Ever since she was a little girl, 14-year-old Nicole had a fascination of exploring unfamiliar places. For this expedition, she wanted to explore a patch of forest she recently discovered near her house. She brought along a flashlight in case there were any dark places worthy of investigation.
The forest was about two blocks down her street. A small dirt path winded through it, and there was still plenty of daylight to see everything. Nicole was giddy with anticipation of what lay ahead.
As she walked along the main path, separate trails split off into different directions.
“Well, I’ll be back another time,” Nicole said to herself. “Eventually, I’ll explore every one of these paths to see where they lead to.”
After wandering aimlessly for a while, she found herself in a dark, shady grove. Nothing more than a few trees surrounded her.
Nicole noticed something hidden among a tangled mass of branches. She whipped out her flashlight and shined it on the object. What she saw surprised her.
A sign with the words “FUN TOWN” written in bright red letters pointed towards a small passage among the trees.
Without a moment to lose, she ran down the path in a hurry to see what wonders were in store at Fun Town.
She arrived in a large, open field blanketed with fog. Her heart dropped when she saw the gates to Fun Town locked. Fun Town was closed, and looked like it had been closed for years.
“Well, shoot. I was really hoping to have a little fun.” Nicole looked towards the carnival and desperately wished to see what it was like inside.
It was 6:30, and the sun was beginning to set.
“It’s getting late. I’d better head home.” Nicole walked away in great disappointment.
Before she got past the trees, she heard a horrible screeching sound behind her. She turned around to find that the gates to Fun Town had mysteriously opened by themselves.
After checking to make sure no one was watching, she sprinted towards the gates and slipped past them.
Nicole found herself surrounded by old tents full of holes, rides threatening to fall apart, and food booths that smelled of rot and deterioration.
Fun Town was now a ghost town.
“How could someone just leave this park out here abandoned?” She walked around the carnival and saw all sorts of wonderful things gone to ruins. Among these was a funhouse with its once brilliant colors now faded and peeling, the infrastructure falling apart one rotten board at a time.
She walked around the grounds, peeking into tents, only to find boxes filled with junk and other trivial things all smelling of mildew.
Eventually, she came across an old sideshow tent with vintage freak posters lining the outside of it. One featured the 600-pound woman, another starred the man with half a body.
As Nicole walked past the posters, she noticed a funhouse mirror on the end. It was caked in mud and other questionable substances. She looked down and saw a small plaque just below the mirror. It read:
A TRUE ABOMINATION OF GOD
When she looked back up, her reflection was hellish. She saw herself as a living corpse with her eyes sunken into her head, skin crawling with maggots, and bones exposed.
She shrieked and looked away from the mirror.
“What was that?” She could not believe what she saw. “That couldn’t have been real.”
Nicole shook it off and just assumed it was a prop used in a haunted house. She continued to explore the grounds for some time. It made her feel sad seeing all the beautifully painted buildings and rides all gone to waste. At one time, Fun Town must have been an amazing place for children of all ages. She wished she could have experienced it during its glory days.
Brown and yellow leaves covered the ground as autumn settled in. Nicole loved the crunching sound they made as she stepped on them. After passing through a midway of empty, decomposing carnival game booths, she found a red barn with the words “Petting Zoo” written above the door. She knew that no animals would be inside, but she decided to look inside anyway. Nothing was out of the ordinary in the barn. However, the smell was almost too much to bear.
Rotting hay and feces was not a good combination. It was so dark inside, that Nicole had to get out the flashlight to take a look around. It was very quiet inside the barn.
Suddenly, Nicole heard something rustling in the corner behind metal bars. She pointed her flashlight to see what it was. Her heart started racing when she saw a large, black figure hobbling towards her.
It was a horse with its ankles in iron shackles. The poor thing was in very bad shape. It was blind in both eyes and its back was U-shaped from so many people riding it. Bleeding whip slashes covered the horse’s body and it looked like it hadn’t eaten in weeks.
Near the horse’s stall was a box of feed. Nicole felt that feeding the horse the old food would not be a good idea, but it was all that was available. She grabbed a handful and held it up to the horse in the hopes that it could smell it. It slowly walked towards her and nibbled on it until it was all gone.
As Nicole got another handful, the horse began dry heaving. She backed away from it, her heart pounding in her chest. It gave a final heave and spewed vomit all over the floor. Nicole could feel the warm vomit soaking through her shoes. When she looked down…
– she found herself standing in a puddle of blood.
The horse’s knees gave in, and it collapsed in a heap. She screamed in absolute terror and ran out of the barn, refusing to look back.
She stopped near a building to catch her breath.
Nicole turned around to see what she was leaning up against. It was a haunted house with a plastic skeleton sitting on the porch steps.
