Happy Halloween! The day is finally here and I’m glad that you’ve stopped your Trick or Treating to read the ending to my short story!
In the last installment, Alex saw a gruesome clown with an axe following he and Madison, but when he asked Madison if she saw him, she said no. All Alex wants to do now is get out of the haunted house! Will he make it? Read on!
Don’t Be Afraid
Alex released Madison’s shoulders and stepped back. She didn’t see the clown. Was he imagining it? He ran a hand through his hair.
“Look!” She pointed a finger over his shoulder.
Alex slowly turned. The room was lit with a red light. Hot flames shot out of the wall.
The walls appeared to be wet. Lying all over the ground, in various forms of dress, were people. Or parts of people. Alex couldn’t tell which. He couldn’t tell if there was blood on the floor, or if it was the red light. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
But in order to do so, he had to physically climb over the people. He stepped over one, reaching back to help Madison.
She took his hand.
The door banged again.
One of the people reached up and seized Alex’s leg.
Alex kicked the hand free. He was long past the point of believing this was a haunted house. Not with glowing clown eyes. Not with so much blood. Not with… He glanced back at the door. The chair he had lodged in place was holding.
One of the bodies, one of the people had crawled to the chair and had his hand against one of the legs. He pushed it. The chair toppled.
“No!” Alex screamed as the door swung open. “Go!” he hollered at Madison, frantically climbing over the piles of people. They were all moving now, holding him back, clutching his body. He glanced back to see the door open and the clown enter the room. His gross smile and glowing eyes. His bright red hair.
Alex clawed his way through the bodies, climbing over them. When he looked back, the clown stood just below him, his axe raised in the air…
…over Madison who slipped down the pile of bodies.
The clown brought the axe down into Madison’s back.
“No!” Alex screamed and lurched forward, pushing the clown away. His hand got caught in the clown’s bright red hair and Alex yanked it free.
“Alex!” the clown hissed.
Alex punched the clown in the face, again and again. Around him, lights flashed and fog entered the room.
The clown tried to fend off Alex’s blows, raising his hands. One hand still held the bloody axe. Alex yanked it free and swung, hitting the clown in the head. It dropped to the ground. Alex lifted the axe and hit it, once, and then again. And again and again.
Gasping for breath, he backed away from the bloodied clown. He turned, looking for Madison.
He spotted one of the dead people standing in a corner, near a door. The bloodied man shook his head and quickly opened the door, racing out.
Alex looked for Madison again. But he couldn’t find her. She was gone.
Confused, dazed, he headed for the door, having to make his way through a tight tube of air. No bodies. Lights still flashed and fog filled the room.
Alex didn’t know how he made it out, but he pushed open a door and fresh air greeted him.
Larry sat on a bench and when he saw Alex, the grin that had begun faltered and faded as his gaze swept Alex. “Geez, Alex,” he gasped.
Alex stumbled forward. “Madison…”
Larry backed away from him.
“Put your hands up!”
Alex turned to see a police man standing just yards from Larry. His gun was drawn, pointing at Alex. Others had stopped and were looking at him.
“Thank God,” Alex gasped. He took a step toward the police officer. “You have to help her. It got her!”
“Stop!” the officer ordered. “Drop the weapon.”
Weapon? Alex looked down to see he still held the axe. Alex immediately dropped it. “You have to help her. It hit her in the back.”
“Put your hands up!”
“What? Not me! The clown! It…”
“You’re not listening to me! It wasn’t me! It was the clown! He stabbed her with an axe!”
“Put your hands up!”
Alex lifted his hands. “She’s inside. The clown…it stabbed her with an axe. It –” Something caught his attention. Between his fingers was hair. That’s right. He had pulled the bastards hair out. He had yanked it out and… But the hair between his fingers was not bright red. It was blonde.
“That’s him!” The bloody man Alex had seen in the haunted house rushed up to police, pointing his finger at Alex. “He did it. I saw him! He killed that poor girl with an axe!”
“What? No!” Alex said, confused. He shook his head. “It was the clown.”
The cops ran up to him and pushed him to the ground.
“No!” Alex screamed. “It was the clown! It wasn’t me!”
They pulled his hands behind his back and slapped handcuffs on his wrists.
Alex sat in a white walled room, in a straight jacket, rocking back and forth. His eyes darted this way and that, looking for the clown. He knew it was there. He knew it was around. Sometimes he caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eyes. The bright red hair, the horrific grin, the axe.
He rocked back and forth, back and forth.
“Don’t be afraid, Alex,” the voice whispered to him.
He spun, looking for the clown. It taunted him. They were alone together.
“I’m not afraid of you!” Alex hollered. “I’m not afraid!”
Alone together. Forever.
“I’M NOT AFRAID!”
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