by James Sykes
Fantasy characters in an amusement park but things turn horrible when obsessed fan visits.
|A horror suspense story
The park of darkness
by James Sykes
Where the dreams become nightmares...
This is a story, a work of fiction that has in no way been based upon reality or actual life. Traditionally told tales often start with a few enchanting words at the beginning that are designed to get listeners ready for a different kind of narrative that we don't intend to be literally true, set in a kind of dream-time that is a hop, skip and jump away from, ordinary reality.
We all know, "Once Upon A Time." It's a good one, but sometimes you might want to try something different. You may be wondering how I know these old stories... They come me to me at night.
1. The Playground of life.
Life is a busy playground; some people like to have long turns on the swings. ( Soaring up and down, getting vast perspectives on the other kids in the playground.) Sometimes kids hog certain rides and you have to queue up to take to your turn. Beware of people who try and jump the queue! Some of the bigger kids can jump off the swing while in motion, landing with acrobatic accuracy in the sand or chip-wood surface below. Groups of kids (the infamous local Can Pipe Crew) lurking in the bandstand probably smoking joints and sipping out of bottles, an alcoholic starter kit for kids: Mad Dog 20/20 bottles or bottles of Thunderbirds; chucking bang-bang pellets or smoke bombs at the other children. But they would all go riding off on their BMX mountain bikes and choppers if one of us shouted that we'd go get our Father or bigger brother to come beat them up. The local playground or park is a refuge for so many children. It’s your first excuse to get out of your house and strong friendships are made there. You discover who you are and what groups you want to be associated with. Sometimes there are kids that stay to the sides or watch from the bushes, scared to join in with the other children who were playing too rough and too loud. Scared to be noticed, wanting to be left out and just watch from the sides.
2. Meeting Marco.
Marco used to have vivid reoccurring dreams of of being in an invisible playground. In a world of nothing but bright white light, he and his friends were all millions of coloured polka dots different colours each of them. If Marco was to think about it in his now adult waking hours in these dreams he was bright pink or fuchsia, always seemed to be climbing the steps of a giant slide; the kind we used to have in playgrounds years ago before the really good toys were deemed as being too unsafe and a couple of children fell to their deaths from grate heights onto concrete.
Marco was thinking about this while cycling to work. It didn't take him long as he was living near to the amusement park, where he had worked for the past ten years. The years here seemed to slip by so fast because each season lasted for months at a time. Over the past few years he had slipped into a depression. It felt like he was living in a bubble, just going through the motions of life like a leaf blown about in the breeze. He felt like he was travelling without direction. Marco had moved here to work in the Theme-Park overlooking the seaside town of Cliff-top, a beautiful but neglected and run down seaside tow. Cycling through the little villages, passing the empty fields gave him time to reflect and think. Sometimes the ride would reignite the alcohol still in his system from the night before and once more he would feel drunk by the time he arrived at the office to receive his role and location for the day.
3. A Frightening Fairground.
The outside of the amusement park was closed in by a large rusty security fence topped with Razor wire. Behind this was a row of thorny rose bushes and spiky trees as an extra deterrent and over the tops you could see the arching skeletons of the roller-coaster and chair-o-planes and the spiky turrets of the Royal palace. At night from the outside you could imagine a twisted world of nightmares and torture devices silhouetted in the moonlight.
The park was a franchise of the world famous 'Fantasy playground' created in the nineteen-thirties by a notorious Hollywood entertainment mogul named Terry Krispin and operating franchises existed in several different countries. His world famous motto was: "keep 'em happy and keep 'em spending, then when we've had enough... Chuck 'em out with a smile on our face! I intend to buy the rights and eventually produce my own version of every story known to man! My mission will never be complete until I have used every bit of imagination known to mankind and produced entertainment that will titillate and delight our loving family of yearly visitors to feel free to dream and have fun, constantly bombarded by side shows and attractions.” Every attraction lead straight into a gift shop, where they could spend all their money on merchandise, like cuddly toys of all their favourite characters (manufactured in China). The park was essentially an enclosed retail area. The costumers were constantly dazzled by shows and would fraud them out of a hell of a lot of money in the process. It was fun for everyone, but the stars who where the characters.
Meeting the characters was undoubtedly the reason why the majority of people came to the fantasy playground, to see them perform. Most people in the celebrated character division started like many others straight out of drama or performing arts college (aged nineteen) after studying music, singing, acting, technical theatre and dance. They played their rolls while young and fit. But that was before the sadness sets in and after their bodies couldn't take the physical challenges of wearing such bulky, heavy costumes, like playing Bingo the dog along side Bongo the trouser wearing, cigar smoking monkey.
Most of the costumed characters performed in the park were designed in the nineteen thirties, they had big jazz-man white gloves and huge dilated pupils made out of the kind of plastic used in the lenses of sunglasses, that would steam up and cloud your vision like the bathroom mirror after a hot shower.
