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The stars glimmered brightly above us as we made our way to the next house. Screams, roars and laughs came from everywhere as mini monsters surrounded us. Next to me stood a witch with a purple tu-tu that was way too small for her and a purple leotard, which revealed way too much. Long green pointy nails that were rain-bowed with spots came out of her fingers; contrasting with her wild orange hair. Underneath that hair was a pale, white face which held her purple eyes and bright blue lips. She wore a black, pointy hat and black, heeled shoes to complete the look.
To the left of me stood a werewolf who had a torn, red, checkered shirt and torn jeans. On his face was a pathetic excuse for furry side burns, which brought out his large, blue eyes; his teeth had mini fangs, one of which was dangling as it held on for dear life. What was I? Well I wore normal, everyday clothes and had a pretty normal face and hair style. Yep, you guessed it. I was a human! Best costume ever.
“Why don’t you ever dress up for Halloween, Sam?” The witch, who was also called Emily, sighed. I just shook my head and grabbed a sweet out of my plastic bag to stuff it in my mouth.
“Careful! It may be poisonous!” The werewolf, who was called Eli, chuckled as we walked up to our next house. Its tall, white walls were covered in old paint that peeled at its age. The entire place was a Tudor style house that towered 4 stories high above us. We walked up the steps of the porch, each one creaked as our feet touched them.
“Wow this place is creepy...” Emily gasped.
“You can say that again.” I chuckled nervously. There was something that bothered me greatly, grabbing at my nerves. No matter how hard I tried to let it go, it would not leave me. “Where’s the door knob?” I asked. Both of my friends' eyes widened at the realisation, searching every inch of the entrance for one.
"Try the doorbell." Nodded Eli as he examined the rusty hinges. I glanced over to Emily, hoping that she would be the brave one, but she did not move an inch. She just stood there, staring at the door as if it was a ghost, barely blinking. Sighing, I crept up to the door and reached for the doorbell. The rough metal scraping my finger and the strong smell of iron tickling my nose. I took one last nervous look at my impatient friends as I pushed the device. You could hear the muffled sound of a high pitched ringing that sang along to the tune of big ben. Nothing happened.
Feeling silly for being scared, I turned around and shook my head at my friends. "There's no one home guys! Come on lets-" My speech was cut off by a faint scratching noise coming from behind me. It chilled me to the bone as each hair stood up on my neck. I did not want to turn around, I wanted to run as far as possible, but my fear and curiosity kept me frozen in place. Eli and Emily's eyes danced everywhere in fear, searching for the source.
The scratching stopped; leaving us in complete silence. However, this did not last long, as the silence was quickly interrupted by the most painfully irritating creaking that quietly screeched in my ears. Shaking, I slowly turned around to see that the door with no knob had opened slightly. I stood transfixed, hypnotised by the open entrance.
"This was a bad idea." I heard Emily whisper behind me. I could not help but agree. I felt an ongoing urge to enter the house. It was as if an invisible force licked at the taste of my building curiosity, tempted to draw me in to the house to eat. It obviously wanted my friends too. They walked up to me and exchanged looks with each other. With one last sigh I pushed the door open and peered into the darkness.
"It doesn't look too bad…" I stuttered. A nervous snort of laughter dismissed the statement. Hesitating, I stepped into the darkness, letting it swallow me whole.
"Are you dead?" Eli shouted through the entrance. I shook my head and searched my pocket for my IPhone. My fingers wrapped around a cold, solid rectangle and pulled it out. I pressed the on button and flicked on the dim torch light.
"No not yet!" I replied as I pointed the torch at him. He let out a a breath, he seemed to be holding, and stepped into the house. Emily closely followed. "Do you guys have your Iphones?" They both got out their phones and flicked on their torches, as if they were one step ahead.
"This place looks abandoned," Emily commented as she moved her torch around, "and terrifying." Feeling a little braver, I turned around and searched for a door. Emily was right. The walls in here were peeling as well, covered in red paint stains from attempts of repainting over the grey. Brimming the bottom of these old walls stood piles of toys. Ducks, dolls, trains, you name it. They all seemed to be the prizes you get at a carnival; the small ones that you always win instead of getting one of the big cuddly toys hanging above you.
"Why are they all white?" Eli pointed out. I had only just noticed as well. All the toys were carved out of some sort of white stone. I followed the trail of the strange white toys to see if they led to a door. I was right. There was a gap in the toys' square where the door sat on the wall.
"Look a door! Guys lets get out of this creepy place." I didn't have to speak twice as all three of us started to hurry to the doorway. This time there was a knob and I quickly turned it, the cold metal sending relief through my body. Once Eli and Emily were through I slammed the door shut.
