The Fun House - A Short Story (October 31, 2013)
"I don't know if I like this" Mike said. Shawn smirked, hitting Mike's shoulder.
"What? You scared?"
"It's not that. I just think that we could do something better on Halloween night than some kid's freak show." Shawn nudged Mike's other friend, William.
"Hey, Mike over there's scared out of his pants." Mike made a face. No matter what his friends said, the place was creepy.
The annual fair had deteriorated over the years, and the place had the aesthetic of being genuinely creepy, especially from the shadows of a nearby forest that seemed to loom over everything.
Nobody else seemed to be bothered by it, and Mike had the feeling that it was only him who felt that way. Bill's girlfriend tugged on his shirt, pointing to an old, sagging tent in the distance. An old man sat in a chair in front of it, looking bored.
"Look! It's the fun house! I used to love that when I was a kid." Shawn made a face.
"That old thing? That's for kids." This time, Shawn's girlfriend spoke up.
"What? I go on it all the time. I went last year with my boyfriend-"
"I mean, my ex-boyfriend last year." Shawn laughed, wrapping his arms around her.
"Alright, fine. We'll do it once" Shawn said, "You cool with that, Mike? Or are you too scared?"
Mike's girlfriend laughed. "Oh, come on, Mike. It can't be too bad."
Mike rolled his eyes, sighing.
"Let's get this over with." They walked over to the tent. The old man who had been sitting vigil over the Fun House frowned, standing up. He was an older man with sunken eyelids and lips. In Mike's opinion, he fit the tone of the rundown fair quite well.
"Sorry, kids. The Fun House isn't open to visitors tonight."
"What?" William's girlfriend asked. "Why not?"
"It's going through some...modifications. Kids says it's not fun enough. They're almost done, but not quite. Come back tomorrow."
"I can't do tomorrow," William said. His girlfriend frowned, and he sighed, turning back to the old man. "How about I just give you a $20 and you pretend you never saw us?" The man looked at the proffered cash, smacking his lips.
"I don't know. Could be kind of dangerous..."
"C'mon, man. Help a guy out."
"Alright, fine," the man said, taking the money and handing over the key to operate the ride. "But don't let anyone see you."
The six of them whispered excitedly as they entered the Fun House. The power was off, and Mike felt blind and a little freaked out. He watched as William scrambled over something that looked like the control panel and inserted the key. There was a sound of machinery and then the lights turned on.
They were in a small preparation area with tracks that led through big, goofy double doors. On the tracks themselves were three small coaster carts, each alongside each other. The others giggled as they got on their carts while Mike got in his own with his girlfriend. William turned the key to start the ride, and then jumped next to his own girlfriend as the doors opened.
The carts lurched forward, and suddenly they were plunged into darkness.
Lights flickered in the darkness, like a flickering headlight. The scenery inside the ride was laughable. Zombies stuffed with old newspapers moved aimlessly on a circular track while several fake-looking bats flew above.
Mike heard a scream, and his eyes darted to the source of the sound. Something had Shawn in its hands. He watched in horror as the thing reached down and clamped its teeth around Shawn's neck and chewed. That was when Mike screamed.
The thing slammed into the cart, devouring Shawn's girlfriend just as quickly.
Panic seized Mike, and his fingers clenched at the bar holding him down. He clawed at the metal, shaking the cart.
He heard another scream, and herd William begging as something slashed into his stomach. His girlfriend ran, and Mike could see her scared green eyes, however the thing that was holding her dragged her back. The bar refused to budge. He could hear the things coming closer. He reached over to shield his girlfriend, only to realize she wasn't there. Instead, her human head rested on the bony outline of a skeleton. His eyes widened as her head tipped off and fell to the ground, and her skeleton's body crumbled to dust.
The carts started to move, and the lights stopped, plunging him into the darkness. Mike cursed, slamming his body against the bar, but nothing happened. He tried to look around him, try to see the monsters that were coming for him, but nothing moved. He felt cool air on his cheek. He was outside. The ride was over?
Gasping, Mike realized that the bar had risen, allowing him to exit. He stumbled to the ground. His legs felt like jelly and his heart thumped madly.
"Man, we got him good, didn't we?"
Mike jumped, his eyes darting to the side of the tent where Shawn, Will, and the girls were appearing.
Shawn chuckled. "You should've seen your face. Priceless!" He laughed, fist-bumping Will. Mike's girlfriend grinned.
"Sorry. When the boys started talking about it I couldn't resist."
"Never do that again," Mike said through clenched teeth. The others obviously felt like it was a joke, but to him, it had seemed all too real.
"I just thought...thought..." Mikes voice trails off as several police officers and emergency crew workers walk solemnly out of the fun house, some of the men are carrying something... stretchers?
"Thought what?" Shawn asked.
"I thought your were dead...." Suddenly, Mike knew what they were doing. They were bringing out dead bodies, their bodies...