I yawned and slowly fluttered my tired (e/c) eyes open, a few strands of my (h/c) hair covering my right eye. I stretched out, releasing the tension in my muscles. A smile appeared on my face as I slowly saw up, grabbing my (f/c) teddy bear that Jack gave me yesterday as a birthday present. Yep, yesterday was my seventh birthday!
Heh, maybe I should introduce Jack. Jack is my best friend in the whole wide world! He is always laughing, hinting his name, Laughing Jack. I like to call him Jack, though, not Laughing Jack or LJ.
Jack is really my ONLY friend, to tell you the truth.
Let’s see, what else can I tell you? Oh yeah! Jack and I have known each other for about four years yesterday. He told me four years ago that it made him sad that I had no friends, so he became my best friend!
My mommy and daddy don’t like me going outside and playing with other kids. We live in a bad part of town where a lot of people get hurt and or killed. Mommy says that I needed to stay inside as much as possible so I would be safe from all the bad people outside.
But Jack takes me outside sometimes when it’s darker. I feel safe when I’m with him, like I’m not in any type of danger what so ever.
There is one problem, though.
Jack doesn't like my daddy. He knows about the ‘tough love’ that daddy shows me. Whenever Jack sees a bruise or cut, he is not very happy. Neither is mommy, but most of the time mommy gets it worse. Jack has been acting strange lately, though. I shrugged off the thought and closed my eyes, smiling. I whispered Jack’s name in my mind gently.
Jack comes every day to tell me ‘Good morning!’ in his cheeky voice with the same trademark smile. His rainbow-colored clothes make him a very interesting guy and interesting to look at.
“Good morning, (f/n)! Up earlier than usual?” I opened my eyes and saw a tuff of red hair falling down from the upside-down clown, his usual smile planted on his rose cheeks. I laughed and poked his rainbow-colored nose.
“Yeah, mommy is making breakfast this morning.” Jack smiled and rubbed his fingers through the rat’s nest, also known as my hair. I giggled and grabbed his hand, holding it close to me. “Guess what today is!”
Jack hummed and glanced into my eyes, rubbing his chin in a quizzical manner. I tilted my head a little bit to the right, hugging his hand closer.
“Let’s see. Yesterday was your birthday, so it isn’t your birthday. It’s not a holiday either…” I let go of his hand and threw mine into the air.
“It’s the family reunion day at the park! All my cousins will be there and I get to see and play with th-“I stopped when I noticed Jack’s right eye slightly twitch, his blue eyes flickering a hint of white. I put my hands down and whimpered. Jack gasped and shook his head violently.
“I am so sorry, (f/n), I did not mean to do that. I apologize.” I smirked and rubbed his hand.
“It’s fine, Jack. No need to get upset.” Jack sighed and smiled back at me, putting a strand of hair behind my ear. He tilted his head to the right a little, staring into my (e/c) eyes. His small smirk grew.
“You have the gentlest eyes I have ever seen. Not a hint of anger or hate anywhere.” I smiled and stared into his blue orbs.
“You have pretty eyes, too. They are always so shiny and full of life! It’s like looking into…mirrors. I can see myself staring back. ” Jack playfully gasped and put the back of his hand to his forehead and blushed.
“Oh, why thank you! I have never received such a glorious compliment before!” He fainted into my arms and I laughed, holding his head in my arms. We both began to laugh before there was a knock at my door. Jack shot up and stared wide-eyed at the door.
“You can come in!” Mommy opened the door, smiling. Her (whatever you desire) hair was pulled up in a high messy bun, a strand of hair falling on each side of her face. She wore a light pink apron with spots of dried up flour placed here and there.
“Morning baby girl!” I jumped off of the bed and ran over to give her a hug. She ruffled my hair and chuckled. I glanced over at Jack to see him staring intently at us. I gave him a small smile.