The absolute star of the show was Rico Rat and his girlfriend Rita Rabbit, racial stereotypes of a Porto Rican drug dealer and his Rasta girlfriend. They were some of the first characters created and the leaders of a carousel of crazy personalities. The early cartoons were very funny, consisting of hilarious sketches where Rico went round collecting debts occasionally assisted by a monkey in trousers and his dog on a lead a massive plastic bone swinging from the collar round his neck.
Bongo the monkey burst in through the door of the green room gasping for breath and scratching frantically at the back of his costume in a signal to be opened up and set free. The girl inside was pretty and had a Russian accent. "They are like bloody maniacs in there today. All pushing and shoving, standing up out of their seats and shouting all at once. I'm sweating my arse off in there and I just want to scream if you all just sit down I might be able to get around the restaurant, sign your autographs and you might get your bloody photos!"
"Would you like some water?" The green room was always stocked with drinks and sweets for the performers who played the characters.
"Yes, cold please. Thanks Marco." Marco finished hanging up the costume pieces Alicia had taken off and handed over the disposal plastic cup of water.
"It's busy today isn't it?."
Alicia was sipping her water and hummed in agreement. "Humm, it would be okay if it wasn't for the fact that most of them are all those bloody families. I mean I'm not racist but why do they have to shout? It's the same shit very night. I call it bloody family O'clock. I was supposed to be dancing in the carnival today not playing Bongo the bloody monkey in the Rico bloody restaurant!" She handed the cup back to Marco who was studying the time sheet for the team.
"Why are you giving it back?" He asked beautiful and naïve.
"It's not cold enough." This was Alicia's horty reply. "I mean this is bloody hell, I was hired here to be a princes and dance in the carnivals, it’s so unfair me being here performing the stupid chimp. I know that we all have to take it in turns to play the characters, but I'm a princess not a chimp. I don't know why they don't just put people on this shift who can't dance! Like those people who were hired just to play the characters in The park it's so fucking unfair putting me here on this shift!"
Marco wasn't listening, he had heard it all before and now he was wrestling Andy into a dirty-looking sad pony costume. Andy's voice came out of it scolding in tiresome tones. "Oh do just shut up princess, you're hardly ever even on this sodding shift. So don't sit there moaning all night in front of the people who do it everyday." The pony let loose a low slack fart and left the green-room muttering swears and curses under his breath. "Pooh dammed shit! Poo, poo!" He had ignored one of the golden rules of performing mascot characters. Never fart in your costume, now he would have to suffer the stench of his bodily function as he went to do his forty-five minuet meet and greet with the bedlam that was inside the Rico restaurant that night.
Alicia crossed her legs in defiance which were giant monkey feet, toes poking out of the end of enormous sandals. "It's not my fault you can't dance, we all did the same audition. I just think that I'm too talented to be here suffering this hell with you lot."
Marco had heard enough. "Sometimes Alicia you sound like such a bitch." At this point the conversation was interrupted when the green room door flapped open again and this time giant chicken called Chuck Cluck . He came in with his mate Jack Quack, ripped off it’s head and the girl inside (who looked like she could be the younger sister of Oprah Winfrey, but with twice the attitude) ordered Marco to come over snapping her fingers with impatient little clicks as if she were calling over an idiot waiter in a seven star hotel.
"Rose! Hi! I didn't realise you were working tonight!"
Rose kissed her teeth, pretending to be generally interested to discover that Alicia was there too. "Oh hi Alicia, weren't you supposed to be dancing on the carnival tonight?" Her face was full of suspicion and accusations. "I saw you on the list in the dance studio this morning, so why are you here? Are you being punished?"
"Yeah it sure feels like it. I was changed wasn't I? Now I'm here playing Charlie Chimp in the Rico shitty restaurant. Just hating my life right now."
"I know what you mean I asked to be a princess today because I've got my family visiting. It's so bloody unfair! I absolutely hate this character costume, you can't see anything through the beak and holding a pen is impossible because you don't have any fingers. But what do they do? Change the costume design, as if it wasn't difficult enough in the first place. Now it's frigging padded so it's even harder to to sign the kids books, not to mention using the tiny pens and pieces of paper they expect you to sign on."
Alicia was quick to join in, bitching about the visitors in the green room was a favourite pastime for all the performers. "I know they gave me a bloody napkin earlier! I mean, how am I supposed to sign on that? And it's packed full of Latinos and every bloody one of them is out of their seat and running around the restaurant."
"And the servers are just as bloody bad, pushing you out the way and practically taking your head off with those flipping trays as they come past. I'd like to put one of them into a character costume and push them round for forty five minutes in a restaurant with tables and chairs in the way." Air was sucked in through Alicia's Mouth as the conversation started to get really interesting. "I heard about the time one of them took the head of Peter Pussy-cat straight out of the van when the team was about to leave and plonked is on the table in front of all the visitors!"
