Featured Review on this writing by Markie Bee


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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Glen is a 3D artist for a company that manufactures playground equipment. Although he isn't thrilled with his career, he would soon find his haunting muse.

Submitted: January 18, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 18, 2019






Roger rolled his chair backward to peek around the corner of his drafting table at Glen.

“What’s with you dude?!  You’ve been zoning out at that computer screen since we got here.”  Roger said.

“It’s Monday.  And, we got here at 8:00 a.m.  It’s 8:15!”  Glen darted back in a comedic fashion with his chin resting in his hands.

Most people dread Mondays.  However, Glen had no real opinion on any day of the week but the weekend.  The work week would drift by and as Friday approached he felt a little easier about his “career” sitting behind a desk.

The pay is good.  I’ll make the most of it so I can retire young.  He thought to himself facetiously.

Glen was a 3D designer of playground equipment.  A career his co-worker was much more thrilled about than he.

“DUDE.  I know that look.  That’s the “I have an unfulfilling job.  Time to apply for a new one.” Look”.  Roger said very calculated as if he’d been saving that quip for a while. 

Glen pulled his chin out of the depths of his hands and spun his chair slowly until he was facing Roger.

“I don’t hate it.  I really don’t.  Life is good all things considered.”  Glen said with one corner of his mouth raised to a half-smile.  Roger leered back at Glen and shrugged his shoulders.

“Hey, man.  Maybe it’s just the workload.  It’s been nutty here lately and I know you don’t handle stress the greatest.  Things will calm down.  It’s Summer.  Tis the season for construction.  Reevaluate once we get into the Winter months and see how you feel, huh.”

Roger gave Glen two thumbs up with a concerned look on his face.  They’d worked together for five years.  They’ve been best friends for ten.  But Glen had been distant and uncommunicative with Roger as of late.

Glen turned his attention back toward his monitor where a bright, green-colored, cylindrical playground slide was pictured inside his digital design space.  He dragged and dropped images of two children into the mix.  One at the top of the slide and one at the base that was cheering on his friend to slide down just as he did.  The children weren’t supposed to be in the design, but Glen was unfocused and merely toying around.

Glen’s attention was short with work.  He opened a new browser tab and typed in “film production jobs near me” in the address bar.  His search was broad as he couldn’t think of anything in particular that would be better than the job he already had.

Before Glen could click on a posting titled “Contract Designer, month of October only” he heard a sound.  He turned his head slightly to point his ear in the direction of the noise.  The noise sounded like a cell phone vibrating in increments of three. 

“Roger.  Is that your phone?”  Glen asked.

“Nah, man.  I have mine on silent.”  Roger said looking at his phone then tucking is back into his coat pocket.

Glen got up to stretch and walked over to the breakroom when he heard the noise again in increments of three.  The sound led Glen over to a large air vent grate where he could then hear the sound growing louder.  He peered into the grating of the duct but couldn’t make anything out other than a small dim light that seemed to shut off after the sound of vibrations had ceased. 

Glen turned his head toward Roger’s desk a few feet away to get his attention, but Roger wasn’t there anymore.  Glen turned his attention back toward the grate and began to loosen the bolts that held it in place with a pocket knife from his keychain.  Once the bolts were off he quietly took the grate off the opening to the air duct and set it aside.  Glen hesitated but he started to slowly and cautiously climb into the air duct to get a closer look at what the light was coming from. 

Glen was able to fit into the duct with a fair amount of room on all sides of him.  He crawled further inward when the light shone again through the dark with the sound of vibration continuing.  The vent was covered in cobwebs and thick pillows of dust that lathered Glen’s navy blue polo.  He sneezed a few times then stayed quiet to see if he’d attracted anyone’s attention outside of the air duct. 

Once Glen reached the source of the light he felt a thick, slimy substance beneath his hands with a fowl stench that followed.  He used the mini flashlight connected to his keys to get a look at his surroundings and saw his hands resting in coagulated blood with a motionless corpse lying in his path.

Glen crawled backward suddenly at the sight of the corpse.  He held his flashlight in front of the decayed man’s face.  The left side of man’s cheek was gone exposing his teeth.  His nose, along with one eye, were completely gone.  Glen pointed the flashlight at the man’s shirt where a lanyard was resting that had the name “Glen” in typed font with a geometric pattern as the background.

“What the hell.  I need to call the police.  How could no one smell this in the office?  And, who the hell is this poor guy?” Glen said quietly to himself with a puzzled look. 

