Happy Halloween! Today is the last story in the 13 Days of Horror and I’ve saved you a real treat. Though I’m just getting to know my next guest, I do know he is gifted with the pen, crafting dark suspense like a cold breath and having already complied his short fiction into two books: The Breath of Life and Other Stories and FridayFlash Stories, Vol. 1. He will soon have a YA paranormal novel on the shelf as well, and if you’re drafting that novel, I recommend his site for useful tips in the novel-construction process.
It is a pleasure to introduce my last guest in the 13 Days of Horror, Eric J. Krause, and his wicked story, The Clown Killer.
The Clown Killer
By Eric J. Krause
The tour guide smiled and waved as he slammed the cell door shut. The group outside thought this was nothing more than a fun exercise to see what five minutes of solitary confinement was like, with Daniel as their guinea pig. But they hadn’t done their research. They didn’t know that this was the cell Chucky Jones, the infamous Clown Killer, died in.
Daniel knew, and he’d make contact with the serial killer. He pulled out both his digital camera and voice recorder, but left his secret weapon in his pocket. He didn’t have much time, but he couldn’t lead with that.
“Mr. Jones? Are you in here?” he asked after he turned on the recorder. Nothing. Not that he expected to see or hear anything yet, but there wasn’t even a creepy feeling in the cell.
“Fine,” Daniel said. “Be a coward. Don’t show yourself. Were you this
chicken-shit when you killed all those clowns? You probably slit their
throats in their sleep so they couldn’t fight back. Right? You disgust
me.” He picked up the camera and snapped a few shots. Ghost shows
mentioned that provoking spirits sometimes drew them out. But not this time.
Daniel paced the cell, trying to feel cold spots, or at least
something that made his hair stand on end. When he got nothing, he
reached into his pocket and pulled out the rubber mask. With his five
minutes ticking away, he needed the big guns. He slipped the mask, a
smiling clown face, over his head and adjusted it so he could see out
The effect was immediate. The air temperature in the cell plummeted, and a presence loomed in the corner. Daniel had worked out dozens of questions for Chucky Jones, hoping to get some of the answers on his digital recorder, but none managed to worm their way into his brain.
The presence moved around the cell, but Daniel couldn’t see anything.
Maybe it was the mask obscuring his vision, but he knew different.
Chucky Jones didn’t want to be seen. Daniel flashed a few more
pictures, and hoped the Clown Killer would stick in the shots.
Daniel jumped when the lock to the cell door clicked open. His five
minutes were up. He turned to greet the tour group to ask if they felt
the ghost when a stinging sensation assaulted the left side of his
neck. It moved slowly across his throat all the way to his right ear.
He tried to ask what was going on, but words wouldn’t come. He
The happy, smiling faces of the tour group morphed to horror, and
screams echoed through the abandoned prison. Daniel fell first to his
knees, and then to his belly. Blood from his slit throat pooled in the
cell and trickled out into the hallway. The group stepped back to keep their shoes clean.
Though nothing sharp was found on Daniel’s person or in the cell, the
death was ruled a suicide. It would have been an open and shut case,
strange but never thought of again, if it hadn’t been for the digital
voice recorder. At the four minute and twenty-eight second mark, a
jumble of static hid a gravely, far-off voice.
“Hate clowns. Die, clown, die.”
2010 © Eric J. Krause
BIO: Eric J. Krause pens stories from Orange County, California, minutes away from Disneyland. He has over two dozen short stories published in The Absent Willow Review, Trail of Indiscretion, Allegory, and Nocturnal Ooze, just to name a few. You can visit his blog on writing at http://ejkwritingspot.blogspot.com.