Abandoned Theme Park

Written in response to: Set your story in an eerie, surreal setting.... view prompt


Thriller Suspense

My worn, tattered shoes crunch against the path I walk. I clutch my flashlight, the metal cold and hard against my warm, sweaty hands. Its light reflects off of the large iron gate that I am nearing. My destination.

All of a sudden, I hear quicker footfalls on the gravel behind me. My heart lurches and I whirl around, gripping my flashlight tightly, ready to scream.

“Kelsey! Wait up!”

I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to stop my hands from shaking. How could I have forgotten that Josh was walking behind me?

“Right here,” I call into the darkness. Suddenly, he emerges, shielding his eyes from the light of my flashlight with his hand. “You went ahead of me,” he says as I lower my flashlight. He runs a hand through his deep brown hair.

“Sorry,” I apologize. “You scared me!” I punch him lightly in the shoulder. 

“More like you scared me! I stopped to tie my shoe and suddenly you had just disappeared into the trees!” He laughs, playfully punching me back, his hazel-colored eyes twinkling at me.

“Okay, okay, let’s keep going!”

He smiles at me, plays with my long, dirty blonde hair for a couple of seconds, and grabs my free hand. Suddenly, I feel less scared.

Together, we approach the tall iron gate. A rusty lock keeps it shut, but thankfully, it hangs unlocked. Josh reaches up and removes it from the gate, and we both grab it and swing it open.


I jump, my heart suddenly racing again. Josh laughs. “It’s okay, Kelsey. Just the rusty old gate.”

“I know, I know.”

We intertwine our fingers and walk through the entryway side by side. My eyes widen as I take in my surroundings.

Right in front of us is an old, worn down ticket booth with iron bars in place that were probably there to keep separate, single file lines of people in place. Large letters, spelling out “TICKETS”, were once painted a bright shade of red but now look faded. Behind the ticket booth, I see clusters of smaller booths lining the wide, dusty pathway. Each one looks old and ruined, covered in cobwebs and untamed vegetation that has wound its way up over the years. Beyond those booths, several rollercoasters stretch through the cloudy evening sky, going up very high. But even taller than those, at the center of the whole park, is a huge old Ferris wheel.

I shudder and look up at Josh. “I can’t believe you convinced me to come explore this old amusement park with you. You know I hate creepy old stuff. And this place has probably been abandoned for a couple decades!”

“Come on, it could be fun! Lighten up. Maybe we’ll find a ghoooost! Boo!

I cross my arms. “I hope not. I hate ghosts. Plus, this could be private property! What if we get caught trespassing or something?”

“Relax. You’re so uptight. Try to have fun!”

“This is some date.”

Josh scoffs lightly and squeezes my hand. “Come on.”

So, even though my heart is racing, I let him lead me past the ticket booth and into the park. In the silence of the empty park, our footsteps on the gravel path seem louder than ever. I keep glancing behind me, like something is going to appear there.

“Whoa, check it out! A bumper car ring!” Josh jogs over to the entryway to a circular arena with several filthy bumper cars stationed around it. They are all covered in cobwebs, insects, and filth, and they definitely do not seem to work anymore.

I stand behind Josh as he steps down into the ring and wipes his hand on his black jogger pants. He notices me hanging back and reaches out a hand. “Come on, join me!” His smile seems to penetrate into my soul and before I know it, he’s guiding me into the ring.

“Think they still work?” he jokes, nudging one of the old bumper cars with his tennis shoe. 

“Ha, ha, very funny.”

We’re about to leave the bumper car arena when all of a sudden, we hear a strange noise. It sounds almost like an engine revving up, but not a normal engine. Josh and I both flinch, looking around wildly to find the source of the noise. I lift my flashlight to try to shine it into the shadows, but suddenly, the light starts to flicker violently. After a few seconds, it goes out completely. 

“Josh,” I whimper. He grabs my hand and we both go back out to the pathway. Somehow, I feel safer in a more open area.

“You okay?” he asks, putting a hand on my flashlight. “Can I see it?”

I nod wordlessly, letting him take it. He inspects it and slides open the battery compartment. “Hm. I guess the batteries died. That’s okay, though, we still have daylight.”

