A teaser of a book of short horror stories

I am working on a book of short horror stories. Here is a glimpse from the book. (unedited)

The funhouse is always the focal point of all carnival adventures. Some fear it, and others love sitting on the edge of danger and riding it out to the very end. As the two couples walked towards the ride, a sense of dread spread over the small amusement park. Not only did the lights seem to dim, but a cool fog started to roll in from the south. 

“What the hell? That’s creepy as fuck,” Mike said. Holding tighter to Jessica’s hand, the teen didn’t like the feeling that crept up his spine like a black widow spider. Whatever was inside of the mechanical rat trap wasn’t going to end in laughter. He could feel that in his bones. 

“Oh my god,” squealed Alyssa. In her mind, there was nothing wrong with the ride. From the outside, sure, it might be a little rundown, and the lights needed fixing, but the moment she heard the cars inside, her nipples got hard. Even the sounds from the cackling fat lady waving the riders on stimulated her nerves. “Kevin, if you don’t get us on this ride, I swear to god, we’re breaking up,” growled Alyssa, her face almost contorting with lustful need. 

All three of the others stopped, looking at Alyssa as though she had lost her mind. Was she going to dump someone over a carnival ride? Jessica was the first to speak, her head unable to wrap around what her best friend said. “Are you for real right now, Alyssa?” Jessica asked. Both girls friends since elementary school, it was not like Alyssa to act this way. Something inside of this place was turning her into a girl that no one knew existed.

“What? I need to go on the ride. Kevin knew that when we planned this trip that if he wanted me, he needs to get me that,” Alyssa said, her finger pointing to the car that pulled through the squeaking doors. 

“You’re a bitch,” Mike added. Taking Jessica’s hand, they walked off and took the first car. Mike knew if he stood there long enough, he would lose it and tell Alyssa what everyone at school already knew. She was a whore who opened her legs for anyone who asked. 

Are you coming, or what?” Alyssa turned to Kevin, asking. 

“Nope. I’m sitting this ride out. You do you, baby girl,” Kevin said. Before Alyssa could open his mouth, Kevin pulled out a cigarette, walking away from the ride. If no one else were there, he would have joined her, but she embarrassed him. 

“Fuck you, asshole,” Alyssa screamed, her voice echoing through the entire place. Without hesitation, the teen girl stomped her way onto the ride, taking the next car. As the bar clamped down on her lap, the ride jolted into motion, taking her into the second set of doors. “Fuck yes,” Alyssa screamed, her actions trying to make Kevin regret his choice.  

As the cars disappeared into the ride, the lights around the carnival dimmed, the music stopped, and the Carneys began to congregate. Most with their hands out, collecting up their nightly pay. Kevin watched and wondered if they forgot the three they loaded into the funhouse ride?  “Hey,” Kevin called out, “You know my friends are in there, right?” he said, his hand pointing to the weathered ride. 

“Man, go home,” called out from the crowd. “You need to leave while you still can,” another added. 

“Do you fucking understand that you left three people in that ride?” Kevin yelled. His anger getting the best of him, he charged toward the crowd, his face bright red and filled with rage. “My fucking girlfriend is in there, asshole,” Kevin added. His fists balled at his side, he might be mad, but he wasn’t stupid. There was no way Kevin could take on the entire crowd and make it out of there alive. He might be young, but he wasn’t stupid. 

Screaming came from inside of the ride. Kevin couldn’t tell whether it was jump scares or there was something wrong. Whatever it was, he needed to get his friends off the ride and have the cops shut this place down for good. As Kevin turned, running for the ride, a group of three men stopped him, the biggest one punching him directly in the face. 

“We said, get the fuck out of here. Leave, or you’ll end up like your friends,” a tall, dark-haired man said. Before Kevin could speak, another took a shot at his face, knocking the boy flat on his back in the dirt. “I own this fucking place,” the tall one they called Boss said. “I warned you, get out now, or don’t get out at all,” Boss added, leaning down into the boy’s face. 

The first thing Kevin noticed was the smell. He had the odor of onions, and his teeth coated with a thick layer of chewing tobacco. Boss seemed to be about 40 and had missed more meals than he consumed. His body resembled a  skeleton, or that’s how Kevin perceived him. Like all the rest, his clothing was covered with dirt and showed signs of long-term wear. 

Kevin laid back, his nose dripping blood, watching and collecting his bearings. With a subtle push of his feet in the dirt, he pushed himself back, sitting up to shake it off. “Yeah, sorry. When they get off, tell them I went home,” he lied. There was no way Kevin was leaving, but none of them needed to know that. 

“Get the fuck out of here,” Boss said. Reaching down, he gripped Kevin by the shirt to pull him to his feet, shaking him back and forth. “If you think about telling anyone, don’t. You will regret it,” Boss added before the three men walked back to the group of other workers.

Kevin would leave, or so they thought. He walked out the front of the place, his shoulders slumped. Kevin needed to think a minute before deciding what to do. The first thing though, he made a 911 call about the disappearance of his friends. 

“911, what’s your emergency.”

“I need the cops out to the fairgrounds. My friends are missing, and the carnival is shutting down. They went into the funhouse and never came out,” he said. 

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