She Was Only A Clown Chapters 15 and 16

SHE WAS ONLY A CLOWN is a special serialized novella presented in weekly installments every Saturday. Click here to read chapter 1, click here to read chapter 2, click here to read chapter 3, click here to read chapter 4, click here to read chapter 5, click here to read chapters 6 an 7, click here to read chapters 8 and 9, click here to read chapters 10 and 11 and click here to read chapters 12 thru 14.


Chapter 15

Why won’t you kill him, Elwood?”

Whatever nerve Elwood possessed before his dead uncle spoke was obliterated in that moment.

It wasn’t the balloon-like lips parting, cracking and bleeding that shattered his wits. It wasn’t even the frog-sized purple and blue tongue poking out from behind the teeth that did it.

It was the voice.

Uncle Jeff’s vocal chords must have been ruined when the rope broke his neck as he fell away from the loft railing because the voice that escaped those ruined lips was not the deep, jovial voice of Elwood’s most cherished relative.

It was the clown girl’s voice. Except it wasn’t that either. Not exactly. It was controlling Jeff’s shredded vocal chords the way it was controlling the girl’s.

I don’t want to kill,” Elwood said, finally, trying his best not to make eye contact with the… thing hanging over him like some dead effigy of of his normal life. “I’m not a killer.” He said the last part as much to himself as to the talking corpse of his dead uncle, as if saying it out loud would make him believe it.

The truth was, he DID want to kill Mark Nelson. He wanted it badly. More than anything he’d ever wanted in his life. It was only upon his post-coital sobering that he began to have doubts.

Here, now, inside his worst memory, he was having trouble remembering what had been so exciting about the prospect of murder. Almost like he’d been possessed by another entity. An entity he’d shot out of his cock along with his load all over the clown girl’s tits.

Elwood’s apparent defiance evoked unsettling laughter from dead uncle Jeff. The corpse threw its head back and cackled.

Do you really believe any of those people out there care about you? Do you think your parents would have missed you if Mark and his brothers had slaughtered you and buried your body in the woods?”

Elwood didn’t answer. He knew the truth without Jeff having to state it. But the corpse did anyway.

They hate you, Elwood. The people who brought you into this world see you as nothing but a burden. Worse, they blame you, rightfully, for Jake’s accident and for my suicide.”

Tears flooded Elwood’s eyes as his heart sank.

Do you want to know what they secretly think but never say aloud to one another?”

Elwood knew the answer. It was palpable in the air at his home. Every time he caught his mother’s passing glance when he walked through a room. Or the way his father turned his back to Elwood any time they were in close proximity.

They wish I’d never been born,” he said, choking back a sob.

That’s right. The people in this world who should love you the most wish you’d never existed. Then Jake would be normal. Then I’d still be alive.”

Stop!” Elwood screamed, shaking his head. “Just stop it!”

Anxiety pulsed through him as he cried. He shook all over. He was maybe only moments away from a complete mental breakdown. Not because the corpse of his uncle spoke lies. But because he spoke the truth.

Then why be afraid of killing Mark Nelson? Does he not deserve it for what he did to you in his room? Or what he did to you for years after in the school yard? He has done nothing to earn your compassion, Elwood. You mean nothing. You’re barely human. Join us. Finish him.”

Elwood winced at the accusation. Barely human. His whole life he’d felt less than human. Like a waste of air. Like a burden on gravity.

Why was he hesitating? Why wouldn’t he take the final step, cross over into the corruption? Embrace the darkness that was already projected onto him even by those bound by blood to love him?

It wasn’t some sense of moral obligation to humanity. A creep like Elwood was not fooled by such notions of ethical absolutism.

It certainly wasn’t an affection or empathy toward Mark Nelson. Elwood wanted him to die. Wanted him to die slowly and painfully like his psychotic brothers.

No, it was something much more subtle that kept Elwood from giving himself over to the weird entity that trapped him inside his nightmare.

It was the look in the clown girl’s eyes. Her real eyes, human eyes.

Before Elwood could think on it further, the corpse of his uncle Jeff lifted up, defying gravity, causing the rope around its neck to go slack for a moment before the bloated, wretched thing soard forward and downward, adding impossible length to the rope until it hovered just in front of Elwood’s face.

Elwood leaped backward in fright, but he knew there was nowhere to go. Indeed, a glance behind him showed that even the doors of the barn were being devoured by the slow creep of the black oblivion, consuming Elwood’s nightmare with a maddeningly slow pace.

Facing the distorted features of dead uncle Jeff pushed Elwood even closer to the brink of mental exhaustion.

At this distance, Elwood was able to see the gouges across Jeff’s fluid-filled neck cavity where he’d reached up and tried to claw himself free of the noose after he’d dived from the loft railing.

This echo of memory, this shame nightmare Elwood was trapped inside of did not spare his other senses either. He could smell the rancid shit and gore from where Jeff’s bowels had emptied into his pants, down his legs and onto the barn floor. Could smell the coppery congealed blood violently caked all across the features of the man Elwood had considered the only person who truly cared about him.

