Send in the Clowns
By Elliot Cowling
The Prequel - The Clown, the Paint and the Circus
What I experienced in that place I will never forget. You must read this to learn about the thing I saw and why you should be careful out there in the dark world. My life was traumatised by this event. I feel writing about it will help me to release some of the dreadful memories of what happened. My poor family.
Back when I was younger, my family purchased a beautiful home in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. It was cheap and only 5 miles away from my school, or so it said. It was marvelous. I can remember all those times I used to play down in the garden with my toys and just think about how great life was. School was a drag obviously, but the idea that this place was my playground was amazing. I was an only child so I really had to invent some games to keep me amused when my parents went out. My life was brilliant. Every day after school, I would come home, rush outside and then go into my own world for hours. Life was amazing.
However, there were two questions that started to bug me after a long while. The first one was that my parents NEVER allowed me in their room, and they would always keep the door firmly shut. It never really bothered me at the start of living in this “palace”, but then I realised that the whole thing was, well, odd. The second question is this. There were fields that backed onto our back garden. These fields were full of wind turbines. Lots of them. I didn't quite understand what they were back then. It was a while ago. Let's just say that. These turbines seemed to go on for miles. They made me feel very weak and vulnerable. They seemed to stare at you, with their arms spinning round and round all day long. I was told never to go into those fields. It wasn't because of the turbines. Oh no. It was because of the figure that stood still in the distance all day and all night long. Who the heck was it?
One day, my mum went into town and she left me all alone, in our labyrinth of a house. Let's just say that it was irresponsible. I was only nine years old. My dad was at work so he couldn't look after me. Anyway, I just accepted it and she drove off. I was very happy to be alone. I could play my own games in the house and no-one could stop me. I was ecstatic. I pottered out the back garden and the turbines stared at me, inviting me into the fields where they worked and rested. I couldn't resist. No-one was here to tell me off, so I could get away with it!
I slowly walked across my garden, kicking any toys out of the way. My mind began to buzz and invent stories. I looked left to right, and I turned around to see if anybody could see me. I proceeded towards the garden fence, and into the field. I climbed over the fence with a struggle, like an old man getting up from his seat. I managed to get over the wooden fence and I just looked up in awe at the sight of these things. Then I looked down and I noticed the figure. They were very far away, but my parents knew something that I did not about the whole thing. After checking if anyone was watching again, I began to walk across the fields. I kept my eye on the figure. I didn't feel too afraid as I continued to wander past the turbines, but I thought I should turn back. I didn't want to be in this field anymore. Not because I was afraid this time. Usually I disliked the turbines. This time, I was bored. What was the point of it all? How did my parents know this thing wasn't a statue or something? They just assumed it was something bad to scare me from wandering off from the house. Every child should explore. It's part of growing up.
I began to turn back, but as I did so, the sky suddenly turned dark. Very dark. A storm cloud must have arrived. Great. Now I would be soaking wet and I would be caught out by my parents. I started to run back to the house. Something didn't feel right. My whole body began to feel almost tingly. Like an icy chill. I put it down to the cold weather that had just arrived. I ran back to the house and took a quick glance back at the field. That's when I noticed it. The figure's head had moved. I thought nothing of it at the time, but as I ran inside I began to come to terms with what I just noticed. I ran up to my bedroom and barged my door open. My bedroom looked out onto the fields, you see. I looked out the window and realised that it had moved. The figure was now looking at the house. It must have always been like that I thought.
I spent the rest of the evening contemplating everything that had happened in that field. What was this thing? It had to be a person. Maybe they were stuck. If they were though, they would be calling for help surely? I went to bed that night feeling a little odd. Not afraid, just, uneasy.
The next day my mum went out again and she gave me the option to stay at home or go with her. Was I going to go with her? No I was not. I stayed at home and went back to the fields with a feeling of dread in my stomach. I didn't know why. This person seemed lonely. I needed to ask them what they were doing. I plucked up some courage and began walking. I didn't blink. I just kept my eyes on the figure for the entirety of the walk. They were definitely looking at me, without a doubt. I tried waving at them. In turn, I received no gesture back.
As I kept wandering closer, I noticed the clothes the figure was wearing. The majority of the figure's clothing was red. The figure wore a hat with a white feather on top. Even the shoes were red. I could make out the face now. They had a red bulbous nose. The bottom half of their face was painted blue. It appeared their lips were painted white. This person was a clown. What would a clown be doing in the middle of a field staring at my house?
“Hello?” I called.
No response. I stood at a fair distance to the clown. The person was certainly a man. I kept calling the clown. No response still.
