Willie the Clown: Part Four
There were only ever a few times when I was ever allowed out of the tiny pantry. On holidays, and when people were coming over to visit.
I remember one day when I was actually allowed out. It was a rainy day, and I think my father was expecting people over to watch some stupid football game. He was cooking hamburgers inside the house, and smoke filled the entire house, making the smoke alarm go off. After a series of curse words from my father, he managed to extinguish the fire and continue cooking.
After the burgers are ready, to my surprise, he hands me a plate.
“Here,” he says.
I quickly snatch the plastic plate from his hands and stare at the burger for a solid minute before I start devouring it. The burger was very burnt, but I didn’t care. Food was food. And I hardly ever got any of it.
“You don’t say a word to anyone about you livin in the pantry. Ya hear? Say a word to anybody, and you’re dead. Got it?”
My father glares at me with absolute hatred and disgust as I eat the burger. I almost forget to answer him since I’m eating. But I vigorously nod my head as I continue stuffing my face with the delicious, very charred, burger.
Pretty soon, people begin to arrive at the house, and the place is filled with laughter and happiness. Everyone is drinking as they shout at the tv, cheering for whatever football team that they’re rooting for.
I guess the fact that my father just threatened my life never really registered with me. It seemed to have flown over my head. I was too distracted by all the commotion and loud noises to fully understand what he’d said. I was just so happy to be out of the pantry and have a decent meal for once. It was nice to watch some tv, even though I had absolutely no idea what was going on.
“Hey Jim where’s the goddamn beer?! I’m still thirsty over here!” One of my father’s friends yells, busting my eardrums.
“Here in the kitchen. I thought I told ya to bring your own!” My father yells, anger in his voice.
When mostly everyone is in the kitchen eating during commercials on the tv, I stay in the living room and watch the commercials. Suddenly, a commercial for Halloween comes on, and the commercial seems like it’s advertising different costumes. They look pretty scary, but none of them really frighten me. As the costumes continue flashing in front of my eyes, I see one that catches my attention.
For a split second, I see an image of a brightly colored “clown” costume. I tilt my head with curiosity. Why would a clown costume be advertised in a Halloween commercial? Aren’t they just supposed to be funny?
“Dad, why did they show a clown costume?” I ask.
“Huh? Oh, some people are afraid of clowns, I guess. That’s why they dress up like them on Halloween. To scare people,” my father explains.
I’m surprised that I even got an answer from him at all. Usually when I try to speak to my father, he either ignores me or hits me. But I know he’s only answering me now because we have guests over.
For some reason, the fact that clowns could be both funny and scary at the same time fascinated me. Up until this point, I never knew some people thought clowns were terrifying.
Scary clowns…so cool…I think.
Paige and I hold each other as we watch the clown tie up Cameron. The clown dances around him, laughing hysterically and talking complete nonsense as he finishes tying him up.
“I know!” The clown exclaims after a while, making both Paige and I jump, “Let’s play my favorite game! You do know what that is right? My audience knows what it is!”
I feel my anxiety worsen as I can’t understand what this psychotic clown is saying.
Audience? What audience?
I scan the room frantically, trying to figure out what the hell he means. Soon, my eyes pan over towards an old-fashioned tv set that sits in front of where Cam is. I didn’t notice it before because of how terrified I am right now. Confusion overwhelms me as I still try to understand what he means.
Suddenly, the clown rushes over towards the TV set and picks up a microphone that was on the floor. He taps it a couple of times, giggling as he does so.
“Hello everybody!! Welcome to another episode of Willie’s Whacky Fun Show! As promised, I have a new guest here with me today! He was very naughty and intruded in my home, so we’re going to play a little game…RUSSIAN ROULETTE! MY FAVORITE!!
I know everybody knows the rules, but I’ll explain them for any newcomers! If the boy doesn’t get shot by the end of the six rounds we’ll play, then he wins! If I get shot, I lose! Now, who’s ready to play?!”
