2: K.M, otherwise known as Chris Draken, doesn't care about where he is from or how long he has been entertaining the weak minded with his stories of love and horror. He only cares about if your mind is compatible with his. Demons of shadowy persuasion invite you to take a step into our deadman wonderland and take a ride on a hellish ride that few venture onto. The twists and turns make your neck break under the pressure of your own fear. Take his hand and he will show the beauty in the darkness if only you will take a chance on him. Come walk with him at the top of his universe where you can view the ants that scatter below you with no direction. Fall as the tar rain drips down from the ink blots that cover the sky and burn holes like acid rounds into the the skulls of the unworthy. Yet, he is the angel of death that shines from the sky like beams of burning sunlight. Follow him down into the bowel of dreams and a world of spinning masks. Welcome to the carnival of fantasy and terror and enjoy your stay for once you arrive you may never leave again. May the creator grant mercy upon your soul.
3: Kyra Meager doesn't know what she is supposed to write here. She prefers to be hidden behind the words that flow through her fingers and onto the page. The voices tell her the dialog and the scenery. All she must do it type it all down. As an author of a thirteen book series and multiple short story collections, Kyra's passion is the books that bring emotion into her reader's hearts. Whether that emotion be fear or love, she will continue writing til the end. If you ask what she's like in the real world, its difficult to explain. Between juggling otaku culture and horror themes, Kyra finds her center from dancing and exploring her backyard swamp.
4: Before I digress any further, I should confirm that this beach is where my tale begins. It’s where I met her. Golden strands flowed down the sides of her heart shaped face as if framing her stunning appearance. Orbs of spring rain stole the words from my throat. Her name was Leona. I had just finished another round of shooting untalented idiots online when my phone went off next to me. Was it already eight? I stood to stretch out my arm and crack my neck before wandering over to the open deck. The sun was setting, bringing a warm feeling despite the chilled winds. I began to hear a soft hum coming from the shore line. The source was a woman that walked along the sand like a fish treads water. That was home for her. The constant gust blew against her powder blue dress, revealing just the slightest glimpse of her thigh. That girl was the one I had been waiting for since last year. I knew that she would be there. By the time that I got my shoes on and hopped off the deck, I couldn’t see her anymore. I was about to follow her footsteps, but I couldn't tell which were her marks. Finally, the hum came back to my ears causing my head to whip around towards the direction. My first thought was nor ‘why the boardwalk amusement park’ or even the fact that I knew it had been closed for the past 6 years. I only said ‘okay’ to myself and ran towards it. I knew that song. It played in the background of my thoughts when the night made my eyes water. The sun fell as I ran. My skin grew cold as the last beam disappeared upon the horizon. By the time that I reached the arc of the front gate, the wind’s unpleasant chills made the hair on my neck stand on end. I looked up to the colorful sign that read, ‘Paradise Falls.’ The paint was chipped and faded enough to give me an uneasy feeling in the pit of my gut. I shouldn’t be here. My gaze wandered down to the girl who had led me here. Her expression was void of emotion as she stared back at me. | Most days I would stay inside and play a new game. Yeah, the sun was how and the water was cool, but I hated it out there. It wasn’t the weather’s fault; it was those people. They waved their hands above their heads before yelling out inhumane sounds before charging into the water like headless chickens. Not to mention how revealing their outfits were. It made me cringe at how open they were about their lack of coverage. They had nothing to hide. What happened to women being scared to even show their ankles? Don’t see me the wrong way here, some skin is great but not when I can see everything that God has given you. I’m like any other dude for the most part, but there are just a few things that are being pushed too far. Bathing suits, for instance, are getting smaller by the year. What is so attractive about a pair of string and a bit of fabric? I cannot seem to find the appeal. Men were supposed to act like princes and gentlemen just to get a girl to show them a bra strap. Where is the imagination part of the chase before sliding into home plate? That’s why I stayed inside most of the summer. I was waiting for that one person that still had that womanly charm.
