The Slightest PeekShe had left her father standing by the “Bearded Woman” and the “Snake Boy.” Her curiosity had gotten the better of her, the sign read, “Clowns and Magic Smiles!”. She stared at the curtain behind the caged display, it was red and yellow with black polka dots. What’s on the other side of that darn curtain she thought impatiently.
The seams of the closed curtain parted just a bit revealing a faint blue light. She moved to the center of the glass and the edge of the trembling curtain. Cupping her hands beside her face and against the window the little girl stared fervently into the recess and the blue light.
The room was small, a bed in the center and a chair with a mirror in front of it lay against the far side of the room. There was movement from the corner of the room, just to the left. The tinkling of carnival music filled the air around her and she looked eagerly toward the shifting shadows. Arrangements of roses and daisies sat on the dressing table and there was a red wig balanced on a slim gold mount. A figure paused near the hem of the curtain for a moment then the face. The little girl let out a blood curdling scream and stepped backward on shaky legs nearly peeing herself.
The face was shiny and round like a balloon, white grease paint bordered the full round face of the clown. His eyes, like fire, red and neon, glowing like bright red rubies and his nose was long like a carrot drooping below his chin, but the worst was his smile. It was huge and ominous, the teeth were jagged points and the inside of his mouth shown a gray sickly pallor. He smiled and it was then that she realized the grease paint was the actual color of his skin, white chapped and old like a full moon.
She stood there in shock staring at the clown, he stuck his tongue out at her and two pointed coils unraveled from between his lips. She screamed again and he laughed his laughter sounding like a thousand maniacal chuckles. He grinned again and pointed a long gnarled finger at her. The air was charged with an electric current and the smell of cinnamon filled her nose with the desires of an ancient monster, she shivered and said, “Noooooooooooooo!” through clenched teeth. He quit grinning then and a look of hatred filled his face. “Noooooooooooooo!” she said again as he slammed his head against the glass. She stepped back again as the glass cracked and a smear of blood appeared where his forehead had hit the glass. She turned from him an instant later looking for her father at the Snake Boys cage. He screamed behind her and she ran as fast as her legs would carry her directly into her fathers arms.
They walked away from the clown hand in hand. “Here you go honey.” her father said as he handed her a puff of cotton candy.
“Thanks Daddy.” she grinned the clown forgotten and the nightmare behind her.