Trigger Warning: Depicts crime and blood.
Be. Careful. What. You. Wish. For. Be very careful. You just might get it.
George wished very hard for a clown for Christmas. This was when George was four. And again, when he was five. And again, when he was six. He finally gave up and wished for something else. But when George turned twenty, he finally got his clown. He got what he wished for.
George was playing computer games online when he thought he caught a glimpse of a clown outside his window. He glanced outside, trying to get a better look but he couldn’t see it anymore. He looked at the bushes lining the lawn but there was nothing there.
Two days later, he saw that same clown again, its orange hair peeking out above the bushes and its white plastic face glistening through the branches. “What the Hell?” He didn’t remember having wished for the clown as a child. If he had, he would take it back now. At least, he would try. He wondered if he should call the cops, but what was he supposed to say? “There’s a clown in my garden?” He could just imagine the laughter on the other side of the phone. Maybe there had been a kids’ party in the neighborhood? There were so many plausible reasons, but some of those reasons instilled the fear within him. A fear only someone about to be murdered might feel.
A few days on, a note had been left through the letter flap. It said this: Be. Careful. What. You. Wish. For. “What?” George thought panicked. “What in the eff did I wish for?” Once again, he contemplated telling the police. But he could just imagine their ludicrous faces. He couldn’t do it. He would be laughed out of the station.
Things just got creepier and creepier as time wore on. George found an ax in the bushes whilst mowing his lawn. Not just any ax. A toy, plastic ax. Ordinarily, a real ax would have freaked him out more. But with a plastic faced clown roaming his bushes, this was worse. At least there was no blood. He hid it in his bedroom, just in case.
A day later, he found another plastic, blow up ax – that wasn’t it though. This time there were specks of blood on the ax head. Somehow, he didn’t think that he should hide this one in his bedroom.
Just before the police headed over there the next day to see “the crime,” George found yet another toy ax, still plastic, but this time dripping in blood. “What the Hell is this?”
As soon as the cops came, he showed them both bloodied axes and the spot in which he had found the clean, spotless ax. Later that day, two letters both saying Be. Careful. What. You. Wish. For. came through the letter flap. One of these had been redirected by mistake. Both letters were covered in blood on the inside (the second one more so than the redirected one). The letters mimicked the axes.
The police took the evidence into the station, photographing everything they needed. They gave George a cursory warning, suggesting that he not freak out. It was probably a prank of some sort. In all likelihood, the blood was just food dye. George made a joke about ketchup, which did not go down at all well with the cops. The police mentioned something about talking to the neighbors, see if they saw anything.
A week later, George got a phone call that chilled him to the bone. The blood had not been food dye, or ketchup. It belonged to a man. Oddly, they knew which man. This guy had been let out on parole after being suspected for a homicide. He wasn’t ever truly convicted – there was too little evidence.
“What?” George spluttered. “So, some killer is stalking me?”
Within the next few days more letters (all with the same words) and plastic axes made their way into Georges hands. Each had more blood than the last. The blood always came form that same man. It turned out his name was Max. Maximilian Jeffreys. The police were getting suspicious. They used a couple of search dogs to try and find out if there was a body in the vicinity. The strange part was that the forensic scientist thought that the blood was fresh. And it was always Max’s blood.
At last, there was a break in the pattern. The newest ax was real – wood with metal. It also had no blood on it. The letter that was mailed was also clean and this time, it said: You. Will. Get. What. You. Wished. For.
“What the eff did I wish for?”
As he prowled the garden before night fell, George found a plastic clown face mask on the grass near the bushes. Things were getting creepier as time wore on.
George let the police know – they would send someone for the mask, they said.
As George waited for the cops to come, he sat hunched in the chair beside his computer. It wasn’t turned on. Night was falling fast. A strange, scratching noise came from behind him.
He wheeled around, nearly toppling over in his chair. An arm bearing a very heavy and very real ax was poised in the air above him. The man holding the ax was wearing a plastic, clown mask. “What the Hell?” George spluttered, fear cursing through him. He tried to get away but tripped over his own leg in the process, twisting his ankle under the weight of his body. He screamed an ear-splitting scream, which turned out to be more of a gurgle, such was his fear.
The man took a swing at him, as he did, the ax sliced through George’s forearm sending small spurts of blood everywhere. The carpet was quickly becoming soaked a crimson red by his blood but George had to keep his wits about him. As the masked man took another swing, George tripped him with his good leg. The masked ax wielder impaled himself with the head of his ax and, as he stumbled and fell, the ax speared his chest. Meanwhile, George had shifted himself into a crouching position, moving as far from the seemingly dead, masked man as he could.
As luck would have it, the cop that had been sent to get the new evidence arrived just then. Still in shock, George let the cop in, clutching his arm as he did. He managed to explain what had happened and took the cop to see the scene of the crime. The man on the floor was still wearing his clown mask.
Two days later, George was giving his statement at the police station. His arm was heavily bandaged and they said that he would be fine. The policeman dealing with him showed him a photo of his attacker. It was Maximillian Jeffreys. As it happened, Mr. Jeffreys had used his own blood to scare George, which explained how the blood had always been fresh.
Max hadn’t died from his wound. He was interrogated as soon as he recovered. As it turned out Max had been one of the shop Santa’s on whose lap children sat when they whispered their secret Christmas wishes. Three years running, George had asked for a clown. In his masticated mind, Mr. Jeffreys had become obsessed with these children and their wishes. Year after year, he would collect Christmas wishes from the children who sat on his lap and he would give them those wishes as soon as he could. This year, it was George’s turn to get his clown.