The Clown

"Make sure Emma and Jake are in bed by 10. Lately, they have been staying up later, but I know that they both have a spelling test tomorrow and need their sleep." At this, Mrs. Falcone's children, Emma and Jake ran over to her side. She smoothed their hair down and planted a kiss on each child's forehead. Each child looked adoringly up at their mother and hugged her legs. Suddenly, Emma broke off and announced, "I'm getting a cookie!" and took off sprinting for the kitchen before Mrs. Falcone could stop her.

"Emma! You'll spoil your –" but she was interrupted.

"Momma, you'll be back soon, right?" Jake asked in a soft voice. Mrs. Falcone swooped the kindergartener up in her arms, he put his hands on her cheeks, and they were nose to nose. It was an adorable picture and Bonnie wished that she had her camera to capture the moment. Usually, she brought her camera with her. Emma and Jake were both angelic looking, with baby blue eyes and almost white blonde curly hair.

"Yes, I will baby, but Bonnie will take good care of you while I'm gone. I promise." Mrs. Falcone hugged little Jake and set him down on the floor.

Emma ran back into the room, nearly in tears. "Mom, the clown ate my cookie again!"

Bonnie was confused. Clown? She had never seen a clown in the Falcone household. In fact, she was rather sure that Jake was terrified of clowns.

Mrs. Falcone glanced at Bonnie and noticed the confusion on the sixteen year olds face.

"I'm afraid Emma's imagination has been acting up lately. She's been going on about this 'clown' that has supposedly been making messes in the house, tracking mud on the floor, and eating food that she or Jake has out. Jake's started to get in on the whole charade too. I don't understand it really, since he is terrified of clowns, but according to his imagination, this clown is nice and even gives him hugs. I'm hoping this is just a phase or a fad that is going around Emma's 2nd grade class at school and that soon she and Jake will forget all about this clown business."

Bonnie nodded. Emma and Jake did have active imaginations for a six and an eight year old. Bonnie felt a pang of sympathy for Mrs. Falcone. She basically raised the children on her own, since her husband worked almost 80 hours a week, while she worked part time as a paralegal as well. Sometimes the Falcone's had been late on paying Bonnie and at times, they haven't even paid her at all. Bonnie wasn't too perturbed about this and tonight she had even insisted on babysitting for free. Mr. Falcone was taking Mrs. Falcone to Syracuse, a very nice and upscale restaurant in downtown Cincinnati, in celebration of their ten year wedding anniversary.

A car honked outside interrupting all the commotion going on in the little house.

"Oh, that must be Jim." Mrs. Falcone exclaimed and in a whirl of motion kissed her children on the cheeks, grabbed her purse and coat, and was out the door.

Bonnie smiled at the children who were now standing in front of her, looking at her expectantly.

"So, what do you want to do?" She asked.

"Paint!" Jake yelled. "Play Connect Four!" Emma yelled, equally as loud.

Bonnie smiled. It was like this every time she baby-sat at the Falcone's. Though it had been a couple of months since she had been around, she was glad to see that some things never change.

She got out some newspapers and laid them on the dining room table, at one end. Then she got some white pieces of paper, a couple of paintbrushes, and red, yellow, blue, and black paint for Jake to use, while she and Emma sat up the Connect Four game at the other end of the table.

The children were pretty busy with their painting and games for quite a while. Bonnie never won any of the Connect Four games, rather according to Emma, Bonnie never won. That was fine with her. After an hour or so of playing Connect Four, Emma decided she was done and put up the game. She went into the living room to watch television. Bonnie decided to check out Jake's artwork. She was expecting to see a painting of him and his family, or even one of her, these were the typical subjects that Jake painted, but instead, he was painting a clown. Bonnie was pretty sure he was painting a clown, since the figure had a large red nose. She frowned, unsure whether she should compliment Jake's picture or not. She didn't want to encourage this clown fascination.

"That's a cute picture, Jake, but why didn't you paint Emma or me?"

"Because, the clown man is my friend." With that Jake turned back to his painting adding details, such as trees and polka dots, whatever Jake seemed to deem as necessary for his masterpiece.

Around 7, Bonnie made Emma and Jake some peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, complete with milk to drink and potato chips on the side. As the kids munched happily, Bonnie made her self a peanut butter sandwich and ate in silent thought. Her boyfriend, Derek, was going to come around at 10, but lately he had been distant and when she asked if he was coming over tonight, he gave her some blow off answer about work. Bonnie didn't know what was really going on with him, but she had a feeling he didn't have to work tonight.

Sighing, she cleaned up the mess that the kids always seemed to make and put up the other kitchen utensils and potato chips. She closed the cupboards with a loud bang that caused her to jump. She became even more jumpy when out of the corner of her eye she could have sworn she saw something or someone come out of the master bedroom. Shaking her head, she settled in between Emma and Jake on the couch and watched, "The Incredibles" with them.

Jake fell asleep around 9 and Emma was out not too long after him. Bonnie was grateful, she really hated having to fight with them to get them to go to bed, especially when she could tell that they were already tired. They could each be quite stubborn. She carried Jake to bed and then Emma.

She settled back into the living room and changed the channel to Comedy Central. She was about to fall asleep when she heard a noise. It sounded like someone walking on tile. She looked in the kitchen but didn't see anything, then again, she noticed then how the kitchen was filled with dark shadows that appeared to be in constant movement, changing shapes at all times.

Bonnie took some deep breathes.

"I'm overreacting, just being paranoid." Bonnie muttered under her breath.

All of a sudden, she jumped and ran over to the light switch.

"I swear to God, if I see you Derek, I'm going to kill you." She yelled, her voice full of glee.

She hit the light switch and saw a man.

This man was not Derek though. This man was dressed in dirty, torn clothes and his face was smudged with dirt. She noticed he was wearing a bright red nose.

Unfortunately for Bonnie, that big red nose, along with the gleam of the Falcone's butcher knife was the last things she would ever see.

Author's Note: Here is my attempt at a Horror story and a One shot, all in one go.

The creepy thing is supposedly some variation of this story is true. A homeless guy lived in a family's house for about a year, just eating their food and whatnot because the children let him, until the babysitter figured out what was going on and told the parents. Scary, eh?

Well, I hope this didn't suck too much!