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, 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 and click here to read chapters 10 and 11.
Elwood caught his breath and turned around, facing his rapist. His years long tormentor.
Mark seemed to have recovered, however much one could recover from a mortal wound to the jugular vein. With the sharp end of the sign post still lodged in place, the wound seemed to have stopped bleeding, the dark brown and black chunks built up around the sharp wood indicating coagulation.
Mark was still ghost-white, but he was now lucid, his eyes clear, and full of abject terror.
“N-No, no! Get the fuck away from me you fucking monster!”
Elwood should have been elated that Mark now saw him as a threat. As a demon trapped inside a clown suit. Skitzo Cyko the killer clown. That’s what he’d wanted, right? He wanted to instill fear in the town of Hopp’s Hollow, if only for one night.
So why instead was he full of dread?
Elwood was sweating again. This time a cold sweat. His hands were shaking. He was terrified. Not of Mark Nelson. No even of the otherworldly creature behind him masquerading as a girl.
He was terrified to kill.
His murder boner gone, all of his lust for depravity had melted away. He didn’t want to hurt Mark. Sure he still hated the redneck bastard, still felt the searing pain in his anus from where Mark had violently penetrated him. Still felt the throbbing of his head where Mark had nailed him with the cum jar, intending to make him eat its contents before killing him out here in the woods.
But all Elwood wanted to do at that moment was go home. He wanted to hide in his barn. To shut out the world. To forget that it contained real monsters and real murderers. He wanted to read comic books and sleep.
He wanted to cry.
Surely someone had heard the utter madness emanating from the woods. They weren’t all THAT far from the roadside. Someone was bound to see the headlights from the dirt bikes or even the green eyes pulsing across the black skin of the clown girl’s true form.
And what would Elwood say should someone crash through the tree line and find him standing there, covered in blood, body parts strewn across the clearing? That a monster girl killed her rapists while he stood on and jacked his pecker in anticipation?
His breathing became more shallow as he considered what had happened with a clear head. His fingerprints were all over the sign post stuck in Mark’s neck. His cum was dripping off the clown girl’s tits onto the ground. His blood and shit was caked on Mark’s dick. His DNA was everywhere. He was fucked. Everything was fucked.
Elwood’s panicked thoughts were broken as Mark tried to get to his feet. The sign shifted, causing the wound to rip back open, sending him crashing back to the ground, yelping in pain, putting both his hands back up to his neck to keep himself from bleeding out.
Elwood turned back to the clown girl, no less freaked out than he had been a moment before.
Her human eyes shifted up to meet his gaze for the first time. This was somehow more unsettling than her true triangle face. There was a presence behind those eyes. Not the alien weirdness of the rows and rows of pulsing green eyes that washed over the pitch black skin of her real body. No, there was something human behind her eyes.
Like there was a real girl in there.
“One of us?” This time when she spoke, her preternatural voice from beyond was more forceful. This time her question was a demand. It was time. Elwood had to kill Mark Nelson.
“C-can I just go home?” he said in a small voice, like a punished child knowing that the answer would already be no.
The clown girl cocked her head, seeming not to understand the request.
“I-I thought this is what I wanted. I thought I wanted to be an evil killer clown. I…even believed it. But,” he looked back at Mark who now possessed a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Like he was only just now considering for the first time that he might survive this awful night.
“I-I won’t say nothin’ I swear!” Mark stammered, desperate now that he thought he had a chance to live. “I’m sorry I fucked yer butt, Elwood! I really am! An’ I’m sorry my brothers did that stuff to your girl. They… they was bad people but they… oh god. They’re dead! They’re all dead!”
The dirty hick broke down sobbing, unable to process further the insane events he’d taken part in.
“I just want to go home.”
Elwood couldn’t think of anything else to say. He would just wait for the clown girl to maul him like she’d done to the Nelson boys or maybe, if he was lucky, to just disappear like she’d done when Mark first showed up in the woods.
But that’s not what she did. Instead, she reached through the jagged smile of the clown mask over his head and touched Elwood’s face.
When Elwood opened his eyes, he was no longer in the woods. He stood instead directly in front of the double doors of the barn. He was home. Except he wasn’t.
A sense of dread hit him immediately.
He hadn’t been magically transported home like he’d requested. He hadn’t escaped the violent nightmare in the woods.
He knew exactly where he was.
It was no longer night. It wasn’t dawn or morning either. It was almost sundown. It was no longer late October. There was no chill in the air. It was summer again.
Elwood had just wandered outside looking for uncle Jeff. Jeff must have come outside earlier that afternoon. He’d been spending more and more time in the barn recently but always came inside around dusk to feed Jake. Jake wouldn’t take his food from anyone else, not since the accident. Jeff was forced to feed him baby food because he wouldn’t chew or swallow normal food anymore. He would just spit it all over the kitchen or pick it up and throw it if he was in the middle of one of his many angry tantrums.
