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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Lunar Falls” Gothic Fiction

As the dust encroached my view I stopped the car in fear I’d hit someone. The dust was new, it had turned the oasis from my memories into a wasteland. Most of my memories of this place had now been mangled into a blur. It had been fifteen years since I last stepped foot into this town; it had been a tourist trap, now a ghost town outrivaled it’s population. What once was a town known for its beautiful falls had seemingly dried up into a desert, the dust storm that trapped it certainly made it feel like one. Yet, for all of the faults this town has… it is my birthright. My mother and father raised me here till I was five, then as my birthday came to an end my parents gave me a cupcake while the rest ate my cake. I was annoyed… yet I bit into it anyway. 

Next thing I remember was waking up several miles in a different town. My parents had left everything but the essentials. With nary the clothes on our back we emigrated more than five-hundred miles into a modern city. I never saw Lunar Falls again. That memory was one of the few I can remember. I´ve found that my memory is greater than most; many studied for tests, I never did. Anytime I had a question, all I did was ¨replay¨ the day… re-hear the lecture that most had fallen asleep to. Many teachers outright accused me of cheating when I gave that response, but it’s the truth… and it’s how I tracked this town down. 


I groaned as I opened the car door, immediately being greeted with sand trying to enter. Some succeeded as I yanked the door closed. Taking what I assumed would be a final breath of clean air I quickly re-opened the door, lept out, and shut it fast, yet the sand was faster. From the window I could see most of it had gone on my seat, an annoying clean, an even more annoying drive. Already the sand worked to age my vehicle, the red coat slowly turning into the dull gray. Walking a few feet, the sand seemingly opened up, like Moses splitting the red sea. It was a sign more accustomed to a theme park than a town.

“LUNAR FALLS!” It claimed in a rusted blue. The letters looked so undone I feared they may fall and crush me. In the background there  was a picture of what I guessed was one of the  waterfalls. I couldn’t tell;  it was too obscured from the sand. It was a bit ironic though, an oasis turned into a desert. Walking through the gates the buildings ahead seemed almost magical as the dust cloud lifted overhead. In one swoop of wind a good portion of the entrance became visible as the sand merged with its brethren covering the rest of the houses farther away. I feared I may have been too late, that the town had already been swallowed by sans, yet my doubts  dissipated as a building I remembered came to my view.


“MAGIC MOLLY’S CIRCUS!” The building yelled through the drowned rainbow speakers. I remember entering this place… but not the actual show itself. I breathed slowly as I approached, the speakers were motion activated; once again shouting the performers name again… and again… by the fifth time I looked down, found a rock, and in a swift motion picked it up and chucked it, the rusted rainbow speaker fell down to the ground; a noise of death surrounding it as it registered it’s wires were cut. A sense of tranquil silence entered as I finally realized what the dust had covered up. The speaker had been attached to a billboard structure on the building. The painting slowly came clear to show multiple clowns in a line-up, a particular clown was in front of them all. She had on a cheery expression, smiling brighter than her blonde hair. There was no mistake, that was Molly herself. What used to be a joyful structure had now been dusted yellow… it may have also been graffitied, mostly because if Molly´s eyes were as red as they were on the billboard, one may claim it was the devil looking down rather than the woman. 

Finally overcoming the dreadful feeling in my gut, I inched ever so closer to the door. Any joyfulness this place served had been long abandoned way before the dust… the door was seemingly fractured; most of it off the hinges, yet enough stayed to keep it as its namesake. It looked like any strong motion would be enough to tip it off it´s brittle hinges. As I finally reached the handle, my stomach started spazzing out, begging me not to proceed… I swallowed my pride and took a gasp, gently pushing the door open. The room was a mess, what used to be a play/show center had now been turned into a hoarders home. Stacks of paper aligned the walls; each one I recognized little of. As the light of the outside dissipated I grew close to one of the pictures… and found stick figures. Each paper was seemingly a child’s drawing, yet I truly couldn’t tell what they were about.

 There were misconstrued drawings on the top and bottom of the wall, random stick figure portraits of them, their family, some of a clown too. I could only assume that it was meant to be Molly herself. The center of the walls had a patterned drawing, each purposely placed. It was a simple drawing; a red line through the blank, white  of paper. It reminded me of an arrow, and I used it as such. As if it was meant for me, the red seemed to shine in the night… and each moment with it my eyesight gradually adjusted to the dark which rapidly encroached every step I took away from the exit. The arrow was long… and I found I wanted to run each second I remained on the path. Finally, I heard something other than silence, it was from someone… eating? I ran forward to find the source, a move that I quickly regretted doing.


As I made it to the source, I found something crouched in the corner munching their teeth into an unidentifiable object. ¨Hey!¨ I called out. As I did, it stopped the noise of crunching, instead slowly turning back to me. I first saw the end of the arrow drawing right beside them. The line wasn’t an arrow…  it was of another stickman. It was almost an exact copy of the pictures on the wall, only instead of the happy faces and balloons they held, this one screamed. It was missing it´s legs, seemingly dragged off of him. explaining the blood. My eyes darted back to the creature, now fully turned. It was the hair that gave away the identity… It was none other than Molly herself, still in her costume.

