool down room and when it cools down enough they take it back outside until the alarm goes off again and we start all over."

Mermaid Renee was stunned. "That's wild!"

"Yep. Security will come get a mascot and escort them to a cool down room if we don't go immediately. We get in trouble if we ignore the warnings. One time, you get a butt-chewing by the mascot supervisor. Second time, you get wrote up and have to see Queen Tessa. Third time, she walks you to the gate, to leave." Chompy informed them. "Oh yeah. Something else. If you mess up the inside of a suit, you have to pay for the cleaning or replacement. If it's because you did something nasty, that you ain't supposed to be doing at all, you're gone."

"I heard some of the Disney mascots masturbate in costume." Merman Nick remarked, getting chuckles.

Chompy nodded to him. "That's what I'm talking about. Do it one time, you get fired. By Queen Tessa! No joke dude, she said so herself."

"That's pretty bad alright. Get caught messing up like that in Storm Bayou and Princess Nicole will feed you to a real alligator." Danica giggled.

Chompy slouched. "I heard about that. Man, that's one girl you don't want to cross. And you know when you're wrong around her. She goes off on you, in French. She doesn't play around."

Danica understood the Cajun's dedication. The first full day they were all together, Nicole confided her life story to the other two. Both Michelle and Danica understood, VentureRealm was truly the first safe place Nicole had come to since the death of her mother. A place she wouldn't give up without a real knock-down, drag-out, tooth and nail fight. Danica and Michelle shared their own stories as well. All three cried together and swore to be the best princesses to ever walk the grounds of a park.




Over in Storm Bayou Nicole clapped.

"BIEN! BIEN!" Nicole praised. "We good now! Queen Tessa be proud us, yeah!"

"Not yet." Beau called out. "Take us home, Princess."

Nicole smiled as he hit a note on his accordion to give the key and the harmonica player began, as did the guitar and fiddle.

She sashayed to front, center stage and sang. "Thirty mile out, th' gulfstream. Hear that South wind moan. Bridges be lookin' lower. Shrimp boats, hurryin' home. Old man down th' Quarter, slowly turn t' th' sea. Take 'nother sip o' whiskey, he look at me an' say."

All the players had come up on their instruments and those as backing vocals joined on the chorus. "Well, I was born in the rain, by th' Pontchartrain. Un'erneath th' Louisiana moon. Don't mind strain of a hurricane. Come 'round, every June. Th' high black water, she th' devil's daughter! She hard, she cold, she mean. But nobody taught 'er; it take alotta water, t' wash away New Orleans!"

The music had come up and now settled down as Nicole strolled back and forth. "Man come down, Chicago. He gonna set them levee right. Say it got t' be three feet higher. Or won't make, through th' night. Old man down th' Quarter. He say, don't listen that boy. Water, she be down th' mornin'. He be on 'is way, back to Illinois."

Everything went full volume now as they hit the chorus. "Well, I was born in the rain, by th' Pontchartrain. Un'erneath th' Louisiana moon. Don't mind strain of a hurricane. She come 'round, every June. Th' high black water, she th' devil's daughter! She hard, she cold, she mean. But we finally taught 'er. Gonna take alotta water, wash away New Orleans! Well, I was born in the rain, by th' Pontchartrain. Un'erneath th' Louisiana moon. Don't mind strain of a hurricane. She come 'round, every June. Th' high black water, she th' devil's daughter! She hard, she cold, she mean. But we finally taught 'er! Gonna take ALOTTA WATER, wash away New Orleans!"

Nicole and those that could were now dancing as the rest played. She called out. " AY-EEEEEEEEEEE!

When the song ended, the sound of clapping rang out from the back. With the lights on, they couldn't see the audience.

Nicole tried to shade her eyes. "Who dat?"

Tessa finally stepped close enough to be in light as well. "Me, of course."

"Riene Tessa!" Nicole gawked then blushed. "How long, you back there?"

Tessa smiled. "Long enough to be proud, of my princess and her Fais do-do."

"Merci Reine Tessa!" Nicole gushed. "We try hard!"

"I watched the whole show. It's wonderful. I love it! I know the guests will too." Tessa said. "Thank you for all your hard work. It's about lunch time. Nicole, take them to break and go eat."

Nicole nodded. "Oui! Allons! Let's go see Andre. He cook for us today!"

The cast put everything away and followed Nicole off-stage. They met up with Tessa out front and together, went to lunch.




Slowly, but surely. The attractions were being completed. Each had one a worker already. More were coming after graduating on May 15th. That would give them five days to train and receive uniforms. When an attraction was complete, as there were so few left to finish, the crews began to fall back to completing the main buildings; Administration offices and Medical. The Security, Technical offices and Mechanical shop had been completed not long after the rides began being assembled.

Tessa was walking around and looked up when a cartoon-ish voice overhead spoke out. "Grand Prize! Grand Prize!"

"My lucky day then!" Tessa smiled up at the brightly colored drone overhead.

It hovered lower and dropped a metallic-gold looking ball, about the size of a ping pong ball.

Tessa laughed. "Yay me!"

"Grand Prize! Grand Prize!" The drone announced. "Claim your prize at SeaSide's Main Shoppe!"

The drone slowly moved on. Tessa smiled and went over to the shoppe as she had been instructed and entered.

"Hi Queen Tessa." One of the clerks called out.

Tessa smiled and held up the gold ball. "Grand Prize."

The clerks inside all laughed and clapped.

Monique, the Shoppe manager, nodded. "Looks like that drone is doing it's thing. We were told about that."

"Good. I guess I'm the official guinea pig." Tessa laughed.

