In honor of Halloween (and because I may not finish the short story I was working on to post tomorrow), I’ve decided to post a part of the deleted Halloween chapter from my current WIP. This chapter was deleted because essentially it wasn’t actually necessary and was heavily descriptive, not to mention exhaustively long. There were words before this scene and an entire walk through a Haunted House after it, making the original total word count for this chapter 7,384, which I later reduced to 4,055 words, and then finally decided to replace the chapter completely with the “Slumber Party” chapter which was already shared here (though it has changed just slightly since posting). Halloween still happens following the new chapter in the form of a Masquerade Ball where Teagan performs at McFeary’s Pub (where she works), though that is different from the original as well. Anyway… without further ado, the Hayride (Bryce’s POV).
P.S. I’m aware there are terrible grammatical errors, please overlook them.
P.S.S. And this was the song I was listening to when I originally wrote this entire chapter (for the tone). Hit Play now, while you read 😉
Teagan was looking over her shoulder anxiously as it started to pull away into a thin opening in the corn field. I poked her thigh to grab her attention and she jumped. I whispered, “Are you scared already? Nothing’s even happened yet.”
“No, I’m trying to anticipate the fear so it won’t be so alarming.” She returned to her stare and I chuckled under my breath. To her eyes it was pitch black where we were, there was no way she’d see anything coming no matter how tentatively she watched for it.
Suddenly the truck stopped in the middle of the corn field, in the middle of darkness. Teagan’s body sat up stiff, on alert, waiting for whatever was coming. There was movement in the corn stalks behind us, the sound growing closer. Other people in the truck started to frantically search the darkness for the source of the sound just like Teagan, some were already whimpering in fear.
Slipping through the stalks of corn were three male figures dressed in muddy dark clothes. Stage make-up of scares and gashes covered their faces. Their gruesome appearance was fairly believable to an untrained eye, but I was still the only one who could see them.
They were about five feet from the truck when everyone else finally saw them and the entire truck erupted in fear. Teagan wasn’t looking in their direction when the rest of the crowd became aware of their presence and their panic alone made her jump. She dug her nails into my knee as her head spun towards them and she was shaking with fear.
She leaned her entire body into me, even though we were already sitting up against each other. She’d given up her attempt to keep them in her site and ducked her head towards me as if not seeing them somehow made them go away.
The three men circled the truck poking and prodding at those who would be the most affected by their torment. The majority of them were women, I suppose because they are easier to scare than men. They saved Teagan for last and when it was finally her turn to be taunted she squeezed her eyes shut and grabbed a hold of my arm with more vigor then she’d ever touched me before.
I smiled to myself because this was already turning out exactly how I’d hoped it would – Teagan looking to me for security. As the truck started to pull away the three men slipped back into the corn stalks. Teagan released my arm and returned to her frantic search into the darkness. Her knee shook against mine nervously, I wanted to rest my hand on it to calm her down, but I knew it probably wouldn’t be okay to touch her that way.
After a short distance through the darkness of the cornfield the truck came to a stop at a bridge. The bridge didn’t even look stable enough for us to cross, but obviously this was for show. A tiny river ran beneath it, the moon reflected off of the water providing a low blue glow of light.
The driver of the truck acted as if something was wrong with the vehicle and hopped out to “investigate.” Several of the other people on the truck actually fell for the show and started mumbling their panic over the possibility of being stuck out here in the middle of no where. Teagan still didn’t speak and kept her stare focused on everything behind us, but she should have been focusing on the front.
Out from under the bridge four troll like creatures emerged, midgets in costumes obviously. They quickly circled the truck to bring down the driver and carried the four points of him above their heads back to the front of the truck. The driver whaled in terror and people on board were literally in hysterics. It took everything I had not to laugh. I couldn’t believe people were buying this, but then again so was Teagan. She wasn’t screaming like most, but she was still stiff, waiting for the worst to come.