Glen turned his attention toward a cell phone that was gripped tightly in the corpse’s hand.  The skin of the corpse’s hand was gone exposing a few of the bones and tendons of his fingers. 

The phone began to vibrate in increments of three once more.  Glen freed the phone from the corpse’s hand to look at the caller ID only for the phone to stop ringing immediately.

The corpse in front Glen seemed to make a low gurgling noise.  Its fingers cracked as they began to move.  Its one eye moved its blood-shot stare directly at Glen.  The corpse’s hand started to reach for Glen’s arm.  Glen panicked trying to move backward but the vent behind him was now a dead end.  He took the air duct junction directly to his right as the corpse was blocking the left junction.  Glen scrambled to move forward with the corpse now crawling after him.  Its mouth was closed but heavy breathing could still be heard through the gaping hole in the side of its face.  Glen could hear low laughter in a gravelly voice.

“Hehehaha.  Where you going Glenny?!”  The corpse said with a gurgle.

“Who the hell are you?  How are you still alive?”  Glen asked while thumping his arms and knees in a forward motion through the vent.

The corpse managed to grab onto Glen’s leg with a tug.  Glen shot backward slightly causing him to let out a yelp.  The corpse’s hand began melding with the Glen’s right calf.  The bones of the corpse’s fingers dug through the skin and into the muscle.  Glen howled in pain, but was able to kick his leg free of the corpse’s grip.

Glen crawled forward even faster through the massive industrial duct that seemed to have no end.  All he could see in front of him was darkness and further along a bright green light.  The light to him was solace.  Maybe there was a way out.

Glen reached the green light and felt himself topple downward in an instant.  He slid, spiraling several times and landed at the end in a pile of mulch, bones, and blood. 

“Yuck!” Glen shouted.

Glen raised his hands to look at them.  Dark blood and dirt stained his palms and fingertips.

He panned around to get his whereabouts only to see a forested perimeter surrounding the entire area beneath a red-tinged sky.  He stood up and brushed himself clean of debris.  He turned around and saw a massive playground structure several levels high.

Glen backpedaled to get a better view of the structure.  The playground was new; bright and pastel.  There were bridges, a looking glass, tunnels, slides, and an area within the structure that looked to be a funhouse mirror maze.  Glen heard a faint giggle from within, “hehehe”.

Glen cautiously climbed the first staircase he came to that led to the middle level of the playground.  He entered the mirror maze doorway that glowed red light.  There were three initial mirrors that reflected Glen’s scrawny stature.  He stopped to stare at himself, but noticed something move in a corner of one of the mirrors to the left but seemed to not reflect in the rest.  Glen stood frozen for a moment.  He saw a trademark emblem adorned to one of the Red walls that read ‘Glen’s Midwest Funfest Ltd.’

“Where the hell am I?”  Glen inquired out loud.

Glen continued through the maze of mirrors until He heard giggling behind him.  He turned slowly to face the other direction and was met by the corpse’s stare.  Its one bloodshot eye fixed on him.  Skin peeled away from its face.  The lanyard that had “Glen” typed on it dangled around its neck.

The corpse giggled deeply. “Hehehehehe.”

Its decayed hand darted toward Glen jamming its fingers under his skin.  The corpse pulled Glen close to it with its other arm.  Its mouth gaped to the size of a bowling ball and began swallowing Glen’s head whole.  Glen tried to push away, but when his efforts weren’t getting him anywhere he let out a blood-curdling scream.  “AHHHHH, what the fuck is going on?!  Get off of me!”  Glen continued to push away frantically, but his arms then began to meld into the abdomen of the corpse.

Before Glen’s eyes were engulfed by the corpse’s mouth he saw Roger in the reflection of the funhouse mirrors. 

“Glen!  Wake up!”  Roger said loudly.



Glen fell back in his office chair onto the ground.  Rebounding quickly he stood up to face Roger with his hands making fists.

“Man, it’s almost break time.  You were asleep for two hours.  You’re lucky I saw you before Clark did.  You know how he is on Mondays.”  Roger said.

Glen looked around slowly with his fists still raised.  He put his arms down quickly and sat back in his chair.

“Sorry, Roger.  Bad dream I guess.”  Glen said in a groggy tone.

“More like bad night’s sleep.  Staying up too late watching those horror movies again I see.  Let’s go get some munchies from the breakroom and have a smoke.”  Roger said.


