Short Story: “Amusements” By C. A. Brown

Although I don’t know how many I’ll write or how often, I felt like getting back into writing short stories. So, here’s a comedy horror story I wrote earlier today.

With a thunderous death-rattle and twenty banshee screams, the rickety old rollercoaster car shot past me like a ghost in the night. I must have jumped because the next thing I heard was Brad’s laughter mingling with the tinny music from the big top.

Brushing a strand of dark hair from his kohl-lined eyes, he grinned at me: ‘You know as well as I do darling that you can’t visit somewhere like this without checking out the house of horrors. It’d be like Paris without the catacombs or Romania without the castle or a hot date without…

I get the idea.‘ I laughed. ‘But, I’ve heard things about this one.

Brad put a warm arm around my shoulder, his leather trenchcoat crackling slightly. Trying not to laugh, he said: ‘Well, of course they’re going to say stuff about it. I mean, what’s the fun of a house of horrors if you can’t boast about being brave enough to enter it?

I let out a sigh and stared at the tapestry of flashing lights in the distance ‘No, I’m like serious. You remember Jorge. He’s been scared of the dark for the past two nights because of this silly house of horrors. I mean, Jorge of all people. Scared of the dark.

Oh please, he’s probably got indigestion. Or a hangover or both.‘ Brad smiled. ‘Or, of course, he’s trying to scare you. Maybe I put him up to it?

Above the distant rattling, jangling and babbling, an owl screeched in the distance. Another rollercoaster car juddered past us. A huge smile spread across Brad’s face, followed shortly by a frown. Finally, he said: ‘Or, I didn’t. Truth be told, I haven’t seen him in a couple of evenings.‘ The smile returned to his face: ‘Maybe… he never left.

Like I didn’t see that one coming.‘ I laughed. ‘Seriously though, I saw him last night. He was… noticeably perturbed.

All because of a silly house of horrors?‘ Brad pulled back his sleeve and glanced at his watch before saying: ‘The next tour begins in ten minutes. Now you’ve made me even more curious.

Go ahead.‘ I laughed. ‘I’ll wait outside. But, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Coward.‘ He chuckled. ‘Well, it’s your loss.

Silently, we skirted the bright lights and baying crowds as we headed straight towards the house of horrors. As we drew closer to the unearthly grey building, a barker with a pointy beard stared at us and shouted: ‘Roll up! Roll up! A glimpse into perdition itself! A nightmare to shake even the stoutest of spirit! Dare YOU enter…

A giant smile crossed Brad’s face as he rushed towards the barker. I stood back and fumbled through my bag for a clove cigarette. For a second, both Brad and the barker seemed to share the same maniacal grin. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or roll my eyes. In almost perfect unison, they turned to me and said: ‘Last chance?

I laughed: ‘I’m fine. Have fun. I’ll see you in ten minutes or whatever.

The ten minutes seemed more like twenty. Two cloves and three unwanted pamphlets later, the doors to the house of horrors slid open gently and Brad staggered out. The barker was nowhere to be seen. As Brad lurched towards me, he stared at me with haunted eyes. I grinned and said: ‘Very funny.

No…‘ He mumbled. ‘I’ve never seen anything so horrible. To think that such things exist even in the worst nightmares of the worst souls…..

Look, you can tell me about it over dinner. I hear they’re doing a two for one. I’ve got a coupon.

At the blood bank, Brad barely even took a sip. Even when the waiter almost tripped over his cloak, not even a hint of a laugh escaped Brad’s throat.

Finally, he muttered: ‘There were people who were famous… because they were famous. There was a nightclub… except everyone wore bright clothes. The music! Oh god, the music! It still rings in my ears! Then there were TV shows that didn’t even have a script! And then there were…

Stop!‘ I found myself saying. My hands were trembling. ‘Don’t tell me any more! It’s too horrible!

One comment on “Short Story: “Amusements” By C. A. Brown

  1. […] “Amusements“: This is a random comedy horror short story that I wrote somewhat […]

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