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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium
Clowns aren't men in costumes - they're cruel and ageless creatures.

Submitted: May 08, 2017

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Submitted: May 08, 2017





It picked the name itself - Chuckles. I first met Chuckles at a circus. Perhaps ‘met’ isn’t quite the right word - it forced itself into my world like a missile. Chuckles took a particular liking to me, and to this day I can’t say why. I don’t think I haven’t seen the last of Chuckles, Chuckles always comes back, at some time or another. I often wonder what it’s doing whenever it’s not harassing me. Perhaps it has a cast of other victims in its life, and it just bounces from one to another. Maybe there’s a Chuckles support group out there somewhere. Chuckles would love that, yes it would find that hilarious.

‘Hey there, goofy!’ Chuckles yelled.

I was only a little kid, and I was scared enough as it was in this big, active circus with its screaming lights, bright sounds and rabid colours.

Chuckles looked overjoyed to see me, as if it had been waiting for me, or perhaps it knew that it would be haunting me for the rest of my life. I looked up to see if mum was still with me, and she had been a moment ago, but she had wandered off somewhere, leaving me with the clown. Its hair was springy, green and curled like discoloured candy floss, its face was a round, bulbous doughnut with huge, deep blue eyes and juicy red lips that stretched out too far, and when it spoke, it was clear that the lips hadn’t been painted to appear overly enormous, they were overly enormous, like the gargantuan jaws of a grinning shark. Its face was as infinitely white as the void, and its clothes were so inundated with mad, clashing colours that I could almost hear them roaring. The clothes were baggy and perfectly preserved, featuring psychedelic patterns that were hard to look at. Being a kid, I was immediately intimidated and I tried to move away from it.

Chuckles grabbed my arm. ‘Where ya goin’, dumbface?’ it said in an exaggerated South American accent. ‘Don’t you wanna have a chuckle with Chuckles?’ Chuckles grinned, and displayed all of its large, hard teeth, which looked like they could chew metal.

I tried to release my arm, but its grip was iron.

‘Don’t be like that,’ it said. It squeezed a cartoony looking flower on his wacky blazer, and it squired out some foul liquid into my face. Even now its stink and taste lingers.

I cried at that moment, and finally was able to twist my arm out of its grip. Chuckles watched me go.

‘See ya soon, Davey!’ said Chuckles. I remember the chill that ran up my spine, even now knowing that I never revealed my name to it.

Nine years passed.

Halloween. I was on my way to a party, already quite drunk after stealing some of dad’s beers and was walking through the woods. I had taken the route a thousand times and so simply allowed my feet to auto-pilot my way to Jake’s house. Chuckles jumped out from out of the trees. It was positively luminous against the dark backdrop of drooping trees. It still had the same clothes on, impeccably presented and, having revisited its image so frequently in my haunting memories and dreams, I could tell Chuckles hadn’t aged a day.

‘Davey!’ it shouted at me, spreading his arms out as if greeting an old friend.

I couldn’t move.

‘Why, Davey you’re positively sloshed!’ It stumbled around like an exaggerated drunk and mimed bumping into something. It rubbed its head, then winked at me, inviting me in on the joke. It walked towards me, and each step issued a ridiculous squeak. My body still refused to move. It was a very large clown, 6’6 and 200-300 pounds. It bent down and we looked at one another up close, face to face. It never stopped smiling, just studied me, utterly fascinated. ‘You look ludicrous,’ it said. ‘Here – trick or treat!’ It produced a custard pie out of nowhere and smashed it into my face. I stumbled back several steps and when I wiped it off, the clown was no longer there. I looked around, now stone sober, and I saw it hiding in the trees. Chuckles was peeking out from behind one of them and when I clocked it, it raised a finger to its lips and made a shushing gesture, then it ran into the woods, waddling and waving its arms like a penguin. I didn’t feel like going to the party that night.

