I used to see a life-sized clown in the barn right near the main door. It was drawn on the bare wood wall in the same dark blue grease pencil we used for marking livestock.
It was going to get me. I knew it would. If I took my eyes off it as I walked by it would jump off the wall and grab me.
I only used the main entrance if someone was already in the barn or walking in with me. If alone, I walked to the south end of the barn and went in that way.
When someone was with me I made sure he or she was between the wall and me. The clown would get him or her first and I’d get away.
I didn’t see it every time I entered the barn because it wasn’t really there.
I’ve never forgotten the day it was drawn. I was three years old and standing a few feet inside the barn near the north door.
A tall thin being, luminous and white, was with me. I remember she had fine features and high cheekbones. It seemed like she was robed because I see in my memory a long, slender hand reaching out from a wide, hanging sleeve.
She was drawing the clown and I did not want it. I was anxious.
“You don’t have to do that,” I told her. “I’ll remember.”
I know now that she or those like her came to see me often until that day. It was wonderful. I know I felt the best when they were with me.
But this was to be the last time. She explained to me they weren’t coming anymore. I know she told me why, but I don’t recall the reason. I guess it was so I could get on with being a kid without any disruptions.
The clown was to be a reminder. I’ve no idea of what.
The terror kicked in two years later. I was playing in the barn late one dark December afternoon and insisted to my dad that I be put in the room we were going to use to store chop. It had a door with a twist-style lock for holding the door closed and a window that was sealed off. The clown wall was just outside the door.
I’d played in the room before and really liked it there so he let me go in this time. I told him to lock the door. Next thing I knew I was screaming to be let out.
As far as I know that clown got in the room with me and grabbed me from the back.
No one else was there. Dad and my sister were a good 50 feet away.
From that day I’ve had a minor, constant pain in the lower right hand side of my abdomen. Once or twice a year it kicks up enough that it’s hard for me to move. I’ve had it checked many times. I nearly had my appendix out twice because of it.
The farm is long since sold. My parents and sister and I took a Christmas Day trip out to it and on the way I told them I used to see this clown. They didn’t say much. My sister said it was all a bizarre dream.
We asked politely and were allowed to check out the barn. I grabbed my camera and took photos of the wall and the little room that has never been used for anything and the other drawings we did with grease pencils when we played in the barn.
They’re there. Grease pencil does not wear off.
The clown drawing was nowhere to be found.
It’s never been far from my mind, but lately I’m thinking more about it. I want those beings to come back.
I miss them and I love them and I want to remember.