"Is that really true? I heard about that too."
"Yes apparently he wasn't even fired. What an arse-hole spoiling the magic like that, but between us... I would have paid to see the looks on the children's faces!"
This set them both of into fits of hysterical laughter which was directly contrasted in whispering tones Alicia leaned in close I heard that creep was watching the carnival today and he stood by the gate giving out those dried up, dead flowers he carries with him everywhere. It's all a bit odd, I wouldn't take one."
"It's not like you get a choice, I can't refuse him. Just imagine if he kicks up a fuss in from of the visitors if he doesn't get his own way. I'd die of embarrassment." Rose shook her head slowly. “he creeps me out so badly, there's just something really perverted about him, I dread to think what he does looking at our pictures."
"He's probably harmless enough, but he gives me the shivers all over my body."
Howard Hitchman would have loved that just the thought of one of his beloved and treasured princesses having any sort of physical reaction to him would have given him enough wanking material for weeks and maybe even months, because when ideas get into Howard's head they stay there and flap about like moths around a light bulb at night.
Howard had not always been a loner as a child, he was as a wonderful baby walked and talked early played with cars and toys but it was at about eighteen months when his mother Hilary started to see changes in his behaviour like becoming more withdrawn until that heart breaking moment when, while having a tantrum he stopped responding to her calling his name. Just stopped communicating and became a shy, watching from the sides in the playground kind of a boy. Howard would much rather sitting up in his bedroom watching his Fantasy Funfair theme park videos or studying the park map that had come with his weekly magazine subscription. Using his finger to trace out the pathways; while writing out endless lists of activities and adventures. He would have loved to have had the opportunity to be able to visit this theme park and really experience the magical place for him self if they weren't such a poor family, as he was often reminded by his mother, who was now too fat and old to work. Hillary mostly worried about her weight which in turn was brought on by a depression after being abandoned by Howard's farther when he was a toddler leaving them in financial ruins. So dreaming of setting foot on these hallowed grounds of eternal happiness was something Howard had done privately for a long, long time. But now he actually had booked, saved and paid for it all by himself. He could hardly believe himself that the day was actually coming. This was his enchanted ticket into the Fantasy Funfair. He would fanatically spend his time there taking photos to upload onto his website-blog. Here was a perfect world of beautiful princesses and happy cuddly characters.
The sun shone down on the laughter and happiness.
The sun was already shining down on another beautiful day in the fantasy playground and he had come alone. His mother had told him to go on his own the whole time but after planning for years to go with his mum, changing his mind was not going to be easy, but his mother knew more and more that getting him to take the first step of doing something by himself and surviving might finally be the key to him learning independent living and this thought eased her in her older years. Howard didn't listen easy or change his mind quickly. But this time they were helped, persuaded also by the doctor who visited rarely because of the fact that she had come down with bronchitis and her hacking smokers cough had turned nasty, she coughed out juices and jellies that looked really nasty.
So Hillary simply had to stay behind on this trip, but it would be okay. Howard had his new long-lensed digital camera and the family camera recorder which took the mini cassettes of which he had bought five. So counting also new one that was already in the camera recorder, there was no chance of her actually missing anything. He could film and photograph everything he did and saw to show her once he got home safe and sound with the Tetley's tea and the chocolate biscuits. The idea had also come to him to start a new web-log to upload everything in organized and categorized and established order. Oh ! what fun that would be! Right, mum? But this time mum wasn't there. Howard was far from home, completely alone. He was in the hotel of his dreams, which actually one on-line reviewer had said looked like an embarrassingly out of date hotel in a catalogue from the nineteen seventies found in your grandmother's draws, with a strange mismatch of patterns and prints. Worse still was the constant stench of disgusting perfume piped out by the hotels erratic air-conditioning system. They could have helped out by kindly putting a tranquillizer and some Prozac in there, the on-line reviewer had said.
He placed his bags on the bed in order of size and unzipped each one, licking his lips happy with the accurate job he had done with his packing. What a terrible shame it would be to have to unpack them and leave them in a jumbled mess all over the bed! And then to have to rearrange them in the minimal draws and cupboard shelves, no a task as tricky as that would have to be thought about won't it mum?
Mum wasn't there. Howard was beginning to feel a little bit anxious he rocked a little backwards and forwards and cupped his hands together, forced them between his knees in a kind of child-like position of guilt.
He stamped his feet and clapped his hands and turned around. He instantly felt much better.