Elwood could still hear Jake inside banging his helmeted head against the wall screaming to be fed.
But when he turned to look at the house, he saw nothing but a swirling black vortex lined with those same patterned green eyes pulsing and rippling in perfect rows across the spiraling maw of… what?
Memory, Elwood concluded, turning back toward the barn. The clown girl wanted Elwood to relive the worst memory of his life.
She wanted him to find uncle Jeff hanging dead by his neck. Again.
As the sun sank below the horizon, Elwood stood staring at the barn doors. The left door was slightly ajar and the breeze kept clanking it shut only for it to slowly creek back open, as though beckoning Elwood to walk through and claim his prize. As though mocking the inevitable.
Elwood stood there a long time. The vortex behind him slowly crept forward. Even his perifreal vision now swam with swirling blackness and the ever present strobe of green eyes.
The house behind him had been totally swallowed by it, as would he if he didn’t step into the barn soon. Small threads of reality collapsed into the vortex and were sucked down, deep into the cavernous eternity of its depths.
Elwood considered throwing himself head-long into the madness to save himself from the terror of what lay beyond the door. But he was a coward. He knew this and the clown girl knew this. They both knew he was not brave enough to face oblivion. As awful as what hung inside the barn was, the prospect of an unknown fate was multitudes more terrifying.
Finally, after what seemed like many hours, Elwood pushed the clanking barn door aside, and walked into his nightmare.
He kept his eyes closed. His heart beat rapidly in his chest. He felt the crunch of gravel drive under his feet turn into the hard clay-like soil that lined the bottom of the barn. The temperature cooled as he stepped fully inside and the door swung shut behind him, finally finding its latch, closing him inside.
He stood there, eyes still closed for a long time. He figured eventually the vortex of eyes would creep its way inside the barn and swallow him up if he didn’t get on with it.
Keeping his eyes closed was useless anyway. Every time he closed his eyes he saw it. It was the first thing he thought about when he woke up in the morning and the last thing he thought of before he fell asleep. Anytime his thoughts strayed they led him back to this moment. Ever since he came home and found–
Elwood opened his eyes.
At first, when Elwood found uncle Jeff he’d thought it was a dummy filled with hay hanging there, swaying gently back and forth.
The head, the face was all wrong. Elwood couldn’t process it. It was purple and round. The lips were bulged like sausages. Dark liquid was caked and dried under the nose and the eyes.
Oh god the eyes.
“Gah… gah,” was all Elwood managed to get out. He remembered like it had just happened. He’d reached his arms out and stumbled forward, like if he could just hurry up and get to Jeff, somehow the violently dead corpse would magically come back to life.
Jeff must have come out to the barn very early that morning, while the rest of the house slept. Elwood hadn’t noticed him missing because Elwood usually slept late. Jake’s tantrum tonight must have been extra bad because he’d missed breakfast and lunch.
It didn’t matter how much the boy wailed, Elwood’s parents just ignored him like he wasn’t there. Like he didn’t exist since his accident.
They hadn’t said anything to Elwood before he’d wandered out to the barn looking for Jeff, but that wasn’t uncommon. Elwood’s parents sometimes went days without speaking to him, perpetually parked in front of their living room television while he came and went from the basement unabated.
Here in the nightmare, Elwood mimicked his past movements. He stumbled forward, grabbed the railing to the stairs that lead to the loft portion of the barn and tried to run up the steps, falling several times as he continued to blurt, “gah! Gah!”
In the nightmare, the loft hadn’t been converted into Elwood’s living space yet. It was still full of junk. Debris from a time when Elwood’s grandfather, Jeff’s father had operated a lawn service.
Jeff had tied the thick twine rope to a stack of lawn mower engines and leaped off the balcony railing.
Elwood in a state of fevered panic had grabbed the twine and yanked, trying to pull Jeff’s corpse back into the loft. He yanked violently enough to rip open the palms of his hands.
At some point he’d started yelling. Yelling as loudly as he could, yelling over and over again until his even his parents who ignored everything had run through the barn doors.
But no one came this time. This time it was just Elwood and Jeff and no matter how much he screamed, his parents would never come.
Suddenly Elwood was back on the ground floor, staring up at the lifeless body of Jeff, swinging there. The look on his dead, bloated, awful face a mixture of surprise, regret and agony. Like he hadn’t died from the fall. Like he’d hung there a long, long time still alive.
And then something happened that had never happened before. Not on the day Elwood had found his uncle hanged, not in the countless times he’d re-imagined that awful moment.
The corpse spoke.
Be back here next Saturday, November 11th, for chapter 15!