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Tears of a clown, p.1
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       Tears of a Clown, p.1

           Robin Ray
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Tears of a Clown

  Tears of a Clown

  A Novella

  Robin Ray

  Tears of a Clown Copyright © 2016 by Robin Ray

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the URI above.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Dedicated to horror fans everywhere.

  Tears of a Clown

  IT is a warm, sunny afternoon beneath a perfect cloudless sky with nary a hint of moisture threatening to spoil the day’s activities. Several sweaty students from Century City High are training on the large, well-manicured grassy field in the back of their suburban school in laidback L.A. In their own private worlds, we see football players punching the gridirons, pole vaulters warming up by stretching their legs, hurdlers perfecting their leaping forms, coaches scribbling notes on their clip boards, onlookers in the stands drinking sodas and chatting amongst each other, and cheerleaders practicing their acrobatics on the sideline. Most of the students are gathered in the main field, the centerpiece which serves the football, soccer, and baseball teams.

  No expense was spared in the recent renovation of the school facilities. To the right are six recently painted tennis courts outfitted with new nets and concrete paving. The rows of cherry trees around the back of the main fields have been recently picked clean of their fruit by hordes of hungry whippoorwills and other birds endemic to the area. The bleachers themselves have been newly painted in purple and orange, the school’s proud colors.

  One of the cheerleaders, a 17-year-old Asian princess with a model’s body and face named Beverly Tan, is being interviewed by two members of the high school press just yards away from her teammates. The other cheerleaders, rehearsing their routines to perfection, are so scantily clad in their skin-tight CCHS blouses and pleated miniskirts that they would make any voyeur hiding in the bushes melt.

  In the midst of a routine, one of the cheerleaders, 17-year-old redhead Ellen Downey screams, grabs her left leg and falls. Her teammates stop and rush to her side. Beverly, also noticing the commotion, immediately speeds over.

  “Ellen,” she asks, “are you okay?”

  “What does it look like?!” the anguished youngster retorts.

  Beverly examines her leg. There is a blue bruise just below her knee to the left.

  “I think you pulled a hamstring,” she notices.

  “No shit. Hurts like hell.”

  Beverly massages the affected part.

  “Ouch!” Ellen winces. “Take it easy, Captain Beverly.”

  “Co-Captain,” Beverly corrects her. “C’mon, Ellen. You’re, like, a Co-Captain, too.”

  “So how come they’re interviewing you and not me?”

  “I don’t know. Is that important right now?”

  Ellen bites her lip. “I hate when this shit happens.”

  Beverly gently rubs her back. “Why don’t you hit the showers? Just let the hot water run over your leg.”

  Ellen rises with Beverly’s help.

  “Thanks,” the previously downed teen says. “I got it from here.”

  “You sure?”


  “They weren’t asking me anything important anyway.”

  “Yeah, I’ll bet.”

  The other cheerleaders, as well as the two school news reporters, watch as Ellen hobbles off the field. The other students, used to seeing accidents on the field, barely notice the teen hobbling off to the girls’ locker room.

  Minutes later, Ellen’s sponging herself off in the steamy hot water of the school’s forceful shower. The stream is on so high that steam fills the large cavernous chamber. A waterproof CD/MP3 player sitting on a nearby shelf is on; indie music is playing.

  Turning the water off, she grabs a large white towel off a rack, wraps it around her body, takes another and wraps her hair in it then, taking a third, dries her face and blindly enters the girls’ locker room.

  She walks almost ten feet before she hears the door to the showers being locked. She looks up. The lights in the room have been dimmed. Hundreds of candles, all of them lit and scattered throughout the room, makes the place look like an eerie cathedral. She gazes curiously at the sight.

  “What the hell?” she asks. “What’s going on?”

  She cringes when she hears the shrieky sound of steel blades being dragged across the stone walls. Immediately, she runs for the exit. To her dismay, it is locked. Immediately, she starts banging the door.

  “Hey! Is anybody out there?!”

  She hears a man’s voice speak out.

  “They can’t hear you,” he announces sullenly. “Everybody’s out on the field preening or flexing their egotistical muscles for the press.”

  “Who’s there?” Ellen begs, peering through the darkness. “Show yourself.”

  There is no answer. She tiptoes around, groping for a switch.

  “What is this?” she mumbles to herself. “Some kind of joke?”

  She jumps back gasping when a grotesque clown suddenly appears before her out of the blackness.

  “That’s my job,” he boasts.

  This intruder, she notices, has several large tufts of thick black hair sticking haphazardly from his head and tied in various places at their bases with small red ribbons. He has a black puff ball on his nose, Satanic black markings around his eyes, jet black-painted lips and similar grotesque markings on his white-painted face. Wearing oversized black shoes, he is attired in a puffy black and white clown suit badly in need of repair. There’s a sharpened five-tined boron steel handclaw with a hardwood ash handle in his right, red-gloved hand.

  Ellen zooms back to the door and tries pulling it open. Frantically, she pounds and kicks it repeatedly. The Clown dives towards her.

  “Come ‘ere!”

  She shrieks and races in vain from him around the locker room.

  “What do you want from me?!” she screams.

  “You’re an educated girl. Take a guess.”

  She trips over a bench and flies against a corner as The Clown approaches.

  “Yo, this shit is impact, yo!” she expresses to herself, holding her shins in despair.

  “What the hell does that mean?”

  “Go fuck yourself!”

  The Clown leaps over to her and stabs the handclaw’s tines just inches from her eyes.

  “Is that how you talk to your guests?”

  “Please, don’t hurt me,” she begs. “Just take what you want and leave me alone.”

  “Are you trying to bargain with me?”

  “Look, I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care. Just let me go, please. I won’t say nothing to nobody.”

  The Clown backs off a bit. “Pretty noble of you, Ellen Downey.”

  “You know my name? You’re a student here, ain’t you? Is that you, Bell?”

  The Clown brazenly slashes Ellen’s arm. She shrieks, dives away, gets up and runs as blood starts gushing down to her fingers. The sultan of suffering takes his time going after her, strolling as confidently as a vulture through a field of carrion. As she tries to stop the bleeding by holding the wound tightly, she can practically
hear the intruder’s heart beat echoing in the locker room.

  “Don’t let those other bitches fool you, Ellen,” he rants knowingly. “You are the best cheerleader in that pitiful squad. It’s you who should be Captain.”

  “Leave me the hell alone!”

  Total silence follows Ellen’s echoing bellow. Carefully, she creeps around the locker room looking for a glimpse of the stalker. Arriving at her locker, she nervously tumbles the lock, opens the metal door, quickly rummages through her collected items and removes a can of mace.

  The Clown leaps off the top of the locker towards her. She screams, takes aim and, just as she’s about to spray the fiery substance, he knocks it out of her hands and slashes her face. Bleeding profusely, she hollers and dashes for safety.

  Racing to a distant corner, she spins around, sees the purveyor of pain is not there and, maintaining silent for a few moments, nervously takes a step forward, listening intently for any hint that her assailant may still be around. The Clown suddenly darts out of the darkness. Ellen screams, panics and falls backwards against a wall.

  “Go away!”

  “You can yell all you want to, dear. These doors seem to be soundproofed.”

  “I’m gonna find out who you are, motherfucker! You won’t get away with this!”

  “It already looks like I am.”

  “Wait till my boyfriend finds out who you are. He’ll kick your fucking ass!”

  “Tsk, tsk. Such disappointing use of language.”

  “Screw you,
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