“Is breakfast done yet?” Mommy nodded and pushed me towards the kitchen with a flour-coated hand. I turned back for a second and waved at Jack. I noticed that through those couple of seconds, he became tense and his blue eyes got lighter, almost turning white. He sighed and took a deep breath, opening them to their regular blue color. “I’ll be back in a few, Jack!” Jack smiled and gave a playful salute and fell back onto my bed, closing his eyes.
“Come on, (f/n), let’s go eat. Jack will be here when you return.” Jack turned to face my mom as his name was mentioned. He scanned over her before sighing and closing his eyes again.
As I walked down the hallway, I couldn’t help but think of Jack. He seemed…off today. Usually he is calm and collected. When mommy showed up, though, he seemed to tense up. When I mentioned the family reunion, he began to glare and his eyes almost turned white. It is not normally like him to behave this way. Maybe something bad happened to him earlier and he is not in his full-blown Jack mood. I don’t blame him, though. Everyone has bad days, it’s what makes us human.
Well, Jack isn’t human, but point proven.
My Grandma Fran always told me whenever I felt like nothing for doing something wrong, that nobody is perfect. I smiled at the memories. Admitting that we are imperfect is what makes up perfect. Everyone has flaws.
I stepped into the kitchen to find daddy smoking a cigarette and reading the newspaper, slowly flipping through the pages. He never really reads it, he mainly reads the comics and solves the puzzles. Every so often, something catches his attention.
He peeked over his paper and watched me sit down and dig into my pancakes, a cold glass of fresh milk sitting next to it. He blew a cloud of smoke and put it out in the ashtray, setting his paper down. He got up and grabbed a glass from the cupboard, pouring himself a glass of orange juice. He licked the hairs on his mustache where the juice soaked in. He groaned and glanced at mommy.
“Is she still believing that Jack is real?” Mommy nodded and continued to butter her toast. I placed my fork down and sighed, getting ready for what was about to come.
“(f/n), when in the hell is this imaginary friend thing going to end? You are seven years old for Christ’s sake.” I rubbed my right foot over the left one, staring at a broken tile under the table.
“Jack is real, daddy. I wish there was a way to prove it to you, but he is real.” Daddy groaned and shook his head, heading upstairs to their room.
“Yeah, and I’m the damn Tooth Fairy. You better grow out of this ridiculous stage real quick young lady. Oh, while we are at the reunion, no talking, ‘playing’, or even mentioning of Jack. I better not hear the name Jack at this reunion. Am I clear?” I bit my lower lip and tears began to form in the corners of my eyes. I sniffed and slowly shook my head.
“Yes, sir.” Daddy laughed and patted the stair railings.
“Good girl.” He proceeded up the steps and I continued to stare at the floor until I heard his door small shut. I let the tears fall down my cheeks and I pushed the pancakes away. Mommy walked over to me and kissed my forehead, rubbing my forearm.
“Ignore what your father said. If Jack wants to come, then he can come. You are a young child, live like a child, baby.” I smiled and leaned into my mother’s tummy. She rubbed a hand through my hair and patted my shoulder. “Are you done eating?” I nodded. “You need to go get ready, then. I am going to do your hair, so don’t mess with
I ran for the shower and turned the water on.
I stepped into the shower and turned on the shower radio shower to my favorite station. A familiar tune rang through the speaker. Funhouse by P!nk began to play. It’s one of my favorite songs!
I dance around this empty house
Tear us down. Throw you out.
Screaming down the halls
Spinning all around and now we fall
I hummed along with the song and poured shampoo into my hand.
Pictures framing up the past
Your taunting smirk behind the glass
This museum full of ash
Once a tickle, now a rash
I thought I heard a crash come from my room, but I shrugged it off. Probably just my imagination.
This used to be a funhouse
Laughing Jack clutched his head and hissed, an animal-like growl escaping from him. His pupils were dilated. His now white irises were trembling violently. He fell onto his knees and began to laugh. He bit his lower lip and gripped his head.
