THE WEDDING PRESENT

Photo: pro.com

BY: Cassie Parker

Edina, Missouri. A quaint little town where people gossip about nothing and everything. Where trees are not sparse nor are hypocrites. Where guns are loved and satanists are not. Where I, Clarissa Childress, live.
Let me start off by telling you that I am your ordinary twenty-something girl. I like to get drunk and fuck my fiance. I like to make money and spend it, preferably on clothes or Disney merchandise. I love to piss of my father and to drive around in my noisy car. Average. I fit in here, mostly because I like to gossip and don’t worship the devil.
Right now, I am lying in bed trying to not to remember the horror story that has became my life. Who would have thought? Me. The average and least original person here.
i pull my pink comforter over my head trying to block out the noise of the howling wind. I have my dull brown hair pulled into a messy bun because it smells like cigarette smoke and something I can’t quite pinpoint. That may because I haven’t showered in a week.  Not since, he spoke.
I shudder.
A Facebook share. Thanks Cass. That’s all I wanted my maid of honor to do…set a fucking killer clown on the loose to kill me. Who wouldn’t want that as a wedding present?!
First I come home from a twelve hour shift to a broken lock and a trashed house. I thought is was a burglar. Ha! That would have been pleasent. I walked through the shards of broken wood splinters and and piles of shredded paper about ready to piss myself from fear. I made it all the way to the back of the house without hearing or seeing anything besides disaster. How gullible of me.
I pull the blanket tighter around my head. A small branch is now slamming against my window.
I walked into my old bedroom. It was spotless, the only room that doesn’t have an inch of dirt in it. I nearly screamed right then and there. It was covered in junk from my teen and child years. Bratz to posters all piled up. There were even mouse droppings. What kind of burglar would clean all that up? None. No kind of burglar would do that.
I walked into the room, now shaking. My blue uniform was wrinkled and smelled like alcohol and old people which made my stomach churn, so what I wanted to be a relaxing night was not so. Not at all.
Anyway, I found that the once broken closet doors, doors that hung off the hinges, were fixed and looking brand new. The blinds were even dusted! With that I darted out of the room and straight back into the hall. My foot slammed into a broken beer bottle, a particularly sharp piece piercing through the sole of my tennis shoe. It buried itself into the heel of my foot.
Blood came pouring out around it, some even dripping out of the tiny slices of rubber and down the broken root beer colored glass. I screeched in pain, but quickly covered my mouth in hopes that nobody heard me. Somebody did though.
Flash, my boxer, began to bark. I had forgotten all about him with all the craziness. I looked towards the noise, but I couldn’t yet move. Glass was stuck in my foot, tears were steaming down my tanned cheeks, and my eyes were blurry. So, with a rare show of courage, I yanked out the piece of glass. I ended up peeing myself. Yeah. Who doesn’t love that warm feeling? I threw the blood covered glass towards the bathroom right beside me which had toilet paper strewn about and porcelain chunks which once made our toilet. Blood came rushing out after that.
My eyes widened at that amount of blood. I hate blood, you see. I don’t remember what happened next, not much anyway. I just remember everything going black, all the mess and fear and pain, and then a loud thump I didn’t really feel. Next thing I knew, I was being woken up. I wish I could have stayed knocked out.
I shiver as a whisp of cold air forces its way past my blanket barrier and brushes my skin. I don’t dare look out.
When I opened my blue eyes, he was standing above me. I reared back without a second to process. It was a clown, a killer clown. Now that may not seem original, but I swear, clowns are my worst nightmare and this thing was something I had never imagined. It’s face was painted over with white, it’s lips painted on red, his eyes painted purple in a panda-like shape, and his hair a curly red mass. That I could have dreamed or imagined, but the rest I couldn’t have. It’s how I knew I wasn’t sleeping.
His facial skin was painted. That’s a more accurate description. His fucking painted white skin was hanging off of his right cheek! I could see  his fucking teeth through it. And, those teeth weren’t human teeth, they were pointed and obviously stained with blood. That painted cheek skin was flapping against his neck, and he didn’t seem to notice.His right eyeball was hanging out nearly reaching his teeth by some sort of muscle thread thing. That muscle thing was hanging out of a black nothingness of a hole surrounded by purple paint. And the right side of his lips were shredded. They literally looked like someone threw them into a paper shredder and sewed them back to his face. And, to make it even worse, the left side of his poofed hair was covered in pieces of skin and bone. However, the left side of his face looked like it normally would, cheek in place, black eye sat properly, and lips smooth.  His hair was even normal clown hair.
 At that moment, I was glad I had already pissed myself because with that thing in front of me, staring down at me with a wretched half smile upon its lips, there was no way I wasn’t going to be a mess. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for all the world to here. I couldn’t stop, especially as I looked at his blood covered clown clothes and bone shoes that were way too big.
Then, just like that, he disappeared and my mother was running to my rescue. When I finally stopped screaming and looked around, everything was back to how it was including my foot. I tried telling her what I saw, but she thought it was exhaustion. I wish it were.
The room is getting colder, and I am beginning to shiver. My blanket is wrapped around me as tightly as possible, my body in the fetal position, and my fear causing tears to stream down my face.
The next time was even less desirable. It was just a week later. Nightmares had been haunting me, my eyes were swollen from the lack of sleep. I felt crazy. At that point it seemed impossible that something like that could even exist. It was something from the horror movies. And, even though I felt crazy I stuck to my routine. I went to work, came home, took care of the dog (who was apparently stuck in out second, smaller bathroom), and went to bed. Feeling crazy wasn’t pleasant, so I pretended otherwise.