At the far end of the bridge a giant wolf appeared, not a real one of course, but a rather tall man dressed as a wolf – one that could apparently walk on its hind legs. The little troll like people carried the driver across the bridge and passed him off to the wolf as a meal. When everyone saw the driver be “torn apart” absolute mayhem ensued. People shifted from their seats on the hay and onto the floor of the truck bed. They grabbed at each other for protection and one man jumped out of the truck as a “hero” and slid into the driver’s seat to get us out of there.
The whole show was actually really well done. I didn’t suspect an insider riding on board so even I was surprised when he started his heroic act. He shoved his foot on the gas to fly over the bridge and free us of the terror we had just faced. Teagan seemed less scared through the last ordeal, maybe it was because it wasn’t exactly realistic in her eyes. She has already made it clear she didn’t believe in werewolves.
Her knee finally settled down once we were steadily passing through the corn field, the majority of the people with us started to return to their seats more relaxed as well. We were riding for a while without incident and I was starting to wonder if that’s all it was. If so people didn’t get their money’s worth.
Teagan continued her search into the blackness and never said a word to me. It was as if I wasn’t really there until she was completely overcome with fear. She was trying to look out for herself instead of relying on me until it was absolutely necessary. I guess I couldn’t fault her too much for being used to that, being used to only have herself to rely on. I hoped one day though that she’d see she could completely rely on me.
The truck slowed as we approached a massive red barn. The entrance was open, an arched area just large enough for the truck to pass through. Slowly we rolled into the pitch black barn and once fully inside the truck shut off. In the same moment, the door to the barn slammed shut allowing zero percentage of night light to illuminate our surroundings. The panic amongst the riders was alive again, but more quiet for fear of drawing attention to themselves and whatever else might be in this barn with us.
Teagan’s knee started knocking against mine again, she sat stiff with her hands pressed into her thighs. Her eyes were open wider than I’d ever seen them like she was hoping opening them further might somehow allow her to see. The sound of something metal clanging together made everyone jump, it was menacing in the absolute silence. Then suddenly without warning something rocked into the back of us, moving the truck bed up off its wheels on our side. Teagan grabbed for my hand frantically and squeezed me harder than I would have imagined her little hands could. She held onto my bicep with her other hand and tucked herself into me. Heat lamps came on behind us simultaneously with the sound of a chain saw as the truck fell back flat on the ground. Everyone turned towards the scene behind us in horror.
A classic magician’s trick played out before our eyes, a woman dressed in a skimpy torn nightgown laid on a metal lab table. Hovering above her, a sadistic looking doctor stood with a chainsaw ready to cut through her. The two of them were already covered in fake blood to make the scene scary before it even started, but when the saw came down on her a shower of fake blood rained down on the truck. This was by far the most elaborate skit of the ride.
Teagan’s face was splattered with fake blood; her eyes were permanently open in shock. Her body shook she was so scared, but she didn’t scream which surprised me. Everyone else around us was going completely insane, rocking the truck as they struggled to get the furthest away from the “killer.” Little did they know that as one side of the barns lights would go out the other sides would come on and reveal another brutal show of terror. Teagan barely even paid attention to it; she was still too shaken with fear.
I pried my hand from hers and put my arm around her waist tightly. I spoke into her ear so she could hear me over the madness, “Remember it’s not real.” I brushed my finger in a blotch of fake blood on her cheek and forced her mouth open to taste it. “See it’s just corn syrup and red dye.” Of course blood would be the first thing to come to mind to prove the validity of it for me.
I did it completely innocently, but once my finger was in her mouth there didn’t seem to be anything innocent about it at all. Her eyes grew curious as she forcedly sucked on my finger and I started to panic. I shouldn’t have done it and for more than one reason. The first being how completely inappropriate it was and the second being how it made my mind wonder. I wanted to feel those lips against mine with a fierce need. The scene around us was coming to a close, but I swear it felt like we were in our own world. Like the chaos around us was blurred and distorted because all we saw was each other. I quickly pulled my finger from her mouth and tried to act cool as if it was all just to stifle her fear. She straightened nervously out of my grip as the truck jerked in motion again.
Peace – Sarah