But now it’s full of evil clowns
It’s time to start the countdown
I’m gonna burn it down, down, down
I’m gonna burn it down
I shut off the shower as I knew I heard something break in my room. I jumped out of the shower and wrapped my purple robe around me, rushing towards my room. I opened the door to see Jack cleaning up a glass horse that rested on my dresser. He gasped and snapped his head up towards me, his eyes fearful.
“(F/n), I am so sorry! I-I just…” I walked over to the broken horse. That horse was the one my grandma gave to me before she died. I sighed and stared down at the broken figure and the panicked clown.
“It’s fine.” He shook his head and continued to clean up the horse pieces.
“No, it’s not. I am going to make this up to you. I promise.” I smiled and leaned down towards him.
“An M&M’s chocolate bar and we will forget this ever happened.” He smiled and pulled out the candy bar and handed it to me.
“I always carry one around, I know they are your favorite.” He began to place the glass horse into the waste basket until I stopped him. I grabbed the broken legs and neck of the horse and smiled up at him.
“We don’t have to throw this away! I can always superglue it back together.”
“But, it will still have the cracks.”
“I don’t care, the cracks will make it more special to me. I will be able to see it in a different light than what it normally is. Same horse, but different view.” Jack smiled down at me and blinked.
“Always a Positive Penny, aren’t you?”
“More like Positive (F/n), since my name is not Penny (or is it!?).” Jack laughed and took the horse from my hands, placing it gently back on the dresser.
I stared at him.
He stared at me.
We stared at each other for a while.
“(F/n), what are we doing?”
“I don’t know what you are doing, but I need to get dressed.” Jack jumped back and smiled nervously.
“Oh, of course. Just call me back when you’re done.” I nodded and watched him disappear in a puff of rainbow smoke.
I smiled and threw my robe to the ground. I froze and glanced around, feeling eyes on me. I whimpered and glanced around nervously. I knew it wasn’t Jack, he would NEVER do that. NEVER.
I picked up my robe and wrapped it back around me, running into my closet and deciding to dress in there. I glanced around my room and shut the door swiftly behind me, my breaths slightly hitched.
Glancing at my aroma of clothes, my eyes stopped on a red summer dress. I snatched it from the hanger and put it on, slipping on my red sandals to match it. I smiled at my apparel and stepped out of my closet. I no longer felt eyes on me and I called Jack’s name in my mind.
I began to worry as Jack didn’t show up. It never took him this long! Maybe he was doing something. I shrugged and took off for downstairs to find mommy and daddy ready and packing some food. Daddy grabbed the keys and went to start the car. We heard him curse loudly and the door to the car slammed. Daddy shot through the door, pure annoyance on his face.
“The damn car won’t start. I don’t understand, it was working fine earlier.” Mommy sighed and grabbed a rubber band. She began to braid my hair while watching daddy pace back and forth from the car and back. There was no hope for the car.
“Honey, we could always call a taxi.”
“And spend money doing so?”
“We have no other alternatives. Besides walking, and I am not walking on those streets with (f/n).” Daddy sighed and grabbed the phone book from the kitchen counter, flipping to a taxi add.
About 10 minutes later, a taxi pulled up and honked. Daddy sighed and grabbed me on his arms so mommy could get the food. Mommy locked the door behind her and we got into the taxi.
We arrived back home, exhausted. I played a lot with my cousins while the adults talked and drank some. Throughout the day, I didn’t hear a thing from Jack. I frowned and glanced at the ground. I hope I didn’t do anything to make him mad.
Daddy turned on the TV and the news reporters were covering a murder. Who has the nerve to kill someone else?
“Earlier this afternoon, the body of 69-year-old James Herfon was found brutally slaughtered in his small home in Franklin County. He was found with deep gash marks all over his body and his face cut so horribly he was not recognized until police identified him by his driver’s license. Herfon was also found with a snapped neck. Police have to clues yet to who committed this crime, but there are a few suspects.
Police also searched through Hefron’s computer for any evidence only to discover he was an avid watcher of child pornography. A very regurgitating piece of evidence found indeed.