Silly Howard! Every thing's going to be fine here in the magically protected world of The Fantasy playground! And mum can see it all in videos and photos. It was still just late afternoon and he could hear the soft invitingly enchanting melodies of all the old nursery rhymes that looped round on the never-ending soundtrack pumped out by all of the speakers in the park. The tunes would take him back into his imagination of the existence of a glorious past. One of a simpler but, much more soul-full contented people, an easier time. (A better time for everyone) A time of friendliness and smiles, of cuddles and of course all the beautiful fairy tale princesses.
5. Mother’s Ruin.
Mum doesn't give cuddles any more, she says he's way too big for them. It’s true. He was forty-four and enormous. But he had always been big. Big and special he used to hear a lot around him, in those ways a mother describes you to her friends. Not that they had many but family members did occasionally drop by and the frequent visits from the family doctor and trips to the local support centres, but mum tended to stay away from those places. "Interfering old twerps, that just want ya money!" She used to say. "Just stay in and okay where its safe and Mummy will look after you." But how time flies when you have an adult son living at home.
Now mum gave cold worrying stares, has a bad smoker's cough and can't bear standing up for long periods of time, so mum had said: "Book it yer God dammed self ya know how to on the internet, you're always on the computer these days. It will be just like ordering the shopping from Tesco’s. You do that for me all the time these days. A little holiday will do you the world of good and I could do with a rest.” She coughed and spat into the waste paper bin sat by her chair. “It's okay Nora from next door said she'll pop by. You'll be okay on your own as usual, an it gets yer outta dat God dammed bedroom and into da world a bit. Don't look at me like that all sulky and silly, you know I'm right. Now go on get up them stares and pack your things, we both know it will take you a week!"
Howard's favourite princess was the beautiful, blond Princess Maria. She was also the prettiest with the prettiest dress and in love with Gobble-Chops, a misunderstood troll longing to be the accepted, but ultimately flawed by his loneliness and kind nature despite his truly, monstrously ugly appearance. Despite the differences between them, in the end love wins over all and they become majestically transformed into the perfect Barbie and Ken prince Romeo and princess Maria. Oh Howard thought he had watched the film over three million times on VHS cassette and had worn out about three copies already. Watched them to death and eventually this abuse killed off the VHS player, which was on it's last legs and took the perpetually watched video with it to it's grave. His wardrobe floor was now it's final resting place, he just couldn't bare to part with it. Too many memories were still locked inside, because when it's on and he's got his face right up close to the television screen and the lights are off, it is just like the first time in the cinema when he had gone with his mum.
Images of little dancing fluffy animals and princesses swirling in beautiful gowns with flowing, beautiful hair filled his mind as he planned his first holiday away, independent of his mother. He could just close his eyes and sway to the music playing in his mind, all fluffy and rosy-posy. What a beautiful make believe world of dreams just, like the first time when he had shared it in the dark with his Mum.
Uncle John had been staying with them for over a week now. Just until he gets himself on his feet. Mum had said, but sometimes Howard felt himself being watched from the upstairs window. His uncle was dark featured, like his mother but skinny and had a very strong bad stench to his breath. Howard didn’t like the way he stared, he sometimes caught him looking out of the corner of his eye. This made him feel even more uneasy than he usually felt in this tall dark man’s presence.
Hillary had become even more protective of her disabled son after coming home one day to find him in a compromising position with her brother (his uncle) when Harold had been very young. After this experience few people were invited or accepted to come round to their home for a visit. “Don’t worry Mum will watch out for you always and keep you safe.” She had said in the days when she had been cuddly and kind.
Oats and beans and barley grow, oats and beans and barley grow. But do you or I or any one know how oats and beans and barley grow?
At the gates to the park Howard could already hear the music and smell the popcorn with the delicious aroma of fresh doughnuts. The song oats and beans endlessly playing on it’s never-ending loop of happiness. His ticket was passed to the attendant at the turnstile gates, she was pretty and had a welcoming smile.
"Have a fantastic day sir!" She wished him with chintzy cheeriness, her name tag said Carley. Pretty but no princess Howard thought so he snatched back his ticket from her hand, her facial expression crashed into a scowl with surprise. People had began to come in large crowds, soon it would be more difficult to hear the music over the shouting and talking in loud voices. Loud voices annoyed Howard and crowds made him feel uncomfortable and feeling uncomfortable made him stand out. The big awkward man in his forties wandering round the park an a dream like state overloaded with camera equipment, seeing through thick glasses that made his flickering eyed stare that appeared to look all around as well as straight through you.
6. Let the entertainments begin.
The entertainment building was the centre of all park entertainment operations, here they rehearsed the dances, washed the costumes and built all the seasonal decorations. During the day it was a hive of activity with people rushing about in complete and semi-dressed states of whatever the role was they were interpreting that particular day. There was a hierarchy like any form of institution and generally thought to be at the top (at least by themselves) was the bad-arsed and by that I mean that they just weren't particularly friendly group that were indeed hired to play the princesses.