5: “Hello Victor,” she greeted me with an angelic yet shaking tone. Her eyes moved away from me and began to search of anything else to look at. “Is this the year?” I hung my head down for a moment, thinking it through one last time before answering. “Yes, I’m ready now.” “B-but you know what will happen to you once this starts! Why are you willing to do this?” I couldn’t dare look up to her. The shock and disappointment in her voice was enough for me to know that she was about to cry. “What if you don’t make it?” “I’m not an ignorant teenager! This time, tonight, I’m going to finally be with you.” I respond letting my thoughts pour from my mouth as the tears did down my face. “I know what I am facing and what the end of it shall bring me. Leona, I’ve seen what the world has to offer me and it not worth the trouble of reaching it. What good is money when I can’t save the woman I love? Money doesn’t bring me happiness, but sitting on this beach every year in hopes to see you one day out of 364 did. I want to spend every moment from now till the end of time next to you. We can be forever if I can push myself though this tonight. Leona, I love you enough to die tonight.” “Please, do not cry over me. There will be enough time for that when you reach me.” She muttered. I expected her to continue when the speakers around the park kicked up static into the atmosphere. Her body grew stiff as low laughter began to overtake the sound starting off softly and slowly before becoming distorted and gurgled like it was drowning in the buzzing background. “Are you suuuuure?” the voice came from behind me causing me to quickly turn on my heel. Nothing; I don’t mean only that there was no one there, but that there was in fact nothing there. The previous boardwalk was now pure darkness; A complete absence of space.
6: “I’m not scared of anything you throw at me!” I hissed back, my body growing tense. My back tightened as I could feel eyes burning holes into the back of my head. They weren’t the eyes of my love, but the creature that had claim upon her soul. “If that’s so” the voice came from behind me once more causing me to cautiously turn back around. That was when I became face to mask with it. My eyes bulged out of their sockets as it looked directly into my soul. It’s only visible eye was yellow like the sun and burned their image into my mind. A heavy metal slab covered its over eye, bolted down with metal nails that had rusted in years past. My eyes tried to look away, but only focused on the bottom half of its face where the mask had broken away. It had no skin there, only the muscle was there oozing with blood. It smiled its sewn lips, the metal string ripping at the pierced skin, when he heard my breath quicken. I’m scared and it knows that I am. “Are you ready for the quest of a lifetime, pig?” | I swallowed down the sour taste of his breath as I inhaled deeply. A mixture of cancerous tumors and decaying maggots made me gag, but I held my posture. “A-And what does the quest involve per say?” I asked, trying to seem stronger and more confident than I was. My voice shook despite my straight back and narrowed eyes. The creature pushed its tongue against the strings causing it to bleed. | “You’ll have to prove to me that you only have my mistress in mind. Seems awfully simple when it comes down to words, but your actions are the ones to speak. I will not tell you to fetch me a dangerous animal or kill some filth like average adventures; for that is too overdone, too mediocre for my divine tongue. This will be the strongest challenge of them all, sir. I can hold myself to it.” He bowed down before stepping back to where Leona stood. His boney claws dragged against the bottom of her chin, fresh blood dripping out from the pressure. “You can compare the journey to the prize; very rough indeed.” It gripped onto her throat causing her to gasp for air. I took a step forward when I was greeted with the back of his hand. The searing pain of the scratches that now drew across my cheek made my knees wobble under the weight of my fear. This thing could kill me with a single finger if it pleased to do so. “Ah, ah, ah, you can’t get a hit on my just yet. You’ll have to get past all the other checkpoints first.”
