Desolate Encounters by Molly Pefley & They Paint Our Skies by Cassidy Hale


Rob always hated his job at the fair. As he walked down the isles filled with tents and games, he
could feel the eyes of the menacing children burning holes into the side of his painted white face. He
would always get two reactions from his clientele: the evil eye and the ones with the crippling fear of
circus clowns. There was hardly a time when the children were happy to see him.

A young boy that couldn’t be more than six was sitting on one of the benches with one of those
gigantic, overpriced turkey legs in his hands. Rob decided this was the perfect opportunity to see which
kind of kid this little boy was. As he walked over to him, the backs of his ridiculous and oversized shoes
kept falling off his feet making him almost trip. Cheap asses, they can’t even care to spend the money on proper shoes for the job Rob thought to himself rolling his eyes.

As Rob approached the little boy, a wide, fake smile spread across his face. He knew the little
boy wasn’t paying much attention to his surroundings. In a froggy voice, Rob spoke, “Hello there little
fellow, I’m Daffy the Clown.”

“Hi Daffy,” the boy said innocently.

“And you are?”

“Daniel.”

Rob looked around the environment, but no one in sight looked like they were worried about
little Daniel’s whereabouts. No, no it’s too soon for another one. Rob plopped down next to the little
boy, noticing the boy next to him tense up. I guess he was one of the ones who fear clowns.

“Who are you here with Daniel?” he asked in his character voice.

“My mommy,” Daniel said looking around. “I can’t seem to find her though.”

Rob shook his head. He couldn’t believe what kind of parent would leave their young child in
harm’s way. Who knows how many creeps and killers that are out here?

“How about I take you to find your mommy,” Rob suggested, sticking his hand out. “She must be
out there somewhere. Come with me so we can find her.” Little Daniel shrugged his shoulders, still very
timid around Rob and his job uniform. After a few moments of silence, Daniel stood up to walk around
with Rob, but neglecting to hold his hand. “Great. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

As the two walked around the fair together, Rob noticed all his coworkers glaring then turning
around and whispering words of menace about him. None of the people he worked with seemed to like
him, so his life on the road was extremely lonely. He thought it must just be the jealousy that he does so well with these trusting children.

Rob’s face was lifted into a smile and he pointed in front of him, toward the funhouse. “There
Danny! I think I saw your mom go in the funhouse!” Daniel smiled a wide, innocent smile as he grabbed
Rob’s hand and guided him into the funhouse.

It was much darker in the house than it was outside, though the sun had gone down hours ago.
Rob was aware that the fair was shutting down soon and he and the little boy would be alone in the
funhouse like he had planned other times with the other kids. As Daniel trotted around in the house,
Rob stopped and looked at himself in a mirror that was supposed to warp your body in a bunch of different ways. This was in particular shrunk his body down and made him look like he weighed four
hundred pounds. He looked closer at his face and saw that his white paint that covered his entire face
has begun to crack and fade. The sharp, red triangles on his eyes, however, remained fully intact. He
didn’t know why he chose to look at himself in the mirror for that long because what he truly saw
disgusted him. You are an absolute loser. You have nothing going for you. He felt is eyes begin to water
but quickly wiped the small volume from them. There’s no time for tears quite yet.

Rob walked over to a catwalk where Daniel was standing and stood right next to him with his
friendly, benevolent grin replaced with a more sinister one. He looked around and he could feel the
moving spirals engulfing him and putting him in a trance.

“Are you sure my mom was in here? I looked all around, and I can’t find her anywhere.”

Rob looked down at the little boy with the turkey leg still in his hand. He pitied how weak and
oblivious children could be sometimes. However, the didn’t feel bad for too long, for he held out his
hand once more and Daniel took it.

“Come on, Danny. I saw your mom walk out but I lost you. I will take you to her.”

The two walked out of the funhouse together and was met by a screaming woman with tears in
her eyes. “Oh my God! Daniel Lee, I thought I lost you!” his mother said pulling him in a tight hug. She
looked up and gave Rob a look that said, ‘back off my son or it’s over for you.’

So, he did.

Rob walked back to his trailer with his head down and a frown on his face. Taking out his key
from a secret pocket that his clown suit had, he unlocked and opened the door. Three blowflies flew
into his mouth as he took in a breath as he stepped into his living area while he was a part of the fair.
The stench of decay has never been pleasant to Rob, but he makes do just because he can’t live without his best friends. As he looked around and saw all the beautiful children’s limp bodies sitting in a circle, awaiting his arrival. He smiled and ran his fingers through each of their frail hair.

“It’s been a long day, my loves, I hope you didn’t start the tea party without me!” he said to his
friends with grey, cloudy eyes. He took his kettle off the stove and poured tea into four little teacups,
then sitting at the table with his lovely guests. “drink up my children. We’ve got quite a day ahead of us
tomorrow.”

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