7. The Art Of Drag. (We are borne naked, the rest is drag)
All of the non-furry costume wearing characters are basically drag-queens in the way that they are huge personalities, in outrageous costumes.
Drag is the art of transformation. A guy who dresses as a woman for fashion or theatrical reasons is referred to as a queen, a person, usually male, who dresses in drag and often acts with exaggerated femininity and in feminine gender roles. Often they will exaggerate certain characteristics such as make-up and eyelashes for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. While drag is very much associated with gay men and gay culture, there are drag artists (performers) of all sexualities.
The etymology of the term "drag queen" The term drag queen occurred in English slang that was popular in some gay communities in the early part of the 20th century. Its first recorded use to refer to actors dressed in women's clothing is from 1870 A folk etymology is that drag is an acronym of "Dressed Resembling A Girl" in description of male theatrical transvestism. Queen is also related to the Old English word "queen" or cwene, which originally simply meant "woman", then was later used as a label both for promiscuous women and gay men (Oxford English Dictionary definition for "queen")
Another term for a drag queen is a female impersonator, it is sometimes regarded as inaccurate, because not all contemporary drag performers are attempting to pass as women so the princes are also drag queens, Female impersonation has been and continues to be illegal in some places which is another reason why kids came to work in the character department.
The process of getting into drag or into character can take hours. A drag queen may aim for a certain style, celebrity impression, or message with their look. Hair, make-up, and costumes are the most important essentials for drag queens.
A televised competition called “Ru Paul's Drag Race” and a dance show called “Dance Moms” was the most popular television show, loved by the princes and princesses. Within the larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, drag queens are sometimes criticised for their participation in pride parades and other public events, believing that this projects a limited and harmful image of gay people and impedes a broader social acceptance. This attitude itself is criticized for limiting self-expression and encouraging the idea that there are "right" and "wrong" ways to be gay. In more recent years drag queens have been prominently featured at these same events.
The openness and expression of living here was surely every little girl's and (some) boy's dream. Honestly you don't need any kind of an Impressive IQ to be one of the chosen few. You just need to pass a ridiculously high level dance audition and be able to put together simple conversation, obviously the only actual requisite was their physique and this was pretty much all they cared about. As for the boys the same was true. Arms, swinging and clutching designer hand-bags. Every morning they marched into work sunglasses perched on heads, chewing gum popping in their mouths as they entered the entertainment building and the girls weren't far behind.
Rose was leading the group like Beyoncé. Cecile was the beautiful blond, she had big seductive blue eyes and some work done on her face arse and tits. She was French, but had learned to speak with a remarkably American native sounding accent when dolled up like a princess. The amount of false eyelashes, big wigs and fabulous fake jewels they were adorned with was a veritable feast to the eyes.
Alicia played the Russian snow princes Snegurochka, also known as the Snow Maiden or Snowy, is a character of Russian folklore and part of the Russian New Year’s celebrations roots of this character are from Slavic pagan beliefs. legend says she is the daughter of Father Frost and the Snow Queen who were old and had always regretted the fact that they had not been blessed with any children. In winter they made a girl out of snow. The snow maiden came alive and became the daughter they never had. They called her Snegurochka. But when the summer sun began to warm the land, the girl became very sad.
One day she went into the woods with a group of village girls to pick flowers. It began to get dark and the girls made a fire and began playfully jumping over the flames.
The mother of the snow princesses (spring) gave her a gift of a Love Wreath that makes her capable of loving. However, as soon as she falls in love she leaves her forest and melts at dawn as the sun touches her with it’s golden rays and turns her into a cloud.
She became an essential part of the New Year’s celebrations and a helper to Father Frost, the Russian Santa Claus. Young, beautiful and smiling, she always travels with Father Frost on a horse-drawn sledge to visit children and give them gifts; she acts as a mediator between Father Frost and the children.
Snegurochka is forever young and beautiful. According to the legend the old man and woman who made her from snow used two deep blue beads for eyes, made two dimples in her cheeks, and used a piece of red ribbon for her mouth. Snegurochka was very beautiful, but when she came to life, she was even better. Snegurochka is often depicted with snow white skin, deep sky-blue eyes, cherry lips and curly fair hair.
Originally Snegurochka wore only white garments and a crown, decorated with silver and pearls. Her present day costume is blue, red, white or silver and her crown is sometimes replaced by an embroidered cap with fur edging. She is probably one of the most attractive female characters in Russian culture.
Rose was a proper London girl and hired to play the token ethnic African princess who’s story was honestly the most moral of all the princess tales: Long ago, in a kingdom in Africa, there lived a king and a queen. They had a very beautiful daughter whose beauty surpassed that of any other. The princess was well loved and pampered that she eventually became proud. When she became an adult and had reached sexual maturity, her parents decided it was time for her to get married. Many suitors came to seek for her hand in marriage, but she refused them all. Princes, hunters, and warriors all hoped to win her heart with gifts but she never seemed to be satisfied with any of them. She rudely dismissed them from her father’s court whenever they came seeking for her hand. She always had one complaint or the other about them.
