Night Of The Clown

 

It was September, and the days were still warm in the afternoon. Jesse had invited his two best friends Dwight and Michael to chill in the garden of his house after their first day at St. Louis College.

Their bicycles were left scattered on the lawn while they enjoyed cold soda under the terrace rooftop in the backyard. They had convinced their parents to go to the same college, claiming it was a choice made because of their future career, but it was in fact an excuse to stay together a few more years before University scattered them away.

Michael adjusted his glasses and started to describe how his new teachers were all a bunch of weirdos and how he already couldn’t stand them. Dwight was removing some dirt from his shoes when Jesse came back from the kitchen with two cans of Coca-Cola and a Dr. Pepper for himself. He tossed the cans to his friends before taking a seat and watched the horizon with a serious look in his face. Dwight and Michael both opened their cans nearly at the same time and instantly got soaked in a big splash of soda, a few seconds of silence passed until Jesse couldn’t contain his seriousness any longer and bursted with laughter. He was soon joined by Michael and Dwight, they laughed out loud for a good while, relieving all the stress of the day at that very moment.

From the backyard porch of Jesse’s home, the view gave into the empty fields that separated the houses from an abandoned amusement park. From there you could only see the top of the “Devil’s Mountain” roller coaster and the enormous ferris wheel in the background. It always gave an eerie vibe to the view, especially on foggy days or during the fall. Everybody in the neighborhood got used to the view, but for a brief moment things got even more strange with what seemed to be a meteorite. A bright light was traveling in the sky leaving a white trail of smoke behind. From the distance it wasn’t easy to assess the size of the object, but it sure wasn’t tiny. The boys immediately noticed it and were stopped in the middle of their conversation as they stared at the spectacle in wonder. The sighting was silent and beautiful, yet it had something frightening to it. The meteor finished its ride right in the middle of the abandoned park. How cool was that? The boys looked at each other, astonished by what they have just witnessed, they smiled and jumped off their seats. Dwight and Michael were already on their bikes while Jesse insisted on getting a flashlight. They all had their cell phones ready to record their next adventure. So in the beginning of the evening, they departed to the abandoned park.

Trespassing on forbidden property wasn’t a new activity for them. In fact, they had already covered the area more than once. There was nothing like urban exploration when they were bored, especially when places were spooky. They rode their bicycles like crazy and got to the perimeter of the park in no time; they knew the fastest path. The perimeter was closed off with layers of metallic fences, but they also knew the areas where holes were cut out, wide enough for small bodies to enter the forbidden zone.

They had to leave their bicycles at the entrance of the opening; from there they had to wander on foot.

They soon had their shoes drenched in mud, the abandoned zone was half-flooded and many parts were unworkable. By the time they were inside the park, it was dusk and they had realized they’ve never been here so late.

They walked among the derelict of the attraction’s structures as daylight was rapidly fading away. Everything started to look so sinister, and harmless objects started to shape into menacing silhouettes. The gigantic structure of the ferris wheel and all the other big attractions looked like still shadowy giants observing them over a dying sky. Everything was so quiet, with the exception of the sounds coming from the metal structures squeaking from time to time, some torn apart banners and flags lazily flapping in the wind, and the mockery of a lone crow observing them from the top of a shack. Instead of traditional fairground music that there used to be, those sounds were the new soundtrack of this creepy place.

There were no signs of any sky fallen debris anywhere, so they just kept walking around, trying to comfort themselves with cheesy jokes, until they found what they were looking for.

At the end of a corner, they discovered a building structure with a hole in the rooftop, there was some black smoke coming out from it, like something hot just went through it and landed inside the facility. By the look of it, the building must have been a restaurant. The boys easily got inside by entering through the large broken windows on one side of the building. The interior was dark and full of debris everywhere, they navigated their way through all the scrap metal and walked up to what have once been a large kitchen. There, the place was a complete mess, like something they had seen on TV in overseas war news. Asides from the mess they witnessed all around the park, there was a huge pile of debris in the middle of the room. Most of it were pieces of the rooftop. Michael wasn’t sure the area was safe, what remained of this place looked like it would collapse at any time and bury them in the process. He insisted on leaving this room right away and exiting the park. Dwight and Jesse agreed on this idea, yet they were clearly more fascinated by their finding than Michael was. They were really eager to find out about the object that came from the sky. Their imaginations have been triggered by this unusual event and they could still handle more of this unearthly situation. Jesse and Dwight started to carefully dig into the pile of debris while Michael decided to wait for them outside, visibly upset.