"Shit!" The wolf shrieked. All torches spun to him. He looked worried.
"Guys I have to go. My mum said there is a problem at home and I had to help. I will be back as soon as possible!" He gave me and Emily a hug and swung the door back open. A cold wind came through from the previous room, making my hairs stand up by themselves.
"And then there were two." I muttered as I moved my focus back to the room. Piles upon piles of dolls surrounded us, each carved out of the exact same material... Their eyes wore blank expressions that contrasted with their demonic frowns. White, pleated dresses framed their tiny bodies and brogues covered their little feet.
I felt Emily's hand grab my arm, "Um Sam?" I pointed my torch at her.
"What?" She stretched out her shaking arm and pointed her spotty fingernail at one of the dolls. It blinked. My heart stopped, I could not move at all, all I could was stare. The doll slowly turned its head to look at us, a smile replacing the frown. After that, both of its hands moved to the floor and it pushed itself up, a quiet sound of grinding stone hissed from the joints. Moving one foot in front of the other, the doll walked toward us; its eyes, fixed on me as it got closer and closer.
The creepy thing started to sing, "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is talking..." Wait, what? "He met the dolls, and paid his tolls and didn't get up in the morning. Hahaha." That nursery rhyme was all wrong! As if it had read my thoughts, the doll stopped in its tracks and frowned at me. "Don't you find it funny Mister? Why don't you sing along?" She tilted her head and smiled again, "Lets try again sir."
My lips trembled as I joined in, "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring. He met the dolls and paid his tolls and didn't get up in the morning." Emily's grip tightened. The doll turned her head to her, blinking. The smile disappeared from her face and she walked back to the pile.
Looking away, she stared at the pile opposite her. "Thank you sir. The last man didn't sing along. He was a bad man." She looked back at me, "So I dealt with him..." She blinked one last time before falling to the ground, solid like before.
Emily looked at me, shaking madly. "W-what does it mean 'dealt' with him?" As if on cue, a groaning came from behind one of the towers of dolls. "Hello?" Emily stuttered. The groan came again. Exchanging a worried glance, I crept toward the sound; more scared than I had ever been. There was a teenage boy, who looked about our age, writhing in the corner. He lifted his head to look at us, a pleading look flooding his eyes.
"Kill me." He whimpered, "Kill me! Kill me! Kill me please! Before they get me!" Screaming now, the boy started to rock back and forth; hands grasped his shaking head. "Before who get you?" I asked. He stopped rocking and stared at me. One of his hands slid off his head and he pulled out a small object that rested in his pocket. It was one of the doll's heads, its face disorientated in the torch light."I'm so stupid!" He cried. His eyes widened as he stared past me at the piles. You could hear the faint sound of grinding stone getting closer and closer; they were coming. "Oh god kill me! Please! Before-" His screaming wishes were cut off by a doll hobbling past my leg, all of its focus was on the boy. Seconds later, more dolls followed, surrounding the poor child. They closed in on him, hands raised; grabbing at his flesh, they ripped off his quivering fingers causing him to scream in agony.
Two angry looking dolls crawled onto his head. They were just about to go for his eyes when I yelled "Stop!" Everything went quiet. All faces turned to me.
"What's the matter Mister?" One of the dolls, holding a finger, squeaked.
"W-why are you doing this?" I demanded.
"Because he is mean!" Another one shouted. Suddenly the room erupted with reasons. I felt a tug on my trouser leg. I looked down to find a doll at my foot.
"Mister its me, lets get out of here. This way, the door is behind my friends. I did not say a word as I followed, Emily gripped my arm tightly. The doll led us to a door I could just about crawl through, "There you go. Go on get out of here! I have unfinished business to attend to." Not wanting to stay any longer, I got down on my knees and opened the door, never looking back.
"Sh," Emily whispered as she closed the door. You could hear muffled screams behind us. I looked at my phone to check his battery life, 20% left.
"Dammit," I whispered. I lifted the torch up just to quickly put it down again, my heart stopped. All around us lay small bodies, laying in blood covered heaps.
"What the hell!?" Emily croaked as her torch lit up the whole room. There were dead children everywhere, their bodies deflated. They formed a path toward a twisted funhouse mirror that was framed in ivory patterns. Curious, I walked up to the mirror to have a closer look at the patterns. "What are you doing?" Emily snapped.
"Just having a look." The patterns were made up of swirls and pictures that represented the circus, a circus of misery; the clowns and children that danced in the frame all frowned, not a happy face to be seen. Some climbed the swirls, trying to get to the top which beheld a ring master. He was smiling under his curly moustache and he held out his hat to the invisible audience, revealing his balding hair.