Periodically, the single brightly colored drone would hover over a child and get their attention then drop the ball to them. The child could then take the ball to the main shoppe for that area of the park and claim a prize. The prize came from an assortment of souvenir items ten dollars or less. The drone was flown by one of the Over-Watch group, as were the other drones.

Within minutes, nine members of Over-Watch could report to Drone Control and take to the air. They were all proficient and could fly the nine security drones in close formation. The prize drone only flew during daylight hours. The security drones could fly at all hours as they had standard and nightvision cameras.

Tessa turned in the prize ball. The shoppes would turn in all prize balls to Security after closing.

"Looks like you're about done in here." Tessa commented.

Monique nodded back. "Just about. Then this bunch moves on to the next shoppe."

"Well you're all doing a great job. I won't keep you." Tessa said and went out.

SnowyHill was next and she looked in on the main shoppe. They too were almost finished setting up. Finally Tessa visited WildForest. The Shoppes were looking good.

"Tessa. Hello." A Native American woman greeted her.

Tessa smiled and walked over to the Cherokee leather shoppe. "Hello to you Maggie."

Maggie RedBlanket invited her in. "Come in and look."

Tessa stepped inside and slowly looked around. There were boots, moccasins, belts, bags, bracelets, vests, jackets, pants, chaps and even skirts in various types of leather. Some were cowhide, pig and even deer hide. Some were plain and others were adorned with either beading or metal work.

"I'm glad my invitation was accepted Maggie. Everything looks fantastic!" Tessa announced.

Maggie smiled. "We were impressed with how you asked and even more so with the shoppe you built."

"What's that phrase? My walk will be my talk?" Tessa asked.

"That's pretty much it. We are believing you Tessa. You have not disappointed us and we are starting to believe you won't." Maggie said.

Tessa nodded firmly. "I made a deal, it will be kept. I refuse to go back on my word Maggie. I'll make good, you won't be disappointed. Ever."

Maggie nodded back. "I am seeing this. I'm glad we accepted your invitation."

Tessa's eyes caught and she went over to a pair of women's boots that actually had high spiked heels. The shaft of the boot looked to be knee high with beaded fringe.

"These are pretty." Tessa commented.

Maggie smiled. "Elk hide."

"If they came in white, I'd buy them today." Tessa remarked.

Maggie picked up a notepad. "They would have to be deer hide. What size and how high of a heel?"

"I wear a size nine. Can you do a four inch heel?" Tessa asked.

Maggie nodded. "Not a problem. We'll use blue and silver beads on the fringe. I need to get some measurements though."

"Ok." Tessa replied.

Maggie measured several places along her lower leg and from instep to knee. Then she measured Tessa's waist then hips followed by from waist to knee. Tessa was rather curious and more so when Maggie measured from waist to neck, shoulders, bust and arms.

"I don't think boots go all the way up to my neck Maggie." Tessa said.

Maggie shrugged as she finished her notes. "You'd be surprised."

Tessa laughed as did Maggie. They both turned when a set of drums began and walked to the door to look out. A group of men sat on a set of logs in a semi-circle playing the drums as others began to dance. They weren't in traditional clothing. They wore jeans, boots and either t-shirts or long sleeve shirts with the sleeves rolled back.

Tessa and Maggie went over to watch them perform. An older man sat on a log close to the concrete path and a young woman was behind him. He began talking in his native language and the young woman translated. They told what the dance was and its purpose.

When the dance stopped, Tessa clapped. "That was amazing! The story of your dance's origin was also impressive. I can't wait til we open, so I can see the performance in your full dress!"

"Thank you for inviting us." The old story-teller said.

Tessa smiled. "I thank you for accepting and sharing your fascinating arts of music, dance and stories Mister StormDawn. Miss JumpingDoe, thank you for translating the stories. You may not think it's all that important, but hearing the original story and the translation makes it better. More dignified, in my opinion. That not only the story is being preserved, but also the way of it too."

Linda JumpingDoe smiled. "That's nice of you Miss Frost. Thank you for being respectful."

"I'm glad you think so." Tessa said with a smile. "It's how I meant it. It won't be much longer, we'll be opening."

Tessa turned and headed off to see the rest of the area.




Joe Nably picked up the stack of property listings and began looking through them. There weren't as many now. When he finished leafing through them he felt like he had missed something important. Another look through didn't help so he called his secretary.

"Yes?" she asked.

"Bring me all the big listings for the past ten months." Joe instructed.

When she brought a stack in he had her wait while he went through them. They were organized by the month. Finally he held one up.

"Susan, why hasn't this one shown up for the past ten months?" Joe asked.

Susan looked at it. "I don't know. I'll find out."

Several minutes later she came back and handed him a single page. "That property is no longer listed. It is now owned by a company called Frost Entertainment Properties."

Joe took the page and read it then looked up. "It was on the market for over ten years and suddenly it gets snatched up?"

Susan shrugged, knowing nothing more.

Joe Nably pulled a portfolio and flipped through it then grabbed his phone and dialed a number.


"It's Joe Nably. Why wasn't I informed about that park property being sold?" Joe asked angrily.

The voice on the other end replied. "Everybody knows it sold."

Joe swore. "That Property was only supposed to be sold to me!"

"That property has been up for sale for the better part of fifteen years. Look, I'm not the realtor. I kept all serious buyers away, but I didn't even know it had been bought until a month later." The voice replied. "All I know is, a woman named Tessa Frost bought it."

"What bank is holding the loans?" Nably demanded.

The voice answered. "No idea."

Nably growled. "FIND OUT!"

The phone dinged as Joe Nably slammed it down. He picked up the single page again and read. The last listing for the old park was seventy million dollars. He had been waiting for it to drop to below twenty million to buy. He needed answers; who was Tessa Frost and where did she get the money?

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