Whatever went through the roof was under the pile of dust and scrap. They could certainly remove some of the scrap and find out what was under. In an attempt to find the best angle to dig, Jesse found out there was no need to dig out anything. Whatever landed in this place had since then “hatched”, and whatever was inside found its way out. Dwight ran to Jesse’s spot and stared at the hatch exit. They couldn’t clearly assess the outside of the mysterious object, but the inside was exposed to Jesse’s flashlight and it was like nothing any of them would have guessed. It was like if they were looking at the inside of a human body. The surface of the inside was apparently made of organic matter.

– “What the fuck is that shit supposed to be?” Jesse stammered out.

– “I don’t know man, it looks like some kind of cosmic asshole or something.”

They looked at each other and as soon as they started laughing, they were interrupted by a noise coming from behind them. They jumped, and Jesse immediately aimed at the direction where the noise came from with his flashlight. Right behind them was another room. The door had been taken out of its hinges and the flashlight’s beam wasn’t strong enough to cut through the darkness.

– “Yo Mike is that you!?” Dwight shouted.

Again, they heard a noise coming from the same direction, they jumped again. This time Jesse shouted:

– “Michael! Stop being an ass and show yourself!”

After a short moment, they heard Michael’s answer:

– “Guys, it’s getting really dark out here, we need to get the fuck out already!”

Except his voice wasn’t coming from the dark room behind them, Michael was still outside the building. Jesse and Dwight looked at each other. They were not laughing anymore, and they were not alone. Then Dwight frowned:

– “It’s a fucking animal or something, it’s gotta be.”

– “Yeah or it could be a crazy homeless dude with a knife just waiting to attack us, let’s get out of here, I think I’ve had enough.” Jesse replied.

Dwight grinned at Jesse:

– “Oh you’re scared now. Come on, give me the flashlight, I’ll go.”

– “No, I’m keeping it! Alright let’s take a peek.”

Dwight digs up a metal bar from the pile of scraps and Jesse improvises by grabbing a brick. They moved towards the entrance and carefully stepped into the dark room. As they were walking, they could hear a squishing sound coming from the floor. Jesse noticed they’ve been stepping on a gelatinous substance trail on the floor that sticked to their shoes after every step. His flashlight revealed the organic trail was coming from the hatch and leading to the room they had just entered, the trail lead to the center of the room and subsequently to the most nightmarish thing they would ever experience in their whole life.

There, in the middle of the darkness, highlighted by the shaky flashlight, lied the most grotesque abomination. If the boys had to describe this thing, it would be a maelstrom of flesh the size of an adult, composed of pulsating and formless muscles covered with dark veins all over. That was for the bottom part, as Jesse illuminated the upper part of the mass, it molded into a more recognizable shape, the flesh seemed to fuse with the upper body of a human dressed in a very familiar trait, that of a clown.

– “Oh my god! Sir are you alright?” inquired Dwight. Jesse looked at him with an incredulous face. Looking at Dwight’s expression he understood his friend thought this guy dressed in a clown suit was being attacked by this slime, devouring his legs up to the top. But Jesse kept illuminating the shape in front of them and understood this thing wasn’t eating up a human body, it was transforming into it! The gelatinous form was shaping into a full human body, imitating the clothes in the process.

As the transformation was taking place, the head of the clown was facing to their right, staring at the wall in front of it. It was standing still except from small spasms frantically shaking the torso from time to time. Squishy sounds emanated from its transforming body and disgusting transparent fluids spurted out of some holes created and immediately closed all over its body.

– “Dwight, I don’t think this is…” Jesse started to say, but his sentence was interrupted by an awful sound that came out of the open mouth of the creature. It sounded like an agonizing animal about to die in a slaughterhouse asking for mercy. It resonated loudly in the small room and it froze the two boys. This thing was being born and its transformation was finished!

