Percival

Percival

A Story by PWyates
"

A single mother is throwing her 5 year old son his first birthday party, and it has to be perfect. Too bad the entertainment has other plans.

"

Link to fully dramatized story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy-D9NV-jtQ&t=1s 


This all happened at my son Caleb’s fifth birthday party, the first real one I had been able to give him.  Everything had to be perfect; my poor boy had to suffer through four birthdays without a real celebration, or his father.  Three months ago I had finally left my job as a waitress after being offered a new one as a teacher’s aide in Caleb’s class.  The pay wasn’t that much better, but there were benefits namely spending time with my son and his friends.  A key component in the planning of this party; it was the first time he had real friends and they were all he truly needed for the party.

It was his first though, and I was through seeing that dejected look in his eyes every time he got a year older.  As I said it had to be as perfect as possible, part of that had already been accomplished after giving him my present earlier on that day.  After a year of hounding me for a tablet I was at least able to afford a Leap Pad; it wasn’t exactly what he wanted but his face lit up just the same. 

All that remained now was putting the finishing touches on Caleb’s cake, arrange the presents and wait for the entertainment to arrive.  As far as this was concerned, again my budget was limited so I could only afford a Craig’s List clown who went by Baldo.  A completely asinine name in my opinion, but hopefully it would be enough to keep them occupied for an hour.  I’m sure the other children’s parents would appreciate some activity other than eating confectionary treats, and pulverizing each other in my backyard. 

Just as I was spelling out “B” on the cake there was a deafening engine that puttered and stopped in front of the house.  Baldo must have been arrived, walking towards the front door to greet him I was pleasantly surprised to check the clock and notice that he was early.  Startled again when I opened the door to see a brightly colored, beat up Geo but no clown in sight.  I made my way toward my backyard there was Caleb, and all ten of his guests sitting attentively in front of the clown.

There were three black duffle bags of tricks in front of the children, and he obnoxiously introduced himself to us as Percival J. Puffinstuff.  A much cleverer name than “Baldo” I had to admit, but there was something off about him.  He certainly had plenty of energy, but it seemed to be far more manic than any clown I’d seen before.  Worst of all was his makeup; he looked like a fry cook who’d been called in at the last minute to dress as Ronald McDonald for the opening of a new location.  However, this really did not bother me since he was cheap, and seemed to have all eleven children eating out of the palm of his hand.  This gave me the freedom to return to the kitchen.

I began to stick five tiny candles in the cake half paying attention to the fairly standard routine Percival was going through.  The kids didn’t seem to mind of course I heard intermitted gasps, and explosions of cheers.  While arranging the presents around the finished cake I could not help but feel extremely proud of myself.  I had orchestrated a fantastic party on an extremely fixed income, and most importantly did it all by myself.  That was when the phone rang; bursting my momentarily ballooned ego.

It was the police; I figured the nosey old widow from next door must have called in a noise complaint.  Just as I was getting ready to apologize, the voice on the phone asked if I had paid for the services of Baldo the Clown this afternoon.  Confused I responded that he was in my backyard as we spoke.  The voice was silent for a moment then told me that a stripped, headless body was found near his place of residence.  And that Percival Picard, a recently escaped inmate from a local institute for the criminally insane was the prime suspect.

My stomach plummeted as I stared out the window.  Stricken with horror as I noticed that the clown was staring right back at me; I bolted towards the door.  But it was too late.  Before reaching the handle he was out of sight.  I ran into the yard to make sure the children were all safe, and accounted for as I heard the junky Geo’s engine belch as the lunatic sped off.

After sending all of the children inside, and calming myself as much as possible I looked over at the duffle bags the phony clown had left behind.  Two of them were unzipped, filled with colorful clown’s accoutrements.  The third was fully zipped, and I could not quell my curiosity before the police arrived.  I crouched down, and began to unzip the bag, noticing too late the thick liquid that it was drenched in.  Jumping back, I realized that it was blood through the partially unzipped bag was the unmistakable balding head of deceased Baldo the Clown.


© 2017 PWyates



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I'll start with my favorite line of this: "Worst of all was his makeup, he looked like a fry cook who had been called in last minute to dress as Ronald McDonald for a new location’s opening." That got a nice loud laugh out of me while in a very quiet coffee shop. That is fantastic imagery and really makes me able to see the scene. I also can see the home. It's grey, boring, and poor. The kitchen is small with a back sliding glass door right next to the sink, the stove across from that.
"balding head of deceased Baldo the Clown" This is great imagery again!
You did a great job of creating a suspenseful environment that made me think one of the kids was going to get hurt or even kidnapped or murdered. I'd love to see this as a longer piece with expanded detail into the interior of this single mothers life with her child. I want to feel what a challenge it is, since I am not one myself.
Also, I'm not sure you're a gamer, but here is a game (its a walk through, don't worry) that I was thinking about while I read this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZJR8Xod28Q

Well done! I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

PWyates

1 Year Ago

Thank you!!



Reviews

A mother only can feel the pain, even animals give birth, they are not called mother, as they represent very superior to all animals on the earth.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Brilliant. Clowns do seem to get a bad rap. But cutting his head off and stuffing it into a duffle bag.
That's just not child friendly.

Posted 9 Months Ago


Really, really good good short story. I did begin to wonder what was going to happen to the kids. I though at one point they we're going to be abducted or something terrible would happen to them. The build up towards the finale was spot on, the imagery of the kids party was great.

Keep up the good work.

Posted 1 Year Ago


PWyates

1 Year Ago

Thank you!!!!
It was alright. I can't really say it was a masterpiece, but I still felt the suspense (even though the whole "killer clown" thing was predictable af). This was certainly above average, but it was not through the roof.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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AUU
Oh this was great. It was refreshing to read creepy story that didn't rely on any supernatural shenanigans.

My one critique would be the duffel bag reveal. It doesn't quite fulfill. I think it's because all the -ing...progressive tense (I don't know I'm awful with tenses.)

If it was worded in the simple past...you may be able to amp up the tension a bit.

Great read either way.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

PWyates

1 Year Ago

Thanks for the feedback!! That and grammar have always been an Achille's Tendon for me.
I'll start with my favorite line of this: "Worst of all was his makeup, he looked like a fry cook who had been called in last minute to dress as Ronald McDonald for a new location’s opening." That got a nice loud laugh out of me while in a very quiet coffee shop. That is fantastic imagery and really makes me able to see the scene. I also can see the home. It's grey, boring, and poor. The kitchen is small with a back sliding glass door right next to the sink, the stove across from that.
"balding head of deceased Baldo the Clown" This is great imagery again!
You did a great job of creating a suspenseful environment that made me think one of the kids was going to get hurt or even kidnapped or murdered. I'd love to see this as a longer piece with expanded detail into the interior of this single mothers life with her child. I want to feel what a challenge it is, since I am not one myself.
Also, I'm not sure you're a gamer, but here is a game (its a walk through, don't worry) that I was thinking about while I read this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZJR8Xod28Q

Well done! I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

PWyates

1 Year Ago

Thank you!!

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6 Reviews
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Added on October 5, 2016
Last Updated on April 27, 2017
Tags: Horror, Thriller

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PWyates
PWyates

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