A wikiDeeks Halloween Story
The voice of the female dispatcher crackled with static on Detective Deeks’ radio. “All units… all units… suspect is male, Caucasian, approximately five foot, eight inches tall… wearing dark jeans and a dark blue t-shirt… last seen in the proximity of the Pacific Playland east entrance…”
Keying his mike, the lanky detective responded as he weaved in and out between the throngs of people moving along the rows of rides and concession stands. “This is Deeks… I am approaching the entrance from the south… I haven’t spotted the-” A blur that matched the described man flashed by several yards up ahead, dipping into the crowds. “Wait… I think I have a visual on the suspect. Yeah! That’s him! He’s headed west, toward the Rajin Cajun roller coaster.”
A few other officers responded that they were headed in that direction but they were still mostly in the parking lot, too far away to lend any assistance to the pursuit.
“This is Davidson… we’ll seal up the park exits… hopefully that’ll keep him pinned in!”
Other out of breath voices echoed over the radio.
“There are too many ways in and out of this place.”
“If he slips through one of the employee access doors, we’ll lose him!”
“What if he grabs another kid?”
No. That was not an option.
This monster had already kidnapped and killed two children, both little boys who would never get to run and play ever again. This had to end tonight and the LAPD were going to see it finished. This was their first real chance of getting him off the streets before he struck again and it had been blind luck that a random patrol had tried to pull him over for a broken taillight. He had fled, ditching the car only a few blocks up the street from the amusement park where most of the police force in the city were closing in.
Detective Deeks had simply been one of the closest officers. He wanted this guy so bad he could almost taste it and putting an end to the nights of waiting for another small body to be found could not happen soon enough. “Don’t think like that! We’ve got him, just secure the area and close the noose… we’ve got him and he’s not getting away.”
He ducked under a cluster of multicolored balloons being sold by a tall clown, then tripped over one of the enormous shoes, stumbling to his knees in the grass. Ignoring the pain in his legs, he popped back up, his eyes finding the back of his target who was now gaining some ground. Deeks took off once more, reaching deep to find the strength to power on.
Rounding the corner where he had last seen the suspect, Deeks skidded to a stop at the sight that befell his eyes. The façade that greeted him was one that made his heart grow cold. Below the crooked and odd-angled letters that spelled out FUN HOUSE, the distorted and maniacal clown face snarled back at him. The entrance was centered between the clown’s teeth that were akin to twisted and jagged spikes.
It was chilling.
But the double doors were still swinging, indicating that someone, hopefully the perp, had just passed through. Swallowing an almost overwhelming sense of dread, Deeks sprinted past the horrifying façade, intent on putting an end to the killer’s legacy.
Stepping into almost complete darkness, the detective paused, letting his eyes begin to adjust to the gloom. With his pistol held in close in case he was attacked right away, he was relieved that there appeared to be no immediate danger. He found himself standing on the rider platform that had seen better days and appeared a lot older than it should. Digging out a tactical light, he illuminated the hidden corners, giving him a better feeling about chasing someone around in the creepy building.
There was a hidden door at the end of the platform that was the only way out of the room other than climbing on the roller track that carried the skull-shaped carts through the ride. He pushed the door open, carefully checking all the corners with his light and gun hoping that the perp had not slipped away from him.
Then something small shot across the corridor in front of him. The beam from his flashlight caught the form of a child disappearing behind one broken cart.
“Hey, kid!” Deeks kept his pistol angled toward the floor as he eased up to where he had last seen the child. When he came around the corner, he found a small blonde-haired boy, huddled in the darkness. “Hey buddy, what are you doing in here?”
The kid stood up, revealing a discolored Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt and a pair of worn jeans. “Oh, hey mister… I play in here all the time.”
Deeks shook off the chill that went up his spine at the thought of playing in this hideous place and focused on the situation at hand. “You need to get out of here buddy. I’m a policeman…” he pulled up his shirt to flash his badge before going back to scanning for the perp. “…and a bad guy just ran in here.”
The little boy pointed toward the far end of the hallway. “Yeah, he went that way.”
