[Dark in the Park Writing Contest]




Mansion Monster Mash by Good Brethren


    It was Friday morning and after being out late last night hanging out behind the water ice stand, I was almost too tired to face the day.  The clock said 11 a.m. but it felt more like 6 a.m. , and I was starting to get hungry, so I jumped out of bed and headed for the kitchen.  After polishing off a bowl of marshmallow ghosts, I rode my bike down to the local arcade to meet up with my best friend.  They just got a new pinball machine called Gorgar and I was trying to beat my friend Duncan’s high score.  We played for awhile and then got a couple of pieces of pizza and began to discuss our up and coming weekend.

    "Your girlfriend is working with you this weekend huh?" Duncan said.

    "Shut up, Charity is not my girlfriend!" I barked.

    "Fine, then I will take her," replied Duncan .

    “She is too smart to be hanging out with someone like you Duncan," I said. 

    "So you are taking over the Renfield scene, huh?  What ever happened to Tyler ? I thought he had that scene for the summer?" Duncan said.

    "Ophelia scheduled me for the scene when Tyler started showing up for his
shift 1/2 an hour late, not to mention I am taller then he is and I can actually grow some facial hair!” 

    “Ha ha, funny guy.  Hey listen, I am going to head home to catch some sleep before our shift tonight," Duncan said as he walked away.

    "Okay see ya tonight," I replied.

    I played a few shooting games before heading over to the Haunted Mansion .  I was really early because I wanted to help set up for the night and get my new part down.  I was really excited to be playing Renfield.  It was definitely a step up from the random hunchback guide character that would occasionally jump out and scare children.  I entered through the back exit that was usually propped open so the manager Ophelia could come in and out quickly for a quick smoke break.  I snuck up behind her but I knew she would never jump so it wasn't much fun to try and scare her so I just yelled, ”Hey boss!"

    "Kind of early, can't wait to play Renfield, huh?" she replied.

    "You know It!" I said.

    "Well don't let me get in your way, get into costume," Ophelia said.  I was already down the hall headed for the dressing room; she didn't have to tell me twice.  It was actually really cold in that mansion.  I loved the musty old house smell and the cool dark air of the creepy mansion.  The second story had some light which was leaking in from the seven deadly sins windows and also the windows from the twin towers at the opposite ends of the building.  I reached the make up room to discover my old guide partner, Charity, getting ready herself.  "Hey, what are you doing here?" I asked. 

    "I am just trying on some other outfits. Do you think I want to be a ghoulish guide for life? I want to play the Vampira, so I was checking out her dress," she said.

    "Cool, just don't get it messed up or Cassandra is going to freak out on you," I said.

    "I know, I know.  Hey are you going to ask me out to the double feature on Tuesday or am I going to have to find someone else to go with?"

    "I would love to go with you Charity, but I don't want Duncan to find out or I will never hear the end of it," I said.

    "Who cares what that idiot thinks anyhow, you better be going with me or else you and your boyfriend Duncan can go together," she replied and walked swiftly out of the dressing room.  I liked Charity but I was more concerned with my costume, and started rummaging thought the racks of costumes looking for that old gray suit.  I finally found it in a closet and pulled it out.  I placed it up against my frame and other than being little big it should be a good fit.  I started to take off my shirt and of course in barged Charity. 

    "Probably hoping it was your boyfriend, huh?"

    "Shut up,” I replied.  Sometimes that girl can really get on my nerves.  I changed into the
old gray suit and was walking back and forth testing it out and it was a pretty comfortable fit, but good thing the mansion was air conditioned because the suit was probably made of wool.  I took off the blazer and headed out to get something to drink because it was fast approaching five o’clock and the other actors would soon be arriving to get into costumes and assume their haunted posts.

    I headed over to the soda shop right next to the Pier Pub and started to notice a large number of bikers hanging out in the pub making quite a racket and it was only five. These guys didn't come here for fun, they came here to fight.  I had a gut feeling that this was trouble but figured they would probably make their way down to Seaside Heights , besides I couldn't be
distracted from my current role as the new Renfield!  I headed back to the Mansion and by this time the front doors had been unlocked and most of the employees were putting on their make up getting ready for some good old fashion dark ride fun.

    I walked into the main room and Ophelia was yelling, "I thought you would
have your make up on by now.  Get on your station.  I have assigned Charity to
be with you in the scene, and you can thank me later."

    "Thanks," I reluctantly mumbled and then I headed for the dressing room.  I jumped into the nearest seat and was waiting for someone to put on the gray beard and pepper my hair.  Jaala came over and started to put on my white makeup and powder my hair and beard.  I was almost ready and then I realized people would be in the Mansion in less then an hour, and I haven't even practiced my role once.  I was starting to get some butterflies in my stomach but hid my nervousness well.  Just as Jaala finished my eyeliner, Charity grabbed my hand and said,
 “Come on, we only have a half an hour.” 

