SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Daniel Merriam

 

I open my eyes.

I see circus men.

Why are they in my bedroom?

 

Soft laughter fills the room.

Clowns are waving knives at me.

I need to escape.

I can’t.

I’m tied to my bed.

They’re coming closer.

The laughter is getting louder.

I close my eyes.

All is quiet.

My eyes open.

The room is dark.

And empty.

I glance over at my chair.

A red balloon is tied to it.

Floating in the air.

Oh no.

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A DOORWAY

 

 

A carnival waits beyond the door.

A door sitting in a diner.

A door open to all adventures.

Open to all possibilities.

Step through the doorway

and enter your own world.

THE DEAD GAME

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THE DEAD GAME

THE DEAD GAME

Why do clowns appear
And then come so near?
In my nightmares they cavort
With one another for sport.

I’m afraid to lay my head down.
For I might see another clown.
With their evil grins.
And quivering chins.

The carnival they roam.
So I’m writing this tome.
To leave clues to my demise
If the clowns aren’t too nice.

In a town such as Oasis.
There are few friendly faces.
For the clowns haunt my nights.
And bring with them more frights.

THE DEAD GAME
Kindle
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ROUND AND ROUND WE GO

lifeisthefight:

ROUND AND ROUND WE GO

The day began bright and sunny.
The merry-go-round turned round and round.
Children’s laughter filled the air.
Followed by shouts of joy.
The smell of popcorn wafted by.
Followed by the sweet smell
of cotton candy.
Round and round went the horses.
Followed by the mothers’ eyes.
Round and round we go.
Followed by the rays of sunlight.

Until the sky turned dark.
Heavy with clouds.
Followed by shrieks of thunder.
The sky lit up with lightning.
The merry-go-round was pelted by rain drops.
Followed by a heavy downpour.
The horses circled faster and faster.
The mothers followed.

Until all was gone.
All that was left was mud.
No merry-go-round.
No children.
No mothers.
No shouts of laughter.
Only wet grass.
Where did they disappear to?
To a better place?
To a place without thunder and lightning?
Your guess is as good as mine.



NIGHTMARE AT END HOUSE

EXCERPT FROM THE DEAD GAME — NIGHTMARE AT END HOUSE

house on shore

Chapter 40

That night Linda found herself caught in a nightmare that she couldn’t escape from, even when she willed herself to open her eyes. She was afraid that it wasn’t a nightmare, but a sinister game that had gone wrong. She didn’t know how she’d gotten herself into it or how she was ever going to get out.

     The nightmare had begun with Linda passing through the magical door at the diner—but it wasn’t the diner anymore; it was a remote house that she’d never seen before. The house was dark and dreary like End House, but it wasn’t End House.

     She heard the sounds of waves crashing against the house. She couldn’t believe that she was a prisoner in another house by the ocean. She didn’t know where she was or what day it was. She didn’t even remember how she’d gotten here. She just remembered following the little girl through the door: she’d been curious to see what was on the other side.

     On the other side of the door, Linda found herself at the same carnival that the little girl from the village had visited, except this carnival was much louder and the people were leering at her, trying to force her into their tents. The fat man was waving his pudgy arms at her as he got closer and closer. A clown came at her with his balloons and howled at her. A man began throwing his knives in her direction, but luckily, kept missing. She ran away and ran behind the tents to the colorful booths of the carnival.

     She chose the Fun House. She stepped into a room full of mirrors that made her multiple reflections appear distorted and unreal. She couldn’t figure out why she’d run into the Fun House: if in every horror movie the victims were always portrayed as being terrorized there. She hoped this wasn’t another game of The Dead. She was determined to locate an exit, but found only mirrors and more mirrors; they made her dizzy. Her distorted reflections stared back at her; as if they were distinct entities, united against her, instead of her own creations.

     She ran until she crashed head-first through a mirror, into a dark place with no beginning or end. The whole experience felt unreal to her—as if she were lost in a different dimension. Behind this mirror, she encountered a man with a white mask and empty holes for eyes, laughing at her. When he touched her arm, she realized that he was real and not just a reflection.

     She fled from the laughing man, going deeper and deeper into the dark unknown. She looked back and noticed creatures following close behind her. Some were bats and some were dark shadows, but all were reaching for her. She hoped that these weren’t the same shadows from town that had been haunting her for weeks.

     She hit something hard and fell down. So maybe this place did have an end. She raced away with her hands out, hoping to find the mirror that had caused her to enter this dark hell. Ahead of her in the distance, she glimpsed a shiny surface. After she got closer, she realized it was the mirror, patiently waiting for her. I hope this wasn’t a trap.

