The fun fair is in town! Armed with all the pocket money you could save over the past month, you rush down there with your best buddy in tow - an imaginary optometrist's assistant called Dendy Bell.
With your pennies in hand, you take in the full breadth of the fair. What will you ride first; the waltzer? The dodgems? The rotating twirler? The bouncing surgery?
Let's head on in, and see what we can find!
"No thank you, sir," you reply, hurrying away as quickly as possible from this unusually polite sexual predator.
"Wait!" he shouts back, marching around on the spot, getting his knees as close to his chest as he can. "I didn't mean that sort of scary experience. How would you like to ride my ghost train? It is a mere 25p a go."
"Alright," you retort. "Dendy Bell, my imaginary friend, and I shall ride your ghost train - but if it isn't the scariest experience we've ever had, we shall demand a full refund!"
"That ain't gonna happen," replies the fairground worker, as he takes your money, with a lick of your lips.
"This doesn't look so scary. This doesn't look so scary at all! I'll be seeing that 25 pence again very soon!"
"How was it?" you ask.
The man does not reply. He looks at you, tears in his eyes, then stumbles out of his train carriage. While vomiting blood, and pitching you his idea for a movie about a paranoid nipple specialist, he collapses onto the ground, quivering.
He's so pale that he's practically translucent, and his neck bulges and contracts like a bullfrog's throat. You look over at the ride attendant, who merely grins and waggles his eyebrows at you.
"Your turn," he howls, while arching his back, and thrusting his thorax at you, repeatedly.
"Huff! Huff!" he gasps, by way of an extraneous accompaniment to the rest of his equally needless behaviour.
"Goin' on a train ride!" you sing with confidence. "Goin' on an unscary train ride!"
Fortunately, nobody else can hear your song - because if they could they'd be really irritated by it, and think you were a bit of a twat.
Then you take an abrupt turn around a corner, and are confronted with... well, you're not quite sure what it is. It sort of looks like a painting on the wall of a top pop star in sunglasses putting their finger in Gollum's mouth.
One thing is for certain, however: it isn't especially scary!
"Permits sold here!" he cackles, inexplicably, and without going into greater detail regarding the precise nature of the permits.
"You just got brushed with cat pubes," stutters a distorted, hesitant voice, over a hissing tannoy, by way of an explanation.
You are repulsed at the thought, but not particularly scared.
"I bet you didn't even know cats had pubes, but they do," you hear the voice call out as you continue on your journey.
"Some of them do anyway. There's a particular breed of cat that is entirely hairless, called the Persian Pervis. It has no hair on its body, except from a thick bush between its hind legs. It's disgusting. Disgusttttttiiiing...!"
"Hi, guys," squeaks Rod The Sod. "I'm your biological father."
You choose not to believe him, and the train rolls ever onwards. Before disappearing around the corner, you glance back over your shoulder, and see The Sod gripping the side of the child's head in a futile effort to stop it vibrating so fast.
"Stop doing that!" he asserts, angrily. "You're really going to hurt yourself!"
"I haunt you!" shrieks the ghost, and you immediately defecate in your trousers. Not because you are scared, but because you have a vile, hereditary bowel condition, called poomania.
The ghost coughs, clears its throat, and apologetically remarks:"Sorry. That just came out. Old habits die hard, as we say in Heaven."
"Why are you all in black, ghost?" you enquire.
"I'm in mourning," replies the ghost. "My best friend Braden Pimplediffs came back to life, and I really miss him."
"You're not very scary," you sniff.
"Well, I'm not part of this ride," says the ghost. "I'm just hiding in here, because I'm a total head case. Indeed, I'm such a nutjob that I don't even know how to do scares. For the thrice year running I've won Least Scary Ghost at the World Ghost Awards."
Ashamed, the ghost runs away suddenly, and your train moves on.
As your pupils acclimatise, you realise you are in a vast lecture hall, with dozens of other ghost train riders, still sat in their carriages.
A tutor walks to the front of the room, and clears his throat. "I think everyone is here," he mutters with a weary conviction. "So we can begin. Good."
The tutor begins a six-hour lecture about the difference between a ham and ham. As he makes his closing remarks, you realise that you have lost the will to live, and are - for the first time in your life - considering doing a suicide. Before you can end it all, there is a grinding of gears, and your carriage moves off.
"It wasn't remotely scary," you lie. "I only pooed my pants once, and that's because I have poomania."
"What's poomania?" asks the attendant as if he doesn't already know.
With a sigh, you reach into your unpleasantly warm and moist back pocket, and withdraw a leaflet: "LIVING WITH POOMANIA - AKA CRAZY CRAP SYNDROME". You offer it to the attendant, but when he sees the state of it, he declines.
"So you really weren't scared?" he asks.
You shake your head firmly, for slightly longer than necessary, until you've given yourself a bad headache.
The attendant strokes his chin, and considers the situation. "Hmmm," he mutters. "I suppose I'd better take what you're saying at face value, and give you your money back..."
"Yes please," you reply, hopefully.
"Scared yet?" he snarls. "What about now?"
Before you can do anything to stop him, he has sliced off his own thumb, and eaten it.
"That was a stupid thing to do," you say, flatly.
The attendant suddenly slumps against the ghost train, and begins to sob. "I know," he whimpers. "That's the second time I've done that this month. Look."
He holds up his hands, to show you how undeniably thumbless they are.
"I don't know what's wrong with me. I suppose I just really don't want to give you your money back."
"Fine," you huff. "You can keep it."
The attendant's face brightens, and he breaks into a broad grin. "Really?!?"
"Yes really," you sigh, annoyed, and decide it is time you went home.
"Where do you think you're going?" asks an old man, as he trots out into your path.
"I'm going home," you reply. "I've just had a harrowing experience on the ghost train."
The old man furrows his brow. "Ghost train? What ghost train? There hasn't been a ghost train in this fun fair for nigh on 29 years - not since the attendant cut off his thumb in mysterious circumstances, and burnt it down with a fire."
Bewildered, freaked out, you wheel around - nevertheless fully expecting to see the ghost train you'd just ridden, the attendant you'd been speaking with...
Shaken, terrified, you run around in circles, whooping with fear.
But not any ordinary knife...
It is the same knife the attendant used to cut off his thumb...!!!!