There I was, face to face with the clown. He never stopped smiling. His beady little eyes bore into me and his grip was tight on the chair. It was like he had just teleported in front of me, this otherworldly thing, this evil, terrifying thing.
“Are you ready to play?” He asked, a drop of blood falling from his lips to my lap as he spoke. “The rules are very simple.” He nodded as he spoke, drumming his filthy fingernails against the chair. “If you can kill the car, you win!” I looked at him, silent, trying to take it all in. His eyes examined me with a gleeful brightness, blood dripping from his smile and staining the denim of my jeans. “You and the car crash into each other, and whoever lives wins!”
“But… why?” His grip tightened on the chair and he leant closer, giving off a surprising aroma, something nostalgic, popcorn and candy floss, like he had carried the scent of the circus with him when he escaped. It was a strange contrast. A man who was seemingly dripping in the blood of… something, also had a hypnotic quality about him. “Why me?”
“Because you’re so much fun!” He smiled wickedly. I certainly didn’t feel fun. I wanted to live. I had friends. I had a tinder match that things were going pretty well with. I had half of a box of fondant fancies in my office drawer that I’d been thinking about finishing all bloody day. I know it sounds insane that I was thinking about this as a horrible clown had control of my wheelchair and could very well murder me, but none of us gets to choose how our life flashes before our eyes, and flash mine did.
“What if I don’t want to?” I had noticed a man walking behind him, tall and the right side of muscular, with a comically small little sausage dog. If I could keep this Poundland Pennywise talking long enough, I could distract him, and hopefully, Mister Muscle and his tiny companion could help me.
“No?” This turned out to be a mistake. It’s something I will always regret as long as I live. “Don’t worry, we’ll have fun.” He moved so quickly. I heard the dog yelping, bones breaking, chomping, a sickening slurp as blood ran down the pavement, spilling into the gutter. The man was strewn across the pavement, his dog, somewhere in the distance, bolting as fast as his teeny, tiny legs could carry him.
I had no choice but to play.