To give a little background into my weird world, I was always kind of a twisted child; when I won some library contest in grammar school we had a choice of posters and I chose the one with Dracula on it. It was really cool with fog and Dracula was sort of shrouded in shadows at the edge of the forest. I hung it on the back of our bedroom door, so proud for having won it. Many months after hanging it I had a nightmare one night that I was being chased by some weird creature all the way to the edge of a cliff which I fell over. The edge turned out to be the one and only time I actually fell off the top bunk and I landed flat on my face. The poster came down the next day. Although waking up on my face in the middle of the night rattled me, it was not the scariest thing I faced during those years.
When I was a young kid we were babysat after school most days and sometimes our babysitter would travel a couple blocks away, over the old train tracks, to her friend’s house. When we were dragged with her we could hang out with some kids we normally did not have a chance to hang out with after school so it was always a fun time. As kids there were always strange stories circulating and it was just a matter of what urban legend each of us chose to believe in that resulted in what freaked us out; when I was in sixth grade there was no such thing as the internet to verify our information so some of the stories became pretty fantastical. Over on that side of town is where a couple rumors, legends, or perhaps stories based on actual events originated. Many of us will never know.
One day we were hanging out on that side of town and playing some kind of game in the middle of the dead end street. A skunk suddenly appeared and wandered straight down the middle of the street; it was huge and we all stayed clear, thinking we could get sprayed. Since the game was taking a break we started talking and one of the neighborhood kids started telling us this story about The Clowns. She shared the very important information that right there in our own town bad guys dressed up as clowns were riding around in an ice cream truck, handing out poisoned candy to kids. All of us from my grade or younger were completely freaked out and suddenly we were on the lookout for every ice cream truck in the neighborhood. We all wanted to make sure The Clowns were caught and of course sent to jail.
Since that day I have never been able to look at clowns the same way again, I always feel like they must be hiding something. I wonder -- is that clown the one that gave the poisoned sweet tarts to my friend’s neighbor’s cousin’s friend? Since we never heard if they were caught we all had to assume that they remained free to wander suburban neighborhoods, handing out poison laced candies to unsuspecting little kids. I wonder if they will make an appearance tonight?