Turning back to his new friend, Deeks nodded in appreciation. “Thanks, but… hey, what’s your name kid?”
Standing up as straight and tall as he could, the little man stated, “My name’s Joseph but only my mom calls me that… everyone around here calls me Little Joe and I’m not a kid, I just turned eight!”
Deeks waved his hand to placate the boy. “Okay, okay… Little Joe… my name’s Martin, but you need to go.”
Joe turned quickly, running down the hall to wait at the end. “No, I’m going to help you catch the bad man!” Then he disappeared through the far doorway before Deeks could stop him.
“Joe! Wait!” Deeks swore under his breath as he took off in the same direction. When he pushed the wood door open, Little Joe was nowhere to be seen. Deeks grabbed his radio to call in the new development but when he keyed up the mike, there was no response, not even static. Thinking that it might be the building’s metal framework causing the interference, he tugged out his cell phone only to see NO SIGNAL blinking on the screen. Letting out another soft curse, Deeks ran past another set of broken rail cars, hoping that Joseph would find a safe way out.
Coming upon another door, Deeks eased it open as he ‘sliced the pie’ to cover all areas that could hide a threat. When his light swept the far end of the room, he saw Joe kneeling beside a large crate, his body frozen in place. As he approached, the little boy turned and smiled up at him.
“Look Joe… I know you’re a brave little fellow but you have got…”
Joe did not seem to understand the level of danger he was in, his eyes excited and friendly. “I’m brave like Leonardo…” He pointed to his shirt with his thumb. “He’s my favorite.”
Despite the situation, Deeks had to grin at the adorable little man in front of him. “Mine too… but this is no place to-”
“Don’t worry about me, Marty,” His expression was so calm and innocent, it actually eased some of the tension flowing through the detective. “You’re a good man and I’m going to help you catch the bad guy who has hurt so many kids and caused so much pain to all those nice families.”
Before he could question how Little Joe would know what the suspect had done, Deeks could only watch the little boy slip through a small hole in the wall beside the box. “No! Joe… come back!”
Chasing after, Deeks squeezed through the opening only to find himself on an elevated platform that stretched over a section of the ride that rose high above the ground below. He saw movement near the far end and the shape was too big to be Joe. Deeks tore off in a sprint in a desperate bid to catch the perp and keep his little friend from any harm. Reaching the end, he stepped out just as the suspect began to run across a rather treacherous part of the platform toward an open door at the other side. For some reason, he knew that if the man got through that door, he would disappear into the night and that was not something the detective could accept.
Deeks called out in his most authoritative tone but the man only laughed, sensing his escape was near. Picking up speed, the killer stepped out onto the wood walkway and it swayed and creaked under his feet. The detective began to pursue and was only a step away from the platform when Joe appeared in front of him, blocking his path.
“No, Marty… you wait.”
Deeks grabbed the boy around the shoulders to move him out of his path. “Joe, please! Get out of the way!” But the tiny child remained rooted in place and seemed to weigh a ton, as despite having the strength and size to physically move him, Deeks was unable to budge him even an inch. “What!?”
Little Joe looked up at him with kind eyes and gave him another brilliant smile. “I told you I was gonna help. Now… just… wait.”
A sudden crash and scream came from up ahead and when he looked up, Deeks saw the perp’s body crashing through the planking, screaming in terror. The man’s arms flailed in the air like a comical Wile E. Coyote cartoon but gravity had him and he flipped down, face first into the rubble waiting for him below. His body landed with a soft thud, bounced a few inches off the ground then remained still.
A soft moan rose up to his ears as Deeks turned back to his little helper. “How did… what just happened?”
“I told you I could help… and he won’t hurt anyone anymore.” Joe nodded down at the softly groaning man.
Deeks reached out and put a trembling hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Thanks, Little Joe… I think you just saved the day.”
The smile that appeared on the child’s face was as bright as the sun. “You be careful out there, Marty… you have a good heart… I can tell.”
