By Henry Black
15th January. 2028. 21:32. Earth. England. The whole country was quiet that night. At least that’s what they thought. The internet suddenly came to life with alleged sightings of clowns. Just standing at the edge of roads. Outside people’s houses. Each with a uniquely sinister mask but not one doing a single ounce of harm. They just stood. People were scared, naturally, but the sightings seemed to be ruled off as young people pranking the country. I thought it odd that all over the country ‘young people’ all had the same idea to dress up in scary clown costumes and stand in various places doing absolutely nothing. The first sightings had come in around an hour ago. I was sitting on my laptop in my student halls monitoring it all. I had nothing better to do at the time. I rose from my desk and gazed out of the window to see a clown standing next to a tree just outside my student accommodation. I myself wasn’t scared of clowns so I chose to ignore it.
‘Have you seen that THING stood outside?’ My friend and roommate Chloe burst into my room in a panic. She was going out tonight and was half way through putting her makeup on. Her curlers were still in her hair and she was only wearing a bra and pants. This was not shocking to me either as it wasn’t the first time I’d seen her in this state and it most certainly wasn’t going to be the last.
‘Should I call security?’ She panicked as she rushed over to my window to have a look. We lived in a small accommodation block. There were 18 rooms in our building and only 14 of them were taken. That night, we were the only two people out of 14 in. Some of us were still at home for Christmas as our term didn’t start until next week. Some had already gone to another block for pre drinking.
‘No need to call security it’s probably just someone playing a prank. I bet it’s that boy that you slept with before Christmas. He wants REVENGE for you ignoring his texts!’ I jokingly said in a sinister voice. Chloe laughed too and opened the window before shouting:
‘Alex. I’m not going to sleep with you again. Sorry, I just don’t have 30 seconds to spare!’ She snorted with laughter as she walked over to my door. ‘Anyway I’ve got to go and get ready, I’m so late. See you.’ She left. I paced my room out of boredom. I watched the clown from outside my window. He just stood menacingly staring up at me. I guessed Chloe had called security as I saw two of them approaching the clown. They whispered something to him and made an attempt to usher him from the premises. The clown turned to them before producing a knife from his hoodie and stabbing both of the guards in the neck. The stumbled to the ground before both dying. The clown glared back up at me menacingly as before.
‘Hello 999 what’s your emergency?’ The lady on the phone spoke after I had dialled the police.
‘Hi. One of the clowns has murdered two security officers. Please I need urgent assistance he’s still out there.’ I told the police my address.
‘I understand if you could just keep your windows and doors locked we will send around an officer as soon as we can. It seems you’re not the only one with this problem.’ I ran to my laptop to find that all over the country the clowns had done the exact same thing. The body count so far had been estimated at 154. No clowns had yet been caught by the police as they had all seemingly disappeared from the scene before the police got there. I ran out of my room downstairs to Chloe’s room. I banged on her door but her music was so loud that she couldn’t hear me. I ran downstairs to the main door and made sure it was definitely locked. I ran to the kitchen only to be followed around by the clown. He stood outside the window. I reached for the window to close it but the clown sprinted towards it at the same time. He thudded into the glass as it slammed shut just in time. I glared out into the darkness only to be horrified to find that the window in the shower room was also open. The clown noticed this too and it suddenly became a race against time as we both sprinted as fast as we could to close it.
I grabbed the window and began to heave it shut when the clown grabbed it also from the other side and began pulling harder. The window screeched open. I was overwhelmed but the adrenaline that had kicked in would not let me give in. I strained myself more than I even thought possible and slammed the window closed on the clown’s fingers, causing him to wince away in pain. We made eye contact for a brief second. I could see behind his mask. It somehow shocked me that he was a human being underneath his hideous attire and wicked behaviour. He disappeared back around the front not long after. I allowed myself to catch my breath by slumping down to the floor of the shower room.
A loud thudding against the door alerted my attention. I stayed in the shower room for a minute, hoping the banging would go away. Of course it did not. I heard the door to the stairs open and knew immediately I must go out and warn Chloe. I was right, it was Chloe, heading over to the door to let the person who was banging in.
‘Did you not hear that bloody door!’ Chloe shouted at me. ‘Even I could hear it over my music. I’m late enough as it is.’
‘No! Don’t open it. It’s dangerous. Please Chloe. He killed two security guards and he’s trying to break in!’ I pleaded as I made my way over to her.
‘Wow. It’s only Alex. I think you’re English Lit degree is making you really believe the things you read.’ Chloe approached the door. She turned the latch and swung it open to find the clown standing there. She grinned in my direction before turning to the clown just as he raised his knife and brought it right down into Chloe’s chest. She screamed in agony as he stabbed her again and again and again. She toppled to the floor but the clown continued to stab her repeatedly. I ran for the stairs as the clown looked up at me and began charging after. I slipped and banged my ribs against one of the stairs as the clown intimidatingly approached me. He closed in on me like a demon ready to take me down to hell. I scrambled to my feet and ran up the stairs. A loud thud followed a shape moving like lightning rushing passed me. The clown had thrown his knife. Luckily it hit the wall and not me. I ran to my room and slammed the door closed. I locked it right before a knife came slamming through, nearly hitting my temple.
I hid under my desk and waited for as long as I could. THUD. THUD. THUD. The knife stabbed and stabbed the door. Chunks of wood fell to the ground. I wrapped myself in a ball and cried. I had never felt so scared. My knees were bruised from falling on the stairs. My whole body was in agony. THUD. THUD. THUD. A hand emerged through the crack and fumbled around to try and find the lock. I threw a glass. It shattered just below the hand but it was enough for him to retract it and seemingly disappear. I clambered out from under my desk and peered through the hole. He had gone. I couldn’t help myself. I needed to open the door. I knew it was idiotic. I silently tugged the door open to see where the clown had gone.
I stepped out of my room and looked around. He was nowhere. I checked the toilet. The shower. The kitchen. He was nowhere to be found. I checked the stairway and the other floors but he was nowhere to be found. The door was still closed and I hadn’t heard it shut so he must still be inside. I crept back up the stairs. Trying to hold my breath as much as I could. I did not want to be detected. Little did I know he was already sneaking up behind me with his knife at the ready. As I reached for the door at the top of the stairs to enter the landing, I jolted around to see him standing there. Without thinking I kicked him in the knee, causing him to tumble down the stairs right to the bottom. The knife had got lodged in his shoulder during the fall. He hit every single step on the way down. I was victorious. I was finally safe. I hobbled downstairs so that I could see him at the bottom. He was gone. He had slipped away. The front door was wide open. He had disappeared off into the night. I’d lost. I sunk to the floor in despair.
I checked my laptop in the morning for the news. Every single clown in the country had vanished at exactly the same time. Fatalities were currently at 324. The police had not caught a single one of them. They all disappeared before the police got there. Nobody knew who they were, where they went, or what exactly they wanted. The clowns now wandered the streets of the country as one of us. The next time we get served in a shop or smile at a passerby they may well be the one that murdered Chloe. Or murdered anyone. How was the country supposed to trust anyone now?
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