After everything else she had seen, Nicole thought it might not be wise to enter the haunted house. However, her curiosity was getting the better of her. She gained the courage to take a look inside.
Nicole slowly walked through the front door and turned on her flashlight. She found herself in a standard spooky parlor with cobwebs covering all the furniture. It smelled even worse inside the haunted house than in the barn. The place was infested with mold.
As she walked down the first corridor, nothing was out of the ordinary. However, the carpet she was walking on was wet and squishy, probably from the rain leaking through the roof. She turned the next corner to find herself in a creepy nursery with a crib and rocking chair. Nicole was fascinated with how much detail went into the design of the haunted house.
As she was about to go around the next corner, something creaked behind her. She hastily turned around and shined her flashlight into the nursery to see what it was. Nicole’s heart nearly stopped.
Something was sitting in the rocking chair that was not there before. It appeared to be a porcelain baby doll. Everything about the doll was extremely life-like except for the eyes. Its eyes were gone; nothing but black, soulless voids. Nicole was paralyzed with fear.
After a few seconds of silence, She could hear a baby crying.
The sound was coming from the doll.
Tears trickled down its face. She was speechless.
The doll’s cries soon became hysterical…
– and the tears turned to blood.
She made a mad dash towards the front door and quickly made her way down the steps.
Something grabbed her ankle. It was the plastic skeleton sitting on the stairs.
“Having fun?” it said to her in a menacing tone.
She kicked it off and ran for her life towards the front gate of the demented carnival. When she made it to the front, she had to stop and catch her breath. Beads of sweat poured down her face as she tried to recover from the trauma.
It was now 8:00 and almost too dark to see.
Nicole turned on her flashlight and started heading out. She had had enough of Fun Town.
“Somebody, please! Help me!” The voice of a little girl in distress suddenly rang out.
It’s just another trick! Nicole thought to herself. She walked past the gates when the girl’s screams only grew louder. What if there really is a girl in danger? Maybe she sneaked in after I did. What should I do? A strong sense of guilt made her turn around. I can’t just leave an innocent girl trapped in this terrible place. I have to save her! She went back into Fun Town to find where the voice was coming from.
Nicole heard the cries coming from an old mirror maze near the front gate. Bits and pieces of broken glass scattered the ground.
Despite her angst, Nicole forced herself to go inside and rescue the poor girl.
Without a moment to waste, she turned on her flashlight and started down the hall of mirrors.
As she made her way deeper into the maze, it got very dark. She would be walking blind if she didn’t have her flashlight. Most of the mirrors were either cracked or shattered. However, the mirrors towards the back were in perfect condition, as if no one had ever made it to the end.
She was getting close to the girl’s screams. As she turned the next corner, she found herself in a round room with mirrors surrounding her on all sides.
The cries had stopped.
She looked all around the room to try and find the girl. There was no sign of her anywhere.
Something was not right. The room was unnaturally cold. Nicole could see her breath. She was frightened and ready to go home. Never before had she felt so stupid for sneaking into Fun Town in the first place. Just as she was about to leave…
– she made a grim discovery.
The hall leading to the room was gone.
She was trapped.
Nicole punched one of the mirrors trying to escape. The glass broke, leaving her with nothing but lacerations on her hand for her efforts. She flashed her light on the mirror and screamed.
Blood was seeping through the cracks in the mirror.
The maze was alive.
Nicole started to panic. Hoping somebody was nearby, she started calling for help.
“Help me! Help me!”
She got a response back.
“Help me! Help me!” The voice calling back was hers. There was a hint of…laughter.
She looked into the mirrors, and froze.
All of her reflections were smiling back at her.
“HELP ME! HELP ME!”
The reflections shrieked with laughter:
“HELP ME! HELP ME!”
The maze was a monster, mocking her cries for help. Nicole was being tortured for her poor decision of not leaving Fun Town when she had the chance. She sat down against one of the mirrors, buried her head in her arms, and cried. The mirrors continued taunting and laughing at her.
Suddenly, the mirror Nicole was sitting against felt very warm and wet…
– like the inside of a person’s mouth.
She could feel the ground move beneath her. The mirrors were closing in on her. If she didn’t act fast, she would be eaten alive.
She tried to break another mirror, but her hands were hurt too badly to continue. As she waited to accept her fate, the batteries in her flashlight died, leaving her in complete darkness.
Later that night, Nicole’s parents called the police, frantic about their daughter’s disappearance. A search party was organized to try and find Nicole in the woods.
After hours of searching, one of the police officers found a sign that read “FUN TOWN” among tangled branches. A smiling skull was painted on it. When he followed the direction the sign was pointing, he came to a large, open field…
– nothing was there.