Smoke billowed out of the corners of Roger and Glen’s lips.  Glen rubbed his eyes with his other hand and yawned loudly.

“You okay man?”  Roger asked before taking a drag of his cigarette.

“Wouldn’t it be cool to own a business? You could be your own boss.”  Glen said.

“Sounds like a lot a work to me.  You really aren’t happy are you?”

“I’m just talking.  Probably financially irresponsible anyway at this juncture in my career.”  Glen said.

Glen and Roger threw their cigarettes on the ground and stamped them into ashes.

“Glen, do what makes you happy.  I’ll support you in your endeavors unless you open a worm farm.  You know, like from that one movie.”  Roger said laughing.

“Yeah, I got it.  Don’t do something stupid.  Like you’ve never done anything stupid.”  Glen trailed of as they both reentered the building.


Glen strolled into work with a Cheshire grin stamped on his face.  He sat down in his chair and spun several times stopping on his seventh rotation facing Roger.

“Well, I did it.”  Glen declared.

Roger had the look of a concerned nun about him.

“Did what?”  Roger asked with his eyebrows raise.

“I took out a loan.  I’m going to start my own haunt.”  Glen said enthusiastically.

“What the hell is a haunt?  You going to be a professional ghost?  Roger asked sarcastically.

“Actually, yeah.  A haunt is a crew of people whom erect haunted houses at peak season as a business.  Ass.”  Glen said.

“Ohhh.  Well, at least it’s not a worm farm.”  Roger said.  “Wow.  So this is it.  I feel like I should get emotional or something.  When’s the last day?”

“I’d say about six months.  It’ll take a while after that to get up and running.  I need time to hire a crew and build as much as a can.  Location will be key.”  Glen said.


About two years later

Glen walked through the corridors of his first fully constructed haunted house.  It was gruesome, the scares were calculated, and the design was his expertise.  It was all erected within the confines of an old multi-floor schoolhouse that was too cheap to pass up.  The crew skittered to and from their places before opening day was to commence.

Glen made his way through the center of the haunted house during his last inspection where some of the crew was admiring the work of an unnamed colleague.

“Glen!  Check this out!  How cool is this guy?  He even has your name!”  Andrea, one of the haunt crew, said.

Glen looked up toward the wall above the secondary entrance archway.  He saw the corpse from his dream strung up as if it were on a crucifix.  Skin peeled from its mouth.  One eye missing.  Lanyard around its neck.

“What the hell is that?”  Glen asked in a concerned tone.

“It’s a friggin’ awesome prop is what!  We don’t know who put it there, but it really adds dread to this place.”  Andrea said.

“It was never there before.”  Glen said unblinking.

“Uh, then do you know who the sculptor is?”  Andrea asked.

“No.  This wasn’t okayed with me.”  Glen looked concerned. “Let’s get to our places.  It’s almost time.”

Glen exited the haunted house to the loud townsfolk gathered in a single-file line outside.  Witches, wizards, Spidermen, and Beetlejuices all waited patiently to enter “Glen’s Midwest Funfest”.

Glen heard a familiar voice loudly from the front of the line.

“Glen!  Dude!” 

Glen paused his thought and looked to the line of spooky patrons to see Roger front and center with a ticket in his hand.

“First in line to see the worm farm!”  Roger shouted flashing the devil horns with his right hand.

Glen smiled the biggest smile he had in a long time.

“Thanks buddy.  I can’t believe I did all this.”  Glen said taking a deep breath.

A commotion came from within the haunted house from a few of the crew members.  Glen quickly walked back inside to see several crew members looking up at the wall.

“What’s going on everyone?”  Glen asked.

“Robbie walked through a minute ago and noticed that the dummy wasn’t strung up on the wall anymore.”  Andrea said.

Glen scanned the room.  Only ropes dangled in place where the dummy had been.

“But, we did find this further in the haunted house.  Room three I think.”  Andrea handed Glen a lanyard that had Glen typed on it.

Glen heard a faint giggling coming from within the haunted house.  “hehehehehe.” 

Glen put the lanyard around his neck assertively.

“Places everyone!  We’ll get along with scares just fine without that bonehead dummy.  It probably fell and was carried off to repairs or storage.  Let’s have some fun!



Night after night, Glen searched the haunted house high and low.  Every nook and cranny.  But, the corpse that haunted Glen’s dream was nowhere to be found.  However, Glen had a feeling that the corpse wouldn’t be bothering him any longer.






© Copyright 2020 Ryan K. Mallegni. All rights reserved.

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