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May 14, 2021

Coming of Age Drama Fiction

   Spook House

Suzanne Marsh

“Mark, Frankie here is twenty bucks apiece, try not to spend it in one place. Frankie,

you do what Mark tells you. We will meet the two of you here at the Ferris wheel at seven.”

Mark and Frankie thanked their Dad for the twenty dollars apiece; waved, then strode toward the fairway. The rides were down at the end of the fairway. Walking by the food made the boys stop for Doritos and cheese; just to good to pass up. They each ate some of the Doritos and cheese as the strode toward the rides. Their first choice of the day was the Tilt-a-Whirl which both boys enjoyed. The strode further. The ride on the Ferris wheel was a smooth one. They went through the Fun House. Frankie hated those; he hated feeling as if he were tilted on one side of his body, then the other.

Eventually Frankie spotted his favorite ride; the haunted house. Mark hated the Haunted House simply because he thought he was to grown up to ride on it. The Haunted House had gargoyles and skeletons painted on the front of the house. Frankie persuaded Mark to go for one ride in the Haunted House on the stipulation that they would go through once and that would be the end of the Haunted House for this year. Mark hoped at least that it would be the end. Frankie was determined to return with or without Mark. He began to plan; ‘if I just can find a time to simply walk away it will be simple to return to the Haunted House by myself; then I can ride three more times.

“Hey Frankie, let’s go get a hamburger. I am hungry how about you?”

“Yeah Mark...I want to go back to the Haunted House. I can still have three rides with the

rest of the twenty dollars Dad gave me.”

“Frankie, the answer is no. What part of no don’t you understand.”

“Okay Mark I know I am supposed to do what you tell me.”

Mark began moving toward the food on the fairway with Frankie in tow; suddenly a very pretty girl smiled at him. Mark turned and Frankie was gone in a flash. Mark, kept smiling at the pretty girl; she smiled back, all was well in Mark’s world except Frankie was now missing. How would he tell his parents that he turned his back for a minute and boom Frankie was gone. Mark knew he would have to begin looking for Frankie but first he needed fortification a nice thick hamburger, french fries and a Pepsi. He decided then he would be ready to find Frankie.

Frankie waited until he was sure Mark would not follow him. Then he saw a place under the haunted house where he could hide; just to teach Mark a lesson. It wasn’t to long before Frankie fell asleep. When he awoke; it was complete darkness. The fairway was shut down already. Now what was he going to do. He thought for several moments; it was to late to meet his parents and brother; he would stay in the haunted house until tomorrow morning; find a police officer; go home and face the music.

Mark’s parents saw Mark but where was Frankie?

“Mark, you were responsible for Frankie; where is he?”

“Dad, I turned my back for a minute I turned around and he vanished.”

“Mark, how could you be so careless. Frankie is always getting into trouble; you know this.”

“Dad, Mom I am sorry. I have looked all over the fairway. I went back to the Haunted House.

There was no sign of him anywhere...he vanished.”

Mark stood watching the changing expressions on his parents faces as they thought about what to do:

“The easiest way to find Frankie is to contact the police and security here at the Carnival.

He has to be here somewhere. I am going to call the police; we will wait here until

they arrive.”

Mark knew he’d made a huge mistake; ‘one minute that was all it took. Now the entire carnival

is going to be turned upside down because of that fink!”

The police arrived about the same time that security arrived. Police Officer Mack MacDonald arrive first on the scene. He strode over to where the parents and older son stood:

“Hi folks, my name is Officer MacDonald. I am going to be asking you questions so that

we can find your son. We still have several hours of daylight; hopefully that will be enough

to find him safe and sound.”

“What was Frankie wearing?”

“A striped shirt blue and yellow, jeans, red sneakers.”

“What color is his hair”

“Blond”

“Eye Color?”

“Blue.”

“Height?”

“4’2”

“Age?”

“Nine years of age.”

“His full name?”

“Franklin Thomas Sheridan.”

“Where was the last place you saw him Mark?”

“I turned around for a minute at the Hamburger Stop and he was gone.”

“Is there any ride that he favors?”

“That is easy The Haunted House. He could spend forever on that ride.”

“Hey Jack, can Security check out that Haunted House?”

“Yeah, no biggie.”

Frankie had by this time found a comfortable mop to lay his head on. He hoped that his parents were not to worried. The flooring was made of wood. There were skeletons dangling from the ceilings. Heads with no bodies, ghosts. Frankie knew he had the nerve to stay here all night. Once again after looking over the heads he hunkered down for the night.

Darkness overtook the searchers:

“We’ll begin again at dawn. Wherever he is we will find him. You folks might want to

go home and get some sleep. We will be in contact.”

Janet and Stan Sheridan nodded; Mark just stood there thinking about the mess Frankie had caused this time. He wanted to pulverize him but then he would be in more trouble. He would figure out a way to fix Frankie from ever doing this again. The question was what would teach him a lesson he would never forget?

The wind began to whistle through the Haunted House. Frankie was beginning to get spooked. The rain began to come down hard. The lightning made the faces of the heads seem as if they were alive without their bodies. Frankie wanted to scream, run out of the Haunted House as fast as he could run. Then it hit him that he was stuck here until morning. The thunder storm began to subside. The Haunted House seemed to calm down. Frankie vowed he would never wonder off by himself, if he survived this adventure.

The following morning the police began checking every ride and every area. The Haunted House stood out. The question was where was this kid? Was it possible he had somehow managed to hide somewhere then slipped into the Haunted House after the fairway was closed for the night. Mack MacDonald decided to go inside the Haunted House. One of the Security people showed him where the trap door was located. He pushed open the trap door and there stood Frankie; white as a sheet.

“Are you Franklin Thomas Sheridan?”

“Yes sir.”

“Your parents and brother are here. Do you have any idea how horrible they felt when they

could not find you?”

“No sir.”

Mack used his mic to have someone bring Janet, Stan and Mark Sheridan to the Haunted House. Janet her eyes welling with tears:

“Oh Frankie how could you do this; you scared all of us half to death. What were you

thinking?”

“I guess I wasn’t, boy am I glad to be out of that Haunted House, It will be a very long time

until I go on that ride again.”

Mark’s eye brows shot up as his Dad winked at him. They both knew Frankie would go back to the Haunted House whenever he could.

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