My heart rate picks up at an incredible speed as panic courses through me. What the…what the hell was going on here? I try to wrap my brain around what I’ve just seen. The clown was speaking into a microphone and talking to his TV. As I look around, the TV seems to be connected to a series of long wires that wrap along the walls of the tunnels. Suddenly, my heart drops as I realize what’s happening. This clown was broadcasting everything that was happening to Cam on TV. Live TV.
But it didn’t make any sense. If he was broadcasting his own show live, wouldn’t there be millions of viewers coming to rescue us? Wouldn’t they be appalled at what they were witnessing? Wouldn’t our family and friends be trying to come find us?
I think hard for a minute…then, I gasp as I realize something. Not everyone could be watching the clown’s sick TV show. Maybe…maybe you had to pay to watch it? Was that how it worked? The longer I think about it, the more it makes sense.
Paige and I scream in terror when we see the clown pull out a pistol. I sob hysterically, tears streaming down my face as I watch the clown loads his revolver.
“CAM! PLEASE DON’T HURT HIM, I LOVE HIM! PLEASE, KILL ME INSTEAD! JUST DON’T KILL HIM!” I yell, my throat raw from screaming.
“Shut up, little kitty!! Or you’ll be playing Russian roulette next!” The clown snaps at me, making me jump.
“Now, let’s begin shall we?! I’ll go first. I really hope I don’t die!” The clown shrieks, laughing his head off as he pulls the trigger.
I hold my breath scared out of my mind. I can’t even imagine how Cam feels, and what’s going through his head right now. I can see him hyperventilating as he sits there, bound to his chair. Completely unable to move.
Suddenly, the clown pulls the trigger and we all scream. I cover my eyes, terrified to look in case someone gets shot.
But when I peak through my hands, no bullet has been fired. Both Cameron and the clown are still alive.
I breathe a small sigh of relief.
“Guess we both got lucky that time! Hahahaha!” The clown laughs as he places his hand on the trigger again.
“Maddie, listen to me. I love you ok? I’m so sorry that I dragged us into this. It-it’s all my fault. I’m so so sorry. Just know that I love you; I always have!” Cameron suddenly says, tears streaming down his face.
I shake my head, “Don’t you dare start saying that stuff! You’re going to be ok you hear me?!”
Cameron hangs his head as he starts sobbing uncontrollably. I feel my entire body tremble with fear as I watch the clown place the gun to his head as he starts the second round of the game.
“Hey! Let Cameron go! PLEASE! I love him, don’t hurt him, I’m begging you!” I cry at the top of my voice.
“Please, please just let him go!” Paige begs.
The clown lowers his gun then begins walking over towards me and Paige again. I know we’ve made him mad, but I don’t care. I’m trying to save Cameron’s life.
“I thought I told you kitties to be quiet. You’re ruining our game!” He yells.
“AHH!” I cry out.
Suddenly, I feel an electric shock so powerful on my neck that it makes me collapse onto the ground. I cry out in pain and twitch a little as electricity shoots through my neck. I can even feel it in my back and face.
“Maddie! Oh God, Maddie!” Cam screams.
“Maddie!” Paige exclaims, kneeling down to help me.
“That oughta teach you kitties to listen to me. Now back to my game!”
The clown proceeds to skip happily over towards Cameron. I desperately try to get up, but I can’t even open my eyes since I’m in so much pain. Paige shakes me gently, trying to get me to wake up, but it’s no use. My head throbs so much and my neck feels like it’s on fire.
Eventually, I do wake back up. Paige helps me lift my head, and I rest it on her shoulders, feeling weak. We keep watching helplessly as the clown continues his sadistic game.
“Let’s begin round 2 shall we?! Me first again!!” The clown exclaims.
He puts his finger on the trigger and pulls it. No bullet is fired again.
“YAYY I SURVIVED! Your turn little boy!” The clown screams, pointing the gun at Cameron’s temple.
“Wait, please! Stop!” Cameron begs, his entire body shaking with fear.
The clown pulls the trigger, and suddenly, a loud BANG goes off, echoing throughout the tunnels. When I see what’s just happened, I feel like I’m going to pass out.
Cameron is slumped over in his chair, blood pouring from his temple. As I look closer at him, I see that he’s not moving whatsoever.
My heart sinks as I realize that Cameron is dead.