A NIGHT AT THE CARNIVAL
Co-Runner-Up: Most Disturbing Story
It was Halloween night. The air was cold and crisp, and was filled with the smell of decay. Few clouds hung in the sky, and the full moon was allowed to shine bright. Its glow provides many a trick-or-treater enough light to travel from house to house without a flashlight. Our attention shifts from the peaceful suburbs to an abandoned carnival, where a young red-headed woman franticly runs for her life.
“Clowns, why did it have to be clowns?!” said Natalie between labored breaths. Sneaking into the local abandoned carnival with her friends had not been her idea; she had wanted to dress up and go to a costume party. Now she was regretting letting her friends convince her to do this with them. It was Halloween, one of her favorite nights of the year. And instead of going to a party or a local haunted house, she was running for her life in an old abandoned carnival from what looked like clown extras from Killer Clowns From Outer Space! This was not fun; this was not remotely close to having fun!
Not five minutes ago she witnessed each of the three friends she came there with, being hit with beams from some kind of strange rayguns that the clowns were carrying. Once Natalie saw her friends start to suddenly change, she didn’t stick around to get zapped like them. And now there were at least five clowns that were currently searching for her.
Natalie ran all the way back to where she and her friends had used a rope ladder to climb over the wall that surrounded the carnival, only to find that the ladder was no longer there. She collapsed onto her knees and nearly broke down into tears. To her knowledge, there were no other ways out of the carnival grounds that didn’t have chains and padlocks on them, and she could hear the clowns searching for her. In an act of desperation, Natalie ran into the darkened Hall of Mirrors that was nearby in order to hide.
For a few minutes, she blindly felt her way through the dark; doing her best to get away from the entrance. Thoughts of going home and the fate of her friends that she left behind dominated her thoughts; she started thinking about what she could have possibly done differently. But suddenly, out of the darkness she heard a familiar voice.
“Natalie? That you?”
“Debbie??? Oh thank god. Yes, it’s me. How did you get away from them? Are you all right? I thought those freaks zapped you like Megan and Rick.”
“I’m okay for the most part, and I did get zapped like those two, but we all… changed differently. Megan blew up into a giant blueberry or something, and Rick looked like he turned into some kind of half pig thing. I changed too… but I still look more or less like myself. Look, there’s no saving Megan and Rick; from what I overheard those clowns saying, the change is permanent. But I know a way out of here, so we can still save ourselves.“
“W-wait, you never told me how you got away from them. “
“I punched the one that was trying to drag me off in the nose, and was able to run off while he was stunned. Now are we gonna get out of here or what?”
“Alright, let’s go.”
As the duo made their way to the exit, the lights suddenly came on and blinded Natalie. By the time she opened her eyes again, they were outside… and surrounded by clowns. Natalie freaked and turned around to Debbie, and got the first good look of her since abandoned her earlier: Debbie looked like a clown version of herself, and she was pointing one of the ray guns at Natalie. With a creepy smile on her face, Debbie shot Natalie, who let out a shriek and fell onto her back. Every part of Natalie’s body began to rapidly inflate. She could only continue to shriek as her entire body continued to balloon out, causing her clothes to rapidly tear apart. Soon Natalie looked like a giant flesh colored balloon with little hands, feet and a head sticking out. And she could only sob as she slowly lifted up into the air and felt Debbie tie a string to her foot.
“Don’t worry Natalie, you might come to enjoy your new life as my balloon” giggled Debbie as Natalie helplessly floated above in the air.