News of the beautiful but haughty princess had spread far and wide and more men came seeking for her hand. At this point, her parents had begun to despair as to whether she would ever get married since she seemed to reject and insult every man that approached her.
One day, a man came into the town and sought her hand in marriage. He was a well built and handsome man. No one could fault his looks and he came bearing numerous gifts for the princess and her family. The princes was so caught up and carriage of the young man that she instantly became carried away, despite her parents reservations about not knowing him or anything about him, she refused to listen or heed to anyone's advice and insisted on marrying the stranger.
After much persuasion, the king realized his hands were tied and that she had made up her mind on marrying the stranger, the marriage ceremony was conducted and typical of the King’s fashion, everyone had plenty to eat and drink.
The new couple after receiving the royal blessings of their parents, prepared to leave for the home of the groom. As was the custom and especially since it was the princess involved, many maids and servants accompanied the couple bearing different goods that the princess was expected to set up home with.
The journey took them deep into the forests and they did not stop to rest. Any time the princess asked when they would get to his home, he kept promising her soon. One by one, he dismissed the guards, servants and maids that accompanied the princess and she was left to bear the load they had carried or discard them if there was no one to carry it.
The princess saw it as strange that her husband never offered to help her carry any of these heavy things which she had to carry, but she sought excuses for him that perhaps males don't bear loads in his village.
At a point in their journey, the handsome couple had to cross a stream and upon crossing, the groom’s features began to change. Gradually he stopped looking human. His ears became longer and hairier; his eyes came closer together and looked very mean. His teeth began to protrude as they became sharper and longer.
The once handsome man became a hideous monster. The princes, upon noticing this transformation screamed and screamed but there was no one to hear her. Her once handsome husband was actually a monster. He had taken her deep into the forest where he resided. He pointed to a hole in a cave telling her that would be her home. He had heard of her pride and decided to assume a human form in other to teach her a lesson. The proud princess at this point then realised that her faith had been sealed and she was doomed to a life as the wife of a beast and a cave as a home.
She regretted all her actions of the past and prayed for a second chance, but it was too late for her, her pride had cost her freedom and luxurious life.
The Princesses were, (and they knew it) all of the extremely lovely to behold; but there had been a rumour going round the park, spread by the other departments. That when in need, boys were often put in the to the roles of the princesses. This wasn't true and about the boys it was generally thought that there was a very relaxed attitude to liberal free sex in the changing rooms. It was said that as soon as you had passed through the door to the boy's changing rooms, your pants and trousers were pulled down and you would receive the traditional greeting by any of the other senior members of staff,. If you were lucky it was said that you might receive a mouthful of spit as lubricant and the lights switched off.
Unlike the rest of the characters who faked their princess accents, Alicia really was from Russia and was a bit of a coke-whore; two nasty habits she had picked up when her life had been a lot less glamorous. In her native country, Alicia had even promoted her services by releasing a pop song entitled ' Let us ho.' She was very over protective about her character famous for saying things like "No, snow princess doesn't like kissing children." Her word was always final. She turned to the boys and shouted in her hard Russian accent "Boys you hurry up doing make up today. Snow princes doesn't want be late for public, arse-holes." Rose who was from east London added: "Bunch of poofs, take longer than us innit!" Today was going well for them no unforeseen costume problems so far but the day was still young.
The plan now was to get dressed in the under clothes belonging to each princess costume put the correct corresponding shoes on and get into the hair and make up room for make up and help putting on the wigs which were washed and styled the day before.
The boys sat in one line and the girls all sat together backs facing the boys. The preparation time for the costumed characters, which means the characters that put on heads over their own, was twenty minutes, for the princesses it took generally forty five.
Jamie was at his usual place sat next to Julio, they were the today’s princes Julio was muscle and Jamie was his very close mate. Each of them were lazily painting on foundation, eye-liner and cleaning up their lips with cotton buds and then applying the lip gloss while having a gossip "I heard Neal Went down on Andy again at the party last night. Did you hear anything Jamie?"
Jamie was over-plucking his eyebrows "yeah he did the dirty randy bastard; he did it with him in the bushes outside the party while his girlfriend (pointing at Cecile) was downing Vodkas in the kitchen with the girls. Did You ever notice the best parties always start in the kitchen and finish off in the bathroom?
Julio was overdoing the gloss so much that his lips now looked like two slugs, his eyes were glowing with what he deemed as to be the most delicious gossip that morning, his south American accent gave his voice an Argentinian growl that with his tan and muscles was very sexy, well it could have been if he was generally a bit more masculine. He was just as much a queen as the rest of the boys there. "Did you hear about the Rico Rat gift shop getting totally robbed up yesterday night at gun point and everything?"
