Enter With Caution
It did not look even close to nice. Jenny and David were standing in front of the amusement park’s gate with their eight years old child Angela. It was a rusted iron gate that was capable of ruining your mood instead of offering amusement. What could they expect? David had to shift with his family to this new house out in the barrens for a multinational construction project. Jenny had always cooperated with her without complaining which often made her feel lucky for finding her in the first place. She was a freelance interior decorator and even though commuting was now hectic, she was happy to do it for their family.
‘Welcome to Tic-Tac-Toe Amusement Park’, the big hoarding on the gate read. “As silly as it can get,” David muttered under his breath before heading to the ticket counter. The attendee on the counter was wearing a clown hat, but his face looked depressed and he was least interested in attending him. With frustration raging inside him, David managed to buy three tickets and he entered the park with his family.
There were only a few people than can be spotted in the park, which was natural. What Jenny could not understand was who constructed it in the first place and why. The entire population of the region could not possibly put the park under profit if they all visited even once a year.
The first ride they came across was Merry Go Round. It comprised of about a dozen seats carved out of wood. They made Angela sit on one and the operator turned it on. With a crawling pace, the ride began moving in circles.
“This is more depressing than your jokes,” Jenny said playfully.
“What? You do laugh when I crack a joke!” David reverted faking disappointment.
“Only to give you company,” she smiled.
“You know; I always rode upon horses or gators on these merry go rounds back in the childhood. Who keeps them plain? A dull and simple seat? They ought to be kidding me.”
“I know, right? Poor Angela, she will have to make do with it for the next 6 months.”
“No way! I’m taking you both out towards the town in our next weekend getaway. It’s just a four hours’ drive anyway!”
“Did you enjoy the ride hun?” Jenny asked Angela while helping her out in climbing off the seat.
“It was boring mama,” she explained. “I wish it could go faster. Can we row a boat now?” she said pointing towards the artificial lake.
“Sure,” she said.
“At least we can see some people here,” David said while climbing inside the boat.
“Yeah, but it’s cold out here. I should have brought an overcoat for Angie,” she said rubbing her hands and taking Angela’s hands into hers. She seemed happy. After all, who did not love boating as a kid. It did not seem any less than a voyage for her back in those days.
“I want to row a boat,” a kid’s voice startled them.
“Where are your parents?” Jenny asked looking at him. He was wearing a half sleeved tee with shorts and looked pale. “What kind of parents are they? Wasn’t he feeling cold?” she thought.
“Hey, wait for your turn!,” the attendee interrupted.
“I want to row a boat,” the kid repeated.
“It’s alright, he can join us,” Jenny told the attendee who nodded his head in exasperation.
“Why?” mouthed David.
Jenny just nodded. The kid sat beside David and took a paddle in his hand. Jenny smiled looking at David and they started rowing the boat.
Even the boat was an old fashioned one. The color was a dull shade of brown that was potent enough to induce sleep. Just for the sake of fun, they bumped into another boat that made Angela jump in excitement. However, by the looks of the people sitting on the other boat, David understood that they were the only one enjoying it.
“Where are your parents?” Jenny asked the kid who had not uttered even a single word till now.
“In the scary house,” he said blankly.
“Mama, I wanna go to the scary house,” Angela screamed.
“We will Angie, Mumma is trying to talk right now,” she said. “Why are you not with them?” she asked the kid.
“I was. I ran away,” he said. “Can we go back now?”
After five minutes of rowing, they were back to the edge. They climbed off one by one and the kid walked away before Jenny could ask him anything else.
Eliminating him out of their thoughts, David and Jenny enjoyed the ferris wheel, the water slide and bumper cars with Angela before reaching the Scary House. ‘Enter with Caution’, the board read.
“Are you sure Angela is old enough to go inside?” David asked Jenny.
“Considering how lovely all of their rides are, I am sure, they have a few people dressed as clowns to scare us,” she reverted.
They both laughed at the notion and entered the door. It was pitch black inside. They could not see anything.
“To be truthful, this is a little creepy,” Jenny said and David laughed.
“Mom, I see a light,” Angela said pointing towards it.
All of them had seen it. It was hard not to when it was the only source of light inside. They walked towards the light and came across two doors. Both the doors had a little something mentioned on their surface. They went closer and eerie voices filled up the space jolting them up. ‘Run Away’ the first door read while the second door read ‘Enter The Scary Realm’.
They decided to choose the second. David turned the knob of the door and threw it wide open. The moment they stepped inside, a skeleton fell on them making them shriek. It was pulled back before they could grab it.
They started walking along with the pre-defined path and came across a cot that started shaking when they reached near it. It was Jenny’s time to jump.
The path led them to a vacant room which was mildly lit with red colored bulbs. As they began walking towards the door at the end of that room a shadowy figure emerged out from nowhere and stood in front of the door. They were frozen at their place.
“Mama, I’m scared,” Angela cried looking at the figure.
David walked towards the figure. “Listen man, this is not appropriate for our child. We would like to quit here. She’s afraid. Please turn on the light and help us out,” he explained.
The shadowy figure started moving towards David gradually taking a step at a time. He didn’t want to admit, but even David was a little scared by now. He stood still. “Are you listening to me?” he said out aloud.
With a deafening shriek, the shadow bolted towards him. David took a few steps back and then started running backwards. He let out a loud scream as the shadow approached him in a fierce speed and went right through him. He fell down as Jenny and Angela screamed in unison.
“It was a holographic projection,” David explained while trying to calm his breathing.
“We are getting out of here right now David,” Jenny said.
Angela was crying loudly by this time. It was much scarier for her than David and Jenny. Considering what David had just gone through, they could only imagine what their little angel was feeling right now.
“Let’s go back the same path,” David suggested and they started walking back. The cot stunned them yet again by shaking unexpectedly and David cursed under his breath. “This is a total mess,” he thought. They passed through the room and exited out from the room with the markings – ‘Enter the Scary Realm’.
“Let us keep walking back and we should find the door from where we had entered,” Jenny suggested.
They kept walking into the blankness in hope of finding the entry point. In a few seconds, they were standing against a wall that had no exit door.
“How is this possible?” David exclaimed banging his fists against the wall. “We entered from right here,” he added.
An eerie laughter filled up the space generating goosebumps on their skin.
“The other door,” Jenny said.
“The other door. The kid was saying he ran away. The other door read – ‘Run Away’. May be we should go through that door.
Seeking it to be a possible solution to the crisis they were facing, David agreed and they started running back towards the light. He turned the knob on the first door and rushed inside only to find him falling down. There was no surface in the room. Jenny and Angela could hear his cries that became distant with every passing second until a loud thud that echoed in the entire facility.
David found him standing near the artificial lake. “Had he made it out? Where are Angela and Jenny?” he thought. The past few minutes were blurred in his mind, but he was free. He rushed back towards the scary house and met with the biggest shock of his life. It was the exact location at which they had entered the scary house, but it was not there anymore. He rushed to the bumper cars section and approached the attendee.
“Where is the scary house?” he asked.
“What scary house, sir?” he reverted politely.
“The scary house that was over there,” he pointed.
“I think you have a misunderstandings sir; we do not have any scary house in this amusement park.”
The kid that they had met while boating approached him. “You will have to wait for them to take the first door. It is the only way you will be able to see them again,” he expounded.
Jenny and Angela felt terrified at the idea of going back inside the second door, but it was their only choice, now that they knew the first door led to death.