Living in a small town, whenever the fair arrived with all its rides and shows, everyone got excited.

Molly, Daniel, Jacob, and Lisa were no exceptions. Between fairs, all they had to entertain themselves, was the movie theater, bowling, and hanging out in some field to underage drink.

School was out for the summer and it was time to make some new memories before they all started their last year of high school.

Mainly because they were bored, they sat in Daniel’s pickup truck across the street from where the fair was being set up.

They drank from the twelve pack that Jacob had brought from his home, knowing his dad wouldn’t miss a pack amongst all the beer he kept stored in the garage.

Across the street, the workmen were busy setting up all the rides and the big tent in the middle where they would host all sorts of interesting shows.

“There’s the Funhouse,” Molly said. “I love the Funhouse.”

“Why,” Daniel asked, sounding irritated.

“Because I think it’s fun,” she said. “They have a room of mirrors, a tunnel that rotates, and a slide at the end.”

She ignored her boyfriend’s annoyed tone. She knew that was just how he was when he drank.

“Well, I think it’s dumb,” he said.

“What do you like then?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Whatever ride is the scariest.”

Molly rolled her eyes.

“I can’t wait for the shows,” Lisa said. “I love the animals, the trampoline people, and excitement that you can feel when a show starts.”

She was glowing with giddiness. Daniel groaned, but her boyfriend, Jacob hugged her and said, “You’re so cute.”

She blushed at his praise.

“What about you, Jacob?” Daniel started. “What’s your favorite part of the fair?”

He shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I just look forward to hanging out with my baby.”

Lisa blushed, Molly said ‘Awe’, and Daniel groaned.

They finished their beers and drove off. They wanted to go see friends at the bowling alley and hang out there until it closed.

The next night, Daniel drove around and picked up the others to go to the fair.

Both the girls practically danced around in excitement.

Under the big top, they watched as the acrobats, trapeze artist, and animals showed off their skills.

Then a little car drove to the center and a dozen clowns climbed out to the delight of the crowd.

Immediately after exiting the car they started performing various acts. Some juggled, while others chased each other around and threw pies at each other.

Molly, Daniel, Lisa, and Jacob couldn’t stop laughing as every few minutes the clowns would switch to doing something different, but equally funny.

When they were done, all the clowns lined up, bowed, and pranced away, exiting through the back curtain.

After all the performances, they walked out of the tent and were a little disappointed that the majority of the crowd had left.

They knew the fair would be closing soon, at least for the night.

“Come on,” Daniel said, half-dragging Molly with him. “We can make it through the Funhouse before they close.”

Molly jumped with excitement.

When the attendant told them that they would be the last group allowed through for the night, she quickly kissed Daniel for making sure she got to go inside before they left.

The funhouse started with an all-black hallway. The walls had been painted black and caulked to cut out any source of light other than when the entrance and exit curtains were moved.

The entrance curtain closed behind them, plunging them into complete darkness.

They were in the hallway for only a minute when Daniel loudly banged on the walls, causing the girls to scream. Their screams were quickly followed by Daniel and Jacob laughing.

“Dammit, Daniel,” Molly said, wearing a smile as she pushed through the exit curtain.

The dark hallway opened up to a maze of mirrors.

“Oh, this is my favorite,” Molly told them.

The maze was simple and the boys were relatively bored as they easily made their way through it.

After the maze, they walked up some stairs which lead to a swinging bridge. Below them they could see the maze of mirrors below.

Normally, if they weren’t the last ones, they would be able to see the next group going through the maze.

All four of them laughed at the fact that they hadn’t notice the swinging bridge above them when they were going through the maze themselves.

On the other side of the bridge, there was a slide.

Each one of them jokingly yelled ‘Weeee’ as they slid down.

Once at the bottom, they came across the spinning tunnel that they assumed with a curtain at the other end of it, led to the exit.

Lisa was the only one that lost her balance going through the tunnel. Her dutiful boyfriend helped her up.

“I’ll admit,” Daniel said as they started through the exit curtain. “That wasn’t as dumb as I thought it would be.”

Molly stuck her tongue out at him and stepped through the curtain.

Walking through the curtain after her, Daniel bumped into her.

“What are you doing?” he asked. “Why aren’t you moving?”

It was pitch dark in the hallway they were in once again.

“Because we’re back in the dark hallway,” she explained.

Not concerned, he said, “It’s not the same one. They just put one at the end too.”

Fear crept in a little, but Molly began walking again.

Behind her and Daniel, Lisa and Jacob walked through the curtain too.

“What the hell?” Lisa said when she stepped through.

“It’s fine,” Daniel said. “The exit is right ahead.”

As they passed through what they thought was the final exit curtain, they all froze in place as they realized they were back in the maze of mirrors.

They all looked at each other confused.

Since Jacob was in the back of the group, he turned around and walked back through the curtain to see if they had missed the exit.

He came back a minute later saying he couldn’t find the exit.

“Maybe it’s supposed to loop around,” Daniel said, shrugging.

Still not concerned, they went through the funhouse again, hoping at the end of the spinning tunnel they would come across the exit, but they once again found themselves back in the maze of mirrors.

