Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fangoria magazine and clown dolls

       I was but a wee lad at the time of this story, about seven or eight years old. My family loved scary movies and I was sometimes allowed to watch them with my older sisters. I had recently watched the movie Poltergeist that came out on the early eighties and came to the conclusion that I was deathly afraid of clowns. Do you remember the clown of which I speak? The one in the boys bedroom that hopped down from the chair and scurried under his bed. Anyway, the clown tried to strangle the boy with its red and white stripped arms... freaked me the fuck out. Well, my sister, whom I affectionately called Ee-ka, was totally into scary stuff and loved to scare the bejeesus out of me and my younger brother almost an a daily basis. She had acquired from somewhere, a clown puppet that bore a striking resemblance to the clown in the movie.
    Normally, my sister would wait for my brother and me in our room underneath our bunk bed. My younger brother and I would finish brushing our teeth and saunter down the hallway to our room. We took turns turning off the bedroom light, one day, I would wait for him to get safely into the bottom bunk before turning the light off and running to jump onto the ladder to the top bunk. It was my turn this particular night. I don't know if it was the fact that both my brother and I suffered from short term memory loss or the fact that we were just, as my dad often said, brain damaged, but we never once checked under the bed for my sister. Just after I turned the light off and closed the bedroom door, I heard a shuffle from under the bed.
    I immediately froze, "Todd, did you do that?"
    "No." he said from underneath his blanket.
    Not wanting to turn the light back on for fear of seeing what had caused the noise, I leaped the three or so feet from the door to the ladder and slammed my shin on one of the rungs. Fearing for my life, I ignored the pain and scrambled up the rest of the way and barricaded myself under my blankets. Silence ensued for the next few moments only to be broken my the loud beating of my scared little heart. Then, I heard it... it was just a whisper barely audible over my panicked breathing.
    I started to recite, "Hail Mary, full of grace... crap, I forgot what comes next. Hail Mary full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou..."
    "Dennissss...Dennissss," now the whisper sounded more like a ghostly moan.
   I tried to recite the prayer louder and could hear my younger brother crying as quietly as he could. The whisper had gotten louder with each repetition and I could sense that it was coming, not from under the bed anymore, but from right next to my covered head. Now, this may seem like a dick thing to do, but I stopped praying and remained quiet in hopes that whatever was calling my name would ignore me and focus its attention of my quietly sobbing little brother.
    No luck, the voice got louder, "Dennissss...Dennissss!"
    I figured that if I was gonna die this night, that I might as well satisfy my curiosity and decided to take a peek from beneath my blankets. Bad move...really bad move. My room was dark, but the venetian blinds let in a small amount of moonlight, just enough for me to see that God-damned clown with its puppet mouth moving in sync while it called out my name. I tried to scream. My mouth was open, but only a strangled hiss was coming out, that is, until I inhaled and tried to scream again. This time, I sounded like the scream-queens from the movies that I had watched in the past. It was epic.
    My scream had scared the puppet and my sister to scream in response and my brother had decided to scream out as well. The clown disappeared and there was a scrambling towards the bedroom door by my sister. But before she could get to the door, it swung open into the room and she ran square into the edge and crumpled to the floor. My dad had been in the living room watching the boob-tube and ran down the hallway to see what the matter was. As the light from the hallway flooded into my bedroom, I looked towards my door to see my dad standing there, doorknob in hand, looking perplexed. He told me and my brother to calm down and go back to sleep and proceeded to pick my unconscious sister, who had released the damned clown puppet. As my dad turned to leave, I noticed that he was shutting the door with the clown still in my room.
    "Dad! don't leave the clown in here! Please!" I said through bouts of heaving sobs. He stopped, turned around and gave me a blank stare. He must have seen the absolute terror in my eyes because he sighed and stooped to pick up the clown and then shut my door.
     I didn't see that effing clown after that, I guess my dad got rid of it in order to be able to watch T.V. in peace. My sister got yelled at when she finally woke up the next morning and was grounded for a week and told to stay out of our room. The only plus to the story was that my sister had a huge black, blue, and purple goose-egg on her forehead for weeks and was mortified when she had to go to school.

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