7: I watched his bloody finger point over to the Ferris wheel that began to turn as my eyes met it. The lights flickered on and the song that haunted my mind played from the speakers. As I looked back at Leona, she was already gone and so was the creature that scared me. In their place was a single gun. No doubt put there for me. Who else would be there to take it? I reached down and brought the pistol to my hand. Something would die tonight and I would be damned if it were to be me. My gaze returned to the Ferris wheel as I took in a deep breath. Was I ready for this? I felt that I had been asking myself that question too much in the past few years since I met her. Leona, the girl that I thought I would never be able to talk to now had her life on the line for the idea that we can be together for the rest of entirety. What did I think I was doing? I was standing on the other side of limbo with a gun in my hand and thinking to myself about a girl that I vaguely know anything about. Was I crazy? Of course I was, would any sane guy do this? I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not normal and never will be. This earth was not ready for me or I wasn’t ready for it. Either way, it was time to say goodbye to ignorance and get into this head on. I checked the barrel of the pistol only seeing three bullets inside. I would have to save one of these for that guy at the end of this. With that, I headed over to the Ferris wheel. ---xXx---xXx--- The boardwalk creaked as I stepped up the wooden stairs onto the platform of the Ferris wheel. The common feeling of dread crept up my spine once more; Fear’s delicate fingernails digging into my chilled skin. I shook my head to attempt to the get feeling to leave. No such luck. I ran the same sentence though my mind time and time again as a cart stopped on the platform. This was for her. “You must be Victor.” A female voice called out to me as the door opened. A pale hand reached out and motioned a finger for me to come inside. A gulped down on the saliva growing in my mouth. I took a step forward and felt my heart drop when I could see her eye in the light.
8: The entire thing was red with the flesh around it decaying into black ashes. A cockroach crawled out of her face and climbed up her hair to settle next to one of her twin tails. The base of her hair was black but the lower portions were covered in a kind of red liquid that I could only describe as blood. This sickly smell came to my nose almost causing me to gag. Yet, she seemed so soft as if I could break her skin if I poked her even the slightest bit. She batted her eyes at me, the other a light hazel color. “I am Amberlynn, your first test in this terrible place.” She tilted her head when she noticed that I had stopped. “Would it help if I put my veil back on?” she asked, pulling a black square of lace over her face. “My mother made this for me when I first got my red eye. The other kids used to laugh at me and throw rocks when the teachers went inside.” | My heart began to ache as I realized how terrible I was for judging her so quickly. I didn’t know a single thing about her and I felt that I might as well be put into the same group with the kids that she spoke of. “No, you can keep it off; if you want to.” I finally replied as I climbed into the cart with her. She wore what looked like a school uniform yet had no shoes or stockings like I would expect from that kind of outfit. “You’re too kind.” She lowered her head and kept the veil down. I barely could notice her eyes moving to watch the scenery as the cart began moving again. “Unlike everyone else I know. Have you ever gone to high school before?” she asked as she connected her hands on her lap. I gave a small nod. Yeah, I went through it and dealt with it. It was no big deal for me. “You know how groups of friends would get their pictures taken together? I remember watching them get real close and smile like it was the most common thing to be experiencing. I never had the pleasure of it. Every time I ever wanted to be part of a group, they would shun me and make up excuses to keep me out of the picture. The lighting is wrong, the camera is dying, I don’t have any film left. Lies!” she gripped her hands on the hem of her skirt as she screamed. Tears began to stream out of the cleaner eye as if she couldn’t use the tear ducts in the other. “I’m sorry I..” | “You don’t need to be sorry. I made my amends and sacrifices to get back at them.” Our bodies jerked as the cart stopped at the top of the wheel. I looked out of the window to see the bats scatter in the sky and then swoop down to the bottom of the ride. “As long as you aren’t like the rest, everything will be okay.” I gazed back at her when I heard metal sliding against metal like snake slithering down a water pipe. “You won’t be like them, will you? I won’t want to see you end up just like they did.”
