By: J.J. Cheesman
I think it is so silly when I hear people say they are afraid of clowns.
You see, I happen to be a clown, and I take my job very seriously. I am a professional through and through, and I find it awfully insulting when people say that clowns are scary. It shouldn’t bother me I suppose. I still get plenty of work no matter what nonsense is thrown around about evil killer clowns. I do children’s birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and I go in to cheer up sick kid’s in the hospital on occasion. I was even once called and asked if I would go to one of the local schools and entertain children there for a little end of the year celebration the grade schoolers were invited to in the gymnasium. It is this particular job that I would like to tell you about.
The call came Monday morning that week and when I answered it was the principal of the school at the other end. The principal was a pleasant chap, by the name of Mr. Lewis. He explained that he would like me to come to the school and set up a booth in the gym. He asked if I could make balloon animals and tell jokes, or even do some face painting that made you look like a tiger or a lizard. I told him that indeed, I did all of those things, and I would be delighted to come to the school. Mr. Lewis then asked for my going rate, which I gave him although it was a little higher due to the cost of the supplies I would need, and he said it wouldn’t be a problem. I wrote down the date and time he gave me and a couple weeks later I found myself in the gymnasium of the school.
I set up my booth early, I am a professional like I said, so for a few hours I stood waiting as other booths of raffle ticket sellers and food venders took there turns setting up. I’d already prepared a great deal of assorted balloon animals as I had anticipated giving out a lot of them because they were always a favorite among children, when a woman approached my booth. “Nice balloons, very lovely work”, She remarked. I jumped just a bit, having been focused on my task. I looked up to see the most gorgeous woman I had ever laid eyes on. She had long fiery red hair that seemed to warm my insides. Her complexion was a fair snow-white, and her emerald-green eyes stared into mine making me blush, although with my makeup on I doubt she noticed. “Oh, thank you!”, I fumbled over those words like an idiot, and what’s more I spoke them much louder than I meant to. The woman laughed, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to startle you”, she said as she offered her right hand to mine, “Kelly Martin, I’m a teacher here”. “Jeff Millis, frightened clown”. I said, and that made her laugh again. Her laugh was music to my ears. “It’s usually clowns that scare other people”, she said through a giggle. I pulled down a giraffe from my wall of balloon animals and handed it to her, “That’s a horrible stereotype”, I said smiling. She returned my smile and took the animal from me. “Giraffes are my favorite, how did you know?” She asked. “I’m a professional ma’am”, I told her, “It’s my job to know these things.” She smiled and said thank you, saying that she had to go check in on the other booths, but that she would be sure to put the balloon in her car for keeping. I told her she was very welcome and said that I hoped to see her around.
Soon after meeting Kelly Martin it was time for all the children to start filing with their parents, going from booth to booth to see what everyone had to offer. I stayed pretty busy that night because as expected, the children almost wanted nothing from me but balloon animals so I ran out pretty quickly. Most of that night for me was spent blowing up balloons and taking requests from children, anything they wanted of course, because as I said I am a professional. At one point I even had to run back out to my van for more supplies. The whole Time I was working in that booth I was keeping a look out for Kelly, but I never saw her. Kids came and went all night, but there was no sign of that red headed angel, which was a shame. When it was time for all the booths to pack up I was giving out my last balloon animal to a little girl in pig tales. I was approached shortly thereafter by Mr. Lewis, who asked if I had seen Mrs. Martin, and I told him I hadn’t. He said that she was supposed to be chaperoning that night with him but he couldn’t find her anywhere even though her car was still in the parking lot. I told him I’d keep an eye out for her, he thanked me and walked off. I spent the entire drive home in my van thinking about that woman. I parked my van outside in my driveway and turned the ignition off. I stood up and walked to the back of the vehicle where I kept most of my supplies and knelt down to pull up the tarp I had covering all of my things. Mrs. Martin lay there, her wrists and legs were bound by zip ties. She looked up at me with her pleading emerald-green eyes and I couldn’t help but smile. The sleeping gas I had put in the giraffe must have worn off some time ago, but I knew she wouldn’t be fully awake until at least we arrived at my home. Like I said, I am a professional. I was delighted to find that I didn’t poke too small of a hole in it, or enough of the gas wouldn’t have come out for her lungs to inhale when she went out to smoke in her car as I knew she would. Oh how she tried to scream through her gag when she saw the pictures plastered all over the walls and roof of my van. Pictures of her and her husband that I had been taking for several months now from the comfort of my own home right next door. “You and I are going to have such a wonderful time tonight”, I tell her, pulling a small chisel and placing the point on her knee cap and reaching for my hammer.
MY GOD, how she screamed, it became such an issue I had to move to her tongue next out of fear that someone might hear us. I know what you are thinking dear friends, don’t worry. I removed all of my makeup before leaving the school, because, as I have said before.
No one should be afraid of clowns.