I find myself biting my nails. “I… Uh, okay.” So, we keep going, delving further into the park.

“Don’t you want to know what that noise was?” I ask timidly as we walk.

“Ah, it was probably just some old equipment creaking in the wind or something. Probably nothing to worry about.”

“Probably?” I mutter. 

But it must have shaken Josh up a little bit too, because he doesn’t seem to want to stop and go deeper into any other places.

All of a sudden, we hear the noise again, but more faintly this time. It seems to be coming from behind us. We both jump and whirl around, waiting with bated breath to see if anything else happens, when all of a sudden, I spot something.

“Josh… that wasn’t there before.” My voice and fingers tremble as I point to the bumper car ring. One of the bumper cars is no longer in the ring… it’s on the pathway, facing us.

“Oh, hell no,” he mutters. “Kelsey, I think we should get out of here.”

“My thoughts exactly.”

We start looking for a way to loop around so we don’t have to get too close to the bumper car, but we stop short when the noise sounds a third time. All of a sudden, our attention is brought back to the bumper car as the little headlights on the front of it suddenly flicker to life. 

“No, no, no,” I whimper, getting chills down my body. “Josh, we have to get out of here!”

“Run!” he shouts. We both start running back towards the gate, avoiding the bumper car as much as possible, when it starts to move. It rocks back and forth for a second, almost like an unseen figure is seating itself in it, and then it angles itself towards us. I let out a scream as it revs up its engine and starts careening at us.

Josh and I sprint at the gate, running with full force, nothing holding us back. I let myself glance over my shoulder, and I see the little car chasing us. How the hell?!

It seems like we’re going to make it when the gate suddenly slams shut by itself, just before we make it out. We both yell in shock and fear as our escape is closed off. 

We thrust ourselves against the bars, trying desperately to open it again, but to no avail. 

“Quick, this way!” Josh shouts. I follow him, nearly blinded by terror, as he runs back into the park. 

“What are you doing?” I yell fearfully. 

“Finding a place to hide!” he responds, reaching back for my sweaty hand, breathing heavily. We streak back across the pathway, the sound of the bumper car engine running behind us. My mind is whirling, I can hardly tell which direction I’m running, and my heart is threatening to beat out of my chest. I might pass out.

I have to keep running.

Suddenly, I have an idea. I tighten my grip on his hand and manage to say, “Follow me!” He lets me lead him to the far left, where a rollercoaster is advertised as “The Cobra”. We dash past the sign, veering down a more narrow path, until we reach a set of rickety wooden stairs. 

Panting, we sprint up the stairs as fast as we can until we reach the raised platform above. The bumper car is still chasing us at full speed, but vehicles can’t climb stairs.

“Good… thinking…” Josh manages to say through heavy breathing. Sweat lines both of our foreheads. When did it get so muggy out here?

Is it going to stop? I think, watching the bumper car with wide eyes. But no, it does not stop. It keeps driving at full force until it smashes into the stairs. Splintered wood flies everywhere. Josh and I shield our faces and drop to the floor of the platform we stand on. That loud sound happens again, even louder now, until the engine roars to a stop and the vehicle stops moving, embedded in the stairs.

I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. Josh is doing the same. 

“What… just happened?” he questions weakly, not taking his eyes off of the car. 

Suddenly, a huge gust of wind surrounds us, appearing out of nowhere. My long hair is blown all over the place, to the point where I can hardly make sense of my surroundings. The whole wooden platform, with its seemingly unstable ceiling and supporting pillars, starts to creak and rock in the wind. I can hear wood snapping all around me. Josh and I both cry out in fear as the whole contraption lets out a deafening CREEEEAAK and crashes down all around us, burying us in cobwebs, old wood, and supernatural secrets.

July 08, 2023 05:49

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Michelle Oliver
13:06 Jul 09, 2023

Spooky. You can’t just leave us hanging! Echoes of Christine in this story, supernatural bumper car come to life to attack the unsuspecting intruders. Creepy.


Emma D
18:18 Jul 09, 2023

Thanks for reading! I'm glad the spookiness element came across well. :) I had actually never heard of Christine but I looked it up and now I see what you mean! (I might try a part 2 at some point)


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