"No, oh my God tell me!" Jamie moved in closer to get the whole story.
"Well...” Julio continued” I heard that four masked gang members drove their van crashing through the gates holding these massive fuck off guns. They pointed those screaming orders at the employees, terrifying them to hand over all the cash, and it was only about four thousand quid. But then all the park visitors started all crowding around them, which panicked the robbers, so they took two staff members as hostages and drove off in the van." Oh my God is that true?"
“Who told you that?”
"I over heard that shop bitch Carley taking on the phone to her boyfriend on the bus. She knew everything! "Julio flexed his muscles and blew himself a kiss. This was snatched up by Jamie sitting next to him. They weren't in love, they just couldn't stop fucking. It was bizarre they had become so publicly blatant about it people were sickened to be around them. It had become like a bad habit.
Jamie loved listening to this story and Julio couldn't help embellishing it to the ultimate maximum. "I heard the visitors were taking photos and even trying to get autographs and when the bad guys left they started clapping and cheering like it had all been some random impromptu stunt show or something..."
Neal who was their team supervisor came in shouting and trying to assert his authority over these wild rumours. "None of that is true or has yet been confirmed by head office. So stop gossiping guys, you have ten minutes to get on stage so chop bloody chop!"
Neal placed a large packet of sweets on the boy’s dressing table and another Packet landed in front of the girls. Alicia picked it up with a sneering expression of distaste "Snow queens don't eat sweets." She threw it to the boys "You eat pigs, eat and get fat!"
Next there was a Ding dong and a deeply depressed sounding voice announced: "Princesses and princes this is your ten minute call. On-stage in, ten minutes." There was a chorus of sighs and both sides closed their make-up cases with a series of mechanical snaps. Neal was standing by the door ready to check them before they went into wardrobe. The girls all passed without any problems, but the boys who were known for their overindulgence for make-up were each told to tone down the blusher, take off the lip-gloss or draw in the over plucked eyebrows. Which were met with signs of protest from the boys, who rolled their eyes while making the necessary changes before going out in the park to meet the waiting visitors of families and fans.
The fluffies or costume characters were just pulling their heads on, closing top buttons and putting on the gloves just behind the main gate that leads into the park.
The morning music had just started and the welcome announcements, greeting all the visitors a good morning with the snappy ear-worm of a song that was Rico rat's theme tune:
"Rico rat in his flat eating all the cheese!
Rico rat in his flat eating all the cheese!
He eats all the cheese and a plate of peas...
Rico rat is in his flat eating all the cheese!"
There were essentially two kinds of character costumes worn by the performers at the fantasy playground, painful and the agony range. By wearing any costume for long periods of time could also tip a normally painful costume into the agony variety the only thing you want to do when closed into one of these medically confirmed death-traps is to get out of it and the forty five minute 'playtime' always went painfully slow and on a day when you were a little tired or if it was hotter than twenty degrees, time went S-L-O-W.
The gates swung open and out skipped Rico and Rita hand in hand, (or should I say glove in glove?) Each character had a theme song and the announcer's voice echoed unenthusiastically over the loud speakers. "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls welcome to another beautiful day in the fantasy playground. Here to greet you all is the most famous rodent in the whole wide world... It's big-ears, the big cheese! That crafty rascal with his love-e-ly girlfriend ... Rico rat and Rasta Rita!" The announcer’s voice actually went down in pitch and tone at the end of the spiel like a worn down soul destroyed woman in a supermarket information kiosk. Next came Bongo puffing away on his cigar and bringing Bingo his dog along on a red lead, a bone hanging from the collar around his neck. Bongo flicked the ashes from his cigar onto Bingo's head which made him shake himself like a dog that had just had a swim in the river. Bongo now performed his signature move putting one hand on his belly and the other to his mouth and mimed a hearty chuckle. The crowd went crazy laughing and cheering at Bongo's entertainment.
Rico turned to him and made a few stabbing motions with his pointing finger, he held out his hand and rubbed his first two fingers and thumb together as if demanding money, this was his classic gesture of trying to collect the rent. Bongo was famous for rent evading in the cartoons. There was an other uproarious burst of laughter from the visitors waiting behind the gates. Bongo looked shy and hid his eyes. "Last but not least, representing the enchanted animals from the fairy forest. Please make some noise for Freddy bear, with that infamous Preston the pessimistic pony and their old pals with the questionable intentions, The cheeky Chuck Cluck and Jack Quack."
Freddy bear rubbing his stomach as if in unbelievable pain of not stuffing his face in the last hour and chuck cluck who was always with his good friend Jack Quack was characteristically waving his arms in the air in a rage the origins of which would only be known to him self. The music came to a crescendo and they all joined in the choreography to Rico's theme song once again!
