One Yellow Balloon


She sighed in relief as she turned the key to the deadbolt, glad the day was finally over. Her normally friendly, happy customers all seemed to be grouchy and in the mood to complain. Maybe it’s a full moon, that would explain it, she thought to herself.

Although her walk home was a short one, about 6 or 7 minutes if she walked the couple of blocks down Main Street, she decided to take a shortcut through the field that runs between the school and a forest of trees.

Normally at this time of the year, when it started to get dark earlier and earlier each night, she avoided walking through the field because it was unlit. But she was tired and just wanted to get home to Real Housewives of Orange County, leftover spaghetti, and a glass (or two) of wine.

The moon was bright and she could almost see from one end of the field to the other. She walked along, pulling her jacket closer because of the chill while she hummed a song she couldn’t quite place.

She heard a noise behind her and quickly turned around. There was nothing there. She walked a little faster, not realizing she stopped humming so that she could listen to the sounds that make up the night.

There it was again! The same sound. Maybe it was footsteps on the leaves of the trees in the forest? She didn’t stop this time, but turned her head quickly towards the forest. She didn’t see anything.

I’m just being paranoid,” she said to herself under her breath. She was on high alert now, the silence screaming in her ears. She stepped up her pace again. Then the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Somebody was watching her – tracking her – she was sure of it.

She stopped again, this time turning in a slow circle peering into the darkness towards the school, again towards the forest, and then behind her. There was nothing. She turned towards home, wishing she would’ve just stayed on the sidewalks and the safety of their street lights.

That’s when she saw him. Standing directly in front of her, about 20 feet away. His face was smiling but it wasn’t a friendly smile and his eyes were glaring straight into her. Hate. His costume was stained and dirty. The face makeup was painted on quickly, messily…almost as an after thought. A blood-red frown, not a smile. Black around the eyes that ended in sharp points.

He just stood there smiling that awful smile while her feet seemed to cement themselves into the grass on the field. She was so confused. “Hello?,” she said and she was frightened even though he hadn’t said or done anything. She noticed that in one hand he held one yellow balloon, and something shiny in the other.

The clown didn’t move or respond. He just glared at her, smiling. He let the balloon go and said in a sing-songy voice, “Look at my balloon, as yellow as the sun. 1, 2, 3, you’d better run.” Then he held up his other hand and she saw that he was holding a knife. A very big knife.

She turned back towards the safety of Main Street and started to scream. She ran, so fast that she lost one of her shoes.

She looked back to see if he was chasing her, but he wasn’t. He was walking. Then she heard the clown start to laugh a vicious, terrifying laugh, as he yelled “This is gonna be fun!”

I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #5: Write a blog post inspired by the word: paranoid. I thought it would be fun to write a spooky story centered around all the creepy clown stuff going on!





  1. I've missed all the clown news. It reminded me heaps of a cross between The Lovely Bones and American Horror Story. Very scary. I certainly wouldn't want to run into him in an empty field. ????
  2. wow! that was intense and frightening. I hate clowns. Always have. And with the clown news, this short story made it real. You did a real good job at getting my attention!