Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Hell of the Clown

A short story about a man besieged in his house for no reason by a clown...

Story begins below

The unfortunate circumstances, which I shall now relate, fired up the moment I cast my mad brother out onto the streets…

We were always worried about him when he was young, because of the strange symbols he drew on walls; but when he turned to grave digging father would have no more of it and he was cast out of the house and spent some time in the asylum.
  Years later I looked after him on a temporary basis, and on his twenty seventh birthday it seemed he had been cured of his strange ways.  He took to reading books, and for awhile worked in the Hales Library.  I was pleased for him, and my heart was content and glad!
  The one night I awoke, startled from my sleep, to the sound of rattling and clanging below.  I ventured downstairs as hastily as my feet would carry me, gazed with my tired eyes to see my brother leaning on the wall, with mud on his hands and feet.  I questioned him, and after he caught his breath, for he appeared to be recovering from some exertion, he replied, ‘Walking!  That’s all.  I fell over.  I’m sorry for the noise!’
  A day later my nose made me wince with the horrific, nay incomprehensible smell which entered it.  Following the direction of this sent to its source found me before the door to my brothers room; I knocked and when there was no response I forced my way through.
  And there he was, as of old, sat amid a pile of bones, holding a skull in his hand.  With tears in his eyes he said to me, ‘Forgive me brother!’
  And so it was I cast him out, because I could not stand no more of this, and I did not see him again.
  A day later, and the day before I write this note, the strange events I am about to record took place…

In the afternoon I like to sit in my chair and read, with the sunlight pouring through my French patio it was otherwise a beautiful day.  And I sat contentedly pouring over the pages of my book, when for some reason I felt a chill run down my spine, and as if by instinct I lowered the book I was reading to look to look out of the window - to my surprise, and later I must admit, my horror, I saw a clown!  He was actually stood in my garden!
  I gazed at it, and without doubt, it gazed back at me, with serene green eyes.  With a face as white as snow, red smiling lips and blue hair, accompanied by the bright dress he donned I would have described him as an otherwise jolly looking character had he, for example, showed up for a children’s show, and not for some mysterious and unwarranted reason on the doorstep of my own private property.
  I opened the window and shouted at him - what do you want!  He pointed at me, increased the width of his grin, till his expressions perfected a type of leer, and then he merely walked away without offering by-or-leave or even a simple explanation!
  Disturbed I returned to my book - but I couldn’t read it of course, not after that experience.  I put it down and thought what the clown could have been about - when placing the book on the dresser, and standing up to make my way for the kitchen, I saw again the face of the clown pressed right against my own window!  The condensation of his breath had turned to dew on the open pane!
  ‘Get away you scoundrel!’ I cried, ‘I don’t know what game you are playing but I am not laughing at it!’
  But my whole constitution changed when I gazed closely at the character that affronted my privacy; for he removed a white glove from his hand - and I saw that beneath the glove was a hand that carried no skin or flesh - and now the death-like bony fingers tapped my window!

I knew now that I wasn’t dealing with some sad lunatic.  This was serious.  Something deadlier than I could have dreamed.
  I prayed that I was dreaming, and if so please let me awake!  But no, I was trapped - and even though the leering visage of that creature had moved from my window pane, it did not bring me comfort.
  So he had moved from the window, but the question was where had he repositioned  himself?

With terror forcing my heart to beat like I had been in a marathon, I checked all the doors, and the windows as well, to ensure they were all sealed and locked.  I fell against the wall and started to pant, and tried to regain my breath and likewise remain calm.  I would need all my senses in fine tune if I was to deal with this problem sensibly.
  Just as I regained my nerve I heard a shrill, and horrible laughter, right outside my front door.  Good grief!  It was still there, and on my trial!
  ‘Now look here my good man!’ I shouted at it, ‘I don’t know what your game is!  But if it is to scare me you have succeeded.  Now be of with you.  I want no trouble!’
  My words proved useless, for now the clown began fiddling with the door handle.
  ‘Be off with you!’ I cried, and I began to think “Did I lock the door?” but as the door had not moved
I presumed I must have done.  ‘I am a peaceful man!’ I shouted at it.  ‘I don’t deserve this!’
  That was when paranoia took me, fully, and I rushed about checking all the doors and windows again, when suddenly there was BANG
  But it came from above?
  Now I realised I hadn’t checked the bedroom window!  I rushed up the stairs with all speed, to find that the clown had grabbed my ladder, and had thrown it up to the window.  He was at that very moment climbing it and nearing the top!  I could have allowed terror to get the better of me, and collapse with sheer fright, but I held fast as always, and when the clowns head was peeping in view of the window seal I reached out, and pushed the blasted fellow back down!
  I tipped the ladder back on him, like an old warrior from the dark ages defending a castle turret, and afterwards slammed the window to, locking it firmly at the same time.
  Now all areas were sealed, I fell down on the floor and tipped my head into my gibbering hands.  What was happening?  For no reason my life was falling apart.  And now I had something I have never felt before - a feeling of utter doom.  The order that I knew was suddenly gone, and minutes seemed like hours there was just no knowing what would happen next.
  All I could do was wait, and hope.
  Then the door slammed below…  But … but it was locked?
  I rushed out to the landing, and found the clown, stood there, at the bottom of the stairs, gazing at me with a great grin on his face.  As soon as I saw him he began to ascend!  With a cry, for that was all I could do, I rushed back into my room and slammed the door to.  I threw my work desk against the door, and then put my own weight against it in the hope the clown wouldn’t be able to break through.  Now my terror was truly immense.  To think that thing was in my house, outside my room, and the only item I had for defence was a thin door jammed too by a cranky old desk.  I only hoped I had enough strength to prevent him from entering.  I now regretted my folly at pushing the ladder down, if I had thought about it I should have grabbed it, and pulled it in, and now I could have used it to climb down and call for  help from one of my neighbours.
  Still, I rushed to the window and throwing it open I shouted out several times, “Help me!  A mad man is attacking me!”
  But when the handle to my door was twitched behind me I had to resume my place by the desk, and with the help of the desk and my weight I was able to prevent him from entering.

These could be the last few lines I ever write in this, possibly the last entry in this unfortunate  journal.  I have been trapped in my room for a whole day now, and I am weary with fatigue, and hunger, and thirst, but whenever my eyes droop, I hear him scratching at my door, clawing to get in.  I swear he is leaning by the door handle, and I heard a little chuckle sound down by the crack of the door.
  I secretly hoped, especially after a few hours, the clown would just go away; but indeed he has not moved.
  I know sleep will soon take me, and then that fiend will easily be able to enter, and then I will be at his mercy.  If only I knew what it was he wanted…
  But there is one thing I did now know; the hideous secret that most mankind hope to evade, and yet always fall into - and that was the number of my days…

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