“Rico Rat in his flat rating all the cheese
Rico Rat in his flat rating all the cheese
He eats all the cheese and a plate of peas
Rico Rat in his flat rating all the cheese. “
Of course the crowd loved this display of mute pantomime comedy and when the gates opened up, the children ran into the characters who were waiting with open arms. Although the initial wave was just two children deep, the line of characters went over like a skittles hitting the pavement like a sack of shit. The park was now open and ready for business and the families were flooding in their thousands already, laughter and joyful screams filling the site mixing in with the delicious aromas of candy-floss, hot popcorn and delicious fresh doughnuts.
Lots of the rides were traditional old fun-fare rides, bought when they eventually went out of business and the machines were found at wreck yards, salvaged or bought at auctions.
There was also the actual fantasy fun playground which had given the park its original name. This was the garden of the Royal palace at the back of the park which was essentially a massive maze of an adventure playground, filled with all of the classic old structures that used to be in wild pubic pay areas. Even more special was the over sized adult playground built specially on a a scale that made adults feel like they were little children again.
The phone was ringing in Howard's hotel room. Ring ring... Ring ring... But Howard was too occupied in arranging his possessions into the draws and had been dong this for the past two days already. Organising things took a lot of careful thought and the telephone was an unwelcome distraction. After about an hour of ringing the phone stopped, which was good because it was giving Howard a head ache.
Back in n the green room the characters had just come in from performing their entertainment in the park. Rico's head came off first. "Bloody maniacs today! You okay Rita?" It was customary for the character performers to call each other by their costume names when back in the off-stage areas. Rita removed her head and unzipped the back of her dress. "Over excited I'd say, pass me a glass of water please."
Bingo and bongo were already sat on sofas Bingo had his tail sticking out between his legs and bongo was rolling fat cigarettes for the break. Marco was hanging up costumes and giving out water while Neal was by the door, clipboard in hand. As soon as all the characters were seated he began speaking, sounding a little like a general addressing his troops. "Nice work this morning people, the visitors are a little bit excited this morning but I think you all handled it very well."
"No thanks to you at all." Marco passed out the water to all the characters and had one for himself.
"Thank you Marco. I shall just remind you that I do have other teams to look after..."
"Ah yes the princesses, how is the royal family this morning Neal?"
"The royal team is doing very nicely, thank you very much." He looked at his watch and raised his eyebrows. "As I can see the next one is in five minutes good luck with the rest of the day people." He turned and left leaving Marco muttering swears into the back of the door. "Bloody bisexual cock sucker! Acts so nice when he's at parties and wants to suck someone off in the toilet or smoke other peoples gear, but when he's back at work he treats us all like the shit we are again." Rico who was actually a little woman with a Scottish accent and a lady Penelope blond Bob with a sever side parting and dazzling porcelain chompers piped up from the corner waving the dinky plastic cup I the air for extra effect, punctuating the air with each swear. "Aye a know! tha-broon-noosed-mother-fucker-I-can't-fucking-believe-tha-cheeky-foockwitt!" Her name was Cynthia and she was a staple of the character department, strong willed with a cutting tongue and Razor sharp insights and Witt. Cynthia had worked for the company for years and had earned default management status as a result of the number of years she had spent with the company. It was Cynthia that had been performing when the armed robbers had indeed tried to Rob the place using her loud voice to divert the crowd throwing out Mars bars to distract the crowds shouting . 'Rico rat has just decided it's free Mars bar day!!! Come-an-get-the-my-greedy-fuckers!" Her was voice getting more Scottish sounding towards the end. The crowd lapped it up, thrilled by the entertainment.
Howard was just going through the reception while the receptionist was taking down a rather long message for him. If she had looked from the note pad, she would have seen the man she was writing the message for. But she was busy with the paper she was writing on. Her face was white and frozen in an expression of shocked pain like she had just trapped her fingers in a car door and was now looking at them rolling around on the floor. Howard could see the minibus outside the front of the hotel; he quickened his step and just got on the bus in time. The receptionist had seen him crossing the hall and jumped up to catch him shouting "Mister Hitchman, Mister Hitchman!" But it was too late and the bus started moving just as she got to the doors. For a brief moment their eyes met through the glass but there was no light of recognition in Howard's eyes. Moving back to her desk the receptionist called a number and when the other end answered her words were careful and deliberate. " .... He's a large man in his late forties, with a large brown leather hat and matching long coat. His glasses have thick lenses and are tinted... You absolutely must meet him off the bus and give him the message... Thank you, have a nice day." The phone was put back in it's cradle and the receptionist slowly ran her fingers through her hair. "Oh shit!" She repeated over and over while combing her hair from front to the back with her right hand.
MORE HERE: http://jamessykesauthor.blogspot.com/2016/06/dark-themepark.html