The fairgrounds were cold and damp. Inside of the tents, candlelabra and small lamps were the only light available. A short, bearded man stood in front of a cage, smiling from ear-to-ear. "Shh, my children. Tomorrow is another day of performing--and just think, soon you'll be able to talk. You've been doing good with that lately." The man chuckled, patted the cage, and left the tent.  The creatures inside of the tent had grotesque body shapes, skin made mostly of white greasepaint, and ghoulish smiles. These creatures were clowns, and they were especially good at getting trained. It was as if they loved performing for the people, and that was good; their performances alone made the circus a bunch of money. But little did anyone know, it would all go wrong.

=== * * *


The next day, business was booming. Children and adults alike sat on the metal bleachers, waiting for the show to start. Backstage, the short carnie encouraged the creatures he had created to get out there and enjoy themselves, but today they just wouldn't comply. In fact, during the night there had apparently been a fight, because one of the clowns wss laying in a pool of glittery, goopy blood with his nose torn off. Oh well, just collateral damage. It wasn't like these things were HUMAN... well, not yet, anyway.

Eventually, the clowns reluctantly ducked out of the cage and stumbled onto the stage. Bitter, bright light stung their eyes and they called out in pain, but it only came out as laughter. The three clowns stood there, dumbfounded. The audience started to boo, throwing small bags of popcorn and even cups of soda at the stage. The creatures didn't take kindly to this, and crouched down. After the incident, audience members would claim their eyes were predatory and looked as if they were staring at prey rather than people they were trying to entertain. Of course, the shit-show still went on--if it got out that these things were less than human, there would surely be some backlash.

The clowns started to laugh ghoulishly as they surveyed the crowd, still crouched down on the ground on all fours. The best way to explain the sudden tonal shift would be a father that was once completely normal being taken over by some sort of drug addiction. Their mouths drooped, and their eyes twitched. Then they made their move. The clowns jumped from the stage and jumped the metal fence that separated the audience from the performers. They began to sidestep up the stairs of the bleachers, ridiculously colored hair bobbing on their heads as they moved towards their new-found prey.

Suddenly sensing that something was completely wrong with the whole situation, the families tried to escape down the stairs--but only a few made it. The survivors exited the tent without looking behind them, but if they had--they'd never be the same. The creatures had torn their clothes, revealing clumpy, peeling skin. They had smacked people in the head, knocking them out cold. After doing that, they tore at the skin with their fingernails until it came off like the skin of an onion. They ate, and took the leftovers back to their cage.

* * *

 "It was like they were on drugs... something crazy, like meth or something." One survivor, Leanne DuPont said. "I don't know how many of us survived, but I'm very thankful that my family and I did. I'll let other people know how potentially dangerous and I'll be damn sure to make a wide berth from this place anytime that I'm close." She said, and then left the area.

 After this happened, the carnie started to view his creatures as less of an attraction and more of a freak show. During the night, he banged on the barely illuminated cage. Big mistake. Apparently there had been some sort of... evolution overnight, and a large, slimy tongue wrapped around his throat. His screams rang out far into the country, and luckily a police officer just happened to be driving down the road just when the clown had torn the man's head clear off of his body. His arm raised for just a second, and then fell. The creatures had killed their creator, and all they could do was laugh.

 The police officer entered the fairgrounds, and could immediately smell something strange. It was like pennies and gasoline, and irony... it was blood. He rushed to the area that the smell had been emanating from and was surprised to see three clowns standing outside of the main tent with blood all over them. They chuckled and waved, the same predatory look they had during the first incident spread throughout their eyes. Sensing something was completely off with these things, the police officer drew his gun and pointed it at the clowns.

 "Come any closer and I'll blow your fucking heads off, you freaks." He stuttered out, shaking in his uniform. The clowns crouched and stared him in the eyes, getting ready to attack. As they pounced, the officer shot off a round and hit one of them right in the head. It froze in the air and then crashed to the ground, green blood torrentially spraying from the fresh hole. The other clowns took absolutely no notice to this and one of them pounced also, but again he shot one of them and this time it hit a clown in the shoulder. For a few minutes, it lay on the ground, laughing as blood spurted out of the hole and onto the dirt floor.

 "Now you listen to me... I got your friends, and if you don't comply, I'll get you too." He was suddenly feeling powerful. It was a staredown. Deep, otherworldly eyes with no pupils staring into shallow brown eyes. For a few minutes, it was quiet--but then the clown began to chuckle. It tore all of it's clothes off and ran at the officer, naked body jiggling in the cold air as it leaped towards it's prey.

This time, the officer wasn't so lucky. The clown had put him into some sort of trance, and he was easy food. It tore into him, ate some of the body, and then went back to the cage with a severed leg in it's arms. Now, nobody knew of what happened that night, and the bodies were never discovered. Eventually, the final clown died and the circus seemed to just... disappear.  But hanging from one of the metal bars of the cage was a silver and green egg. It was getting ready to hatch, quite ravenous after a mere two hours of incubation. The hatching sounds rang out across the fairgrounds, unknown to anyone.

* * *

  Now that you know what clowns are--or were, will you be attending the circus that's coming to town? You might be wondering, if this is truly the origin of clowns, how did anyone find out? But think about it--how many clowns are actually men and how many are otherworldly creatures getting ready to strike? After all, the offspring sustained itself quite successfully off of the flesh of unsuspecting teenagers visiting the "haunted fairgrounds", and eventually... it beared children.

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