That is all we have on the story so far. Check back in tomorrow to find out more on this murder.”
Daddy blinked at the screen and turned to mommy, his eyes slightly wide. Mommy’s mouth slight hung open, her expression was shocked, just like daddies.
“He lived across the street from us,” mommy whispered, glancing out the window to see the police tape across the yard. It was dark when we got back home, so we must not have seen it. Mommy glared and clenched her fists. “And now there is a killer roaming around.”
I slowly stood up and walked into my room, saying my good-nights. I yawned and closed my door behind me. A flash of rainbow coursed passed me and Jack sat on my bed, frowning.
“(f/n), I am so sorry that I didn’t show up when you called me. I had something to take care of.” I noticed red on his outfit. He must have been painting. I smiled at him, which seemed to calm him down since he smiled back.
“It’s not a problem. I understand that you have things to do.” I grabbed my pj’s and changed in my closet again. Once clothed, I sat next to Jack and hugged him. He hugged me back, pulling me in close and tightening his grip on me. “No matter who I meet, Jack, you will always be my best friend. Never think twice about it.” Jack laughed and ruffled my hair, letting me go. He smiled down at me.
“I never will. Well, I have to head back now.” I laid down on my bed and pulled the covers over me.
“Will you ever take me where you live?” Jack stared at me, his lower lip quivering.
“Not right now, there are some… renovations…. going on. It is quite dangerous right now.” I nodded my head and yawned and gave Jack a tired smile.
“Okay. Good night, Jack.” Jack gave a small wave and smiled.
“Good night, (f/n), don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
I woke up to the sound of men shouting and glass breaking. I shot out of bed and opened my door, my heart racing. I heard daddy and mommy shouting violently. There were loud crashes and screams. I almost screamed when I heard multiple gun shots ring through the house. I gasped and went downstairs to see if mommy and daddy were okay. I stopped at the edge of the stairs as the repugnant aroma of blood hit me like a truck. I covered my hand with my mouth as I glanced to my right, my (e/c) eyes growing wide.
Tears began to weld up and I stared wide-eyed at of my parents, blood coating themselves and the area around them. Daddy was laid up against the wall, two bullet holes through his head and one through his neck. His crimson blood was poring prefusley down his face and neck and staining his white dress shirt. I glanced over at Mommy who laid out sprawled on the floor, her body still twitching slightly. She moaned in pain and I saw her lift her head a couple inches off the ground. Blood ran from in between her pink lips and down her chin. Two men in black were standing over my mommy, smiling down at her. One man laughed deeply and kicked her side viciously, sending her crashing into the table.
The man leaned down and ran his fingers over her side, a sickening grin growing along with his dark features. “You see, Marley, this is what happens when you decided to turn your back on us. We promised you good things, but you still declined. Not the smartest move you ever made.” Mommy groaned and sat up on her elbow, glaring at the men.
I felt anger surge up in me like never before. I grabbed a broken piece of glass from a nearby vase, screaming with a fresh pool of tears filled with agony and pure hatred. I ran towards the man who shot Mommy and shoved the glass piece into his chest, sending blood to fall down his chest like Niagara Falls. He screamed and fell over, grabbing his bleeding chest. “You little bitch!” The man pulled out his gun and I froze, backing up.
I screamed for Jack in my mind. No sooner had I said his name, he was standing in front of me, his blue eyes wide and scared.
“What is going o-“I felt the bullet pierce through my chest as soon as the deafening boom of the gun barrel went of. I saw blood fly out of my mouth and I fell back, tripping over the rug and falling onto my tummy. The pain I was feeling was unbearable! It felt like a thousand bee stings on my chest. I gagged and tried to move, but to no avail.
Through blurry vision, I saw Jack violently twitch, his red hair turning a deep ebony. His rainbow outfit began to fade, turning black and white. But before I passed out, I noticed his blue eyes turn a cold, deadly snow white.