Clowns. I’m afraid of the word. I never want to hear the word. On Halloween I don’t even come out of the house in fear of seeing Him–the Clown. Or any clown.
I will start by telling you that I used to love the circus growing up. I went to every circus and parade when I was a kid. You could always find me celebrating and laughing with my friends. We couldn’t help but notice there was one clown that would always be at every parade. He would do tricks like walking on stilts or juggling. We knew it was always the same clown because he had these evil deep blood red eyes and weird teeth. He wasn’t like the others and he was always there on Halloween. They were goofy and old. He was always young—maybe in his 20s. I don’t know. He could do anything and do it better than all of the rest and he always smiled at us, picking us out in the crowd.
As I grew older, I stopped going to the circus because I started to love football and sports then I went college, got a job…you know the rest. I just grew out of it. Then one Halloween day my company took us all to the circus for a company team building event. I hadn’t been to the circus in ages and had forgotten all about that evil clown. He was the last thing on my mind when I walked into the big tent.
But there he was. The clown show was first. All of the clowns doing their silly acts for the patrons, while they ignored him. They always ignored him. He was juggling knives of all things. Big, machetes. As one clown walked by him, one of the machetes came down on the clown’s arm and sliced it off. He screamed as it dropped to the ground and grabbed the shoulder socket from where it was torn. Blood spewed between his fingertips. The clown ran, screaming from the tent as his arm twitched on the ground. No one else flinched. No one noticed. Was it an illusion?
As I stood and stared, the evil clown looked up in my direction and winked at me. He read my screaming mind. It was impossible! His smile turned into a razor sharp grin with teeth as jagged as hunting knives–just like when I was young. No one else noticed, they all laughed the clowns and how they tripped and entertained. No one saw the evil one staring at ME. A bit queasy, I sat down and pondered on this thought: HOW??? How in the hell was this guy still young? He was already 20 years my senior when I was 10. It had to be the make up, but there he was doing the same flips and jumps that he did years ago and still picking me out in the crowd with those evil eyes.
My stomach churned like I was going to hurl. On weak legs I stood and made my way through the laughing crowd, hoping to make it to the exit before I passed out. As the fresh air filled my lungs when I exited, I felt a little better–at least enough to get curious. I looked around and saw him. Only him, making his way to a smaller tent. Sadly, curiosity got the best of me and I followed. When he reached his tent he opened the flap and turned to look at me. With one hand he motioned for me to come inside.
I could have said anything but yes, but I didn’t. My mind raced with fear and anticipation as I stepped into the tent. It looked way bigger inside than it did outside. There were rooms and strange moaning noises coming from the rooms. It had to be an illusion of some sort.
“Come, sit. Would you like some tea?” he pulled a chair out from the table. The center piece was a small pumpkin carved in a clown’s face and glowing with a hypnotizing fire. An almost black fire.
Reluctantly, I nodded. I assumed the caffeine would clear my head a little so I didn’t say no. He came back a few minutes later with some mint flavored tea and told his story.
“I am old. Older than you know. Everything here is an illusion and no one but you and your friends can see me. You created me out of your feeble little mind.”
“How can I be sitting here, drinking this tea, if I created you?”
“Only you can answer that.” he laughed.
“Then where am I right now?” I started to grow really tired and my eyelids began to shut. I tried to focus on the glowing light of the tiny jack-o-lantern before me, but it just made the fatigue worse.
“You’re right here with me.” he smirked and continued. “No one can see you, you’re like a figment of their imagination right now.”
I felt my chin drop to my chest then as I came to, everything was bigger. The smell of mint tea flooded my senses as I realized I was in the tea cup I was drinking. Heavy footsteps padded the ground and the chair I was in squeaked beside me. That hideous, razor sharp grin now blocked my view of the tapered tent’s top.
I think I screamed, I’m not sure. He raised the cup to his lips and as the liquid started to pour into his mouth, I went with it. My fingers slipped as I tried to grab onto the side of the cup. My ass hit his pursed lips and I tried to grab those too, but they were too supple. I tried to grab at his teeth, but only screamed as one of my fingers bounced across my view when his jagged tooth cut into it and sliced it off. I wrapped my arms around the tip of his tongue, watching the liquid fall down the dark tube of death as he swallowed the tea.
“Hmmm…” the sound of his voice was loud inside his mouth. He shook his tongue back and forth until I lose my grasp on the slimy muscle and fell onto the soft pads of his saliva glands. There was so much spit in his mouth, and even more as my limbs flailed and activated them. The tip of his tongue pushed underneath me and prodded me to the top of his thick muscle. The bastard was toying with me–pushing me up against the roof of his mouth and making me bounce up and down on his tongue like a trampoline.
“Please let me go!” I screamed. “I’ll do anything! What do you want?”
His laugh echoed in my ears as he began to tilt his head backward and swallow. I made one last attempt to grab at his disgusting uvula and wrapped my body around it. He didn’t gag or choke like I expected, he just shook his head violently until I slid down the slippery organ and into his throat. I could feel the muscles of his esophagus working around me, pushing me down in to the pit of hell where I knew I would be mashed by stomach muscles while being eaten away by acid.
I cried as my body bounced down into the humid, smelly pit of his gut. It was dark and hot. I stood and the little bit of tea he swallowed swarmed around my ankles. I pounded on his stomach walls screaming to let me out as a large, smelly gas bubble swept by me and exited through the top. I heard him burp and then felt warmth squirting out at my clothes as they seemed to melt off of my body then it stopped. It was silent. My skin was burned with stomach acid where the clothes didn’t protect me. The heat of the pit made me sleepy despite the pain in my skin. I sunk down in defeat into the hot tea and acid mix, feeling my skin begin to burn and drift away.
I suddenly awoke in my bed, sweating and screaming with my cell phone blaring in my ear. My maniacal laugh was probably heard throughout my apartment building. “It was all a dream.”
I grabbed the phone and stared at the unknown number. Before answering I looked down at my legs. There were red burn marks in my skin on my ankles and I was wearing pajamas I didn’t recognize. To my horror, my index finger was cut up and wrapped in bandages.
I slowly pressed the button to answer the call. “Hello?”
“Hello, Steven!” The clown’s cheery voice danced in my head. “Let’s do it again next Halloween.”
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