It was twelve in the afternoon, and Jerry Davis was getting hungry. He had opted to stay at the Blue Gem festival in search of classmate Brady Creed while his two best friends visited Brady's. They had agreed that an hour would be long enough before they met back at the festival, but Ian and Donny were running late.
Jerry looked around impatiently, looking for Brady, looking for Ian and Donny. By then he had already surveyed the market stalls, the rides and the side games twice, none with very much luck. He found himself waiting outside the Funhouse, at the very end of the side game lane, standing above the small stalls and tents as if it owned them. Its exterior was made up of purples and greens, painted wood stuck on at all angles, some dead light bulbs strung up, gathering dust. It was more of a haunted house than anything else. It was about as big as two motel rooms stacked on top of each other, it would have been a mission to unpack and pack something as big, especially for a two day event.
The smells of fresh bread and roasted meats from the market wafted over the stalls and made their way into Jerry's nose, earning a loud rumble from his stomach.
Where are they?
He looked around again. Nothing.
He lurched over the crow to try and see familiar heads. Nothing.
"Out the front of the funhouse," was Donny's answer as to where they should meet back up, "seems like a pretty hard place to miss someone."
Another rumble from Jerry's stomach, this time to the smell of buttered popcorn. He let out a slight groan. His hunger was actually starting to hurt now.
This time he decided to start listening. To try and hear two voices in a sea of one hundred. He closed his eyes-
To enhance my other senses
And concentrated. He searched through the crowd mentally, listening to parts of every conversation with clarity. He could even make out the words of the people waiting in line at the Ferris wheel.
And it wasn't an effort to hear the slam of a metal door from behind him.
The noise knocked it out of his trance-like state. He snapped his eyes open and lost his centre of gravity. It had become an effort to stand straight. He waited for the dizziness to pass. He turned slowly to see if someone had come out of the funhouse. There was no-one.
The slamming of the door had left a ringing in his ears. A symptom that struck him as unusual because if no-one had come out of the funhouse, and no-one had passed him to go in, then the noise must have come from inside. It must have come from inside the walls covered from the inside with foam padding. From inside the building bigger than a motel room.
Jerry had been overcome with an alarming sense of curiosity. A desire to know how he could hear a noise over that distance and through walls with such clarity. The door inside beckoned to him, pleading to be explored.
The entrance laid on a slightly elevated porch, decorated to look old and worn. Maybe it really was.
The door was plastered with a large white sticker with big red letters spelling:
CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
He knew that entering would be a violation of rules, something he had often hoped to do, but seldom did.
Now was the perfect opportunity.
He took a quick glance to his left. To his right. There was no attendant to the funhouse to be seen.
He pushed on the door. It gave some resistance, but gave way, letting out a low creak as it did. He took one giant step inside and let to door close behind him.
Jerry stood inside a small room, only really two meters per wall. It was dark. There was no crack at the bottom of the door to let daylight in, so the only light came from the blue-tinted bulb in the far left corner.
In the centre of the back wall stood a metal ladder painted yellow.
Looks like the only way to go is up. He thought, headed towards the ladder.
He took hold of the steel bars and looked above him. Darkness.
He began to regret his decision as fear settled somewhere within him.
He took the first few tentative steps up the rungs and the rest came naturally. He found himself standing in the darkness that was actually tinged a deep purple. He became aware of his surroundings, noticing the contorted characters painted on the walls. Clowns, jugglers, acrobats, fire eaters all fighting to get to the front of the picture, all with expressions of joy that could be mistaken for agony.
Another thing he noticed, a tight space in front of him leading to the rest of the house.
Then he heard the scream. One of fear mixed with pain. It would have only lasted a second, but the echo carried through the house. He gulped, reluctant to continue, but aching from his curiosity. He ventured into the darkness.
Each room was lit with a different colour, each one as dark as the last, each one plastered with pictures of performers reaching out for their victims. As he got further into the house, making his way through the tight gaps and sharp turns, he realised, it was very bleak for a "fun" house. Where were the rotating tunnels, the ball pits, the shakers?
This realisation was confirmed when he reached a red tinged room, the walls painted with particularly terrifying clowns, lurching in front of some sort of circus freak show. Above the far wall was a green light marked the word EXIT.
He looked through the door-sized opening under the light. It was a slide that lead into darkness, but this time, a slight glow of daylight made its way into the doorway.
Strange, he thought, the ladder went up, but only the slide goes down and out. What have they done with the rest of the space underneath?
He turned, knowing he had to look for something leading below. He would search every room if he needed to, his curiosity was now intense.
Luckily for him, he didn't have to go back through the horrifying halls, as he stubbed his foot on a wooden door built into the floor of the red room. He bit his lip to keep any noise of pain, mostly shock, from escaping, after all that scream must have come from someone, and he wasn't exactly supposed to be there.
He knelt down and felt to find leverage. His fingers slid under one side and lifted quickly, figuring it would be the silent way to go about it.
The sight he saw would stick in his mind forever.
The ground floor of the funhouse was just the grass and dirt it had been placed on. A lot of it had been dug up and filled in, bumps scattered across the ground. The room was light with a dim yellow light that was slightly brighter than the others.
Right below the trap door was what shocked him: A pile of bones, slightly charred lying next to a hole. On the other side of it was a person. A woman. She wore a pink dress that stopped at her thighs and was covered in scorch marks.
It took Jerry a while to figure out what he was looking at. A murder.
He let out a gasp, catching the attention of the woman. She looked up. A face menacingly unemotional.
He let go of the trap door and ran for the slide. He tumbled down in his rush, reaching the bottom in a sprawled head.
He asserted himself and heard the footsteps coming from above him. Without another thought he rammed the door, knocking over his friends upon his exit.
Okay, that was chapter four. Please comment any suggestions, questions, thoughts and if I've made any spelling or grammar mistakes, please let me know. I hope to get chapter five out soon, keep an eye out for it.