9: “What do you mean?” Fear began clawing its way up my spine. Somehow, I knew what she had meant. Why was I letting my guard down here? This was a demon’s playground! There was no way possible that this girl would be anything kind. My mother had once taught me that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what if this cover was right? “I killed them. I killed them all with a single hunting knife. I was a monster and Alidonious made me stronger after the knife slit my own throat. Let me show you!” a wide grin stretched across her face before her bottom jaw fell completely off and was replaced with metallic pincers. Thuds of bats hitting the window were beating in time with my heart hitting my ribcage. I struggled to find the pistol that I had sat down next to me. The more time I gave her, the more bats piled up against the window until there was only the dim red glow from her eye. She reached out for me when I reached down for the gun. I could feel the metal tentacles scratching apart my skin. “Feel the power of a God.” She whispered in a robotic monotone which was followed by the loud bang of the revolver in my hand. A loud shriek pierced my ear drums. I let the gun fall from my hand and covered my ears. My body was shaking. Did I just kill someone? No, that wasn’t a person anymore. It was just another monster that I needed to get past to get to Leona. I kept telling that to myself until, “You missed, pretty boy.” The door of the cart flew open and I was pushed out. I was ready to meet my fate as soon as the first part of my body was dangling out. I was about to meet the boardwalk again when something cut into my leg and began holstering me back up. “Did you think I was done with you!?” laughter echoed out. I yelled out in pain, prickles of barbed metal wrapped around my ankle and dug into my skin. I cursed as my own weight pulled the hooks deeper into me as she started reeling me back in. I strained my back to see that she was pulling me up by the wires that poured from her limbs. The speed of the reeling in increased and sent me flying up into the air above the wheel of torture. I was just a fish in the grasp of a hungry barbed bear. She caught me again by wrapping the coils around my torso. “I don’t want to hurt you, Victor, but my master has told me that I can’t let you pass me. You seem like a nice kid. It is a shame that I’m going to squeeze your body so hard that it will divide in half. Good bye, Mr. Victor.”
10: “Good bye, Amberlynn.” I held my hand up, my fingers still clamped around the gun. I only had two bullets left, but this one was meant for her skull. I would not die here. I watched her unharmed eye widen for only a moment which gave me the gull to pull the trigger and send her red eye to hell with the bullet that lodged into her. Her head began to shake like she was a malfunctioning toy before finally tilting to the side. That’s what she was after all. Aldonious was using her to stop me and probably other men that had the misfortune of experiencing the trials. The wheel began moving again with me still gripped in her tentacle’s grasp. By the time we hit the bottom, the grip around my waist loosened. My feet hit the ground and I automatically fell over in pain. The barbs had ripped up my ankle worse than I originally thought. I laid there for a while. I lost track of how long. I was down two bullets and I couldn’t even force myself to stand up. Leona was waiting for me and I was just going to lay here until the blood seeped out enough for me to go into shock. No! I would not stay here and wait for the grim reaper to come knocking for me. I will not answer that door, but go through the back way. I rolled over to my stomach and pushed myself up from the cold metal platform. Leona, I’m coming for you and not even the demon that has you can stop me. ---xXx---xXx--- I found myself wandering along the track of a roller coaster that I remember used to be named the Iron Bullet. It was old and rusted down to nearly nothing as I inspected it. God, why am I here? I should be searching for Leona, not thinking about memories of the day when none of this demon crap was important. Who give a flying I’m sorry; I haven’t felt like myself lately. How can I feel like a normal human being anymore? I have only finished one trial out of an undefined amount and it almost killed me. What else was I supposed to do now? Aldonious had only given me the clue of the Ferris wheel. I went there and did that. Finally, I collapsed on the rails and gave in to exhaustion. This was where I would die tonight. Not by a demon or psycho girl with metal limbs, but by confusion and annoyance. This place sucks worse than rain on a summer beach field trip. Never mind that; that was the most horrible simile I have ever made. I’m too tired. Goodnight.
