Frightening Fable

Back again?  Can’t get enough or just curious as to what Alex is afraid of?  Remember in our last installment, Alex and his friends had gone into the haunted house he was to review for the newspaper.  The first room was a scene where a clown and zombie were killing a man.  The man told Alex to run, but Alex thought it was strange.  No one else seemed to have heard the man.  Just before they left the room, the clown stood up and smiled at Alex.  Join me now for the next installment of …

Don’t Be Afraid

Moans of disapproval came from Larry and one of the women.  “I hate mirrors,” the woman whispered.

And so did Alex.  But he pushed forward.  The quicker they were out of there, the quicker this would be over.  He ran his hand along the mirrors beside him, keeping one hand out in front of him so as not to hit a mirror.  It wasn’t like the dark maze.  It was more confusing.  A bright flashing light lit the room.  A strobe light.  It made them appear like they were in one of those flip books when they moved.  They could see, but there was no way to tell how far away the images in the mirror were.

Alex could feel the tug on his shirt as Madison’s grip tightened behind him.  He led the group, moving this way and that.  He slammed into a mirror and Madison crashed into him.

“Geez, Alex,” Larry called.  “Go slower.  Are you trying to lose us?”

“If I go any slower, I’ll be standing still.”  He turned the corner, feeling his way.  Disoriented.

The teen girl laughed nervously.

“Ow,” one of the women said.  “Hey!  Where’d you guys go?”

Alex stopped and looked over his shoulder, over Madison’s head.  Larry was right behind them, the two women behind him and then the teens.  “We’re right here.”  He reached out to grab Larry’s arm…and touched glass.  He quickly pulled his hand back.  “Larry?”

“Here!”

He could see him right next to him.  Again, Alex tried to touch him, the cold feel of hard glass greeted his fingers.  “Where the hell are you?”

“Shit,” Larry called.

Alex whirled.  Thousands of images of his friend, of the teens, of the women and of Madison greeted him in the glass when he spun.  He had no way of knowing which was real.  Suddenly, Alex froze.  In one pane of glass he saw the red haired clown fingering his axe.  He still wore the same deadly grin.

“I’ll meet you in the parking lot,” Larry called.

Alex reached out to Madison, fearing she was just an image, too.  That he was alone.

His hand closed around hers.

“Alex!”

“Okay!  I heard you.  Meet you there.”

“Alex?” Madison whispered, clinging to his hand.

Alex looked at her.  Her brow wrinkled in concern, her gaze swept his face.  Alex looked back at the pane of glass, searching for the clown.  But it was gone.  “It’s okay,” he told Madison, pulling her on.  “This isn’t real.  We just have to find the exit.”

As they turned a corner, they ran into themselves.  A dead end.

Alex turned around.  He didn’t want to go back, but he might run into Larry and the others.  Or he might run into the clown.

Fake, he reminded himself.  Just pretend.  An actor.

He swallowed and moved forward, his hand out so he didn’t run into anything.

“This way,” Madison said, pulling at his hand.

The strobe light was disorienting.  His head hurt.

“There’s no reflection.  This way,” she insisted and tugged at his hand.

He allowed her to guide him down the hallway of mirrors.  God, he hated this.  He didn’t think they would ever find a way out.  Madison paused.

Alex looked around at their images in the flashing light.

The clown appeared from the way they had just come, walking toward them with his axe dragging behind him on the floor.  His grin was wolfish and predatory and his eyes…  There was something strange about his eyes.  They glowed!

“Madison!”

“This way,” she said and continued down the row of mirrors.

Please, Alex silently begged, let her be right.  They turned a corner and a large wooden door stood before them.  Alex grabbed the handle, pulled it open and raced through, closing it behind them.  He glanced around, grabbed the first thing he could find and lodged it against the doorknob.  It wasn’t until he looked that he realized it was a dismembered leg.

The door jerked and Alex jumped back.  The leg seemed to be holding.

He grabbed Madison’s shoulders.  “Did you see it?”

She shook her head in confusion.  “See what?”

“The clown!  Did you see the clown?”

“In the first room.”

“No!  No!  He was following us in the mirror maze.  Did you see him?”