The creature’s attention was drawn towards the two boys who were in a complete state of shock, shaking their bodies and stammering out. The hideous clown slowly turned its head towards them, its yellowish eyes gazing on the two and revealing a mouth filled with narrow fangs. It had an indecipherable expression on its face.

Jesse screamed out loud and started to move back, finally able to control his body again. Dwight was still immobilized by fear and couldn’t stop staring at the creature, like if he was hypnotized. Jesse found the strength to steer out of his own trance and fled from the room. It was the last time he ever saw Dwight.

Adrenaline ran through Jesse’s body as he sprinted towards the building entrance like a bullet despite all the debris and scrap littered on the floor.

Michael first saw the beam of light from Jesse’s flashlight moving in all directions inside the dining room. Then Jesse spawned out of the darkness and bumped into him so hard they almost fell down.

– “What is it, where is Dwight?” Michael asked nervously. The only word he got right from Jesse frantic voice was:

– “M… M… Monster inside… run, RUN!”

Before Michael could assess the situation, Jesse was already out of sight and had fled into the dark, with the flashlight’s beam of light fading away quickly. Michael still couldn’t decide if this was an elaborate prank or if they were truly in some kind of danger. He looked inside the dining room, it was even darker then it was when they got here. There was no movement or anything that led to believe there was something to fear, until he heard a loud and long scream coming from inside, a scream of pain and agony that no one could have faked. His friend Dwight’s scream.

At this point, Michael’s mind was bypassed by survival instinct and his legs started racing in the same direction Jesse’s had. He had never run so fast in his life, with adrenaline flowing in his blood like an open canister and oxygen burning his lungs. But unless Jesse, who brought his flashlight, was still around Michael had no way to clearly see where he was going, the place had become way too dark now. He fell into a deep puddle of mud and his body slammed the ground hard. His glasses had vanished in the dark. He had broken one of his front teeth in the process although he didn’t feel a thing thanks to the adrenaline. He was able to get back up quickly but without his glasses he wouldn’t be able to get too far without stumbling or falling again, he was indeed in trouble.

As he was recovering from his fall and was struggling to see which direction to take, he never paid attention to the shape jumping from rooftop to rooftop, following him, hunting him down.

Michael was carefully running in a mist of darkness, his arms wildly waving in front of him to prevent any unfortunate collision. His partial blindness had put him in state of total panic, screaming for some miraculous help to come.

But the only thing that came to him was pure terror. A swift form, on the rooftop of a nearby attraction structure, leaped into the air and silently glided toward its prey. It nailed down Michael so hard to the floor that this time he wasn’t able to recover at all. Upon him was standing the clown figure Jesse and Dwight had encountered back at the abandoned restaurant. A small membrane between its arms and legs quickly retracted inside a breach on the side of its body that instantly closed up with a viscous sound. With one foot over Michael’s body, pinning him on the mud, the boy stood no chance to ever fight back. The clown’s face approached the back of Michael’s head, opening its mouth wide enough to reveal a big row of razor-sharp fangs. Its jaws closed on the boy’s head and snatched it like how someone would bite a sandwich. Liters of blood instantly flowed out of Michael’s severed throat, spreading into the mud creating a disgusting mixture. The evil clown’s eyes closed in delight while its throat stretched out, swallowing Michael’s head altogether. When it finished digesting the boy’s head, it sniffed the air and jumped into the heavens again, going after its next prey.

Thanks to his flashlight, Jesse managed to find his way back with ease. He stumbled many times but never fell down. The fences of the park were in sight when he suddenly tripped on a rock. He fell on the soft grass and mud and was able to recover easily and without being hurt, but when he looked up he realized he wasn’t alone. In front of him several black silhouettes were getting out of Hummer-esque cars. They had powerful flashlights and were headed his way. Most certainly they were the police and they got word of what was going on here. They would protect him.

They soon spotted him and blinded him with their lights. When they reached out to him he got a closer look at them and he couldn’t recognize their outfits, these weren’t cops. They looked more like governmental agents of some kind. He had seen enough thriller movies to understand whoever they were, these people showed up in very unusual situations, as it was clearly the case.

He took a quick look at them and there was something odd about them, but he wasn’t quite sure what it was. They were all dressed the same way, a black suit, with a white shirt, and a black tie. They were also all wearing black sunglasses, which made absolutely no sense now that it was night. In the middle of a muddy ground they sure looked completely out of place, but there was something even stranger about them.