“I have an idea,” Molly started. “How about one of us goes backwards through to see if there is another maze room.”

Not having any better ideas, they went along with it.

“I’ll go,” Jacob volunteered.

He went back through the curtain, through the black hallway, through the spinning tunnel, climbed up the slide to the second floor, crossed the swinging bridge, and walked down the stairs to the first floor again.

When he made it through the maze of mirrors backwards, he rounded a corner to see the others standing their watching him walk towards them.

“What the hell?” Jacob said.

“Come on, guys,” Daniel said. “The exit must just be closed. They probably forgot we were in here. Let’s walk through the hallway again. The door is probably along the wall.”

They all followed him through the black hallway and started feeling for a door that hopefully was there, but couldn’t be easily seen because it was flush with the wall.

After what felt like an eternity, they gave up, not able to find an exit.

“What do we do now?” Lisa asked.

“I think we should split up and look for a way out,” Jacob suggested.

Seeing that the girls weren’t too keen on the idea, he recommended they pair off and look instead.

Lisa and Jacob began feeling along the wall backwards through the funhouse while Daniel and Molly looked for a way out moving forward.

“Find anything?” Daniel asked Molly, who was a little ahead of him in the mirror maze.

“No,” she answered. “So far, I don’t see...”

She went quiet.

“See what?” Daniel asked.

When he didn’t get an answer, he walked to where she rounded the corner, but she wasn’t there.

“Molly?” he called out but got no answer.

He heard someone move behind him, so he turned around, figuring it was Molly.

It wasn’t.

Standing in front of him was a clown. It was one of the clowns from the show, except now its eyes looked menacing and it wore an evil smile.

“Um, hello,” Daniel said, completely weirded out by what was standing in front of him. “We got stuck in here. Can you tell me how to get out?”

Molly heard a scream come from behind her, though it sounded far away.

When she rounded the corner, no one was there, including Daniel.
“Daniel?” she called out.

Not getting a response, she called out again, “Dammit, Daniel! Did you leave me?”

Cautiously, she started toward the black hallway to track him down.

“I don’t see any way out,” Lisa said, feeling along the wall on the other side of the swinging bridge.

Jacob was on the opposite side of her by the slide feeling along the wall himself.

“There’s got to be a way out of here,” he said.

“I know,” Lisa answered, rounding the corner where the stairs were at. “I’m just worried we’re going to have to...”

Jacob looked over to where she was and asked, “Going to have to what?”

“Lisa?” he called out when she didn’t answer.

He crossed the swinging bridge and rounded the corner but didn’t see her.

“Stay the night in this creepy funhouse,” she finished.

When she didn’t get an answer from Jacob, she walked back around the corner and saw that he was gone.


Suddenly, on the other side of the swinging bridge stood a clown. She could tell something was off about it. More than the fact that it was suddenly standing where Jacob had been.

She slowly walked backwards, rounding the corner to run down the stairs to where Molly and Daniel were.

She stopped in her tracks when she saw the same clown now standing at the bottom of the stairs.

Now that fear had completely overwhelmed her, she turned and started to run back across the bridge.

Halfway across, the clown once again rounded the corner, waiting on the other side of it.

Trying to stop, she slipped and fell off the side of the bridge, but was quickly able to grab the side, leaving her dangling above the first floor.

She was sure she could survive the drop and when the clown started walking towards her, she was ready to let go.

Her idea of dropping evaporated as the floor below her fell away, and she now found herself dangling over an empty void.

Changing her mind and trying to climb up, she was overshadowed by the clown, who was smiling at her with the evilest smile she had ever seen.

It waived and stepped on her fingers.

It continued to wave as she fell away into the darkness.

Jacob walked down the stairs to find Lisa, but instead found Molly, who was covered in blood and limping in his direction.

When she saw him, she yelled, “We have to get out of here! There’s a crazy clown after me!”

Jacob’s confusion quickly faded as he saw a clown walk through the curtain into the maze following her. He was wearing the smile of a killer.

Thinking quickly, Jacob grabbed her by the hand and pulled her up the stairs.

Whenever one of them looked over their shoulders, the clown was slowly following them.

They ran across the bridge, down the slide, through the black hallway, through the maze of mirrors, and back up the stairs.

The clown never closed its distance but didn’t seem to tire either.

They ran through the funhouse over and over, getting more and more tired with every lap.

Finally, they stopped at the top of the slide with the bridge between them and the clown.

The clown stopped and watched them. It almost seemed to be letting them catch their breath.

Seeing that the two were about to start running again, instead of moving, he simply waved at them.

They slid down the slide.

Screams filled the funhouse as the bottom of the slide changed from the first floor to a chasm of flames.

Jacob and Molly tried to stop their motion, but the slide had become too slippery. Without slowing, they slid into the flames.
The clown at the top smiled and waved as their screams rose and then faded.

In another town at another time, the funhouse attendant watched as a small group of teenagers that were waiting in line, moved up excitedly to enter.

Wearing a creepy smile the teenagers didn’t pay attention to, the attendant said, “Well, looks like you’re the last group for the night,” and with a wave, let them enter.
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Published on September 08, 2021 13:28
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