You will join us or you will die,” the corpse hissed.

I know that,” Elwood said, feeling like he was on the verge of emptying his own bowels had it not been for the fact that Mark had pretty much rendered that an impossibility at least for a few days while his guts healed. “I’m ready.”

Ready to kill?” the corpse asked, cocking its melon-like head.

Ready to die.”


Chapter 16

The corpse made an inhuman noise, clearly frustrated at Elwood’s defiance.

A defiance which surprised even Elwood himself. He figured, with what little fissure of sanity he yet possessed, that he simply had nothing left to lose. Putting him here, confronting the very worst possible moment of his life had clearly been meant as a way to weaken Elwood’s constitution. To test his mettle. 

This had succeeded greatly. Maybe too greatly, because now, with nothing to live for and nothing left to lose, grinning with a renewed sense of purpose, Elwood’s fear and anxiety began to melt away.

He was no longer fearful of dead uncle Jeff, nor of whatever otherworldly entity that possessed the memory of him.

This entity must have sensed Elwood’s growing bravery because just as Elwood found his courage, the corpse of Jeff started to come apart. Bits of flesh, hair and bone began to swim out from the body as though it were submerged underwater.

At the cracks in the seams where this detritus escaped, that now all too familiar black matter appeared pulsing with its rows of green eyes.

Within another moment, Jeff’s body was hovering again, but all across its perimeter like some unholy outline was the creature inhabiting it, like a ventriloquist controlling a dummy.

Tendrils squirmed out from burst gaseous sacs sending waves of noxious fumes into the air as Jeff’s body continued to rise.

His face which Elwood thought could not become more hideous split down the front, the two halves falling away like broken eggs, revealing the triangle face of the thing that had set all of tonight’s fantastic and horrible events into motion.

It menaced Elwood, soaring above still hanging on to uncle Jeff’s ragged corpse like a locust clinging to its shed skin.

Enough games, child,” the thing said, no longer bothering to use the mock voice of uncle Jeff. Its own synthetic cadence booming throughout the barn. “You will see.”

The thing snaked a tendril down from the rafters of the barn where it hovered and before Elwood could act, stabbed the sharp end of the tentacle directly into Elwood’s forehead.

And you will obey.”

***

Be back here next Saturday, November 18th, for chapter 17! 

She Was Only A Clown Chapter 3

SHE WAS ONLY A CLOWN is a special serialized novella presented in weekly installments every Saturday through Halloween. Click here to read chapter 1, click here to read chapter 2.


Chapter 3

Ruby’s barking became suddenly louder and more intense.

Elwood was seconds away from wetting himself. “Stop! Please stop!” he pleaded, hanging on to the tree trunk behind him with one hand, as though it would somehow grant him protection from the huge jaws of the yapping beast.

She inched closer and closer, daring to bite harder and harder. But just as she bit into the flesh of Elwood’s leg for the first time, she stopped.

She left go of Elwood and backed off. Her head darted to the right and she stopped growling.

Elwood chanced a glance in the direction Ruby was looking, fully expecting to see Mark standing there in his underwear.

But it wasn’t Mark. It was a clown. A short, very skinny girl—in fact—dressed as a clown.

Her hair was blue, cut into a bob that hung at her chin, obviously a wig, her face was painted stark white with tall black triangles above her eyes and a red nose. Her mouth was also painted red, but jutting out above and below her lips were jagged pieces of what looked like metal teeth.

The red paint, which looked hastily smeared on her face, extended down onto her bare chest, which was ample and full for a girl of such diminutive size, and also painted white except for her thick, hard nipples which were also smeared red. She wore only the tiniest pair of red shorts covering an unusually plump and round buttocks for someone of her slight frame, and skin-tight leggings with stripes that alternated between black and red. The whole skimpy outfit ended with a pair of big floppy red clown shoes similar to those Elwood wore.

She stood, all five feet of her, completely still. Her eyes were hidden behind the black and red smears on her face and the blue wig that hung in front of her face.

Elwood gawked at the clown girl. Not in a sexual fashion, however. He was just as unfazed sexually by women as he was by men. But rather because of the way she was dressed in the cool weather.

Ruby’s pants produced small bursts of white breath against the cool night air and yet the clown girl stood there, basically naked and produced neither breath nor shiver.

And then Ruby barked. Loudly, just once. It was a bark of surprise. She took several tentative steps toward the mysterious figure that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

The clown girl didn’t flinch.

Since Elwood couldn’t see her eyes, it was hard to tell exactly what she was looking at. Her head was slumped forward, almost as if she was asleep.

Ruby barked again, this time with more authority.

Elwood relaxed. With Ruby’s attention off of him, he was able to collect his thoughts and release his death-grip on the tree trunk.

It’s my asshole neighbor’s dog,” he said. His voice sounded ridiculous inside of his clown mask. He wished he’d have done scary face paint like the clown girl. Her outfit only made him feel like that much more of a loser for dressing and acting the way he did. “He’ll probably come looking for her soon,” Elwood finished, meekly.

