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The immense steel door groaned shut behind me. I heard the latch tick from the other side. I panic. My hands sweat. The handcuffs cut into my flesh. I watched the fresh blood drip down my arm. I looked around. It is no larger than a bathroom, and it is completely bare, except for an exposed flickering light bulb that casts eerie shadows of myself against the walls. They’re made of crumbly cement with dull red spots all over. I silently prayed for it to have just been a bad paint job. I had to get out.

I threw myself at the door, trying to desperately get out, go home. All I could think is how worried my mom must be. I hurled myself against the door for a second time and stumble back. I fell into a heap on the ground and sobbed, loathing whoever took me. Who ripped me from the life I loved. After a while, I stop. I was simply out of tears to cry. My eyes were swollen and raw, so I couldn't see great. But I was able to hear the door begin to open.

I sat up abruptly and eased up against the opposite side of the room. I would have hid behind anything, even in just a shadow, but there was nothing to conceal myself with. I tried to push my matted hair out of my face to see who was about to enter. A red shoe on a foot about twice my size, stepped in. It reminded me somewhat of a clown. They cast a long shadow. I tried to back up farther, but hit the wall. As my kidnapper closes the door, I try to hold in my laughter.

Had they really sent in a clown? And to do what? It stepped closer and my heart rate slowed. I stood up and was face to face with the clown. His breath was hot and stale in my face, the makeup smeared on eyes; giving him a menacing look. His lips curl into a smirk, eyes narrowed at me.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I said as strongly as I could, “What do you want?”

He took a step closer.

“I said what do you want!” I yelled this now to cover the shaking of my voice.

“Not much” he replied. His voice was raspy and he smiled wider, revealing a set of rotting teeth. “I have a job, and I’m here to do it, so please stand still.”

I tried to process his words, but couldn't’t. Why a clown? What was his job? He reached into his pocket and stepped closer. Now I understood.

I looked back at him, and he lunged at me. I tried to move away, but he grabbed my leg and I tumbled onto the floor and landed hard on my knee; my leg still in his tight grasp. My knee throbbed as I took another look at him.

His face was pale, almost transparent. Greasy blue hair was plastered to his face with sweat. His eyes held no irises, just eerie, black pools. The red of his lips had seemed to be coming from within his mouth. He started to drag me towards him, and I kicked my feet frantically. Suddenly, I hit something and was able to crawl out of his grasps. He clenched his nose tight, and I saw blood drip from his fist. Now he’d have a big red nose, I thought silently to myself.

He got up from the ground, I could almost see venom in his eyes. Pure hate. And I had nowhere to go.

I tried to limp across the room but he was too fast. He ran up to me and threw me to the ground like it was nothing. He was holding my hands down, but I could still move my head. I turned over and bit his arm. He yelped, but didn’t let go. Instead, he put his hand up against my throat.

I gagged, trying to scream, but couldn’t make a sound. Everything was slow and my movements were shaky. My body seemed to weigh a ton. I tried to inhale, but no air could come in. I felt hot as black dots swam across my vision. My head was pounding as I sunk into the ground, deeper and deeper into this nightmare. It was closing in around me as I said Good-bye to life itself. But then it all stopped. I rose up again. I breathed in deep, my lungs hunger for air was met. Still,I stayed down, eyes closed. Waiting for the clown to grab me again. My knee was in agony; my neck felt no better.

That’s when I heard strange, animal like sounds: angry grunts and screams, yelling at something, someone. It sounded like a conversation between two people as the voice tones changed back and forth, but who else was there? I opened my eyes and steadily brought my head up.

The clown was screaming at himself, pulling at his own hair, ripping out strands. A hand reached towards me, but he was grabbing it, pulling it back to himself. He pounded his head against the wall, when his mouth opened wide and an evil cackle erupted from deep within. His dark eyes were locked on me, in an unnerving stare as he dropped to his kneels. Blood dribbled from within his mouth as his whole self began a series of rapid convulsions. I was frozen. Then...

“What?!?” That was Tommy, never waiting for his turn to speak.

“Then, I woke up.” I replied. “And I haven’t gone to a circus since.”





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