When I got home from work, I took off my shoes, picked up the mess Flash made while I was at work, and then headed off to shower. I stripped out of my smelly scrubs, dropping them onto the cold tile floor and started the hot water. I didn’t like being in the bathroom alone, so I called Flash in. He came slowly, but having gotten used to my crazy state, was used to it and laid down by the toilet. I was washing off all the grime from the nursing home where I work as a CNA when the lights started flickering.
My eyes darted around the now eerie shower. The porcelain white walls that are stained brown seemed like they were closing in on me. The dull, yellow shower curtain was brushing against my calves sending spikes of terror through my spine.  Even the water began to look scary to me. And, just like that the lights flickered out.
Mercifully, I held in my scream and turned to shut off the water. As my hand reached out for the knob to turn the water off, the steady stream of hot water turns into a tsunami of rust colored blood. The ear splitting scream that split the air shocked me with its power. As the copper and rotting smell of blood hit my body and covered me in it’s horror I continue to scream, paralyzed.
The curtain was ripped open, my body instinctively throwing itself back as far as possible, and my screams had died away. I stared at him, it with doe eyes filled of terror. He bent over, his back arching into an inhuman shape, only to return back to normal when he stood back up, his form towering over my own. My body shook. Goosebumps covered every millimeter of skin on my body. I couldn’t even bring myself to scream again. That is, until I realized that he had a body in his arms.
He lurched his arms forward seeming not to be bothered by the blood or by my screaming or by the weight of a sixty pound dead dog. Flash’s body hit the stained porcelain floor of the shower, his stomach ripped open and his guts resting on my feet. I stared down at him, at his lifeless eyes for a moment before tripping over my own feet and his guts to get away. But, there was nowhere to run. I was trapped. He knew it too. A smile broke open his face, his hanging cheek vibrating slightly at the movement, his eyeball swung to the left for a mere second, and his shredded lips opened up and bled black blood. I had never know this kind of terror. My dog was dead and I was to be next.
But, the lights came on.
This time nothing looked normal.
I was covered in rust colored blood smelling like sewage. The water was still coming out as blood. My dog was still dead, his eyes haunting me. But, he was gone. This time I knew I wasn’t crazy, but I couldn’t let people think that I was. I had to clean up the mess. If they saw me covered in blood, they would have thought I had killed my dog and was a danger to society.
I hurriedly shut off the shower and stepped out of the tub, dripping blood along the way. I bent over and picked up Flash’s body, barely able to hold his weight, and carried him outside into the darkness. Naked and cold, I set him next to the back door, hooked him to his chain, and ran back indoors. I let mom find him that night, let her believe that someone killed him outside. Her screams left me crying in my bedroom that night. But, I will never tell her that the shower and I had been covered in blood from some unknown place and that our dog was killed by the thing we thought was a hallucination.
My breath is coming out in short gasps. I can feel my body temperature dropping now. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. And, I slip back to the latest visit, the one that told me that I soon my time was up.
Another week passed. My mom had started noticing that something was wrong. She thought it was Flash, so I said that it was. It wasn’t particularly a lie, not like the one I led her to believe at least. And, I knew that that day would be the day I would have another visit. Last time it was a week, why wouldn’t it be the same this time? So, I stayed at home claiming sickness.
That day the sun was shining bright and the world knew nothing of the killer clown. I gathered all of our sharpest knives from the kitchen, set small traps for him, and even set up a video camera that I borrowed from Cass. I was prepared this time.
That night I hid in my closet waiting for him to appear, knives stashed all around my bedroom to attack him with. I was shaking again, but this time it wasn’t only fear coring through my veins. It was adrenaline.
I don’t know how much time passed before I felt his breath on my shoulders, but when I did, I fought the urge to scream. To my credit, I fought it and won. I was holding a meat cleaver, and before he could react, brought it down onto the shoulder of his clown suit. I could feel his skin being sliced open and the cleave stick to his bone. When I looked into his eye however, there was no trace of pain or even anger. My grip on the black handle became feeble and hurried as I try to pull if from his shoulder, but soon I tear my hand away and push away from him and out of the closet.
I stumbled over my own feet and landed hard, my teeth chattered with the force. I crawled backwards using my hands and headed towards my bed. Underneath it, I had another knife. I prayed that it would do some good, but in my hearts of hearts I knew that it wouldn’t. As I gripped for the knife behind me, He came walking out of the closet slowly. He didn’t even pull the cleaver from his bone.
His one good eye was on me, emotionless. Finally I gripped the knife and held it out to him. My hands shake as I point it at him. “St-stay away from me.” I stuttered.
He kept walking towards me, his bone shoes dragging across the carper. They made no noise which was almost as scary as the lightning outside my window flashing against the flapping cheek skin. Then, the power goes out. The whirring of the heater quit. The rumble of the washing machine quieted. The lights vanished. I was in a noiseless house with my worst nightmare in front of me, only a silhouette in the darkness until a flash of lightning brought him into focus. 
I slowly stood, but I wasn’t brave enough to run at him. He was getting closer and closer. And, once he was in front of me, he slowly reached his hand up to the cleaver. He harshly tore it from his shoulder and dropped it to the ground without a care. Black blood oozed from the blade. He picked up his cheek flap and held over his teeth. His hand stayed there, covered in some goo I can’t describe.
When he spoke, his voice was void of emotion and … everything. It was more of a croak than anything. “Death be yours. Visit Four.”
And like that he was gone and I was crying.
Now, now I am waiting on Visit Four. I am waiting on my death.  The room is beyond freezing now, the blanket barrier doing nothing to protect me. I know tonight is the night. I just wish my mother were not home to hear my screams. My breath comes out in short gasps.
I have no defense. I have no idea what could save me, if anything.
Then, I feel it. The brush of his deadly warmth beside me.

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