General Fiction posted October 24, 2016

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Short story

Kelly's Clown

by alvina224224

The tap on the door just after I got in from work, didn't surprise me. After all, it was Halloween Night. Moving away from my parents had been a big event, and when I found this lovely flat in London's famous Chelsea district, I was over the moon.

'Now, Kelly, don't go opening the front door after dark,' my mother had warned, her voice filled with maternal worry about London's reputation for crime.

'And no men!' followed from Dad. 'At least before you know them very well, and they leave by ten at night.'

He had insisted on having a peep-hole in the door, that took in the flight of stairs that led up to it, as well as a video camera outside, which I could view on a little screen inside.

'I'm twenty two years old now Dad, and very capable of looking after myself.' But I softened my tone when I saw his face and added, 'Besides, those self-defence lessons you paid for were the best present you could have given me for my twenty-first birthday.'

I left them with smiles on their faces, after making sure they had my telephone number. 'And take this with you,' added Dad, handing me Uncle Mick's heavy Irish stick he called his shilellagh.

There was another knock -- louder this time. I wasn't expecting Halloween visitors - I didn't expect them to climb four flights, so I cautiously looked through the peep-hole, holding my breath. I could see nothing but the stairs.

Returning to the sideboard where Dad's video screen sat, I switched it on. The screen stayed blank for a few seconds and I felt my skin start to get clammy as the door knock was repeated, with more urgency this time.

'Who is it?' I called.

'Trick or treat!' came the answer. It was a high squeaky voice, and I breathed deeply. Of course, I wouldn't be able to see a short child if he was standing too close to the door.

Then the video screen clicked into action, and I gave a squeal. Glaring up into the camera was an ugly clown's face, which split into an evil leer. The apparition had luminous green fuzz for hair, and shook it like a wet dog, so that sparks of fire sprayed out.

'Go away!' I yelled, 'you're frightening me.'

A maniacal laugh echoed around the stairwell, and I stepped back from the door.
'Trick or treat,' the chilling voice answered again. 'We're coming i-i-n!'

'We' are coming in? I glanced back to the video screen. Oh My God! There were three of them -- each one with different coloured hair and uglier than the others!

'Oh no, you're not,' I shouted hysterically, and as an afterthought, 'I'm armed!'

Another laugh that sent shivers through me, and I quickly pulled Uncle Mick's heavy stick from the umbrella stand nearby. Stepping back from the door but keeping it firmly within my gaze, I fumbled behind me for my mobile phone which I knew was on the coffee table. I began to gather my senses, and called out, 'I'm calling the police!'

'She's calling the police,' the weird voices mimicked.

I heard my mobile slide then hit the floor with a clunk that matched the jump in my heart, and with another awful heart sensation, watched the door handle slowly turn. I realised I hadn't turned the key behind me when I came in.

'Get out!' I screamed.

The three ugly clown dwarfs wobbled into the room, shaking their luminous fuzz at me, and laughing hysterically. I saw a knife in Green Hair's hand and a lethal looking chain wound around Orange Hair's fist. Blue Hair began to smash my furniture with his hammer, and I began to shriek.

'Leave me alone. What do you want?' The clowns stopped abruptly, and stared at me. For a split second I was flummoxed, then realised I was towering over them, and they had caught sight of my Irish weapon. I swung it across their heads and gave out a banshee scream which would have made Uncle Mick proud.

The stick was heavier than I had allowed for, and it flew out of my clammy hands, straight across the clowns, catching Blue Hair's hammer-hand in mid- blow. He dropped it with an extremely impolite curse, and we all watched the shillelagh crash through the window into the street below.

Green Hair was the first to recover and approached me menacingly, brandishing his knife. 'Now who's armed?' he jeered.

I took a kung-fu stance and kicked him in the groin. He yelled, grabbed his genitals, and lunged towards me. Taken off balance with the ferocity of my kick, I toppled over and found myself grappling with Orange Hair who was pushing his chained fist into my throat.

I was choking. Despite my parents' worry and all the defence preparations I had made, I was about to die. Lights flashed before my eyes and my eardrums were about to explode. I blacked out.

'Did you throw this out of your window?' growled a deep voice. Prising my eyelids apart with difficulty, I tried to swallow and answer, but the pain in my head was too much. The big handle of Uncle Mick's shillelagh was jigging and blurred in front of my face, so all I could manage was a brief nod.

'Nearly knocked me out,' the voice complained.

I couldn't have cared less. I looked around quickly, but my head and throat spun pain at me, and I groaned.

'If you're looking for those clowns, they've been arrested. Damn fool of a woman, letting them in! The police will be here to take your statement tomorrow morning.'

My eyes became less blurred as instinctively, I fought to defend my actions. But all I could make out was the facial contours of a man, evidently the owner of The Voice. Two strong arms then lifted me to the sofa -- I hadn't even realised I was on the floor! The face came into focus and my stomach lurched.

He had green Fuzzy Hair. His look was concerned and friendly -- but it was the face of a clown. I retched at the smell of greasepaint and tried to get to my feet.

'Hey, take it easy,' he said, dropping to his knees and holding my hands down firmly.

'Let go of me,' I yelled.

'Not until you calm down,' he yelled back.

I stared at him with menace, trying to show a fearlessness I didn't possess right at that moment. My pain eased as it flashed that he wasn't a dwarf. I was comforted to hear there wasn't a tremor in my voice when I demanded, 'Who are you? And what do you want?'

'I want you to slow down. I was under your window on my way to a Halloween party,' he said, 'when this thumping great stick bounced off my skull.'

'Thank goodness it did,' I said unfeelingly, then I noticed the growing lump on his forehead and bit my lip.

'You could put it that way,' he said grumpily.

After a moment's awkward silence, we burst out laughing and I sung 'Bring on the clowns.'


Your best Halloween or Scary Story! contest entry

It's a crime in itself, in my opinion, that many children are having their conception of friendly clowns, corrupted by today's criminals usage of a clown outfit.
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