Nightmare World just a ride in an amusement park but the thing was it hit home with him. He had suffered from nightmares all his 17 years and now looking at the sign with the demons and the devil he just didn’t want to go in there.
But she was there, and he didn’t want to look stupid.
“We could go in the funhouse…”
“No, aw come on! You promised.”
Yeah, but that was to just to get into your pants.
“Oh come on, you’ll love it!”
No, he didn’t think he would.
But then she said those magical words, words guaranteed to freeze any fella’s blood: “you’re not scared are you?”
“Course not, silly!”
Huge overstatement (lie) followed by an enormous shit-eating grin.
Okay so they go over to the damned thing. He pays the guy.
“Sit anywhere you want.”
They climb into the first boat.
“Look it’s got real water and everything!”
She slides in first then him as the operator announces: “whatever you see, however scared you get, don’t stand up!”
She giggles, but he’s ready to fart off right then and there, only she’s got this adoring look in her eyes.
She squeezes his knee with the look of a promise for a few feels and maybe more and he’s decided to look on the bright side. He’s nearly convinced himself he’ll be okay but then the lousy ride starts up.
“I think we’re the only ones.”
He doesn’t care. He’s too busy staring at the double doors he knows are going to bang open.
Sure enough they do bang open.
He tries not to jump, but he does. He just hopes she didn’t see.
“Welcome to Hell.”
She reads the sign out loud and laughs.
He looks over at her. She’s smiling and pointing. “Oh look, isn’t that scary?”
She’s pointing at some typically stupid mechanical monsters and skeletons.
Well if they’re going to be stupid like that maybe…
But then something startles him. He glances at her out of the corner of his eyes. At least she didn’t see him jump.
“I just love rides like this thank you!” she snuggles up and he’s enjoying it but at the same time he wants the stupid ride to be over.
“It’s a long one!”
Her pronouncement not his. He’s thinking the same thing though. How much longer for this stupid thing?
Suddenly the boat stops. Just stops.
Neither of them likes it. “What’s going on, why’d we stop?”
He’s trying so hard to take charge but it isn’t easy. That’s when it happens. Just ahead of them, something moves.
“What was that?”
“It’s part of the ride.”
“No it isn’t. It looked too big.”
She shrugs. “Gee, I don’t know I didn’t see it.”
She sounds disgusted and it bothers him but the truth is he’s more worried about what he saw.
“I know what I saw. Something over there.”
“Must have been a workman." She says.
He nods. Yeah that makes sense. The ride stalled and they have to fix it. Okay he can live with that.
The boat starts to move again. And as it does it moves sharply to the right.
She giggles but he’s too nervous. “Is it me or is it darker?”
“Maybe a light burned out.”
Great that’s all he needs.
That’s when it happens. Something jumps into the boat.
“Did you hear something?”
“Sounded like a thud.”
Whatever it was its slimy and it starts to crawl over them.
She’s screaming and so is he, as they try to get the stuff off of them.
It doesn’t work.
“Let’s get out of here!”
They don’t care that they’re not supposed to get up. That was before.
The water is shallow; they’re both running and screaming. But the thing is they can’t find their way out.
Maybe this way…
She finally starts crying. That’s when they hear the laughter.
“What was that?”
“I don’t know.”
The laughter gets louder. She starts to scream again as he does.
That’s when the mist rolls in--crazy, heavy mist the thickest ever. And within the mist are figures, just ahead of them.
They do but then they see what the figures really are. They’re not workmen or people, they’re monstrous looking demons. Demons with scales and sharp teeth. Demons laughing at them, taunting them, telling them how they’re going to eat them.
“We’ll chew you up one bite at a time. And you’ll feel it because you won’t die, because it’s a nightmare and in nightmares anything can happen.”
His voice not hers, because she’s not there now.
He’s shouting for her—looking this way and that. That’s when something bites into him.
One bite at a time.
He screams the pain is so intense. He can actually feel feels his flesh being torn apart, scissored apart--surely the agony will kill him.
He’s screaming but over the shrieks he hears laughter: loud and raucous. And over the laughter a voice taunting him. “Maybe you’ll wake up and maybe you won’t.”
“Who knows kid? It’s a nightmare! That’s right, you can scream if you want...”
So he does.
She was grateful it was a Catholic hospital. She had prayed at the statue of the Madonna earlier. Now, however she was beyond praying. All she could do was cry.
A nurse comforted her. “Really you must rest. He’ll be needing extensive therapy and assessment. There’s no telling how long he’ll be here.”
His mother nodded. “He’s always suffered from nightmares.”
Not like this though. This one’s a killer.
© Copyright 2011 Carole Gill