The Ku Klux Klown
By David Eveleigh
Copyright 2016 David Eveleigh
Dedicated to Donald Trump
“I’m not afraid,” I declared while standing in front of the faded circus tent. The girl only smiled. She had rarely spoken all evening. I couldn’t blame her. Her English was terrible. However, we had found our own way of communicating. It was almost as though her thoughts could enter my head. And that smile, it was a dare.
In the moonlight, her dark tights seemed to disappear, hiding everything except her shaved head. And those eyes. She must have been wearing red contact lenses. When I met her at the Halloween party, she’d explained that she was dressed as who she really was. I liked that sentiment. I had just broken up with my now ex-girlfriend after I’d found out that she’d been cheating on me with someone who I’d thought had been my best friend. As a result, I guess it was nice to see someone being genuine for a change. Oh Cassie had still huffed and puffed when she saw me leaving the party with a mystery girl on my arm. But that had only added to my satisfaction.
But where did that girl lead me? To answer that, we’ll require a brief history lesson.
Every small town has its own ghost story. Ours is a real doozy. Everybody knew Jimmy Rhame. He was a handyman, or so they say. He was also black. One day, a circus pitched its tent on the edge of our little locale. Jimmy loved the circus. He especially loved one girl who worked there. Marcia. The way I’ve heard it told, she loved him too. Unfortunately, Marcia was already married to one of the clowns. And he wasn’t just any clown either. Down south, he had ties with the Ku Klux Klan. Imagine that, clown by day, klansman by night. And when he found his wife in bed with a black man, he snapped. Poor Jimmy and Marcia ended up on the receiving end of a hatchet. Years passed and yet the clown was never brought to justice. Some say he ran off into the night giggling the laugh of the insane. Others say that Jimmy’s family took revenge and buried the clown’s body where it could never be found. Whichever the truth may be, some claim to have heard his laugh inside the ruin where the circus once stood. The tent is still there today. The owner never recovered financially from the scandal, so he just left everything there to rot.
And it was before this very tent that I stood. The girl pointed inside with a claw-like finger. She said nothing. She just stood there with a dare on her ruby lips. Well, nobody would ever say that I was a coward. I accepted her challenge and trotted towards the dilapidated tent.
It was then that I saw the headlights.
It was Cassie and Eric, two people whom I thought I could trust. Well, if they believed for one second that they could talk me out of this, they were mistaken.
I lifted the flap and stepped inside.
The first thing that struck me was the smell of mould. The weather had clearly not been kind to this old relic. I could hear the wind whistle through a hole in the ceiling. From that hole poured the moonlight, which rested on a candy-coloured chopping block. Embedded in that block was a hatchet.
This had to be a joke. I let my eyes adjust to the dark and saw the cages which had once held circus animals. Now they contained bones. Human bones. Children’s bones.
The wind picked up. What was happening? Was I going mad? I could swear that I heard a shrill giggling. I grabbed the axe for my own defence just as the tent’s flap opened once more. Cassie and Eric stepped through and their faces grew pale at the sight of me. Both turned and ran off into the darkness without saying a word.
When I saw my reflection in the polished axe blade, I knew why. My face had become pale and cakey. My nose red and bulbous.
I had become the Ku Klux Klown.