I knew the creature was real. I had to offer a rushed explanation of Halloween pranksters to my parents to explain why I had custard pie encrusted all over my face and body. They didn’t ask any further questions about it, and I never told anyone else, because who would believe me? Let me tell you, that clown ruined my life. I now knew that anytime, anywhere, the clown could and would return. And why? I don’t know. From then on I began to wonder where it would appear – in college? At work? In my own bedroom in the middle of the night? And this thing had appeared nine years after its introduction, I knew in that moment I would never be free of it.

Eleven years passed.

Things were getting heated in the bedroom between me and the missus. She had woken me up in the middle of the night for a romp, and I gladly concurred. We were both having a good time, but as she was riding me I noticed Chuckles again, in the corner of the room, watching with vested interest. Its mouth was wide open, in total shock, and it looked at me with those huge blue eyes, and it mouthed the word, ‘Oh my, Davey!’ Chuckles covered its mouth with a fat hand and then it stood up and began miming fucking someone. It grabbed some invisible woman and pretended like it was thrusting and pounding and strangling the hell out of her. Needless to say I lost my enthusiasm almost immediately. My wife looked down at me and asked me what was wrong, and then Chuckles drew its arm back and smacked my wife’s ass so hard she crashed to the floor. I switched the light on and Chuckles was gone, and my wife was howling in agony. I looked at the damage and already a furious red and black hand-shaped bruise was forming on her right cheek. She, of course, thought I did it, and my explanation of the phantom clown only saw to our speedy separation.

 Four years passed.

I knew I wasn’t mad, and simply imagining the clown, but I knew it was driving me insane. Maybe, all along, that was its plan – to stalk and ruin those it deems worthy of its attention. I got uncomfortable and irritated whenever someone brought up clowns. They’re so creepy, they would say light-heartedly. These people didn’t even know what a clown was. Clowns weren’t men awkwardly posing in ridiculous costumes - that was nothing more than fancy dress. A clown was an eternal trickster creature that mocked and humiliated its victim, a grotesque and spiteful demon.

Chuckles returned in a dream. I often dreamt of Chuckles, but this Dream-Chuckles was screaming at me, ‘wake up, wake up, wake up, Davey!’

When I awoke, Chuckles’ face was in front of mine and it continued yelling even when I was awake. I took a swing and clonked it on the back of the head. Chuckles didn’t seem to mind. I took a gun out of my drawer, glad to know I finally had an opportunity.

‘Now, hold on there Davey,’ Chuckles said to me, holding its hands out, but still bearing that shark-like grin. ‘Guns are dangerous!’

I pulled the trigger, and the gun blew up in my hand.  My hand was a wreck of blood and bone and I wailed.

Chuckles put one hand on its hip and shook a finger at me. ‘Look what you gone and done, ya big goof!’ It squeaked its way over and put an arm around me. ‘I told you guns was dangerous. Here…’ He took my head, and squeezed a hooter horn in my face – a strangely innocent prank. I jumped back and Chuckles burst into giggles and skipped out the room. It leaned its head back in, just as I was reaching for the phone and said, ‘see ya soon Davey!’

Three years passed.

I’d had it. I didn’t want to keep pretending to be OK any more, I was sick of always making excuses for my weird reactions to things and looking over my shoulder. I found myself at the top of a tall building, my hand a ruined stump and feeling not any woe or regret, but elation, elation that this nightmare would finally be over. I had no last thoughts, I simply let myself fall. I fell for a long time, waiting for the harsh impact of the ground below. What I connected with though was a trampoline, and I bounced harmlessly up and down on its rubbery surface. I climbed off, disoriented, and there it was. Chuckles’ smile was bigger than ever.

‘You silly goose!’ said Chuckles. ‘You fell! Good thing I was here to save you. I’ll always be here to save you, Davey.’

With that, it waddled off again. It’s been six years, and now I sit here, waiting for the next time Chuckles will return, and ponder over what horror it will bring. All I can do now is laugh, laugh at my misfortune, laugh at the absurdity of the situation, laugh and laugh. Chuckles would be proud.




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