Read The Guild of Fallen Clowns Online

Authors: Francis Xavier

Tags: #thriller, #horror, #ghosts, #spirits, #humor, #carnival, #clowns, #creepy horror scary magical thriller chills spooky ghosts, #humor horror, #love murder mystery novels

The Guild of Fallen Clowns

BOOK: The Guild of Fallen Clowns
ads

 

The Guild of Fallen
Clowns

Francis Xavier

Copyright © 2011 Francis
Xavier

Smashwords
Edition

These stories are works of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either
products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead,
is entirely coincidental.

All rights
reserved.

No part of this publication
can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from
Francis Xavier.

To: Kathy

Subject: Book
Dedication

I know you probably
shouldn’t see this before the book comes out, but you know me. I’m
too impulsive and impatient to keep a secret. What do you
think?

Dedication

I dedicate this book to my
first wife, Kathy. Without her support and belief in my ability to
pull it off, I never would have started writing this story. Even in
the darkest of times, she never gave up on me. She truly deserves
this dedication because
The Guild of
Fallen Clowns
wouldn’t exist without her
love. The Guild would still be floating around with dozens of other
crazy ideas in my ADD-afflicted brain.

So, for anyone who ends up
having nightmares or creepy clown visitations in your dreams after
reading this book, don’t blame me. It’s all Kathy’s fault. She’s
responsible for unleashing Peepers and the guild of creepy clowns
into our world. If it weren’t for her loving support, I’d still be
the only person haunted by these spirits, and all of you would be
sleeping much better. Blame Kathy.

I love you, baby! Thanks
for not trading me in (yet) for husband number two.

Kathy’s reply:

What does husband number
two look like?

Chapter 1

 

The sad clown’s face wilted as his
predicament became most dire. The imposing figure glaring down at
him was that of Peepers— the dark clown—casually swinging his black
sword from hand to hand, savoring the moment as he contemplated the
fate of his wounded foe.

Blood oozed from the open gash across
Boogy’s thigh, dripping to the dirt floor of the big top. This once
majestic leader found his only remaining support to be that of the
center pole. Dazed and helpless, Boogy’s eyes rose to meet those of
the dark clown. Peeper’s eyes widened; the sides of his cracked red
lips tipped upward against the anemic backdrop of his face. His
grin parted to a full-blown smile, exposing long, sharpened teeth.
Boogy’s fear appeared to feed Peeper’s perverse hunger. It was much
more than a power grab for this twisted challenger. His satiation
came from drinking up every last expression of fright in the faces
of his hopeless victims.

In an attempt to extract maximum terror from
his prey, Peepers made several lunges and half swings of his sword,
stopping short of killing the sad clown.

The torment became too much for Boogy. He
barked a final plea. “Get it over with already. Kill me, you
bastard!”

Sadistic bliss washed over Peepers’ face.
Towering at close to seven feet with his tattered top hat, the
lanky frame of the creepy clown folded at the waist toward Boogy.
Inches from his face, Peepers glared into Boogy’s eyes. His head
tilted back and forth as he examined the source of the contentious
command.

Boogy’s eyes closed. “Stop playing games and
show me what you’re here for!”

The smug grin returned to Peepers’ monstrous
face. “Peepers here to help you,” he whispered in a guttural
voice.

“Funny way of showing it,” Boogy said with
his eyes still shut. “Just do it and stop toying with me.”

“Help yes. Peepers free Boogy.”

Boogy’s eyes opened to a squint. “After all
this you’re going to let me go? I don’t understand.”

“Boogy’s spirit strong. Peepers free Boogy.
Grow strong together.”

Boogy’s eyes opened. “You’ll spare me if I
join you? No freaking way, you sick freak! Kill me now!”

Still mere inches from Boogy’s piercing
scowl, Peepers cracked a smile before returning his body upright.
Breaking eye contact with his captive, he looked down at his hands
gripping his broadsword, while its tip rocked in the dirt. He
returned his focus on the sad clown and appeared pleased with
Boogy’s decision. He hoisted the heavy sword above his head.
Boogy’s eyes shut as he braced himself for what was to come.

