When I was sixteen, I used to be a babysitter. I was very popular with the parents as well as the kids, and hardly had a spare weekend. Of course, I was paid quite well, but I genuinely enjoyed it, so I did not mind spending some evenings with little children. It was actually quite fun.
One family was my favorite, the Haverford’s. They were well off and had a beautiful big house with a huge yard and a double garage. Mr. and Mrs. Haverford had two children, Marlene, and Alexander. Marlene was twelve and loved animals, especially their family dog Rufus. Alexander was ten and a little rascal, fascinated by robots. Both of them were angels and hardly needed a babysitter, thus, taking care of them was a breeze.
I remember the last time I babysat for them. It was a Friday night in winter, Mr. and Mrs. Haverford’s anniversary. They had reserved a table in one of the finest restaurants in town, as it was usual.
“We will be back by 11pm,” Mrs. Haverford said. “Dinner is in the fridge.”
She was standing by the door, wrapping a scarf around her neck. Mrs. Haverford was a tall and slender woman. Her blonde hair was French braided and fell over her shoulder.
“She knows, Diane,” Mr. Haverford piped behind his wife. “It’s not her first time.”
He was a sturdy man, about an inch shorter than his wife. He was already dressed in a black wool coat, black leather gloves on his hands and a red cashmere shawl around his neck.
“It’s fine, Mr. Haverford,” I replied smiling. I knew Mrs. Haverford was the anxious type.
“Of course,” the Mrs. smiled back at me. “You two be good.” She directed at Marlene and Alex behind me.
“Don’t worry, we will have fun, right?” I turned towards the children, who squealed an excited yes.
Mrs. Haverford stepped closer and pressed a kiss on each of her children’s foreheads. With a short goodbye and smile to me they left the house. I wished them a nice dinner and closed the door.
“So, how about some games before dinner?”
“Yes! Monopoly!” Marlene screamed full of excitement. Monopoly was her favorite. Alex just grunted. Although he did enjoy the game somewhat, he was not fond of the math it required.
“I don’t want to play monopoly,” Alex voiced in a moping tone.
“How about we play something all of us enjoy?” I suggested. “Let’s go to the living room and see what we’ve got.”
Marlene nodded and the both of them sprinted ahead, down the hallway to the living room. I followed them. Although it was only 5pm it was already dark outside. The hallway leading into the house was dimly lit, and my footsteps echoed on the hardwood floor. Ahead of me I heard the kids rummaging in the living room. I turned around the corner and …
“Oh my god!”, I exclaimed, grabbing my chest.
“What is it?” Marlene popped her head out of the doorframe, first looking at me, then into the direction I was staring. “Oh, that thing.”
“Since when has that been here?” I asked flustered. In the dark corner by the living room door stood a life-size statue of a clown. It was dressed in old fashioned clown attire and white face. Its grimace was ghastly and unsettling.
“I don’t know…, a while,” Marlene replied. “I don’t like it. It’s creepy.”
I completely agreed with her. The statue was creepy, and for the rest of the night I had an unsettling feeling every time I walked past it. I brushed it off as just my general dislike for clown and tried to enjoy my evening with the kids.
We played some twister and the new Mario Party game on the Switch before dinner. Around 10pm I brought them to bed, under the usual protest. They tried to talk me into letting them stay up late, but I was adamant.
Now alone I sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. It was some weird game show, but I hardly paid any attention to it. The volume was low, so I could hear any ruckus from above. However, I could not relax. The clown’s grimace was floating around in the back of my mind. Thus, I was just waiting for the time to pass by until Mr. and Mrs. Haverford returned and released me from its presence.
It was agonizing. From time to time I could swear I heard someone in the hallway, but whenever I popped my head out, I found it deserted – except for that creepy clown!
Around 10:30pm I went to check on the children and found both Marlene and Alex sleeping peacefully in their beds. As I made my way back downstairs, I could have sworn to have heard someone shuffling across the hardwood floor. I sprinted down the steps, pivoted around the banister and …
There was nothing.
From the end of the hall the creepy clown was still smiling at me. I made my way I back into the living room. A chill ran down my spine as I passed it.
So creepy …
Finally, the clock struck 11pm. From the front of the hall, I could hear the entrance door open. Mr. and Mrs. Haverford had returned.
“Hello, Abigail,” Mr. Haverford greeted me as I stepped into the hallway. “I hope everything had been alright?”
“Yes,” I nodded. “The kids were good, as always.”
He smiled and reached into his waistcoat to pull out his wallet. He opened it, but as he looked inside the smile on his lips faded into a slight frown.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Abi,” He looked at me apologetically. “I’m afraid I have no cash on me to pay you.”
“Oh,” I shifted to my left leg. “That’s alright.”
“Please do come by tomorrow,” he insisted. “I hate being in debt.”
I nodded and smiled.
As I put on my coat he apologized over and over again. I assured him, that it was not a big deal. They had always paid me, so I was not worried about the money. I said my goodbyes to them and left the house. Outside I sighed relieved and walked home.
It was the last time I saw them.
I still don’t know what happened. Even the police were clueless. The Haverford’s had always been a beloved family all over town. Their murders were unexpected and unnecessarily brutal. There had been blood everywhere.
I tried to help the police as much as I could, so naturally I agreed to give a statement. After all, I had been the last one to see them alive. They asked me if I had seen anything unusual that night.
“No,” I replied.
“Are you sure?”, the officer leaned over the table, staring at me with his dark brown eyes. “There was nothing, that made you feel uneasy that night?”
“Nothing, except that creepy clown statue,” I stared back into his eyes and was met with a slightly confused look.
“What clown statue?”, he asked.