Kyle woke up in the dead of night. The room was silent, making him uncomfortable. He was used to hearing crickets or something in the yard making noise at such an hour, but tonight he didn’t hear anything outside his bedroom window, like he had frozen time.
He was going to get up and use the bathroom when he heard a ringing sound echoing in the hallway. He looked out as he sat up in his bed but didn’t see a thing. He waited stiff as a corpse when the lamp on his bedside table turned on by itself. The clicking sound of the lamp switching on and the sudden light filling the bedroom made Kyle jump slightly and his hands began to shake.
Kyle looked up towards the hallway and could now see the shadow of someone slowly making their way towards his bedroom. He saw the shadow of one person, but heard the footsteps of multiple people on their way towards him. Since he was in his bed with nowhere to run, Kyle just sat there awaiting the presence of whoever was paying him a visit.
When the first person made their way into his bedroom, Kyle saw that it was his mother. She didn’t look his way when she appeared. She only looked straight ahead, appearing as if she was looking at something on the other side of the bedroom wall. In her hand she held a jack in the box toy. Kyle was so distracted by the blank emotionless look in his mother’s eyes that it took him a moment to realize that the ringing sound he heard was the sound of the handle on the toy slowly rotating on its own.
His mother was soon followed by Kyle’s father, grandfather, grandmother and both of his sisters entering the bedroom. Everyone had the same jack in the box with a self-rotating handle. Kyle studied the box and saw that the design on the front was of a medieval court jester like clown dancing and smiling, not a wide smile from ear to ear but a relaxed smile. It was a smile of someone who was contempt and comfortable with their role in life.
When everybody was in Kyle’s bedroom they took a position around his bed. All five of them moved to a spot without any two people walking towards the same spot, as if everything was planned out. Kyle looked up at the faces of his family and saw the same blank and emotionless look he had seen on his mother’s face. They didn’t address him and they didn’t seem to be addressing one another. They all had the same mile long look towards the bedroom walls.
Kyle sat frozen and uncomfortable as the jack in the box toys kept on slowly rotating at a rather melodic and hypnotic pace. He felt everything inside him coming towards a grinding halt when the handles suddenly stopped rotating all at once. Yet again, the timing and chorography of everything was incredibly unsettling to Kyle. It was at this moment that he wished to be anybody but himself.
The tense moment when he waited for the jack in the box toys to spring open went on for maybe several seconds but may as well have been an eternity. It was similar to the jump scares in the horror films Kyle watched, no matter how prepared he was, he would find himself jumping when it all went down.
Finally, one by one the jack in the box toys sprang open. The one his mother held when it sprang open was a giant clown’s head on a long metallic spring. The rest were small fabric dolls.
Kyle and everyone in the room watched in horror as the jack in the box his mother held popped out and opened its mouth to reveal sharp teeth before wrapping its mouth around her face. Once it pulled away, Kyle was horrified to see it had stripped the flesh from his mother’s face, as well as her nose and lips. She screamed as blood dripped down her deformed face. Kyle’s stomach churned when he looked at her face and felt it looked like a slice of pizza that someone had peeled the layer of cheese from.
When his eyes were able to look away from his mother’s face, he now saw that the clowns that had emerged from the other four toys all had weapons. Kyle looked terrified and hopeless as he noticed how there was a clown with razor sharp claws, one with giant scissors, the third wielding a chainsaw and the final one a large machete. Kyle watched as the clowns made eye contact with each other before using their weapons on the throats of their victims.
Time slowed down as he watched his family being decapitated at the same moment. Their heads flew up, a couple smacking into one another before they all landed in his lap. Not only did they all fall perfectly into his lap without rolling off, but the lifeless faces of his family were all faced towards him, their mouths held open appearing to let out one final moan of pain and agony.
Kyle screamed but couldn’t hear himself over toy clowns laughing at his torment. Kyle looked at them and saw they were still held by the decapitated bodies of his family, sinister grins spread from ear to ear surrounded his bed.
Kyle woke up facing towards his bedroom door. He sat up and looked around. Quickly, he reached out and flipped on his lamp. Nobody else was in the room. He exhaled a sigh of relief. He was thankful it was all a dream, but he was far from getting over how real it felt.
Just when he was able to tell himself it was all a dream, he heard cruel laughter echoing down the hallway. He looked up and saw the shadow of a giant jack in the box toy that filled the hallway, slowly hopping. The sound it made as it landed on the floor was like an earthquake.
Kyle dug his nails into the flesh of his arm, hoping to wake up.