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Rated: E · Fiction · Dark · #2320240
An encounter with the paranormal.
From her high-rise apartment, Molly had a spectacular view of the city waking up. She stood by the floor-to-ceiling windows, sipping on a freshly brewed espresso, watching the streets below come alive with the early commuters. The sky was gradually turning from deep blue to pale gold. She turned and walked back to her desk, where her laptop waited amidst a clutter of notes and reference books. She sat down, the city’s energy infusing her with determination. She adjusted her chair, placed her fingers on the keyboard, and started typing, the city outside her window serving as a constant reminder of the stories she wanted to tell.

Darkness in Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce stood as a testament to childhood dreams and innocent pleasures in the shadow of Connecticut's rolling hills. But as the sun dipped below the horizon, the amusement park's vibrant colors dulled, replaced by creeping shadows and an unsettling quiet.

It was after closing time, and the park was devoid of visitors. A single figure moved through the empty pathways, his footsteps echoing in the still night. Matthew, a security guard, had been working at Lake Compounce for over a decade. Tonight, however, felt different. The usual sounds of nocturnal wildlife were absent, replaced by an eerie silence.

Matthew’s shift began as usual, patrolling the grounds and ensuring everything was secure. He passed by the Wildcat, the park’s historic wooden roller coaster. The coaster loomed like a skeletal beast, its wooden structure groaning softly in the cool night air. He paused, his flashlight casting long shadows on the aged wood. For a moment, he thought he saw movement, a flicker of something darting between the tracks. Shaking off the feeling, he continued on his route.

As he approached the lake, the air grew colder, and a dense fog began to rise from the water, curling around his feet. He had always found the lake peaceful, but tonight it seemed different, almost malevolent. The water's surface was unnaturally still, reflecting the twisted branches of nearby trees.

Matthew’s radio crackled to life, startling him. “Matt, you there? You okay?” It was his colleague, Jeff.

“Yeah, I’m here. Just at the lake. Everything seems... off tonight,” Matthew replied.

“Be careful. You know the stories.”

Matthew scoffed. Every amusement park had its ghost stories, and Lake Compounce was no exception. Tales of accidents and disappearances were as old as the park itself. But Matthew never paid them much mind—until tonight.

Continuing his patrol, he reached the Haunted Graveyard, a seasonal attraction that was closed during the off-season. The animatronic ghouls and skeletons stood frozen in macabre poses, their glassy eyes staring into the void. A sudden gust of wind sent a shiver down his spine, and the gate creaked open as if inviting him in.

He hesitated but then entered, his flashlight cutting through the darkness. The air grew colder still, and the sound of his breathing seemed amplified. As he walked deeper into the graveyard, he felt an inexplicable sense of dread. The fog thickened, obscuring his vision, and the shadows seemed to move of their own accord.

Suddenly, he heard a whisper, indistinguishable words carried on the wind. He spun around, but there was no one there. His heart pounded as he quickened his pace, eager to leave the graveyard behind. But no matter how far he walked, the exit seemed to elude him. The tombstones appeared to shift, and the path twisted in impossible ways.

Panic set in, and he broke into a run. The whispers grew louder, more insistent. He stumbled and fell, his flashlight skittering across the ground. As he scrambled to retrieve it, he saw them: figures emerging from the fog, their eyes hollow, their faces twisted in silent screams. They moved slowly, inexorably, closing in on him.

Matthew screamed for help, but his voice was swallowed by the darkness. The figures reached out, their cold hands grasping at him. He fought to free himself, but their grip was unyielding. As the world faded around him, the last thing he heard was the haunting melody of a distant carousel, its tune warped and mournful.

The next morning, Jeff found Matthew’s flashlight at the entrance of the Haunted Graveyard, but there was no sign of him. The fog had lifted, and the park seemed peaceful once more. Yet an unspoken tension lingered in the air, a reminder of the shadows that prowled Lake Compounce after dark.

The park opened as usual, laughter and joy filling the air once more. But beneath the surface, the darkness waited, hungry for its next visitor.

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