"Wow," Emily whispered as she walked up behind me. Her colourful witch costume made her look very odd and twisted in the mirror. It made her head small and her body fat. She laughed at her reflection, a sound I had not heard from her since we entered the place.
A face appeared in the mirror, untwisted. It took me about three seconds to realise that it was the ringmaster. "I see you are having fun..." He said. I quickly spun around to see him standing there. However he did not look like his picture on the mirror. His hat was torn and scruffy, resting on his head which beheld the most terrifying face I had ever seen. His eye was a blank pool of white, alone as the other one was missing like the entire top right hand corner of his face. All that was there was a snippet of his scull that lay under a blanket of stained blood. He wore a menacing smile which chilled me to the bone. His suit a mixture of a black tie, a red jacket and trousers, and a blue pair of shoes. The ring master was tall and thin with a white necklace that hung around his tiny neck. One of his hands was just bone, it grasped a long whip that hung down loosely next to him. He made eye contact with me and bowed. "Roll up! Roll up! Join us in a circus of a life time!" He shouted as he straightened, "Come join me, Dr. Carnival, as we watch in horror at the amazing stunts."
"What the hell?" Emily muttered.
"Afterwards," He continued, "you can visit my gift shop! To collect hand crafted delights!" He bent over and put his skin covered hand into one of the bodies to pull out one of the bones. He held it up and examined it, nodding as he pulled out a bloody knife from his pocket. He started to carve it, paying close attention to detail. I stood transfixed as a foot started to appear in the bone. Dr Carnival looked at me, a smile still danced across his face. "Ah I see how you are starting to realise what those toys are made of Sam..." He cocked his head to the side as I staggered back, almost tripping over the bodies behind me.
"Are you ok?" Emily whispered. Dr Carnival turned toward her, the smile dropped from his face, just like the doll.
"I see you are scared..." He whispered. "Boo!" Emily fell to the ground in shock, screaming as she did so. He was laughing again, this time louder. "Run. You know you want to. Run! Run! Run!" As if it was a command, we scrambled towards the door and crawled as fast as we could; Dr Carnival's laughs boomed from behind us. As soon as we were through, Emily and I ran through the house, not daring to look at what was left of the boy.
Once we were out, we collapsed to the ground in a heap of exhaustion, finally losing our adrenaline. "Come on," I panted, "we need to go tell Eli what happened."
Not daring to look back, we jogged towards Eli's house, passing the last few rounds of children giving us funny looks. The icy breeze numbed my ears as we cut through the cold October night, making me feel all the worse. Upon arriving at Eli's house, the shiver stroked my spine again. It was brightly decorated head to two in sculls, pumpkins, banners, lights and statues. Even a lanky, realistic body dangled from the porch roof. It looked like a child dressed up as a monster. It's clothes were torn and ragged, and random fur patches stuck out here and there. It was facing away from us. When we got to the porch, I turned the fake body around to see what it looked like.
A horrified scream rang from Emily as she laid her eyes on what hung before us. It was no fake body...
"Oh god." My voice came out as a chocked whisper. "E-Eli..." There dangling on a tight rope was Eli. A sewn smile across his devious face. He stared at us with patronising eyes.
But, when we thought all was horrifying enough, he started to sing. "Knock, knock on the door, what awaits is nothing more. I will show you a smile and take you to a show worthwhile. Knock, knock on the door, what awaits is nothing more..." His repetitive, monotonous singing had a very strange effect on me. My eyes started to droop and I lost all control over my arms and legs, they walked me up to the door and forced me to knock repeatedly. A click came through the key hole and the singing ceased, letting me regain control.
Eli answered the door. "Hey guys!" He grinned, "Come in, come in!" Eli thrust out both of his arm and yanked us through the doorway. "Come up the stairs!" This was not a suggestion, this was a command. Warily, we followed him to his room. "I want to show you something!" He walked over to his desk and picked up a white knife.
"What's happening, Eli?" Emily stuttered. Saying nothing, Eli glided over to Emily and wrapped his knife free arm around her shaking shoulders. Then, after whispering playfully into her ear, he dragged his weapon across her neck. Life oozed from the slice as the light drained from her fearful eyes. Eli let go of her and turned towards me.
"Have fun at the carnival..." He smirked, plunging the knife into his stomach.
I wanted to scream and run but it felt like everything within me was glued together. A boney hand stretched its white fingers across my shoulder.
"Welcome to the carnival, my friend..."