     She decided to step through the mirror and worry about the consequences afterward. She had always been afraid of the dark. She wondered how these creatures knew her fears—unless it wasn’t real, but just a figment of her imagination. She stuck her hand out and found that it flowed right through the glass. She followed her hand and crawled through the mirror.

     She found herself back in the house by the sea. She was in the main hall, looking up at a long flight of stairs. She raced up the stairs and ran through the deserted rooms. The house was empty of any people or furnishings. All she could hear were her heels clicking on the shiny wood floors.

     Fearing that she was caught in an endless loop like the one at End House, she hurried back down the stairs, all the way down to the basement. Since the top two floors were empty, she decided to try the basement—even though basements were also popular in horror stories, which was exactly what she was in.

     The basement was empty. The floor she was standing on began to rotate around and around. She reached up to grab hold of something to help her climb off the revolving circle, but there was nothing: the walls were wet and slippery. She tried to escape but found herself falling deeper and deeper into the dark hole. The only thing she remembered before she lost consciousness was the sound of a man’s evil laughter as he chanted the words over and over, “It’s not over. I’ll be back.”

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

The line is long

for the Ferris Wheel.

You wait.

And wait.

Then you’re on the ride.

You’re soaring high

above the crowds.

Feeling the wind

in your hair.

The ride stops short.

You’re at the top,

looking down.

You wait.

And wait some more.

Nothing is moving.

Except for the clowns.

Clowns are climbing the ride.

They’re pulling people from

their seats, and flinging

them to the ground below.

How could this be happening?

It could if it’s a dream.

I close my eyes,

praying it’s a dream.

A HORROR STORY

stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.
stained-glasseyes:</p> <p>blackwallflower:</p> <p>avelandthesea:</p> <p>Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans</p> <p>A great setting for a murder mystery.<br /> A dead body found…<br /> Let’s think of a good spot.<br /> A body found in the jaws<br /> of the alligator statue.<br /> The police look for clues.<br /> The officer steps into the fun house.<br /> Little does he know,<br /> but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.<br /> He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.<br /> One down.<br /> The next officer checks the top<br /> of the long slide.<br /> He feels himself being pushed<br /> down the colorful slide and<br /> his head hits the bottom with a bang.<br /> Another down.<br /> The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel<br /> and guess what?<br /> He’s electrocuted for his efforts.<br /> The murderer chuckles and shuffles<br /> off his merry way.<br /> He didn’t even need the clown costume.

 

 

 

 

stained-glasseyes:

blackwallflower:

avelandthesea:

Abandoned Amusement Park in New Orleans

A great setting for a murder mystery.

A dead body found…

Let’s think of a good spot.

A body found in the jaws

of the alligator statue.

The police look for clues.

The officer steps into the fun house.

Little does he know,

but the fun house doesn’t have a floor.

He steps in and falls into a deep ditch.

One down.

The next officer checks the top

of the long slide.

He feels himself being pushed

down the colorful slide and

his head hits the bottom with a bang.

Another down.

The last officer tries to start the Ferris Wheel

and guess what?

He’s electrocuted for his efforts.

The murderer chuckles and shuffles

off his merry way.

He didn’t even need the clown costume.

Image

THE NIGHTMARE

THE NIGHTMARE

THE NIGHTMARE

Linda felt caught in a nightmare that she couldn’t escape from. It felt too real to be a nightmare but she couldn’t wake up.

She chose the Fun House. She stepped into a room full of mirrors that made her multiple reflections appear distorted and unreal. She couldn’t figure out why she’d run into the Fun House if in every horror movie the victims were always portrayed as being terrorized there. She hoped this wasn’t another game of The Dead. She was determined to locate an exit, but found only mirrors and more mirrors; they made her dizzy. Her distorted reflections stared back at her—as if they were distinct entities, united against her, instead of her own creations.

She ran until she crashed head-first through a mirror, into a dark place with no beginning or end. The whole experience felt unreal to her—as if she were lost in a different dimension. Behind this mirror, she encountered a man with a white mask and empty holes for eyes, laughing at her. When he touched her arm, she realized that he was real and not just a reflection.

She fled from the laughing man, going deeper and deeper into the dark unknown. She looked back and noticed creatures following close behind her. Some were bats and some were dark shadows, but all were reaching for her. She hoped that these weren’t the same shadows from town that had been haunting her for weeks.

She hit something hard and fell down. So maybe this place did have an end. She raced away with her hands out, hoping to find the mirror that had caused her to enter this dark hell. Ahead of her in the distance, she glimpsed a shiny surface. As she got closer, she realized it was the mirror, patiently waiting for her. I hope this wasn’t a trap.

She decided to step through the mirror and worry about the consequences afterward. She had always been afraid of the dark. She wondered how these creatures knew her fears—unless it wasn’t real, but just a figment of her imagination. She stuck her hand out and found that it flowed right through the glass. She followed her hand and crawled through the mirror.

