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The school bus came to a screeching halt and the line of impatient drivers who followed honked their horns. Carly Hurlman stepped off. Her long brown hair was down as to hide her face from her fellow classmates. Seventeen years old and still riding the bus, she thought. She wore an Aeropastle top. It was sequined and caught the sunlight with every step she took. She was relatively fashionable and good looking for that matter. Her bright emerald green eyes could mesmerize anyone. She continued up the sidewalk and into her home. The house was a beautiful, white, two-story Victorian. It was always well kept and the lawn was always mowed. Flowers lined the walkway to the porch.
Once inside, Carly removed her shoes. Her parents were very tidy people. If they ever found out she walked on the wood floor with her dirty Nikes she would be lucky to see the light of day!
“Mom, Dad, I’m home…” she shouted. There was no response. It didn’t bother her. It was normal for them not to even speak until dinner.
Straight ahead of her was the staircase. She went up and entered her bedroom, closing the door firmly. It had a tendency of not latching closed and slowly opening right back up. She set her book bag down and pulled out her Advanced Chemistry workbook. She laid on her bed and started to work. Number one… two… three… four. The rest of the questions came in sequence. Upon arriving question 24, the final question, she fell asleep. It was unusual for her to sleep during the day. However, some bad dreams had put her behind on sleep. The weirdest part was that every dream was the same. It was ever since her creative writing class did reports on myths and legends that these dreams started to occur.
It went like this: she stood alone at the end of 32nd Boulevard, right in front of the abandoned of University of Laughs.
The bus passed it every day and it was always in her head for some reason. It was an old school that trained clowns to perform. It wasn’t very big and never had a large enrollment number, so the rumor goes. It is said that a particularly talented clown named Chuckles took the lives of twenty-two students in the building! He would ask them to watch his new routine in room 108 (his study room). Once they were there, he would have them turn around and then put a plastic bag over their heads. He’d roll them over to look deep into their eyes as he tightened his grip. The whole while, he would chuckle. It wasn’t a laugh… just… a light, deep chuckle.
Carly, would enter the building and walk straight over to room 108. She would walk into the room and go over the one-person stage. There laid a red nose. There would be a noise, but she would continue up to the nose. She extended her hand and just before it came upon the nose, a bag would come over her head. Now on the ground, she became short of breath and began to be rolled over. She would hear that distinct chuckle, and wake up. Her heart was racing and in a cold sweat. She struggled to catch her breath and come to her senses. It felt so real.
“Carly,” a voice yelled from the bottom of the stairs. “It’s time for dinner”.
She came down the stairs and entered the dining room. There was a large wooden table. It had an exquisite design, hand-carved, in the side and legs.
“How was your day?” Her mother asked with a more sensitive voice than average.
“Not bad,” she answered. “I got an A- on my anatomy test. But I…”. She paused for a brief moment. She knew how upset her parents got when she mentioned anything out of the ordinary.
“What is it?” her mother pried.
“I had that dream again. But this time… I seriously couldn’t breathe!”
“Carly, don’t you start with this garbage again! You know you sound crazy? Are you a loony?” She asked.
“NO! I am telling the truth.” Carly answered. A few tears began to come down her eyes. She asked to be excused. When her mother gave her approval, she went back into her room. Her book still sat on her bed. She threw it to the ground. Laying down on her bed, she began to cry. She cried for a long while. My mom just doesn’t understand, she thought to herself. She got up from her bed and looked into the mirror to fix her eyeliner that was running down her cheeks. Something caught her eye. She pulled the neck of her shirt down, and there on her neck was a red line. It went straight across almost as if… no. It couldn’t be, she thought. There is just no way. She laid back in bed, but she couldn’t sleep. How did that line get there? Was he real? Maybe she was a “loony”. There was only one way to find out. “I am going to go there tomorrow night after mom falls asleep.” she whispered with assertiveness as to assure herself it needed to be done.
The following day came and went on as any other would. Same average meals, average school, boring home, little conversation with others. It was by no mean special. But her anticipation heightened greatly when she went in her room for bed. She heard her parents door close soon after hers. She flipped her covers off. She was already dressed and ready to go with a flashlight in hand. She opened her window and climbed out and down the oak tree to the ground. The University was only a few blocks from her home.
A short while later, she arrived. This place had been haunting her dreams for months. She entered the double doors and there was a large open hallway. She walked down the center of it. She looked left and right as she walked searching for room 108. She searched for what felt like an hour. She couldn’t find it. “It has to be here”, she spoke aloud. She closed her eyes and tried to remember how she got their in her dreams. It hit her like a ton of bricks! How could she have forgotten? It was a room in the basement. She went to the door that read “Basement, Authorized Personnel Only”. She extended her arm and opened the door. There was a furnace that shrieked and scared her the moment she opened the door and down the steps she went. Looking to her left, she saw it. Room 108. She walked over to it but paused. Her heart was thumping so hard it hurt her chest. “You need to,” she told herself. Opening the door, she saw the custom built stage that was big enough for only one. There sat the red nose. She walked over to it. She was hesitant and reluctant to make any action or motion closer to it. She remembered how this was the turning point in her dream from creepy to fatal. But her desire to know forced her hand. Her finger came in contact with it. She closed her eyes expecting a plastic bag to be slung over her head. Nothing happened. Her heart let up and blood began to once again flow to her extremities. She let out a sigh of relief. She stood there in the same position. She was gazing at that red nose when suddenly it hit her… the furnace wasn’t on when she first came into the building.