One of them had said something into a device attached to his wrist, Jesse couldn’t hear what it was. As they were surrounding him he started to feel uncomfortable. He looked at the one who stood behind him and when he looked back at the ones in front of him, it struck him: their faces were all identical!

One man stood out from the bunch and walked straight toward him, he also had the same face yet he was older than the others. He wasn’t wearing black sunglasses and his eyes were crystal blue, he had a very striking gaze that immediately intimidated Jesse.

– “What’s you name son, and what are you doing here?” Said the man with a clear and engaging voice. He had a strange subtle accent Jesse couldn’t identify.

– “My name is Jesse Northwood, th… there’s a monster in there, I… I think he killed one of my friends…” told Jesse still in shock after what happened.

One of the men looked at the older man whose expression stayed the same, staring at the boy like he was probing his mind with his strange eyes.

– “I see, can you take us to where you found this… monster?” Asked the man.

– “It’s… It’s this way.” pointing at the direction he came from “I… I don’t wanna go back there, sir, please, I wanna go home.”

The man stared at him more intensely this time and after a few seconds of silence he replied with an almost menacing tone in his voice:

– “You’re going to stay here until we check the scene out, understood?”

Jesse nodded and looked down with a shy “Yes sir.” But the truth is he was terrified, not only by whatever he had witnessed back there, but also by these men who appeared out of nowhere and didn’t really seem to care about him. He needed to find a way to sneak out of this place.

But before he could start planning his escape, the final act of terror broke loose in front of his eyes again.

The devilish clown figure fell from the sky and had landed in front of the group of men, crashing onto the ground with a thud. He stood up slowly while all the men were pointing their flashlights at him, finally revealing all the details of its body to the crude lights. The intelligent organic mass that had come out of the meteorite had now assumed its final form: a nightmarish clown raised from hell, dressed in a colorful costume soaked with the blood of its first victims.

The black suits unsheathed their handguns at once and pointed at the clown who opened its mouth wide and hissed violently in reaction to the threat. In the blink of an eye, a bluish bile squirted out of the clown’s throat in the direction of the closest man in black, targeting his torso and part of his face. The man immediately stepped back and screamed in pain, the bile visibly was a powerful acid that could burn flesh and fabric immediately creating a deep wound and releasing a thick white toxic smoke in the process.

– “Shoot it!” yelled the older one. Despite the situation he was still surprisingly quiet.

The clown was barraged with a wave of deadly bullets aimed straight at its body and head. Its body reacted to every injury with frantic movements, but it remained standing there, its upper body bent over letting a collection of transparent yellowish fluids flowing out of its wounds. The men had stopped firing but stood their ground. The clown staggered back, trying to recover from the gunfire. It lifted its head up, there was a big hole in its forehead and its left eye was gone. Suddenly, with a demented smile on its face, the clown grabbed the sides of its head with its two hands, like if it was imitating someone in fear in an exaggerated way. Then it plucked its own head from its neck with a sickening sound, holding it high above its body as a brownish liquid dripped from it. A grey smoke started to come out of its ears, mouth, and also from the hole on its forehead.

– “Step back everyone!” ordered the leader of the men in black.

And without the group of men able to anticipate what followed next, the clown threw its own head straight at them. At the first thing the head made contact with, it immediately exploded in a deadly splash of acid sprinkling on everyone around.

Jesse was luckily spared by the acid as he was standing behind one of the men. In the middle of all the confusion he seized his chance and fled the scene. He quickly found his way out through the hole in the fence, got on his bicycle, and disappeared into the night.

The men in black slowly recovered from the attack, most of them managed to cover their faces with their arms and oddly enough their suit seemed to resist the abrasive substance. The clown however was gone, demonstrating an extraordinary survival capacity and impressive biologic weaponry.

The leader of the group scanned the surroundings before talking to a device on his wrist:

– “T.H.I.S. has landed and is operational. Confirming transition from phase 1 to phase 2 achieved. Tactical senses fully operational.” He looked around, searching for the boy, nowhere to be found. He added: “We also have a code 16, deploy a team and search for a teenager named Jesse Northwood, priority: high.”