Avatar for Horror – Short Story
By: Doug Robbins
A glob of chocolate ice cream sizzled on the pavement in the summer sun. A security guard noticed strange smells and sounds coming from the purple and gold tent at the fair that summer in 1998. When the security guard peeled back the flap of the tent and peered inside. What met his eyes was a plethora of horrors too wicked to mention. Skulls were piled high one on top of each other on a makeshift throne. Blue flames flickered atop black candles in the warm, musty darkness of the innards of the tent. Small, skinless arms hung from meat hooks from the ceiling and skinless legs were strewn about the floor.
A clown wearing a bloody and tattered, green clown suit hung from a noose wrapped around the ceiling of the tent. His eyes were closed and oddly his head hung down pointed towards the floor. The security guard ran screaming from the tent. A demon appeared before the spirit of the dead clown and whispered in his ear. ‘’Do you want to live forever and avoid Hell altogether?’’
‘’Yes,’’ the clown hissed.
The scarred demon placed a gnarled claw on the clown’s forehead and boldly decreed. ‘’Live forever.’’
The clown’s consciousness was pulled into the dream world and that is where this twisted narrative really begins. Two kids named Truman and Harris walked under an orange moon through the streets of their neighborhood. Truman wore blue jeans, brown boots, a white t- shirt under an open flannel shirt and a hockey mask. He held a plastic bag with a pumpkin face design on the front of it.
Harris was dressed like a police officer. He wore a blue police uniform and carried a plastic Billy club in his right hand and a pillow case in his left hand. Truman shuffled like a legitimate madman whereas Harris had a much more graceful and fluid, athletic stride. Truman was tall and stocky whereas Harris was short and lean. Truman’s brown hair was kept in a buzz cut whereas Harris’ blonde hair was neatly trimmed and slicked back.
‘’Are you ok,’’ Truman asked.
‘’Who me,’’ Harris asked.
‘’Yeah I’m just a little sleepy, I haven’t really been sleeping too well lately.’’
‘’Are you having nightmares again,’’ Truman asked.
‘’Are they still featuring that creepy clown Patches,’’ Truman asked.
‘’Uh huh,’’ Harris replied.
‘’It’s just a dream dude I don’t know why you let that creep bother you so much,’’ Truman said.
‘’He really existed and the dreams they seem so real,’’ Harris admitted.
‘’That was fifteen years ago man, that guy has been dead for a long time,’’ Truman said.
‘’I know but he’s just really freaky in dreams that’s all,’’ Harris admitted.
Later that night Truman had his own nightmare. He found himself in a carnival. Eerie carnival music blared out of the speakers as Truman walked through the park. The park was empty. The Ferris wheel spun around but no one sat in the seats. Harris appeared before Truman. ‘’Hey dude you want to have some real fun,’’ Harris asked.
‘’Yeah dude,’’ Truman replied.
‘’Well follow me I know where we can have some real fun,’’ Harris said.
Harris led Truman to a purple and gold tent. Truman walked into the tent and shrieked. He was smacked right in the face by one of the skinless, child’s arms that hung from the ceiling. He tried to exit but the entrance to the tent had vanished. Patches sat upon the throne of skulls he had fashioned from all the children he had lured into his tent at the fair and murdered. Patches held a meat, hook in his burly hand. His belly bulged and his green eyes were full of malice.
‘’Don’t you want to play with me child,’’ Patches hissed.
‘’I want to play with you!’’
Truman screamed as Patches grabbed the child by the wrist and sliced into his flesh. The child’s guts spilled onto the floor. Patches devoured the boy’s flesh and sliced off Truman’s legs and arms. He hung the boy’s arms on meat hooks from the ceiling. The legs he just lay where they fell when he severed them. The skull he added to the base of his makeshift throne. Patches laughed as the blood of the child mixed with the red smile painted onto his mouth mingled.
‘’Bring me more children,’’ Patches said.
Within month Patches murdered all the children through their dreams on Miller Street except Harris. Harris convinced his parents to take him to the fair. He was arrested for burning down the tent and blamed for butchering his best friend Truman. The finger prints found on the hook used to murder Truman matched Harris’ own fingerprints.
The murder weapon was found on the floor by Truman’s mother next to her son’s bed. Harris sat in a hard, wooden chair. He sat in a sterile room seated across from his psychiatrist Dr. Samuels. ‘’Why did you kill your best friend Truman Snyder,’’ Dr. Samuels asked.
‘’I did not kill my best friend,’’ Harris protested.
‘’Patches killed Truman he’s just using me as an avatar to carry out his work!’’