Genre: Man from UNCLE/Mouth of Babes
Word Count: 1668
Written for jkkitty/ My thanks to you and to Sparky for her beta!
Her Prompt -
I love Halloween. I love everything about it. I love the crispness of the air. I love the candy. I love making people scream.
You see, I’m a clown by trade. Laugh, clown, laugh! It’s not because I want to be. It’s the family business and like so many other sons, I was destined to follow in the big floppy footsteps of my father and grandfather. For most of the year, it’s balloon animals and cotton candy. It's pratfalls and honking noses while the little demons hover around me and sorely abuse my person. However, one day out of the year, I can let it all go and pander to my darker side, the side that hates snot-nose little kids and their simpering parents. That day is Halloween.
On that day, my makeup took on a sinister side and God help the greedy little creatures who pounded on my door and demanded sweets. I gave them sweets all right, right after I made them crap their pants and run home to their mommies. Horror was alive and well and living on Honeycomb Lane.
I was warned, both by parents and the police, so I turned off my porch light. That was a huge mistake on their parts. You see, up to that point, I’d been happy scaring the little buggers, but after a while, the kids started steering clear of my place.
That’s when I learned a new tactic. I went on the prowl. I learned which groups to target and which ones to avoid. And when one little girl started screaming, I had to shut her up. I clamped my hand over her mouth and dragged her back to my place. There she could scream all she wanted, scream until she had no voice left. And when I was through, well, I liked to think that the death I provided gave them the freedom they so wanted and cried so much for.
I washed and dressed the corpses, then placed them in my basement, a happy family of forever quiet boys and girls. Dead, just the way I liked them.
So, in a way it wasn’t really my fault. It was the police and the overly-protective parents who started me killing. I was just a helpless victim. And I loved every minute of it.
“Come on, Grampy, all the good candy will be gone.” Alex Solo tugged eagerly at his grandfather’s hand “I heard Mrs. Swain is giving out full size chocolate bars.”
His sister was too busy dancing around and touching bushes with the top of her magic wand. For a moment, the light made the bushes burst into color. She sighed happily. “Grampy, look, Poppy is right. It is magic.”
Napoleon Solo glanced back at his partner. “Hear that, Illya. You’re magic.” Illya was carrying the twins and nodded wearily. “Are you doing okay?”
“Fine. After the candied apples and popcorn balls, they become self-adhesive.” Illya hefted up Peter a little. “I’m going to take these two home. How about you?”
“I have a feel I’m just getting started. We’re going to finish the neighborhood.”
“I’ll come find you.”
“Naw, go home and relax. Have some mulled wine and put your feet up. Your hip must be killing you.”
“It is a little tired.” For Illya to admit even that spoke volumes.
“I’ll see you in a little bit.”
“You’ll be okay?”
“I have my security detachment.” Napoleon nodded to the two men who carefully stayed at a distance, but watched everything. “I’ll be fine. Save me a caramel apple.”
Illya nodded and started back towards the house.
“Okay, you two, where next?”
“Honeycomb Lane. They have the best candy anywhere!”
The name made Napoleon a little uneasy. Last year, a child had been snatched from that area. They’d found her a week later, tossed into a land fill. The only thing that was recognizable was the teddy bear outfit she’d been wearing.
“Only if you hold my hand.”
“What? Grampy, I’m nearly eight! A guy can’t hold his Grampy’s hand at that age. If one of the other fellows saw, they’d make my life at school awful.”
“I’ll hold your hand, Grampy.” Irina took it and gave the back of it a kiss. “You don’t have to be afraid. I’ll protect you.”
Her brother started to laugh. “You? You gonna hit the monster with your wand?”
“Poppy’s been showing me things.”
“Then I will feel twice as safe.” He held out his other hand. “Alex, you have my conditions.”
“Jez, Grampy…” But he took the hand and away they headed towards the Nirvana of trick or treating.
I saw them coming from a mile away, an old man and two kids. The boy was totally focused upon the houses, his head going left and right as if he was able to see which treats were being given where. Opportunists, that’s all kids were.