¨M…Michael?¨ She asked, my stunned silence giving her confirmation. She smiled at me, her teeth were red, caked with the blood of the now identified creature; a gouged rat. She dropped it on the floor as she lifted herself back into a somewhat human stature. All it succeeded in was uncovering more of her outfit, the pink clown outfit had been dirtied of both a brown dirt and a concerning red… it glowed the same way the papers had. As she looked into my soul I noticed they glowed as well; she had kept her contacts in. To finish off her style, she had neglected to remove the makeup, it looked more like a stain than a decoration. It failed to hide any skin, and if anything made the dirt and smeared yellow of her hair dye amplify above her own face. As she blinked one of her contacts, which had seemingly started dissolving, had slightly drooped off her left eye. She failed to fix it, her eyes focused squarely on me.

¨Molly?¨ I asked, she ignored me as she finished standing up. A sickening crunch of muscle indicated she had been in the dog-like position more often than not.

¨You came back… You…Came…Back…¨ She muttered to her delight. As she did, a stench I hadn’t gotten used to joined the room. I had gotten used to the dirt, and there wasn’t any rotting food, yet her mouth… whatever she ate and spat out with her voice made a smell eerily similar to a rotting piece of meat. 

¨How do you know me…¨ I was cut off by ranting.

¨YouCameBackYouCameBackYouCameBackYouCameBack…¨ She screamed to herself before lunging at me. All she managed to do was throw herself on the ground as I backed off in a hurry.  It didn’t stop her though. She got back in the dog position; throwing herself with what I could only assume was an intent to attack me. I tried to back off slowly, but as she ran at me like a rabid dog, I noticed ahead of me was a long, wooden bat. It was one intended for hitting pinatas, yet unless new ones bled I didn’t believe it was last used for one… I ran forward, quickly scooping the handle into the palm of my hands. 

I turned as she sprinted at me in a rabid tone, I chose then to swing it down full force. As the bat hit Molly´s skull made a sickening crunch as she fell down onto the floor. The bat couldn’t handle the pressure, exploding as the force connected. I dropped the last bits of the handle in my hand as I looked at Molly; her head spewed a geyser of blood… She twitched a bit, yet I couldn’t tell if it was simply nerve damage or a genuine attempt to move. She made a noise, a groan, and I apprehensively approached. She slowly started to move, her arms lifting her head upward a bit, she chose to look at me. The contact in her left eye had fallen to the ground, the right one had exploded. 

Her eye had gone bloodshot with shards both around and in her eye, she seemingly didn’t care though. She just looked at me, and gave as large a smile as she could. 

“HaPpY BIrThDay…” She croaked, blood seeping from her legs onto the floorboards as she dropped back onto the ground motionless. My mind raced faster than my soul, and I realized she was right, it was my birthday. I chuckled, and that chuckle turned to laughing, at one point I was nearly on the ground, out of breath for how long I laughed. She remembered it, and what did I do? I would have laughed myself to death, yet another noise signaled myself back to sanity. I turned, and in it was another pair of eyes.

“MiChAeL?…” It was another woman. I turned, she was just as rabid. She wore a similar set of clothes, yet they were more dirtied, this time with a clear stain of red splotching from her mouth to the floor, and a considerable stench of dried blood.  “MICHAEL!” She screamed with joy. Launching herself into the dog pose just like Molly had.  I turned and fled, my legs jogging me down as the arrows that brought me to her were used to get me out. I could only listen as her pounding on the floor grew closer by the second, her gasped breath relentless in making me her next victim. 

I was given mercy I didn’t deserve. Just as I began to lose hope in the labyrinth I saw the glow of light. The sandstorm outside was an environment I would live in for the rest of my days rather than a second more here… 

¨CoMe HeRe…¨ She screamed, I tackled the door, forcing it off its rusted hinges, instead landing into my hands. Using the force of my speed, I turned around using the wooden door as a board. I had timed it correctly, she was only mere feet away from me as the door slammed full force into her face. I watched as several teeth flew out, some immediately turned to dust as she staggered on her back. 

Her face already showed clear signs of bruising, blood pouring out from where teeth once stood.  I gave no respite. As she started getting up, I ran at her, kicking her head like one would a football. A sickened crack came forth. She started seizing on the ground, the foamy substance indicated I had gone too far… yet I gave no mercy. I started stomping her face, the foam soaking my shoe as it crashed into her face. At the sight I merely closed my eyes, stomping at least ten times as the crunches that fell off bones turned into one akin to stomping a squashed  tomato. 

Finally, I opened my eyes, and found the majority of the womanś face was now on my boot. I took a step back, a few more followed before I fell in the sand. I turned to my right, vomiting the few things I had eaten today. As the vile entered the sand, I rolled left and I saw my car. It begged me to leave… to pretend this never happened… I refused. I slowly regained my composure, dusting off the sand on my legs as I turned towards the town. The place had been more uncovered, like the sand itself was calling me to it. Even the castle at the end of the courtyard was slightly visible throughout the pelts of yellow. The castle had been the town’s center long before it was a tourist trap, and it had endeared me to the place when I was little. 

The castle had long been unused, its disarray being deemed too unsafe for living. The backyard was a huge garden, it had been used as a cemetery. I started breathing heavily as I saw it. Like a trance, I slowly stood moving my legs like clockwork forward. I was oblivious to the houses adjourned to me and had started turning on their lights until at least five in both directions were behind me. If the people there had become like Molly… I feared how I’d escape. Yet, as if I had already gone mad, I ignored it, instead choosing to push forward. Perhaps I had been chosen to return, perhaps this was dictated … it didn’t matter now. All that mattered was the neon lights emanating from the castle’s roof, perhaps that could explain why this town had gone mad…

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