Shaking his head, Deeks was about to ask how the boy knew about the dangerous walkway when another loud creaking filled the air around them. The flooring under his feet trembled and a thunderous groan echoed as the building began to crumble around them. Reaching out to grab the kid, Deeks found that he was alone on the gangway.
Then he was falling but it felt like he was moving in slow motion as large timbers and planks fell all around him. As he neared the ground, Deeks threw his hands up to protect his head when he landed and closed his eyes to prepare for the pain to come. Surprisingly, the impact was more like stumbling to his knees again. When he realized he was not injured, Deeks popped up to find the perp lying at his feet with a rather nasty knot on his head.
His cop instinct kicked in and he quickly rolled the man over onto his stomach, snatching his wrists behind his back. “You’re under arrest! You have the right to remain silent, anything…” Deeks rattled off the rest of the man’s Miranda Rights as he frantically looked around for Joe but found that he and the perp were the only people in the area.
Shouts from his colleagues caught his attention and he called out to let them know where they were.
“Over here! We’re over here!”
In a moment, they were joined by five or six officers, some in uniform, others in plain clothes and each one congratulating Deeks on his single-handed take down of the dangerous criminal. In the midst of their accolades, the blonde detective was still looking for Little Joe.
“Where’s the kid?” He turned away as soon as the perp, who appeared more stunned than injured, was hauled away by a pair of uniforms. The remaining officers exchanged a confused look as a few park employees began to gather around to see what the excitement was all about.
“Kid? What kid?”
“The little blonde boy wearing a Mutant Turtle t-shirt!” But there was no sign of the little boy. “He was just here!”
Deeks was in panic mode, afraid that Little Joe may have been injured if he had fallen from the walkway when it all collapsed. “Joe! Hey Joe… you okay?” He pushed his way to where the spectators had gathered, hoping that maybe they had seen the small boy. “Have you seen him? Blonde kid about so high… he was playing in the Fun House when I went inside.”
A large gruff-looking man came forward, shrugging his shoulders. “Fun House? Sorry officer, but we don’t have a Fun House.”
The detective shook his head, spinning in the direction he had just come from. “What are you talking about? It’s right over there…” But when he finished turning around, he found himself standing amid the little group in a completely empty lot. The roller coaster, with its screaming and laughing riders was off to his left and a large Ferris wheel was on the other side. The terrifying Fun House with the creepy clown face entrance was nowhere to be seen.
The big man caught his attention as he continued. “There used to be one here… but they tore it down about thirty years ago.”
Deeks stood there at a complete loss as to what was going on. “What?”
“Yeah, they say it was pretty freaky… big scary clown face with big pointy teeth out front.” The man made a comical effort to make a scary facial expression and under any other circumstances, it would have made Deeks laugh. “There was some kind of bad accident.”
An older gentleman stepped up, pointing a thumb over his shoulder. “Yeah, one of the carts jumped the track and a little boy got killed… what was his name? James? Jerry?”
Deeks voice was low when he realized the answer and another cold shiver ran up his spine. “Joseph… they called him Little Joe.”
“Yeah… yeah… I believe that’s right… it was in all the papers.”
An ambulance had pulled into the back of the lot and one of the senior detectives was slowing guiding Deeks to where the paramedics where opening the back doors. “Let them check you out Deeks… I think you may have hit your head a little too hard this time.”
The tall detective did not resist as he was helped up into the back of the truck and he plopped his tired body onto the padded bench. The young medic sat in front of him and began to assess his vitals. Turning slightly to look out one of the back windows, his eyes landed on something that was not supposed to be there.
Little Joe, wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt, went running back toward the large clown face, his little feet kicking up dust as he went. Just before he passed through the horrible pointed teeth, he turned and his eyes locked with those of one very confused detective. The boy’s little face split into a huge grin and he lifted one hand to wave enthusiastically to his newfound friend.
Deeks chuckled, wondering if he really had hit his head as he raised a dirty hand to wave back, then he watched the little boy disappear back inside the Fun House. When the medic shined a light into his face, it made him blink and when he looked back out the window, Little Joe, the horrible clown and the Fun House were all gone, leaving nothing but an empty lot and one very tired detective behind.