Elements of Mystery takes chemistry to a new level in the ongoing series of mystery novels by author Terri Talley Venters.
“Mickey Mouse ears, we have to get them.” Pointing at a family all sporting the black ears on a hat, Victoria enjoyed acting like a kid.
“Of course.” Tommy led her into a store which displayed the mouse ear hats.
Each grabbing one, they tried them on and studied each other.
“How do I look?” she asked.
“Ridiculous and beautiful. We have to buy these.” He carried the hats to a counter.
Noticing the sewing machine with gold thread, she pointed. “Look, we can get our names sewn on the back of the hats.”
Tommy paid the cashier, and they watched the cast member sew their names on each hat in cursive with gold thread.
Donning the hats like excited five-year-old children, they left the store hand-in-hand.
Walking past the carousel, Victoria paused. “They’ve changed things. I remember that Snow White’s Scary Adventure and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride were right here.”
“Bummer, those sound like fun rides.”
Turning to the right after the carousel, she walked the path which she remembered led to her favorite ride. A new castle stood near where the submarine ride was supposed to be.
“This is all different than what I remember. I don’t recall another castle.” She wandered aimlessly, hoping to find it. Staring at the castle in the New Fantasyland, she recognized it from Disney’s animated version of Beauty and the Beast. Taking a second to admire its magnificence, she recognized the rock formation to the right of Belle’s Castle.
Pointing, she said, “That’s it. I remember those rocks. It’s part of the cave which the submarine ride goes into.” Grabbing Tommy’s hand, Victoria excitedly hurried down the sloped sidewalk leading to the cave.
Passing tall rock formations along the way, she searched for the entrance to the ride. But instead of finding the steps up to the platform to ride 20,000 Leagues, she found disappointment. Little Mermaid? The Little Mermaid ride didn’t disappoint her, but the absence of her favorite submarine ride did.
“Ah, the Little Mermaid ride. Now we know where to come back to after Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear.” Tommy placed his hand on her shoulder and pulled her in.
“But, where’s my submarine ride?” She whined like a toddler. Remembering the park map, she retrieved it from her small backpack and consulted it. Starting with where the 20,000 leagues ride should be, she scanned the entire New Fantasyland. After finding nothing, she searched the list of attractions in Fantasyland: Under the Sea—Journey of the Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Dumbo, Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s A Small World, Philharmonic, Winnie the Pooh, etc.
“Can I help you?” a cheerful cast member asked. The nice lady wore a medieval maiden costume. Her name tag read, “Janine” from “Orlando”.
“Yes, please. I’m looking for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. That attraction closed in 1994. It sat unused for the longest time, and then they incorporated its cave structure into the Little Mermaid ride when they built the New Fantasyland.” Janine waved towards the new mermaid ride.
“Well, at least I was in the right place.” Victoria forced a smile to mask her disappointment.
“I’m sorry, my dear.” Tommy squeezed her hand with a sympathetic pout of his lips.
“Why did they close it? I loved that ride when I was a kid.”
“Something about the water,” Janine said.
Victoria Ventures, a beautiful, young, archaeologist, travels too much to find time for love. But at her best friend’s wedding in Scotland, she meets Tommy Garrison, a handsome archaeologist. Falling for each other instantly, he asks her on a first date. Selecting Disney World, they meet at the most magical place on earth. Enjoying the theme parks, scrumptious meals, and each other, they spend one afternoon playing golf. After slicing a ball into the woods, they discover a sinkhole. Their archaeological curiosity takes them into the hole where they discover an underground cave system. Returning the next day with gear and supplies, they follow the caverns for miles before stumbling upon the archaeological find of the century.