The air was filled with the sounds of pounding feet on pavement. Heavy breathing penetrated the cool night air. Three figures raced across the parking lot, jumping the rusty chain link fence surrounding the abandoned amusement park.
Three boys doubled over panting. Despite the crisp air, a sheen of sweat covered each forehead.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this.” Jerry grinned from ear to ear. He loved the thrills life had to offer.
Jake shivered. “I don’t know about this.” He looked longingly at the parking lot.
Austin shoved him. “Come on. No one is here. We’ll just go in, take a quick video to prove we were here and post it. That’ll complete the dare and shut Steve up.”
Jake sighed. “Fine. Let’s just hurry up and get this over with.”
Jerry pulled out his phone turning on his camera. A red light blinked on the screen, notifying them that the video camera was recording. “We are here in the Old Winterview Amusement Park.” He swiveled the phone around shinning light for a moment on a dirty carousel about 50 feet away from them. The horses’ colors were dull and dingy and a few heads were missing. “Some people say this place is haunted!”
“Oooooo!” Austin cupped his mouth for effect. Jake shook his head. Jerry clicked off the camera.
“Come on fellas, let’s take a look around.” Jerry’s eyebrows wiggled up and down. He led the way with Austin close behind and Jake reluctantly taking up the rear.
Austin swiped his fingers at the cobwebs on the carousel. “This place must have been here for like a hundred years.”
“Ok guys, I think we can prove to Steve we were here. Let’s go.” Jake turned to peer into the darkness behind them.
Jerry jumped onto the carousel pretending to ride one of the horses while Austin doubled over in laughter. “You’re such a wuss!”
Jake huffed. “Whatever. I’m leaving. You two can get kidnapped by ghosts for all I care.” Jerry threw his head back laughing so hard he fell off the horse causing Austin to crumble to the floor holding his side. Jake shot them a disgusted look then turned on his heel walking back to the fence. Austin jumped up jogging after him.
He caught up and placed a hand on Jake’s shoulder. “Come on man, we’re just teasing. Right Jerry?”
Suddenly all the lights blinked on throughout the park. Jerry’s eyes widened as the carousel groaned and shook coming to life. It slowly moved, it’s off key music eerily echoing throughout the park. Jerry jumped off.
“Ok Jake, I think you’re right. Let’s go. Jake?” Jerry and Austin looked at Jake who stood still pointing at something in the dark.
“Did you see that?”
“See what?” Austin squinted into the darkness.
“I saw someone.”
“Stop messing around Jake, It’s just your imagination. Let’s just go so this scaredy cat stops crying.”
“I’m not messing around!”
Austin walked toward Jake to calm him down. “Hey we don’t think you’re messing around…right Jerry?” He shot Jerry a dark look. “It’s probably just a security guard or something trying to scare us off, but I don’t want to get arrested either, my dad will kill me. Let’s just go…”
Austin was interrupted by a loud metal scraping noise. All three boys froze.
“What was that?” Jake hissed.
Austin faced the carousel. “I don’t know but I think it came from over there.” He pointed to the other side of the carousel.
“Oh crap!” Jerry pointed to a lone figure, dressed in a maintenance jump suite, standing silently on the other side of the carousel watching them. As soon as they caught his eye he began to walk toward them in pace with the horses that slowly turned past him. In his gloved hands was a large shovel and a ventilation mask covered his face.
Austin turned to run and crashed into Jerry. Both boys tumbled in the yellowed grass. They scrambled up and ran further into the park.
“Wait up!” Jake bolted after them finally catching up with them inside an old fun house whose roof had collapsed in the back. He pushed aside the broken wooden door and peered into the darkness searching for his friends.
A pair of hands came out from the gloom; Jake yelled in terror. He tried to step back but another pair reached out and clamped over his mouth, dragging him behind a row of grimy, faded and cracked mirrors.
TO BE CONTINUED