Until the footsteps.

Drop those balloons

And run…



I open my eyes
and to my surprise,
I’m at a carnival.
I’m chased into a tent.
My reflections surround me
on all sides.
I touch a mirror.
My hand flows through,
my body soon follows.
I’m in a dark basement.
The floor begins...



I open my eyes 

and to my surprise,

I’m at a carnival.

I’m chased into a tent.

My reflections surround me

on all sides.

I touch a mirror.

My hand flows through,

my body soon follows.

I’m in a dark basement.

The floor begins to turn.

I hear laughter, 

“I’m back.”






The carnival calls to me.

Sounds of laughter

float to me in the distance.

I want to be there.

I want to be a child again

for one afternoon.

Go back in time when

life was enjoyed to its fullest.

I will dip my toes in the sand

and run to the carnival.

I will buy cotton candy and

eat it with sticky fingers.

I will ride the ferris wheel

until I am dizzy from the height.

Children are running to the rides.

I am one of them.

For this afternoon,

I am one of them.




A carnival waits beyond the door.

A door sitting in a diner.

A door open to all adventures.

Open to all possibilities.

Step through the doorway

and enter your own world.



merry go round

I open my eyes.

I find myself at a carnival.

A clown chases me into a tent.

Mirrors surround me.

My reflections stare back at me.

Is this real?

Or am I in a nightmare?

A nightmare of my own making?

I need to get back.

Back to End House.

The haunted house in the woods.

I’m in a dark room.

I can’t feel the walls.

The floor is wet.

A mirror is looming ahead.

I touch it.

My hand flows right through.

My body soon follows.

I’m in End House.

Or in a house resembling it.

Time to go down to the basement.

That’s where I was going.

Wasn’t I?

The basement is dark.

What happened to the light bulb?

The floor begins to turn.

I can’t get off.

Then I hear the laughter.

“I’m back.”



merry go round


Linda is lost at a carnival.
A carnival of her nightmares.
A clown is leering at her.
The knife-thrower is throwing knives
At her but keeps missing.
She runs into a tent.
Mirrors surround her,
Distorting her reflection.
She runs farther into the darkness,
Crashing through a mirror,
Finally landing in a pitch black room.
The floor begins to spin…
She tries to grab hold of the walls.
They are wet and shiny.
But there’s no way out.

THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist


cuprikorn:i want that lemon by laurenmarek on Flickr.


A day of fun for all.
Follow the bouncing ball.
Past booths of games.
To the house of mirrors.
Inside, you’ll find me.
A clown of your nightmares.
Ready to take you on a tour.
That will lead to endless games.
And endless horrors.
This isn’t a carnival.
But a voyage into your nightmares.
Buckle up.
Enjoy the ride.



Why do clowns appear
And then come so near?
In my nightmares they cavort
With one another for sport.

I’m afraid to lay my head down.
For I might see another clown.
With their evil grins.
And quivering chins.

The carnival they roam.
So I’m writing this tome.
To leave clues to my demise
If the clowns aren’t too nice.

In a town such as Oasis.
There are few friendly faces.
For the clowns haunt my nights.
And bring with them more frights.





The day began bright and sunny.
The merry-go-round turned round and round.
Children’s laughter filled the air.
Followed by shouts of joy.
The smell of popcorn wafted by.
Followed by the sweet smell
of cotton candy.
Round and round went the horses.
Followed by the mothers’ eyes.
Round and round we go.
Followed by the rays of sunlight.

Until the sky turned dark.
Heavy with clouds.
Followed by shrieks of thunder.
The sky lit up with lightning.
The merry-go-round was pelted by rain drops.
Followed by a heavy downpour.
The horses circled faster and faster.
The mothers followed.

Until all was gone.
All that was left was mud.
No merry-go-round.
No children.
No mothers.
No shouts of laughter.
Only wet grass.
Where did they disappear to?
To a better place?
To a place without thunder and lightning?
Your guess is as good as mine.



house on shore

Chapter 40

That night Linda found herself caught in a nightmare that she couldn’t escape from, even when she willed herself to open her eyes. She was afraid that it wasn’t a nightmare, but a sinister game that had gone wrong. She didn’t know how she’d gotten herself into it or how she was ever going to get out.

     The nightmare had begun with Linda passing through the magical door at the diner—but it wasn’t the diner anymore; it was a remote house that she’d never seen before. The house was dark and dreary like End House, but it wasn’t End House.

     She heard the sounds of waves crashing against the house. She couldn’t believe that she was a prisoner in another house by the ocean. She didn’t know where she was or what day it was. She didn’t even remember how she’d gotten here. She just remembered following the little girl through the door: she’d been curious to see what was on the other side.

     On the other side of the door, Linda found herself at the same carnival that the little girl from the village had visited, except this carnival was much louder and the people were leering at her, trying to force her into their tents. The fat man was waving his pudgy arms at her as he got closer and closer. A clown came at her with his balloons and howled at her. A man began throwing his knives in her direction, but luckily, kept missing. She ran away and ran behind the tents to the colorful booths of the carnival.

     She chose the Fun House. She stepped into a room full of mirrors that made her multiple reflections appear distorted and unreal. She couldn’t figure out why she’d run into the Fun House: if in every horror movie the victims were always portrayed as being terrorized there. She hoped this wasn’t another game of The Dead. She was determined to locate an exit, but found only mirrors and more mirrors; they made her dizzy. Her distorted reflections stared back at her; as if they were distinct entities, united against her, instead of her own creations.

     She ran until she crashed head-first through a mirror, into a dark place with no beginning or end. The whole experience felt unreal to her—as if she were lost in a different dimension. Behind this mirror, she encountered a man with a white mask and empty holes for eyes, laughing at her. When he touched her arm, she realized that he was real and not just a reflection.

     She fled from the laughing man, going deeper and deeper into the dark unknown. She looked back and noticed creatures following close behind her. Some were bats and some were dark shadows, but all were reaching for her. She hoped that these weren’t the same shadows from town that had been haunting her for weeks.

     She hit something hard and fell down. So maybe this place did have an end. She raced away with her hands out, hoping to find the mirror that had caused her to enter this dark hell. Ahead of her in the distance, she glimpsed a shiny surface. After she got closer, she realized it was the mirror, patiently waiting for her. I hope this wasn’t a trap.

     She decided to step through the mirror and worry about the consequences afterward. She had always been afraid of the dark. She wondered how these creatures knew her fears—unless it wasn’t real, but just a figment of her imagination. She stuck her hand out and found that it flowed right through the glass. She followed her hand and crawled through the mirror.

     She found herself back in the house by the sea. She was in the main hall, looking up at a long flight of stairs. She raced up the stairs and ran through the deserted rooms. The house was empty of any people or furnishings. All she could hear were her heels clicking on the shiny wood floors.

     Fearing that she was caught in an endless loop like the one at End House, she hurried back down the stairs, all the way down to the basement. Since the top two floors were empty, she decided to try the basement—even though basements were also popular in horror stories, which was exactly what she was in.

     The basement was empty. The floor she was standing on began to rotate around and around. She reached up to grab hold of something to help her climb off the revolving circle, but there was nothing: the walls were wet and slippery. She tried to escape but found herself falling deeper and deeper into the dark hole. The only thing she remembered before she lost consciousness was the sound of a man’s evil laughter as he chanted the words over and over, “It’s not over. I’ll be back.”