“Strong we both shall be,” Peepers said.
Without hesitation, Peepers drove the sword with all his might
through Boogy. His body offered little resistance as the lifeless
halves fell in opposite directions.

 

YOU LOSE!

Please try your luck again in:

CLOWN WORLD.

 

*****

 

Right as the words flashed across Alan’s
computer screen, the phone on the table beside him rang, snapping
him out of his virtual mindset. “Now what am I supposed to do?” he
muttered to himself as he reached to answer the phone.

“Hello.”

“Hey, Boogy, this is Cracky down at the
carnival.”

“Oh, hi, Cracky, what’s up?”

“We was wondering if you might come out a
day early. It’s lookin’ like tomorrow’s not gonna be a washout
after all. And wid it being da first day, we think it might get a
little crowded down here.”

“Uh, yeah, sure,” Boogy—whose real name was
Alan—said as he flipped his laptop closed and stood from the couch.
“What time do you want me?”

“Well, gates open at ten, so I was thinkin’
maybe a half hour early so I can give you da nickel tour before
things get started.”

Alan paused for a second. “Yeah, yeah, that
should work— but my other job starts at four, so I’ll have to leave
by three-thirty.”

“Hey, no problem, Boogy. I’m just glad you
can come out on such short notice and all. Hey, pal, we’ll see you
in the AM then.” Cracky hung up, avoiding the customary
good-bye.

Alan’s body ached after his sedentary
four-hour Clown World marathon. He stretched his stiffened muscles
and returned the handset to its cradle. As he glanced back at the
laptop resting beside a well-worn crater in the frayed, plaid
couch, his mind returned to the game, in which moments earlier he
was viewed as royalty. To him, other characters were real people
just like him, living out their fantasies in front of similar
computer screens around the world. His Boogy avatar wasn’t entirely
fictional. He was a very real part of Alan’s existence. Now, thanks
to this Peepers character, Alan was forced to mourn the death of
his own virtual life.

In his small apartment, it was a short walk
from the couch/bed to the walk-in closet beside the bathroom. In
typical bachelor fashion, Alan had little use for the hanging rods
spanning three of the closet walls. Five identical pullover shirts
were the only items taking up a small piece of real estate on one
of the rods. The floor, however, had a couple of suitcases and
stacked piles of loosely folded clothes beside an overflowing
laundry basket. It looked as if someone was living in a temporary
situation until the furniture arrived. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
These stacks, and unused rod space, had changed little during the
twelve years Alan called the studio apartment home.

He removed one of the green shirts from a
hanger and placed it on the counter beside the sink. Next, he
peeled off his faded, semi-transparent Hootie & the Blowfish
T-shirt, listing tour dates from 1995, and tossed it toward the
back wall of the closet, where it landed on top of the dirty
clothes pile and continued to tumble to the floor before resting on
overflows to the left side of the basket. His routine was down, and
within a couple of minutes he emerged from the bathroom wearing his
Vince’s Pizza shirt.

Without looking, he grabbed his keys from a
wall hook opposite the front door and peered through the peephole.
His was the rear apartment on the second floor of the two-story
building. An open-air stairwell separated two units on each
side.

All was clear, so he stepped outside,
walking with the same stealth that a mother moves around a houseful
of napping babies. As he approached the bottom of the stairs, the
air began thumping from the sudden introduction of obnoxiously loud
music coming from one of the apartments. He wasn’t able to
distinguish which apartment, but due to the growing intensity and
obvious lack of consideration for other tenants in the condensed
complex, he knew the jarring noise could only come from one place,
Lyle’s apartment.

Lyle lived across the hall, in the front of
the building. Alan continued toward the row of parked cars lined up
in front of the building. As he moved from the stairwell, the noise
grew louder. He glanced up, confirming his suspicion. It
was
Lyle playing the music. He was entertaining three friends on his
balcony, with his stereo positioned so that it was pressed against
the rails, facing out as they talked and drank beer.

