“Come on, how could a bowling alley be scary?”
It was nearly sunset on a Saturday, and my friends were trying to convince me to break into the local bowling alley. Since middle school, we had gone there every day, and I had plans to work there after I graduated. Something about the place was calming, relaxing, and fun.
“I’m not worried about it being scary,” I said, “I’m worried about getting banned from the place.”
I knew that if we were caught, my dreams of working at the bowling alley were less than dead.
“I’m not going.”
Several hours later, we were standing outside the bowling alley, armed with flashlights. Somehow, they had convinced me to go with them. We had told our mothers that we were spending the night at each others houses, so as long as they didn’t call to check up on us we were fine.
We stood in a line, James on the left of me, Gordon on the right. After assuring me one more time we wouldn’t get caught, we went inside, flashlights at the ready.
The Bowling alley was different at night. It was pretty dark, and our flashlights didn’t do much. We didn’t try to turn on the lights in fear someone might see us. There wasn’t any food in the concession stand; they had probably put it all away for the day. We didn’t want to set off any alarms by stealing the food, so we walked over to the lanes.
I’d always wondered what was behind the lanes, where the pins went when you knocked them down. Now would be the perfect chance to see.
We walked back behind the lanes, expecting to see tons of machines. What we found, however, was a long hallway. You couldn’t see the pins. There was a door in the middle of the hallway that said “Pin Storage”. After convincing my friends to follow me, we walked into the pin room.
There wasn’t much to see. Racks full of bowling pins, shelves of old broken ones. There was another door that said “Pin Supplies”.
“Let’s get out of here,” James said, breaking the silence.
“What? Why?” I asked.
“Come on, what are you gonna see back there? Besides, I don’t like the feel of this place.”
“Then come on.”
“No way. You go if you’re so brave.”
And so, alone, I opened the door into the pin supplies room.
The smell hit me almost immediately. It smelled like rotten flesh and paint. I clicked on my flashlight, and nearly screamed.
Some missing limbs, some rotted to the point where they were almost unrecognizable, some fresh. They were lined up against a wall. I reached for a light switch, but found only a handle. I pulled it.
A loud grating noise made my ears hurt. I watched in horror as skeletons, hung from the ceiling, started to move towards a grinder. They came out the other side as a pile of pin-shaped objects, then were painted by another machine. I turned around, trying to run, but the door had closed on me. I banged on it, screaming. I couldn’t hear myself think over the noise.
I reached for the handle, trying to turn the machine off, but it kept going until there were no more skeletons, only bowling pins.
The machine cut off. Now that the noise had stopped, I tried to open the door. I heard screams from outside the door and knew I was trapped. I sat down on the floor, crying.
It opened, and a large man stared down at me. It was Becko Irwin, the owner of the bowling alley. I reached for his hand, and he lifted me up, holding my head in his strong hands. Everything went black. I’d always wanted to work at the bowling alley.
I got my wish. If you’re ever feeling bored on a Saturday night, come exploring.
Come on, how scary could a bowling alley be?