I used to always go to Disneyland, every day if I could. Sometimes I’d skip school just to have a few hours at the park. But there was one part of the park that I had just stopped going to; Mickey’s House in Toontown.

I had deemed myself too old to have my picture taken with someone in a mouse costume. The summer of this story, I had fallen in love through an online dating app, his name was Markel and he had never been to Disneyland. His grandmother had really wanted a picture of Markel, Mickey Mouse and myself. I obliged and after lunch, we headed for Toontown. Now, I’m unsure if Mickey’s house had fallen to disrepair or what, but it wasn’t the same as it was three years ago.

The living room was just a bare room with four move posters from the days with pie eyes, all with Mickey Mouse as the star. Wet blood dripped from the ceiling. The windows were all boarded shut. On the back wall, where the hard plastic couch used to sit, were the words Dreams Come True written in blood. I shuddered at the sight but I could not tear my gaze away. More blood dripped from the ceiling.

Then came the kitchen, darkness was already in the room. It was a blood stained nightmare of a mess that reeked of rot, with a surgical gurney propped up, where his table and chairs used to go. Tied to the gurney was Goofy, but his clothes were ripped, showing the obvious human underneath. The human skin was ripped open as was his rib cage. More blood smeared messages behind Goofy.

“This isn’t real!”

“They are fake!”

We hurried it to the movie barn, where you could have your picture taken with Mickey Mouse only to see it was boarded up as well. But from between the sloppily placed boards, we all saw Mickey Mouse, covered in blood. His gloved hands wrapped around the boards and started to pull, and I dragged them into a Cast Members Only door.

There was another message in blood. “He is real.”

I used to always go to Disneyland, but I’ll never go back again. It’s the sort of nightmare, bald and almost smoking in the sun, that lies beyond the drapes and furnishings of good and ordinary life. Sometimes I hope they go out of business. I have stopped going to Disneyland completely. I still see Markel from time to time. I see him in the pill line and during lunch hour, unless he tries to talk about what he saw, then he’s in the rubber room.