    We ran down the narrow corridor past the alien bar and the coffin room and directly into the Renfield spider room adorned with webs and creepy spiders.  We fortunately had a couple minutes to practice our short skit before we heard the mansion music bleeding through the walls, which meant the customers would be led in any second.  Charity said, "How do I look?"

    "You look great," I mumbled but all I could think about was the nervous excitement
about playing this new part.  I felt someone shove me from behind and thought it was Charity getting smart but as I turned around I had to look up and it was a seven foot Frankenstein.  Normally I might have been frightened but I knew this was Duncan being stupid.  I punched him in the stomach which almost turned out to be his crotch in that giant Frankenstein suit.

    "Hey, that almost got me good," he yelled.

    "Well serves you right for sneaking up on me," I replied.

    A few seconds later we heard voices of a family and we knew we would have to take our places.  Duncan ran over to the hallway and was lurking in the corner, getting ready to jump out.  I ran back to the Renfield scene and met up with Charity and began to do a quick run through as we heard the screaming kids headed our way.  I lurched out of the corner and towards my hapless victim Ms. Davenport, aka Charity, as she lay helpless in the giant web. 

    "Your fate is sealed Ms. Davenport, there is no escape!! Ha ha!!" I yelled.

    "You will be sorry when the Count finds me here, Renfield.  He will make you pay for your evil ways," she cried. 

    “I am not afraid of the Count, my dear.  There is no fear in death," I replied, and then our scene faded to black.  The terrified children shuffled past the cob web touching it as they passed, wearily looking at the giant plaster of Paris spider in the corner. 

    "Not too bad if I must say so myself," I stated with some pride.

    "Yeah okay, but next time stand closer to me, okay?" Charity said.

    "Yeah, yeah, okay next time."

    Everything was going great. We were scaring families left and right and it was busy as can be with group after group coming through.  Right after a troop of Girl Scouts went through I wandered over to the hallway to sneak a drink of water from a hidden cooler.  That is when I heard some loud voices yelling profanity and being obnoxious.  "The only thing scary in here is the smell!" yelled some dark figure.  I looked around the corner and saw a group of bikers, six guys and a couple girls coming through the hallway right after the coffin room.  Duncan was hidden in a secrete alcove ready to pounce.  He leaped out and grabbed one of the girls who was with the biker. She began to scream at the top of her lungs.  This caused one of the bikers to punch the 7 foot Frankenstein causing Duncan to fall back against the wall.  He picked up a 2x4 sitting against the wall and knocked the biker unconscious which caused a chain reaction that probably would have escalated to a riot if more people were watching.  Two of the bikers jumped on Duncan and began punching him.  By this time I knew there was some serious trouble brewing so I told Charity to run for help.  I then picked up a chair from our scene and ran towards the bikers on top of Duncan and smacked them into the hallway wall causing it to give way and come crashing down into the coffin room.  One biker punched me square in the cheek causing me to stumble back.  I returned a punch to his face which opened up his nose like a faucet.  This stunned him long enough for me get the other biker off of Duncan who was now on the ground hindered from his tattered Frankenstein costume now laying in pieces about the floor.  One of the Bikers picked up a coffin and threw it at us, causing it to bounce off my back as I was helping Duncan up.  We pushed forward into another wall causing it to crack but fortunately not give out. As we stood up, someone released the fire alarm system causing a siren to sound which prompted the bikers to exit out a fire door leading out behind the pier, but not before grabbing and smashing some of the props on the way out. 

    "Idiots!" I yelled, but I doubt they even heard it. "Are you okay Duncan ?"

    "Yeah, but I really need to get this costume off."

    "Let me help you up," I said 

    ”Thanks," Duncan said and limped off to the dressing room.  I walked over to the entrance where there was more chaos.  Ophelia was holding the front doors trying to wrap a chain around the push bars, while several bikers were smashing front windows with sticks and chains trying to pry open the two doors.  "Where the hell are the cops?" I yelled.

    "I don't know.  I guess there are too many of them.  Help me get this lock on the door,"
Ophelia said with some panic in her voice.  I grabbed the door and pulled as hard as I could.  Fortunately Ophelia got the chain and lock around the bars and locked it down.

    We climbed up to the second story to look out on the front of the mansion to see what was going on out there.  It was anarchy.  The cops blocked off the north side of the pier with a blockade.  The cops out front were actually in fist fights with the bikers before they started throwing tear gas into the violent crowd trying to get into the mansion.  "Damn, they are like a bunch of angry hornets!  I have never seen anything like this. They are crazy.  Good thing they didn't try to set the place on fire," Ophelia said.

    "Yeah this is nuts!" I replied.

    We decided to head downstairs now that things were dying down and we made our way through the building assessing the damage.  Charity ran out from behind some props and grabbed me screaming, "Thank God you are okay.  I heard you were actually fighting some of the bikers!"   I guess that I actually was, even though at the time it seemed like I had no other choice. My buddy Duncan needed me.  But I guess all and all that is still pretty damn cool.











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