Just another day in the life of a summer camp counselor, do your activities, break, eat, and another activity. Nothing could go wrong today, you think to yourself as you return to your cabin for your 30 minute downtime. As you walk into your pitch black cabin you hear snickering in the back of the room, you walk over and say, “Alright guys, joke’s over.” Simply expecting it to be a few of the campers trying to scare you. Suddenly you’re grabbed from behind and hear a horrible, almost demonic voice say into your ear:
“The joke is only over when I say so, I’ll be seeing you soon!”
As you feel the grip loosen you spin on your heel to try to identify your attacker, all you manage to see is the door now ajar and what you could’ve sworn to be a clown suit. But that’s not possible, no human could run that fast, while this thought goes through your head the rest of your cabin enters discussing the events that had occurred during their last activity.
You are reluctant to tell them what you saw, you wait out the rest of your break. As you turn to close the door your eye catches something out the back window, and your fears are confirmed. Standing in the window is a man in a clown suit with yellow and white stripes, holding up all five of his fingers.
The next day you are terrified of being alone, you always stayed with the group thinking it would keep you safe. It did until your 2 PM archery class. As you were demonstrating how to properly wield the bow, that’s when you noticed him appear out of thin air. This time holding up four fingers, and carrying with him a wickedly sharp sickle. As the corners of his mouth twitched to start forming a devilish smile, you shot an arrow straight at his face. Then he just disappears, just as he showed up he was gone just as fast.
“Whoa, man, what was that?” Your assistant counselor appears genuinely worried about you.
“You didn’t see it?!” You stare at him dumbfounded.
“I didn’t see anything, man, you know you’re not supposed to be shooting at the wildlife.” He starts to ease up a little as you seem to be fine.
“This thing was far from wildlife,” you mutter to yourself as you walk away. In fact… it hardly seems human.
Two days since your first encounter with this “hell clown” as you have become accustomed to calling it, it haunts your dreams, it has burrowed its way into your mind, you see it around every corner. Each time he has some new unspeakable horror. Yesterday, after the incident at the archery range, you went to the cabin to get your glasses, and he was there painted in a dark flowing red substance. At last your fears begin to subside as the sunlight washes into your skin and lightens up your mind, that’s when you hear it, the rustling sound he seems to make whenever he appears.
You turn slowly, praying to whatever god exists that it was your imagination, of course you aren’t that lucky. You have to search to see it, but eventually you find it, standing right behind one of your cabin members, sickle in hand. You remember that the camper's name is Stanley, an odd name for the current generation, but he was a good kid. Again the hell clown was holding up one less finger than the day before, making the remaining amount of fingers three.
”What in hell is he counting down to?” you say in a low voice, suddenly he raises the arm with the sickle in it, and accustoms himself to its grip.
When you realize what he’s going to do, all your fears flee your mind. You rush him shouting at Stanley to move, you’d be damned if you were going to let this demon kill him. As Stanley jumped from where he was sitting the hell clown disappeared, sickle falling to the ground. Then there was the cracking sound, which split the air like thunder, and the biggest branch you’ve seen falls from the tree, crushing the spot where Stanley had been sitting moments before.
“Whoa, too close, thanks for saving my life,” the skinny boy said.
"Think nothing of it,” you reply solemnly, but in your head you couldn’t help but think the clown was trying to hint at something.
Two days left, you faked being sick so you could put your thoughts together, and you also want to have a chat with this demon. You’ve noticed that he always comes when your fear is fading to refresh the fact of his existence to your mind, then he’d vanish the moment fear was gone, any emotion replaces it and he vanishes.
Wait… could that be it? Does he feed off of fear? That’s why he appears when my fear fades. If it continues like this I’m a near infinite source of fear. That has to be it, I… you hear the door slowly creak open. You get up from your bed and face the demon, “I’ve been waiting for you...” You say in the deadliest tone you could form. He stands there, smiling ear to ear as if he were anticipating what you’d say next. “You feed off my fear, don’t you?” At hearing this he starts laughing like a maniac and holds up two fingers. Again, blinking out of existence.
Today was the demon’s final finger, but he hadn’t appeared all day, somehow that scared you more than if he jumped out in front of you and chopped someone’s head off. Stanley hadn’t been seen since after lunch. Wait, the clown had shown a different thing each day.
You dropped everything in your hands, how hadn’t you noticed? The first day he appeared at 1 PM, the time of the murder, second day he was seen with a sickle, the murder weapon. Day three he had been standing beside Stanley, the murder victim. Day four he was seen at the cabin, the location of the murder. Every day he had shown you a different detail of what he was going to commit seeing if you could figure it out.
You sprinted down the path to try to make it to the cabin, you checked your watch, it read 12:56 in the afternoon, if you run you might make it. As you reached the cabin you know you’re too late. The windows are smashed, door is ajar, obvious signs of a struggle, as you walk in you see the demon dropping the sickle beside his finished work of murder. It clearly hadn’t been a quick death, a single stab wound through his back and out his stomach. He must have been here for a while, he shouldn’t have bled out that fast.
As you stand over the body, the demon walks over and pushes you into the puddle of blood surrounding the body. Rage flows through you, you spin and intend to destroy whatever this thing has for a soul, grabbing the sickle. On your way up you hear the satisfying sound of metal piercing skull. You open your eyes and instead of seeing the hell clown, you see your assistant counselor. The last words you heard as you blacked out was that of the demon: “Joke’s on you.”