Madison shook her head.  “I didn’t see him.”

Looks like Alex is having a little bit of trouble.  Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address and tell me what you think is going to happen.   You’ll be entered into a drawing for one of Joan’s books!

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Terrifying Tale

Ahhh.  You’re back!  Good.  Here’s the next installment of Alex’s story.  As you remember, Alex is afraid of nothing.  He and his friends have gone into a haunted house.  They’ve been told that the house is alive, searching for its next victim, that it thursts for blood.  They are continuing on.  Enjoy.

Don’t Be Afraid

“I’m soooo scared!” the teenage boy whispered in the darkness they had entered.“Stop it Steve,” his girlfriend said firmly.It was strange to hear them speaking after so long of silence.  Alex held his hands out before him, trying to find a wall.  He hated these black mazes.  What was the point?  Disorientation?

Madison was behind him, her hand fisted in his shirt.  Just like last year.  She never took the lead, instead making him find the way.  After all, he wasn’t afraid.

He assumed Larry, the two women and the teen couple were behind them.

Suddenly, a bright light turned on, blinding Alex.  He held up his arm to protect his eyes from the painfully bright light.  Now, that was just cruel.  Mumbled curses and groans of objection sounded from behind him.

“That’s gross!” the teen boy had found his voice.

Alex peered beneath his arm.  They were in the middle of a gruesome scene of carnage and destruction.  A black haired man was lying on the floor.  A demented clown stood over him with an axe.  The clown had bright red hair pointing out from either side of his head, like bloody cotton candy.  But his face appeared to be splashed with blood.  A zombie held the victim’s hand in his arm, biting it.  Blood ran from the black haired man’s wounds across the floor.

“I don’t like this,” the teen girl whispered.

The scene was static, but what struck Alex as odd was that it wasn’t roped off.  Blood, or rather fake blood, was splattered all over the place.  On the wall behind them, on the floor before them.  You would think that it was some sort of liability.  What if someone slipped on it?  There would be a lawsuit.

“That boy looks like the young man that went missing last year,” one of the women said.

Alex scowled slightly and tried to peer closer at the boy.  What was his name?

“Come on,” the teen boy exclaimed and walked up to the scene.  “These are fake.  They’re supposed to scare us.  Don’t go getting all freaked out.”  He squatted beside the clown, leaning forward to peer into his eyes.

Why were there no ropes to preserve all the work and set up?  Surely whoever ran this thing knew that teens would be causing all sorts of trouble in these rooms.

Suddenly, the black haired man’s head turned.

Alex jumped.

“Run,” the man whispered, blood gurgling from his lips.  “Run, Alex.”

Alex stared, stunned.  Shock and disbelief filled him.  He stepped back, bumping into the lady behind him.

“Hey!” she exclaimed.

He turned to her, his mouth agape.  He spun back.

The man’s eyes were closed.  His head bent.  The teenage boy was poking him on the cheek.  “Check it out.  It’s very realistic.”  He held out his finger, a smear of blood on the tip.

“Stop it, Steve,” the teenage girl begged him.

What the hell?  Alex scowled.  He glanced around, at Madison who was grimacing at the boy, at Larry who was chuckling as the teenage boy stood up holding his finger out before him toward his friend, at the two women behind him.  No one seemed to have seen or heard the man’s words.

Alex shook his head.  “Let’s go,” he said.

“You’re not afraid, are you?” Larry wondered.

Alex didn’t bother to answer.  He led the group to the door on the other side of the gory scene.  He must have been an actor, Alex told himself.  He glanced back at the scene.  Over the shoulder of the teenage boy, he saw the clown and the zombie over the man.  He’s just an actor.  Alex sighed softly as prickles raced along his neck.

The clown suddenly turned his head, to lock gazes with Alex, an evil grin curling his murky makeup.

Alex hurriedly turned away and opened the door, moving quickly forward.  He jumped as someone appeared before him.  As he pulled back, he quickly realized it was his reflection.  A mirror.  Leading down the row were reflections upon reflections of himself.  Madison held tight to his shirt.  Larry came in next with the two women right behind him and the teens behind them.

Close the door, Alex thought.  Close it.

The door closed, sealing them in.


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