The clown girl’s face snapped up, meeting Elwood’s gaze for the first time. Or, more truthfully, her face was in its downward position one moment, and then as Elwood spoke to her, she was suddenly facing him. Even though he was looking directly at her, he hadn’t actually seen her face… move.

The action sent a chill down Elwood’s spine. As though, instinctively, he knew somewhere deep inside himself that human bodies weren’t made to move that fast.

Ruby seemed to know it, too. Just as fast, her hackles went up, her head went low and she resumed her frantic, high pitched barking.

White foam launched into the air as Ruby’s jaws slammed open and shut as she barked and barked.

The clown’s face locked back into its former position facing Ruby. That same non-motion made Elwood sick to his stomach. She was standing just feet from him. It wasn’t a trick of the light, or the cold somehow messing with his vision.

And that’s when it happened.

Ruby lunged, hurling her entire hundred and twenty pounds directly into the face of the petite clown girl.

Elwood cringed, expecting the large dog to knock the painted girl down and maul her.

He lurched forward, somehow finding his moxie, ready to pull the animal off the defenseless girl.

But Ruby didn’t knock the clown down. That’s not what happened at all.

Ruby jumped up, Elwood stepped forward, and in the next moment, the clown girl was holding Ruby by the throat. The dog’s hind legs flailed and scraped at the ground, trying to find footing as the clown girl held her fast, causing Ruby to yelp and make choking noises, unable to breathe.

This act, just as awful and preternatural as the clown girl’s last movement made Elwood weak in his knees. He stopped in his tracks, watching in slack-jawed awe as the clown defied all sense of physics, handling the dog who was at least a quarter heavier than the girl as though the canine were nothing more than a child’s toy.

But that’s not the weird part.

The weird part was when the clown girl reached up with her free hand and peeled her face off.

Not her makeup. No, her actual face.

She slid her red paint stained fingertips up under the skin of her throat and pulled the skin up and over her head like it was nothing more than a latex mask.

Elwood felt his extremities go numb when he saw what was underneath.

The girl’s clown painted face wasn’t a mask, not the kind that covered another face. What was underneath could not by any definition be considered human.

Its color was the deepest most all consuming black Elwood had ever seen. It was as if it was so dense, it sucked the color out of everything around it. The colors next to it seemed to dull and mute next to that blackness. Like an absence of space. A black hole for a head.

Its shape was vaguely triangular but it came to no points. It was thick at the base of the neck where it met the painted skin of the clown girl’s torso and then came up to a tapered end. Like a tear drop bent slightly to the left.

All across this blackness though, moved glowing green eyes. The eyes sat at angles but formed perfectly straight lines, all moving across the blackness in the same rippling pattern together, as if they existed on the same axis.

But what made Elwood piss his pants was the sound that emanated from the triangular head full of shifting green eye patterns.

It was as though he stood next to a electric grid. The low hum of millions of volts of electricity mingled with a tittering sound that resembled the rubbing of insect wings.

Elwood felt the warm gush travel down his over-sized clown pants and into his shoes, but he was unable to move from the spot as the thing that had pretended to be a clown pulled Ruby close and touched her jerking, yelping snout to that all consuming blackness it had for a head before casting the dog to the ground like so much crumpled garbage.

Elwood stared in horror as Ruby convulsed, both urinating and defecating on herself as her mouth foamed bile and saliva. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head and her tongue lolled out of the side of her mouth.

Somehow Elwood found his legs. He jerked and then moved backward slowly. His breath came in hitched pulls, like hiccups only made of terror. His eyes never left the dying dog as he backed away, somehow reasoning that if he didn’t move quickly, the clownish thing wouldn’t get him.

He couldn’t breathe. Even the hitched hiccup-like gasps weren’t enough. He had to get out of the stupid clown costume. He had to breathe. With fumbling rubber hands, he yanked the clown face up over his own and took in long, deep pulls of air.

What the fuck did you do to my dog, faggot?”

Elwood froze. He held his breath. Mark.

He slowly turned around. The feeling of dread growing with each second that ticked by.

Holy fuck,” Mark said as Elwood fully turned to face him. “Elwood?”

The redneck bully was fully clothed now. He must have turned around and gone back to put clothes on. It made sense. With Ruby out here barking her head off, Mark had no need to hurry. He could take all the time he needed to get ready. It was like hunting game.

But, Elwood observed with watering eyes and trembling lips, his clothes were not all Mark had retrieved.

In his hand was a big, old pickle jar. It was stained all up so bad, the contents inside couldn’t be seen. But Elwood didn’t have to see them. He knew damn well what was inside that pickle jar. And now it was full to the brim.

I should have known it would be your dumb fucking ass out here walking around like a faggot ass clown.”

With that, Mark swung the jar and smashed Elwood across the face. As the world kaleidoscope into a dozen different colors and consciousness faded, Elwood though this as he crashed to the ground:

At least the jar didn’t break.

***

Be back here next Saturday, September 30th, for chapter 4!