The Clown Statue
When Rachel walked up the walkway to the front door of the Summers residence, her eyes raked across the expansive front yard and the gorgeous outside decor. Her own family was well off, so impressive homes were nothing new to her, but she was still in high school and she was sure that she'd never become so snobby that she stopped being awed by extraordinary things.
The door was quickly answered and she was greeted by two beaming parents, happy to see their babysitter because it meant they could go out and enjoy a romantic evening without distractions. She was walked through the house, but asked to stay with the children until it was time to put them to bed. Then there was one room that she was to stay in, it had a television so there would be something to occupy her time until they came back home to relieve her of her duties. It all seemed simple enough. Babysitting always seemed like such an easy way to make money. All she had to do was watch some kids and then watch some tv.
Everything went smoothly until a little after dinner when Rachel thought she saw a clown statue staring her down in one of the rooms that she passed by while chasing the children. It was eerie and strange, obviously out of place in the home, but she assumed it was a strange buy; perhaps a request made by the children that the parents couldn't say no to. When they passed by it again, she got a longer look and there was nothing there-- but further down she caught a glimpse of it in another room. Surely, she had just mistaken the rooms and confused herself, so once again, she kept her apprehension to herself. It would be time for bed for the children before they knew it and she did not want to hinder their ability to sleep. The last thing that she needed was for them to be scared by some silly story about some clown statue.
At 9PM sharp, she brought them into their bedroom, read them a story, and tucked them into bed. Everything calmed down as she read, with the children being soothed by the story just like any other children she had babysat before. When she stopped to tuck them in, they seemed suddenly more awake and they begged her to stay for another story, another activity, another minute; another anything, just to get her to stay. She had strict orders though, they had to go to bed, and she knew her presence would only distract them and keep them awake. So she left the room with a promise that she was just down the hall. The door was left ajar, to further prove that they were safe and she would hear if they called for her, and then she made her way down the hall a little bit to the room she'd been asked to stay in after bedtime for the children has passed.
The first thing she noticed when she walked into the room was the clown statue. It was there again, standing eerily yet innocuously, almost like it was teasing her by how safe and ordinary it looked while still causing her heart to race. It terrified her for no apparent reason, so much so that she couldn't take her eyes off of it. Even with the television on, playing something she would usually be interested in, she found herself tuning the noise out. She found herself looking over at the clown statue. She found herself studying it's outfit, and the expression painted on its face. It definitely looked lifeless, but it still looked so real. The craftsperson behind this must have put a lot of time into its creation.
It felt like it was watching her, even when she tried to forget that it was there and immerse herself in the program on the television, it felt like it was watching her. She concluded that the human size of its construct was playing on her paranoia, tricking her into seeing and feeling things that just weren't there. Who wouldn't be at least a freaked out by a human sized clown statue?
When the parents rang an hour later to confirm that their children had gotten to bed and everything had gone smoothly, the first thing that Rachel asked about after calming any anxieties the parents had was that clown statue. Her eyes were locked on it as she rattled off a nonchalant comment about how it was creeping her out, then asked if she could go watch television in another room. Even a room without a television would be fine, as long as she could leave this one with the clown statue giving her chills.
The parents told her to immediately grab the children, run to the neighbor's house, and call the police. They would not explain why, but she did as she was told. She was getting paid to do as she was told and the urgency told her that this was important. Confused, she called them back after she called the police to report the incident. They were a little unsure of why a statue had warranted an emergency call, but they promised to stop by and check out the house anyway.
When Rachel called the parents back, they explained that the children had been complaining about that clown statue watching them, especially at night. They said that it would stand in the corner of their room and stare at them until long after they fell asleep. They said that it always showed up when nobody else was around, or in quick glimpses like she had seen in the hallway, gone too quickly to point it out to anyone else to prove it had been there. Up until the earlier phone call, they had discredited their children's stories as nothing more than that; stories. It had sounded like an excuse to stay up later or avoid going into their bedroom at bed time.
It sounded like an excuse because they didn't have a clown statue.