It was around six p.m. and had just started getting dark. I was sat on a long wooden log, staring at my family members spread out across the other makeshift seats.
We were all gathered around the campfire after a long day, of what my father thought would be a good way for our extended family to get to know each other better and hopefully bond.
Unfortunately, that was a lost cause. We didn’t get along at all, it was as clear as day.
My father remained oblivious to all our snide comments toward each other and the obvious competitiveness during our simple games of ‘tug of war’ and the oh so fun obstacle course he flimsily set up earlier in the morning.
Of course, my siblings and I appreciated his efforts and tried to look past our annoying cousins, but it was no use.
“Ouch!” I looked over to the right, my thoughts disrupted by my least favourite cousin, Winnie. As usual, she was whining about something completely unnecessary. Hence the nickname, Whiney Winnie. She hated that I called her that. Which only egged me on more to use it.
What’s got you complaining now Whiney Wins? I asked. She scowled and continued viciously scratching at her forearm. “These mosquitos! They’re everywhere!” she cried in her fourteen year old-well, whine.
My dad looked at her and laughed. “Sweetie, I told you to spray on some repellant” “it smells yucky!”
“You smell yucky” I countered.
Everyone laughed, except my dad, who gave me a funny look and got up to console the now crying teen, but he couldn’t see the small smirk that hid behind her crocodile tears.
After five minutes of him repeating how “not yucky” Winnie was. He got up and suggested something that put a smile on everyone’s faces and even stopped the punching battle between Mike and Joshua, my brother and cousin.
“Why don’t we grab some marshmallows and roast them? We can tell a few scary stories as well. But not too scary, there are children present.
I rolled my eyes but luckily went unnoticed.
“I’ll go first.” I was the best at telling scary stories and it was the one thing that excited me on these annual camping trips.
“Go ahead darling”
My siblings all cheered me on. Knowing I’d do great.
“Okay, my story is called ‘The Clown Statue’ it’s pretty creepy”
“There was once a girl, in her late teens, who babysat for a wealthy family one night. The family had a very large house with many rooms, it was filled with large artifacts and old ornaments from all over the world. As the parents were leaving to go out, the father told the girl that once she put the kids down, she must go down to the basement, watch TV there and not go wandering around the house. “
“This is so dumb” Mike frowned.
“Shh it’s getting good.”
“Okay enough interruptions, let the girl carry on.” Winnie shouted. Suprising me completely. She was enjoying my story?
I shook my head and got rid of the thought. No way was she being nice.
“Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah. As soon as the children fell asleep the babysitter tiredly walked downstairs into the dark basement and turned on the light, she started a TV show but couldn’t concentrate because in the corner of the room is a life-sized clown statue grinning at her.. She finally decides to drape a blanket over the statue so she can ignore it.”
“ahhhh!” a loud sound of raging laughter comes from the two boys across from me, who fist pumped at the achievement of making the teenage girl next to me scream.
I rolled my eyes and called her to sit next to me which she weirdly obliged to. She even so much as held my hand as she trembled, which shocked me but made my dad smile.
“Can I continue for the last time now please?” I asked the laughing boys.
Not waiting for a reply. I once again start my story.
By now the fire had almost died and we were left in very mellow light, almost darkness which added to the mystery.
“After a while she can’t stand looking at the clown statues over-sized feet sticking out from under the blanket. She decides to call the father and ask permission to watch TV in another room because she is freaked out by the giant clown statue.
“Listen very carefully” he starts.
“Our children have been complaining about a clown that comes into their room in the middle of the night. We just thought they were having severe nightmares. We don’t own a clown statue. You need to get the kids and get out the house now. I’ll call the police.”
By now everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats and peering behind them as if this was happening to them.
My legs were numb as Winnie was practically on top of me.
I stroked her hair which seemed to calm her down.
Feeling bad, I asked her if I should continue and she assured me that she was fine.
So I did,
“The girl hangs up the phone, turns around to look at the covered clown statue but all that was left was the blanket on the floor. She turned to run up the stairs. But instead came into contact with a hard chest.
I switched on the lightly glowing torch I had been holding. Which illuminated some of the campground.
I stared at everyone clapping and hollering at my story, they all seemed to be getting along.
Who knew, that all it would take, was a scary story around the campfire.