Down The Stairs :
Winter had arrived again, but this winter was different than the others. This winter, my aunt and uncle decided to go on a ski trip, leaving their house for me to look after. You would have expected me to grumble and moan with the additional chore of checking in on a relative’s house every day, but I told myself not to, after all, I was being paid. Yes, they decided to pay me a hefty amount just to look after their house and pay attention to their most precious possessions for them. What was so precious to them that needed the extra care? Their carnival equipments stored in their humongous basement.
You see, my aunt and uncle owned a huge piece of land behind their house, which they used to generate most of their yearly profits off carousels, unbeatable ring tossing games, and candy floss. When winter came, the rides were covered with huge canvases and the little stores were stored in the basement. Some of the arcade machines had to be brought in too, because they did not want them to get rusty. Hence, everything I would consider fun were now stored in the basement for me to play with.
The day after my aunt and uncle left for their ski trip, I headed to their house in the morning to give it a check. Typically, the first place I headed to was the basement. As I paid my first visit to the crowded yet neatly organized store room, if I can call it that, I noticed a clown statue positioned right in the middle of the stairs heading downwards. That was a rather odd place to place a clown statue, and maybe it was a way of telling people not to go down to the basement. But surely that rule did not apply to me. So I made my way by squeezing pass the statue, careful not to touch it because, honestly, it scared me a little.
After I had made it past the clown statue, I spent the entire day playing all the arcade games with the bag of coins I found in one of the drawers. I left reminding myself to find the key to the machines to collect the coins from them before my aunt and uncle returned.
Days passed and the arcade games got boring. The time finally came for me to start grumbling about this extra chore, which I was still being paid for, but things changed when my friend begged me to show her the house and the basement.
She wanted a free ride and I thought why not. If the two of us were to game together, it wouldn’t be so boring.
One afternoon, I decided to invite two of my friends to come over, and when I showed them the way to the basement, one of them asked, “Why is there a clown statue in the middle of the stairs?”
“Yea, it’s creeping me out,” my other friend added.
“It’s nothing, just walk around it,” I said.
“Can’t you move it? It’s taking up more than half of the steps, and I’m not as skinny as you,” the friend, who went on more diets than I did, said.
“You’re not fat. I’ll just call my aunt and ask,” I replied and left my friends.
Once I was at the kitchen, I heard the arcade machines starting up, and was sure they were having a blast already. Wanting to join them, I decided to just make a quick call to my aunt. The line was pretty bad that afternoon but I heard her well enough.
“Aunt Marge?” I asked, when I didn’t hear a hello when she picked up the line.
“Yes? Who is this?”
“It’s me, Jessica.”
“Oh! How is everything going Jessica? No troubles I hope?” Aunt Marge sounded clear even over the static in the background.
“Everything is fine. I was just wondering if I could move the clown statue down to the basement, it’s blocking the stairs right now, and it’s kinda hard to go up and down.”
“What?” Aunt Marge replied.
I sighed. Did I have to repeat everything over the bad line?
“I said, there is a clown statue blocking the stairs-“
“Honey, we don’t have a clown statue,” my aunt said, sounding not at all like her usual self.
“I said, we do not have a clown statue.”
Oh, I heard her the first time alright.
Immediately, I shouted for my friends. No, I screamed for them. Moments later I heard them climbing up the stairs and running into the kitchen asking, “What’s the matter?”
“We got to go, now,” I said, as I hurried to the door.
Following behind me quickly, with so many different questions spilling from each of them, I only managed to catch one when we finally exited the house.
“So, where did you put the clown statue?”
I didn’t even bother to answer.