“What are you doing here,” I asked.
Suddenly, the clown blinked and lifted his head up a little. I stood back a little.
“Can you hear me,” I asked.
“You should turn back,” the clown finally responded.
“What's your name,” I kept questioning him.
“Does it matter what my name is? I am here because I want to be here. I live here, child.” the clown responded.
“I live here actually,” I said, reassuring him.
“I live here. You disturbed me. And those who disturb me help me paint,” he said violently.
I was very confused at that last part. Help him paint what?
“What do you mean? I'm going to tell my mum about this,” I said with a childish authority. Of course I thought I was right. I was a child. I was boss in this conversation. So I thought.
“Your mother will refuse to believe you boy. She is merely a cold-hearted woman. She has seen me. Why do you think she doesn't want you down here? She knows of me. Oh I warned her. I really did.”
I was listening intently. My mum had been here? That's why she was telling me to stay away? No, it can't be. This is just my dad dressed up I thought. I thought it was some cruel joke to keep me away from this field.
“Stop playing around dad!” I shouted.
“You think your little daddy will come and save you? No, he will not. You see, your parents. They leave you alone a lot don't they? You know what I mean. You are always left alone in that house. Why oh why is that? I told them. I warned them. They're scared. They're scared of me. You see boy. I've been waiting for you for a while now. When they're out, I'm about.”
“How do you know they've been leaving me alone?! Who are you?!” I shouted.
“Your worst nightmare.”
I belted it. I turned around and sprinted as fast as I could. I ran and ran and ran for ages it seemed. I looked behind me. He had gone. I charged back to the house. They weren't home. The sky was so dark. It was 7:00PM. Mum and Dad should be home soon I thought. I burst into tears and went to the phone. The phone was smashed to pieces. Someone must have been in the house. Oh no. It can't be!
I had to get out of the house. I was in floods of tears and my burning eyes kept blurring up. I rubbed them viciously as I repeatedly tried to open the front door. It was not having it. I kept tugging at the door but, nothing. That's when I stopped for a few seconds. If this thing wants my parents out of the house, for whatever reason, is it something to do with their room? I tried to shake away the thought, but it kept clouding my mind. They allowed me in their room in the last house. Why not this one? I had to find out what was going on. I heard noises coming from the kitchen. Wiping away the tears, I charged upstairs and burst into my mum's room without even thinking a thing.
Once the door had smashed into the wall next to it, I stood there in silence. I don't even want to write this, but, hanging, from the ceiling, was my dad. Three chains emerged from the ceiling, each one dug into his back, blood still dripping from his lifeless body. I vomited. I kept throwing up every time I looked at the thing. The walls were covered in writing. After darting my eyes away from the body several times I noticed that the writing all said the same thing.
Suddenly, the doorway filled with red. It was him. The clown. I screamed as he walked closer and closer towards me. He held a paint brush in his left hand and a paint pot in his right.
“I told you,” he said. He lunged towards me. The paint pot came towards my head. I screamed and covered my eyes and then, I woke up.
This seems like a stupid plot twist, doesn't it? It's not. Please, keep reading. You have to find out the truth. It was a dream, and it was early morning. I had dreamt the entire ordeal. Not moving house obviously, but the clown and the room and everything to do with that horrid field. I slowly wandered downstairs, gripping my head. It hurt really bad. I must have been thrashing around in the night because of the nightmare and hit my head. I was burping up sick because of what I just witnessed in my dream. It made me feel sick to my stomach. Maybe I was coming down with an illness. Not again. I called for my parents. No answer. They must be outside.
I went to the back door, opened it and hobbled outside. I called again. Still no answer. I wandered to the edge of the garden to see if they were in the fields. I saw something in the distance. I thought it was them. I called out and the figure looked at me and waved. I was happy knowing that my parents were safe and sound, and that I was going to be alright. The turbines weren't spinning that morning. I spent the rest of the morning inside watching TV. I didn't bother looking out the window to see where they were. I was too involved in watching cartoons to even remember to check.
By 4:00PM, they had still not returned to the house. I went outside to go and look for them and that's when I stopped dead in the middle of the garden. One of the turbines was red. As I looked up at it, I screamed in horror. At the end of two of the “arms” of the turbine, there were bodies spinning round and round. The figure in the distance began to wave at me again. Oh no. It couldn't be! That was no dream. I was concussed! The paint pot gave me the injury on my head! That's when I noticed the writing on the fence. The writing that wasn't there earlier. The very words that have made me suffer for countless years now.
Thank you for helping me paint!
Written by Elliot Cowling
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