11: I woke to the sound of crackling wood and the sweet smell of burning leaves. I wasn’t on the tracks anymore, but underneath them. I rubbed my eyes and slowly opened them again. There was a man there with me. I couldn’t see his face because of the gasmask that he wore. I let out an unwanted groan as I tried to roll over and pretend to be asleep still. He turned his head towards me and I noticed that he had one of the red lenses out so I could see one of his crimson eyes looking at me. “I wouldn’t move if I were you. You ran into a nasty little girl back there.” He said, turning away from me. His head was tilted up to stare at the starless sky. I hadn’t noticed till now that there was nothing in the sky. No clouds drifted along and the moon was missing from its usual spot. We were abandoned. | I pushed myself up and winced again as my foot hit the ground. I cursed loudly as I fell over like a baseless cup. “You aren’t going to get very far if you push yourself over your limits. It’s not like you are being timed. I’ve been here for almost a year now and I still haven’t made it through.” He continued as he picked up a metal pipe that seemed to be part of the coaster above us and pushed himself up. He turned back to me and held out the pole. “It is not the best cane, but you ain’t got time to choose something better. My legs healed up already so I won’t need it anymore.” I shook my head and refused to take any of his help. Why should I trust this guy? The last time I let my guard down, a school girl almost ripped off my ankle and squeezed my insides to the outside. I coughed a bit, seeing blood on the wooden beams. Okay maybe she did mess up my organs. I took the rest of my strength and strained myself to stand up. “Where do you think you are going like that?” “I’m going to save Leona.” I whisper, knowing that he will hear me. The carnival music had stopped and the only noise was our voices and the fire. “Little man, you don’t need to worry about me taking your girl. I’m not here for her.” I heard clicking from him as he put his hands behind his head. “You see I was promised something I desire the most just as you were.” The gasmask fell into his hands. He lifted his head higher so the fire’s light could hit the large burn mark that covered the left side of his face. “I want my face back.” “W-What happened to you?” my own curiosity got the better of me again. It felt that I wouldn’t be able to have a normal conversation again. I didn’t mind if things got awkward; I still had one bullet left. Wait where is my pistol? I patted my pockets and couldn’t find it. My eyes scanned the ground where I was laying and found nothing. A click brought my head back to the man.
12: “Are you looking for this?” he asked, my own gun pointed at my face. He had a straight face that showed me no emotion. “It’s a nice piece but you already wasted two of the bullets in it. I could easily end it all for you right now. Would you like that? If I put you out of your misery?” he paused to wait for an answer, but all I did was stand there and shake. “I have seen so many just like you. They get a taste of the darkness then they turn their back on the rest of the world. Not everything in this world is demented. Look at me, my brother killed out parents while I was on duty. By the time I got the call that my house was on fire, they were already dead and I knew it. But I ran in there and now I have this scar to show how much of an idiot I was. Do you think I’m evil because of a stupid mistake and a disgusting scar? Is that why you are searching for your only weapon?!” he raised his voice before letting out a long sigh. He dropped the gun and kneeled down. “You know what, shoot me. It would be better than waiting day in and day out for a wish that will never come true. I’m done playing.” I leaned down and took the gun from the wooden floor. This was what he wanted, right? I closed my eyes and cocked that last bullet into place. A soft humming came to my ears and caused me to stop. My hand fell to my side and I took in a deep breath. "Get up, man. I'm not going to kill someone who is just like me." I opened my eyes and stared down at the pistol. I still wasn't sure what I was even fighting for. Love is one thing, but I was never sure if all of this was worth it. This was just the first few steps of the journey. I would not give up here and neither would this guy. "My true wish is so far away from my grasp and yet I'm going to keep walking towards it even if I lose my legs along the way. You shouldn't give up either. Leona would hate me if I killed you here. Can you hear her?" I brought my gaze back to him and smiled for the first time in so long. When was the last time that I felt the corners of my lips lift? Maybe last year... "You would risk keeping me alive? A monster like me?" "Compared to Amberlynn, you are no monster. I'm Victor." I held out my hand and he took it to help himself to his feet. "I'm Noir." he responded as he closed his eyes. A song came drifting along with the wind. This was just the beginning and I was ready to face what came towards me. Leona... wait for me.
13: Come now, my hero, I’ve been waiting since the dawn of love, For someone to carry me away On the wings of a dove. These days can be so fleeting As I wait for you near the roaring sea Take me away from the darkness Can’t you come and rescue me? The hero of daybreak, Tear through the night. His shape a transient, Blinding ray of light. Waking me gently From my dazed slumber In that gentle Rosy blaze of fire.