“Come on, Grampy can’t you go fast that that?”
“Alex, my boy, I only have one speed these days.” He seemed to come to a decision. “Okay, you do those houses right over there and then come back, deal? I’ll wait here.”
“Deal! Let’s go, Reenie!” The girl was less anxious to leave her grandfather’s side and I smiled behind my makeup. I had my target. I‘d have a good time scaring her and maybe, if her reaction was right, I’d take her home and make her scream again and again. I’d like that.
“Don’t go too far, Irina.”
“I won’t, I pinkie promise!” She was more interested in lighting up the bushes with her wand than running after candy. I decided to take a chance and pulled out my flashlight. I let it blinked twice when I knew she was looking in my direction.
She stopped and stared, her head cocked to one side. I slipped back a few feet and did it again. By the time I finished, she was well behind a tall hedge and she ran around the corner.
I jumped out, my face grotesque in its makeup and yelled, “BOO!”
The normal reaction is for the kid to scream and run away or freeze in place. I hoped she was a freezer.
However, after the initial jump, the little girl stared at me, her face a mask of anger. “It’s not nice to scare people,” she said. She put her hands on her hips and just glared at me.
I took another threatening step towards her, growling in my throat.
“You don’t scare me, I have brothers.” She turned to leave and I grabbed her shoulder. She spun back, her eyes narrowed. “Don’t touch me.” She shook my hand off. “Get a hobby.”
“I will suck out your eyes and dine on your heart,” I growled and I lunged right into those dark unblinking eyes. But I found myself flying instead. I landed hard and suddenly she was above me. “Now you’ll pay. My name is Legion for we are many.” And in her eyes, I saw all the faces of the children I’d ‘played with’ and killed. Heard all their screams, tasted all their blood. And the pain, white hot and searing. So much pain.
When the screaming started, Napoleon looked around in a panic. “Irina! IRINA!” Instantly, his security detachment was at his side. “My granddaughter, where is she?”
“Over…” Ziemann started to point and then looked around wildly. “She was right there, sir, I swear.”
Another scream and Napoleon was off at a dead run, his heart pounding. He rounded a tall hedgerow and stopped.
Irina was standing above someone writhing on the ground, her patent leather heel on the person’s groin. “You get up and I’ll have to knock you down again.” Napoleon smiled. That line was pure Kuryakin.
“Irina, sweetheart!” Napoleon, the security guards and half the neighborhood joined her. Her dress was torn and stained with mud, as was her face. Her hair escaped from its braid and her wand was snapped in half. He fell to his knees before her and then the tears started from her. She launched herself into Napoleon’s arms and started to cry.
“Grampy, he was mean. He tried to scare me. I told him not to. Then he tried to grab me.”
The Section Three agents hauled the figure to his feet. His face was an evil characterture of a clown. There was blood oozing from beneath his rubber nose.
“What happened? What did you do?”
“I showed him what Poppy taught me. He said just because I’m small, it didn’t mean I couldn’t pack a wallop.” She motioned her grandfather closer. “I don’t know what a wallop is, so I hit ‘em as hard as I could with my wand. He fell down and I started kicking him.” The way the man was hunched over, Napoleon knew right where she’d directed those blows. “That’s when he started screaming, but I didn’t stop.”
A local police unit lead by Alex arrived. “I brought the cavalry, Grampy. You okay, Reenie? You were sure yelling.”
“I wasn’t yelling. He was.” Irina took a step in the clown’s direction and he shrieked and bent to protect his crotch.
Alex’s eyes widened. “Wow, I gotta talk to Poppy. I want to learn this, too.”
I still dream of her sometimes and of those brown eyes so lit with fire and anger. I wish I could have played with her, but whenever I try, she makes me scream. Again and again, so much so that I have no voice left and they’ve hidden me away in a quiet corner of the sanitarium.
They tell people that I am in solitary because I bother the other prisoners. That’s what they don’t understand. I’m never alone. Not now. Not ever. She’s always there, with her shoes and her stick and her evil eyes.
And that’s when I start to scream all over again.