She found herself back in the house by the sea. She was in the main hall, looking up at a long flight of stairs. She raced up the stairs and ran through the deserted rooms. The house was empty of any people or furnishings. All she could hear were her heels clicking on the shiny wood floors.

Fearing that she was caught in an endless loop like the one at End House, she hurried back down the stairs, all the way down to the basement. Since the top two floors were empty, she decided to try the basement—even though basements were also popular in horror stories, which was exactly what she was in.

The basement was empty. The floor she was standing on began to rotate around and around. She reached up to grab hold of something to help her climb off the revolving circle, but there was nothing: the walls were wet and slippery. As she tried to escape, she found herself falling deeper and deeper into the dark hole. The only thing she remembered before she lost consciousness was the sound of a man’s evil laughter as he chanted the words over and over, “It’s not over. I’ll be back.”

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

http://outskirtspress.com/thedeadgame

http://amazon.com/author/thedeadgame
http://amzn.com/1478704489

http://barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dead-game-susanne-leist/1116825442?ean=2940148410881

HAPPY DREAMS

Image

EXCERPT FROM THE DEAD GAME

Linda found herself at a carnival. What is real or a nightmare?

Chapter 40

     That night Linda found herself caught in a nightmare that she couldn’t escape from, even when she willed herself to open her eyes. She was afraid that it wasn’t a nightmare, but a sinister game that had gone wrong. She didn’t know how she’d gotten herself into it or how she was ever going to get out.

     The nightmare had begun with Linda passing through the magical door at the diner—but it wasn’t the diner anymore; it was a remote house that she’d never seen before. The house was dark and dreary like End House, but it wasn’t End House.

     She heard the sounds of waves crashing against the house. She couldn’t believe that she was a prisoner in another house by the ocean. She didn’t know where she was or what day it was. She didn’t even remember how she’d gotten here. She just remembered following the little girl through the door: she’d been curious to see what was on the other side.

     On the other side of the door, Linda found herself at the same carnival that the little girl from the village had visited, except this carnival was much louder and the people were leering at her, trying to force her into their tents. The fat man was waving his pudgy arms at her as he got closer and closer. A clown came at her with his balloons and howled at her. A man began throwing his knives in her direction, but luckily, kept missing. She ran away and ran behind the tents to the colorful booths of the carnival.

     She chose the Fun House. She stepped into a room full of mirrors that made her multiple reflections appear distorted and unreal. She couldn’t figure out why she’d run into the Fun House if in every horror movie the victims were always portrayed as being terrorized there. She hoped this wasn’t another game of The Dead. She was determined to locate an exit, but found only mirrors and more mirrors; they made her dizzy. Her distorted reflections stared back at her—as if they were distinct entities, united against her, instead of her own creations.

     She ran until she crashed head-first through a mirror, into a dark place with no beginning or end. The whole experience felt unreal to her—as if she were lost in a different dimension. Behind this mirror, she encountered a man with a white mask and empty holes for eyes, laughing at her. When he touched her arm, she realized that he was real and not just a reflection.

http://amzn.com/1478704489

http://barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dead-game-susanne-leist/1116825442?ean=2940148410881

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

thedeadgameblog:</p> <p>I was looking through pictures online to find one<br /> that would cheer me up on such a dreary day.<br /> Look what I found!<br /> An elephant with its baby made to look like a circus.<br /> A circus can be fun with balloons and lights.<br /> Don’t forget the elephants and tigers.<br /> A circus can also be scary.<br /> There are clowns and men throwing knives.<br /> That’s it!<br /> My mind has drifted to the creepy again.<br /> I guess that’s why my book contains a scene<br /> in a circus, where someone is being chased by<br /> clowns and knife-throwers.<br /> The character doesn’t know if she’s in a nightmare or actually<br /> running for her life through a maze of mirrors.<br /> You can’t teach an animal new tricks—in this case me.<br /> A circus will always be a frightful place for me, and my<br /> dark thoughts will always lead me there.<br />

thedeadgameblog:

I was looking through pictures online to find one

that would cheer me up on such a dreary day.

Look what I found!

An elephant with its baby made to look like a circus.

A circus can be fun with balloons and lights.

Don’t forget the elephants and tigers.

A circus can also be scary.

There are clowns and men throwing knives.

That’s it!

My mind has drifted to the creepy again.

I guess that’s why my book contains a scene

in a circus, where someone is being chased by

clowns and knife-throwers.

The character doesn’t know if she’s in a nightmare or actually

running for her life through a maze of mirrors.

You can’t teach an animal new tricks—in this case me.

A circus will always be a frightful place for me, and my

dark thoughts will always lead me there.