A Picture To Die For

by Hailey

Joey had been scared to sleep alone his whole life. Even though he was now seven, he still whined to his mother about it. "You need to be a big boy Joey. There's nothing that can hurt you," was his mother's only reply. Joey just wouldn't listen.

He kept telling his mother, "One day I'll be gone and you'll be the only one to blame!" Well, he had said those exact words awhile ago, but he never forgot them. Joey finally adjusted to sleeping alone in his room.

Things were changing and he now had a little baby brother named Evan. Joey and Evan shared a room on the second floor of their home. His parent's room was just across the hall. Everything was going smoothly.

Joey's mom came home one day from work and told Joey to fetch his brother Evan. Joey came back down the stairs carrying little Evan in his arms. "Guess what mommy got for you Evan!" She happily exclaimed. Evan just gurgled and slobbered as usual. His mother pulled out a picture from behind her back. It was a pictue with a clown in it. Surrounding the clown were a whole bunch of smiling children. They all had bright smiles on their faces and the whole picture was a colorful, happy world. The clown was smiling too, just an ordinary clown, nothing special about it.

Evan giggled and clapped his hands. "We can hang it up in your room tonight," the mother proclaimed. She did just that. The picture was promptly hung in Joey and Evan's room that very night. The picture was hung on the wall where Evan and Joey could both view it's joyful splendor. Things wouldn't stay too joyful, unfortunately.

A couple of nights later, Joey started complaining all over again. "Mom, I don't want to sleep in my room anymore. The clown picture frightens me," He cried. "Oh Joey, honestly! How can you be frightened of a smiling clown?" she questioned. "You don't know what it does! Whenever the lights are turned out, I can still see it. It's not smiling anymore! It's frowning, and all the children look sad, like they want to escape!" Joey whimpered. "Evan likes it, so it's staying!" his mother sternly said, and that was that.

One night Joey laid in bed staring at the wall with the clown picture hung on it. It was doing the same thing it did every night, and that was to glare at Joey. Evan was sound asleep, so no noise was made. Joey kept staring, and then he heard Evan giggle. "Evan, I thought you were asleep! Go back to sleep or mommy will be angry," Joey said. Another giggle. "Evan, stop! You're scaring me!" Joey whined. The giggling continued. Joey finally got up and walked to Evan's crib. He heard one last giggle.

"Evan, I thought I said to..." Joey stopped. Evan wasn't giggling, he was sound asleep. What could be giggling then? It hit Joey like a ton of bricks. He slowly lifted his head to look at the clown picture, and his mouth fell agape. The clown was reaching out of the picture, and it grabbed Joey by the hair, pulling him in. Joey couldn't even scream.

Joey's mom woke up to hear Evan crying. She got up to walk in his room, and when she came in she flicked on the lights. "Evan, what's wrong? And Joey, where are you?" She asked. She picked Evan up and rocked him back and forth. Evan still cried. "Evan, show me what's wrong," She said. Evan, still crying, pointed to the picture of the clown. Everything was normal, except one thing.

There was one more kid added to the picture. A kid that looked a lot like Joey.

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