It was about midnight when Andy Cobb suggested
they go on the boardwalk. Andy's girlfriend, Celia Williams, balked at the
"It is freezing outside," she protested while taking a sip from
her beer bottle, "and besides, they have security running around all
Their two friends, Jake Carter and Jo Simmons agreed with Andy. They were
in the backseat of the old Chevy Impala Andy was driving.
"Come on, Ceal," Jo coddled. "It'll be fun. Don't tell me
"No, just don't want to get into trouble is all."
"Alrighty then. That settles it." Andy turned left onto Rio Grande
Avenue and looked for the closest parking lot to one of the amusement piers.
Wildwood was dead in winter. Andy didn't think they had security. Most small
beach towns can't afford the salaries.
He pulled into a deserted lot. The four friends stumbled out of the car
"Hey guys," Andy whispered, "You gotta be quiet. There's
people living in those houses across the street. They'd call the cops on
a mouse running through their yards."
Standing in front of them was the back of the Dracula's Castle walk through
"Hey, let's go in there," Jo stammered, starting up the ramp to
the boardwalk. The two guys agreed.
They walked up the steps to the front doors of the castle. Surprisingly
the huge doors were unlocked.
"I guess they don't expect midnight visitors too often," Jake
Celia was about to go in, then changed her mind. "You guys go ahead.
I'm staying out here."
"C 'mon Ceal, don't turn baby on us now," Andy hissed. He hadn't
been together with Celia long, but she was already getting on his nerves.
He had to admit though, he was getting the best sex of his life with her.
"Let her stay here, Andy", Jake sighed. "She'll end up screaming
anyway and attracting attention." Andy, Jo, and Jake entered the house,
lit only by the security lights on the ceiling and floor.
Celia sat on the top step smoking for what seemed an eternity. She stared
out into the vast black ocean and absentmindedly drew another cigarette
out of the pack. With a shake of her head, she put the cigarette back. "I'd
better go see what is taking everyone so long," she thought as she
opened the doors.
She walked past the first attraction, a plastic werewolf on top a plastic
cliff. She didn't hear anyone. She walked through, almost passing the Frankenstein's
monster exhibit when she noticed something out of the corner of her eye.
Celia gulped in her breath when she saw Jo, or what used to be Jo. Her body
was stuffed in some kind of Iron Maiden device. She climbed over the rope
and went over to Jo. Her face was contorted in pain and her eyes were rolled
back inside her head. Blood pooled at her feet.
Celia climbed back over the rope and continued walking until she was stopped
by someone grabbing her from behind with their arms around her neck.
Jake spun her around. "Oh, it's you," Celia whispered, relieved.
"Let's get out of here."
"Wait," Jake replied, grabbing her arm. "Don't you want to
see what happened to dear Andy?"
"C 'mon Jake, let's get out of here. You cleaned them of all their
"Of course. And cleaned every trace of me. Not that they'll be found
any time soon. Oh, Andy Panda, isn't that what you called him? Anyway, he's
down the ways a bit playing the Headless Horseman." Jake laughed.
They left the castle. Celia picked up her butts and threw them in a nearby
"Do you have everything in the trunk?", Celia asked, sprinting
side by side with Jake to the Impala.
"Yeah, this afternoon. The jerkoff never realized it. He was carrying
over $200 cash, too." He was also wearing Andy's clothes. His own were
bloody. He'd get rid of them later.
They got in the Impala and remained silent until they were on the highway
headed to North Jersey. Jake was used to the silence. Celia always became
sullen after they did one.
An hour later, in their motel room, Celia asked, "What's next?"
"I thought maybe Coney Island. Or we get mixed up in one of those small
traveling circus type gigs. But I don't want to talk about our plans now.
I've missed you," Jake answered as they climbed into bed.