Alan continued toward his car, which was
parked directly below Lyle’s apartment. The instant Lyle noticed
him, the conversation stopped. Lyle stood and shouted out to his
buddies, “Hey, guys, guys, watch this.”

Alan purposely avoided looking up at them.
It didn’t take long for him to discover what Lyle was alerting his
friends to. Lyle’s car was parked less than a foot from the driver
side of his own. Alan stopped to assess the situation as Lyle and
his goons busted out in mocking laughter. Alan tried his best to
ignore them.

Still laughing, Lyle shouted, “Hey, BOOGER!
Looks like you have a little problem there.” He snickered and
added, “You better not touch my car, Booger. If you do, I’ll come
down there and beat the snot out of you.” His pun was quickly
acknowledged with a new round of howling laughter from the audience
on the balcony.

Alan sighed and continued on to the
passenger side of his car. His decision to find the least
confrontational solution to the problem at hand fed the amusement
of his audience. He aimed his keys toward the door and pressed the
“unlock” button on his remote. Clicking sounds came from inside the
car. However, the passenger door of his old economy car remained
locked. The roaring gallery found pleasure in Alan’s comical
efforts to flee their taunting.

Still avoiding eye contact, Alan unlocked
the door with his key. He climbed in and started to work his way
over the center column. The space was tight and difficult to
maneuver. Just as he twisted his body over the shifter, his
remote’s panic button accidentally activated, filling the air with
the annoyingly loud, rhythmic honking of the car’s horn. This,
combined with Lyle’s radio blasting and the chuckleheads’
hysterical laughing at Alan’s awkward dance into the driver’s seat,
was a sight to behold. As a matter of fact, the commotion drew the
attention of at least a half dozen onlooking residents of the
Meadowbrook apartment complex.

Alan deactivated the panic button and
started the car without hesitation. Before he could shift to
reverse, a half-empty can crashed against his windshield. Beer
burst out, temporarily obstructing his view with foam. After a few
swipes from the wipers, Alan could see Lyle looking down from his
balcony, motioning Alan to roll down his window. He cracked it open
enough to hear Lyle’s last bit of advice.

“If you scratch my car, you’re a dead man.
You best be careful, Booger!”

Through clenched teeth and still lips, Alan
rolled up the window and mumbled, “Yeah, right. Keep picking on
Alan, why don’t you? You know I won’t fight back.” He cautiously
backed his car out and drove away. In his rearview mirror, he saw
Lyle and his friends still celebrating at his expense and public
humiliation.

Alan continued to let out his pent-up
aggression. “Go on, laugh at me as I drive away in fear from you.
Don’t you look tough, Lyle? I’m sure your friends think you’re some
sort of big tough-ass punk for picking on someone bigger than
yourself. That’s right, I know that I’m bigger than you. And if you
ever push me too far, well, heaven help us both, because I don’t
know what I’m capable of. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t fight
back, Lyle. Maybe I’m not the wimp you think I am. Maybe the only
thing I’m really afraid of is going to jail for killing your ass.
Yeah, so you better back off, or things might get ugly. You really
don’t want to see what might happen if you push Boogy too far. Did
you hear that, Lyle? It’s Boogy, not Booger. Boogy!”

 

*****

 

Alan’s car disappeared from the complex as
onlookers returned to their lives. One of the witnesses to the
spectacle was an elderly man walking his dog. He glared up at the
gang. Lyle noticed the look. He puffed out his chest and shouted,
“What are you looking at, old man?”

ADS
15.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
READ BOOK DOWNLOAD BOOK

Other books

Kathleen's Story by Lurlene McDaniel
The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Albanese
Trapped by S. A. Bodeen
Exposed by Jessica Love
The Happiest Season by Rosemarie Naramore
The Alien Artifact 7 by V Bertolaccini
Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak