Hello my creepy little darlings! Coffin Hop 2012 has descended upon us and boy, does Sirens Call Publications have a treat or two in store for you!
Over the course of the next 8 days, we will be giving away a digital collection of all of our released books:
What do you have to do to win? Simply leave us a comment answering the question we post everyday. From the comments that we receive, we’ll pick a random winner! Easy and fun, huh?
I almost forgot! One grand winner will receive print versions of all of our released books! Make sure you come back often!
But what is Coffin Hop? That question certainly might be on your mind. Well, Coffin Hop is an annual blog hop conducted among the highly talented horror community and it’s chock full of opportunities to read great posts and stories, along with awe-inspiring chances to win great horror books and swag! So come along for the ride and hop your way to a Horror Extravaganza!
So instead of a question today, we’re going to give you a story by our own Nina D! Leave a comment about the story as an entry to win a digital collection of our books. Are you ready??
“Come on Kar, we’re heading to the next ride – it’s a fun house… This one looks spoooo-ky!”
He’s always frigging rushing me. “Alright, you guys start heading over and I’ll be there as soon as I down this last stupid clown pin.” That gargoyle is going home with me, it’s mine – I can feel it in my bones.
“Shit! Oh, man, you’ve got to be kidding me! Is this thing rigged? Really, my aim was dead on. That pin’s got to be weighted – can I see it please?” I ask with my hand held out, waiting for the barker to hand it to me. Like complaining to this guy is getting me anywhere. He’s one freaky asshole. He’s been eyeballing me the whole time I’ve been playing, even with Denny standing right next to me. This toss has got to be rigged! Fuck it, another thirty bucks wasted on these useless games – I could have just bought the damn thing by now.
“Den? Denny?” Where the hell did they go. “Hey, Mr. Smiles, yeah you behind the counter. Did you see where my friends went?” Silence… Okay, he’s obviously not going to be much help, he just keeps staring at me like I have three heads.
Just as I’m about to turn away, he says, “The Fun House lady.”
“Pardon me?” Well what do you know, it actually speaks!
“You asked where your friends went. They went into the Fun House – the one back there,” he answers with a tilt of his head towards a darker patch on the boards. Geez, would it kill this guy to smile!
“Thanks Chuckles, I appreciate it.” I toss back sarcastically. “Oh, and by the way, your game sucks!” He just keeps staring at me as I walk away; a quick glance over my shoulder confirms it. Yup, creepo is still watching me. Damn he’s freaky. I get the whole boardwalk barker mystic-thing, but this guy is taking it a little too far. He’s moving into the ‘time to grab my mace’ zone.
Noticing that my friends are nowhere in sight, I make my way towards the eerily dark entrance to the Fun House. Set slightly further back than the other attractions, this one really has an aura about it. It’s spooky alright, Den wasn’t kidding about that. Kudos to the set designers.
“Guys?” I call out as I walk up the somewhat derelict entrance ramp. Another nice touch. Between the darkness, the creaky ramp, and the abandoned feel, they really did a good job on this one. With no line out front, they must have gone inside without me.
As I pass through the entranceway, I pause long enough to read the sign hanging slightly askew above my head.
‘Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here? Think Not To Abandon What You Have Already Lost!’
Great sign, I bet that scares the crap out of the kids who can read it. Whom I kidding? This is Jersey, they have to read it AND understand it to be scared. Where is the ticket-taker? “Hello?” No answer. Well, I guess this one’s on the house!
Pushing the curtain aside, I step into a dark, dank and narrow hallway that has the faint odor of char to it. Putting my right hand against the wall so as not to stumble in what is quickly becoming a pitch black corridor, I start walking forward calling out to my friends as I go.
“Guys? Come on, you can’t have gotten that far ahead. I swear Den, if you are around the corner waiting to mess with me –“ As the automatic doors slam open in front of me, I scream my freakin’ head off and nearly leap out of my skin. Just inside the doors, I can make out an empty row of train cars waiting for passengers. I step through the opening. They must have gone on foot without me, or taken the set of cars before this one. Crap! Should I turn back and just wait outside for them?
The abrupt crash of the doors shutting and trapping me inside, followed by a laugh-track cackle, makes up my mind for me. Okay, forward it is I guess. Well Kar, you wanted a treat for your birthday, no turning back now. I chide myself for my own fear and stupidity as I climb inside the lead car. Why do I always have to be so stubborn? I should have just given up on the dumb gargoyle when –
“Ouch!” My thoughts are interrupted as the train lurches into motion, nearly snapping my head from my neck.
As the car passes though the first set of swinging curtains, the smell of smoke is more cloying. These places always over do it on the smell-o-rama factor. Creepy sounds start going off at a deafening level, lights start to strobe on and off – Christ! Den could be walking right alongside me and I’d never even know it. Oh goodie, now the animatronics are starting: screeching bats whizzing over head, coffins popping up with their lids slowly opening, mummies with glowing eyes, the goofy clowns with shining faces and spinning heads…
Wait – did that one just stop and look at me? Keep it together Kar, it’s a timed ride, it’s supposed to freak you out. But are all the clowns supposed to be looking at me? Where did everything else go? The soundtrack is still running, but it’s muted like it’s in another room all of a sudden. It’s your imagination dumbass – stop buying into the hype!
My car rocks to a stop, the one behind me making a squealing sound in protest. Okay… the ride’s not starting up again, I wonder if it’s broken. You have got to be kidding me, now what? The damn ride breaks down in the first room. “Hello? Hey, is anybody running this thing or what?” I shout out, but get no reply.
After a few minutes of indecision and the car not moving, I finally decide to get out and walk. Something’s got to be seriously wrong with this ride. Maybe that’s why it was so dark out front, maybe this one was supposed to be closed. Grabbing my purse, I step out of the car and as soon as my feet hit the ground, the train takes off on its track again.
“Oh, fuck me, really?” Pissed off and sounding a little more than whiney even to my own ears, I start to follow the track as it winds its way through another black curtain and out of sight.
The clown heads are still watching me; they didn’t follow the train when it left me stranded. Okay, rationalize. They must be motion activated and since I’m walking and taller than the train cars, they are turning at the same pace I’m moving. That makes sense, let’s go with that.
Reaching the curtain, I push my way through it and nearly gag on the stench of burnt something coming from this part of the fun house. Ahhhh, it’s disgusting! Did Den and the rest of them go through here too? He’s not touching me tonight smelling like this crap. Hell, I don’t even think I wanna touch me if this stench gets into my clothes and hair. As I continue to walk forward, I notice that the floor is getting sticky – no, that’s not it exactly. Sticky is the wrong word, it’s getting… spongy, with a tar like substance covering it. It looks like resin of some sort sticking to my boots. Oh – the stink is making me want to puke!
I gag out one more time, “Guys, come on, this isn’t funny anymore. Where the fuck are you? Something is wrong with this place.”
Staying close to the track not to get lost in the semi-darkness or slip on the goo covering the floor, I see another bend coming up. Thank God! Another curtain must be right around the corner, hopefully the next room won’t smell as revolting.
Rounding the bend and pushing through the next curtain, I start to get a little more freaked out. Now it’s dead silent. I can hear the squish, slop of my feet slowly moving forward, but there is a dead hum to the air. Do you know what I mean? That quiet of a silence so loud that it screams like a high pitched whine.
“Guys?” I mewl quietly as my mind finally registers what my eyes are seeing in the orange glow. Up ahead, just a little ways, the track is bent and twisted, the metal rusted and… torn? Maybe melted? Metal doesn’t just melt… Oh God, it fuses together under high heat and forms misshapen lumps just like when…
“Dude, she was right here throwing those damned softballs at the frigging clown faces when we left her. You’re telling me you don’t remember my girlfriend Karen mouthing off to you about your pins being rigged?” Righteous indignation lends Denny’s cheeks a deep flush. “Come on man, I’m just looking for my fucking girl, she was here last time I saw her. Did you see where she went?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Been quiet tonight, ain’t no girl been mouthing off to me.” The tattooed barker replies as he crosses his arms across his chest and stares down at him. The rest of the group watches while Denny tries to regain his composure. Yelling at this guy is just aggravating him and making him less cooperative.
“Okay, look. No one is saying you did anything wrong,” Denny continues in a pleading voice. “I just need to figure out where she went.”
The barker stares at him, brows furrowed as if to imply Denny was nuts. “I already told you –“
“God Damn It! Please! Please, just listen to me for a moment. My girlfriend, her name is Karen, was standing right here – right where I’m standing now – pitching balls at the pins trying to win a … doll –“
“Gargoyle. They aren’t dolls, these are gargoyles. If you want a doll, you gotta go about five stands down on the right to win one.”
Denny stares at the barker in utter confusion.
“No, I don’t want a doll! I just want to know where my frigging girlfriend went when we left her to go into that fun house over there!”
“Over where?” The barker growls back at Denny.
“There, right over there! On the left, that dark –“
Pointing furiously, Denny turns his head and sees nothing. No fun house, no darkened ride, no entrance to a pretend hell. Just nothing. Nothing but a charred area on that portion of the boards.
“Look kid. I don’t know what your deal is, or what you and your friends have been drinking, but what you are looking at is where the old Haunted House ride that burned down three years ago used to be. You fucking locals probably think it’s pretty funny to come around and mess with us on the anniversary of when it burned, the night twenty-six people died in that building because they couldn’t get out. But we don’t think it’s funny at all. We all lost friends, some of us lost relatives when some jerk-wad teen set off a pack of firecrackers in there that burned the place to the ground.” Steaming with fury, the barker leaned over the counter like a predator ready to rip Denny to pieces. “I was working here that night. By the time any of us could get over there, those damned doors had sealed shut and nothing was getting in or out. I had to stand there and listen to the screams of those twenty-six people inside as they burned to death. I don’t know what your damage is, but I suggest you and your friends get the hell off the boards before me and some of my friends get upset about you being here!”
With that, Denny started to back away, still staring at the place where they had just ridden a fun house ride that wasn’t there. Nothing was there – it was just a darker spot on the boards.
Stunned into silence, the group stumbled away not understanding what had just happened. Maybe it was a dream Denny was having? Maybe he would wake up and realize it was Karen’s birthday all over again, and suggest they go somewhere else?
If he had bothered to look back one more time at the barker, he might have seen the slight curve to the man’s mouth; the malice contorting his expression; the glint of satisfaction in his eyes…
Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a digital collection of our released books! All winners will be announced on November 1st!
Oh, and here are all of the gory details from the Coffin Hop Head Honchos!
1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!
2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: October 24 at Midnight (PST)
THIS TOUR ENDS: October 31 at Midnight (PST)
Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2012
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?
The Coffin Hop Links can all be found here.