Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents

by Gabrielle

The babysitter called the parents to ask if she could cover up the creepy clown statue standing in the hallway.

“Call 911,” the parents shouted into the phone. “We don’t own a clown statue!”

In that moment, the babysitter’s head shot back up to where the clown statue had once stood. Empty air loomed where the statue was no longer. A tear slipped down her cheek, and her eyes fluttered closed for only a fraction of a second, squeezing out more hot liquid.

“Okay,” she breathed to herself. “Okay, Makenzie. Grab the kids.” Following her own orders, she moved through the house quickly (but silently), first grabbing Jaime and Kyle from their room, then Todd from the one adjacent. The infant Leah was still fast asleep when the babysitter scooped her up from the bottom of her pastel yellow crib.

“Downstairs,” Makenzie instructed the children. Her body was numb but she still had the good sense to keep moving as she headed towards the last child’s room.

“Go straight to the neighbor’s, don’t stop for anything. Jaime, take Leah,” she instructed handing the infant to her older brother. The group headed for the front door in absolute silence as their babysitter headed in the opposite direction towards the last child’s door. Suddenly, the silence was broken by an oddly-lighthearted feminine giggle that rang though the house.

“Keep going!” The babysitter whisper-screamed at the children who had stopped and turned around to look towards the noise. Then Makenzie, trying to forget the chilling laughter, crept silently towards Kaylee’s door. A creak sounded throughout the house as she stepped on a loose board of wood in the flooring. She let out a silent breath of still-scared relief. Despite her heartrate shooting up rapidly, she was okay and almost to Kaylee’s door. Being especially careful to stay quiet, she approached the door that, to her surprise, was cracked open. A pink and yellow tinted light shone through softly, and through the open slice of the door, the babysitter could make out Kaylee’s figure sitting up awake.

“Shhh, I told you this would be fun.” Kaylee whispered in her childish voice that at one point, had seemed quite adorable to Makenzie. It was at that moment that Makenzie realized Kaylee was not talking to her, and was instead speaking to someone else in the room. A feeling of pure dread crept from her toes, to her chest, and then breathed down the back of her neck. She moved her head slightly in order to sneak a look at the other person in the room with Kaylee. The rotation of her neck made a very slight noise, one that would probably go unnoticed in the day of any typical human. That noise, in the deafening silence, now sounded like the shattering of glass upon concrete. It was quiet, but loud, and Makenzie knew it. She closed her eyes as if doing so could stop time, but upon opening them, she realized two things: One, time was still going, and two, there were now two pairs of eyes staring directly at her through the crack of the door.

“This job,” Makenzie thought, “is not at all worth $12.50 an hour.”

The clown statue was standing next to Kaylee, unmoving.

“Why are you down here?” Kaylee asked before further explaining, “Mommy said you were going to stay upstairs tonight.” Speechless and trembling, Makenzie stood supporting her weight on the doorframe. No words came to her mind, not to her lips.

“Why won’t you answer me?” Kaylee questioned. But still, Makenzie was struck silent.

“Hey!” Kaylee screamed, and at the same time, the clown’s face shifted into one of sheer anger. “Kaylee,” Makenzie tried, completely freaked out, “Let’s just go find your family and leave that nice clown statue alone, okay?” Without hesitation, Kaylee responded.

“No. You’re not one of us and neither are any of my siblings. You can’t tell me what to do. I am not leaving my clown and nothing you say can make me. In fact, we just killed the neighbors. We can get you too if you don’t–” As Kaylee ranted on, the clown began to smile. He pulled his arm up behind Kaylee’s head and with a single, swift movement, brought a knife down into the middle of her skull. Kaylee’s eyes widened, still fixed in Makenzie’s gaze, and she began to cry. As the silent tears rolled down her face, she asked a simple question,

“Why?” The clown, smile still slapped on his face, held a finger to her lips.

“Oh, right,” Kaylee sobbed, “I wasn’t supposed to tell about the neighbors, was I? I’m sorry. You’re my friend. I’m sorry. I won’t tell next time, I promise.” As the word “promise” left her mouth, Kaylee’s body went limp. It sagged forward and Makenzie nearly threw up. Then the clown got up and pulled the door the whole way open. Pushing past Makenzie, he paused and put a finger to his mouth, earning a slow nod from the poor babysitter. With a wave of his fingers, the clown walked down the hallway and directly out the front door.

Soon after, the horrified parents of once five—now four—children came home to find the police surrounding their home. Four of their children were found asleep outside of their dead neighbor’s house. The other was found dead in her room with a dagger in the center of her head. Their babysitter was found unconscious in the hallway, her body in a state of shock that paramedics were not sure she would wake up from. And loose, somewhere, was a clown.

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