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The Powerful Red Ball

Trisha Esguerra, Reporter

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​​October. It is the month of fall. The time where summer fades away, and blows the leaves off the trees, and the smell of the wet road after it has rained. Usually, this scenario captures my attention on Saturday mornings, but waking up this particular Saturday, something just seemed off.
​What got me excited to finally get out of bed was that a carnival was taking place in town. M boyfriend Joey, Katrina, Gabe and I have planned to go out for the night. My parents wont be home all day, so they allowed me to go with Katrina, they just don’t know we are going with boys That doesn’t really bother me, because with Joey I feel safe with him.
​It’s 5 PM and I get a call from Katrina.
“Adrianna, I’m on my way. I’m walking to your house with Gabe, are you ready?”
“ Hey, and yeah, I am waiting for Joey and you guys,” I say.
“Alright, well we are about five minutes away, I’ll see you in a bit,” she hangs up.
​We’ve all decided to take a walk to the carnival since it is not that far away. Joey was running late and said he will just meet us there. Katrina, Gabe and I walked through the woods since that was a shortcut to get there.
“ Do you guys hear that?” Gabe asks as we feel someone’s presence behind the tall, long trees. We hear the rough sounds behind the bush and tree.
“It’s probably an animal or something,” I say, “or maybe just the wind-” I paused. We hear a loud sound of footsteps behind a tree. Slowly, we lean to see what was behind the tree where the ruffling noise was coming from. Nothing. We turn back around.
“BOO!! Got you!” it was Joey who jumps right in front of me.
“ You scared me! You scared us! I thought you’re running later where did you come from?” I say, partially terrified but happy.
“ I know, I parked my car in front of your house and saw you guys taking a walk towards the woods. Sooo, I thought it would be funny to mess around a little bit,” Joey replies.
“Well, you got me!” I say. Finally, we arrived.
“Guys, let’s go to the circus! It’s starting in 3 minutes let’s go!” exclaims Katrina.
“ Oh hell no, I hate clowns,” Gabe complains. We go in anyway since we were tired from walking and needed a break. I hated the music they played. It was a repetitive instrumental jingle that I know is going to get stuck in my head. We see a total of three clowns, which freaks me out and definitely freaks Gabe out. But that one clown, the tall, odd-looking, red nosed clown who wore white overalls, big green shoes, which looked hideous and had such a weird smile kept looking and waving at me. He had such a creepy, distinct laugh.
“ Joey, I feel uncomfortable. That clown with the white overalls won’t stop looking and smiling weird at me can we leave?” I pleaded. Before Joey could even say anything, he was interrupted by the loud speaker of a spokesperson asking for a volunteer from the crowd for a quick magic trick as an opening.
“ Attention, may we please have one lucky person to come on up to participate in the magic trick?” the speaker says. I see the clown coming towards me, gesturing me that I am chosen.
“I didn’t even volunteer Joey I am really freaked out I wanna leave!”
“Don’t worry babe, relax. I will go with you I’m right here,” Joey says comforting me. The speaker says a magic trick will be demonstrated that the clowns will do. I felt calm, but I did not pay attention to what was going on, they clowns just did the beginning show and trick or whatever, I wasn’t paying attention. Then the speaker tells me to reach in my pocket, then I feel a round, sphere shape. I see it’s red, it squeaks and it’s the clown’s red nose. I give it to the clown and run off stage.
“Guys that made me really uncomfortable. I can’t stand it here let’s get out of here,” I say.
“ Yeah I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” Gabe says in a worried tone.
The four of us walked around the carnival, went on rides, took pictures in photo booths, played games and got something to eat. It was 8 o’clock; the fair is starting to close. Joey and Gabe left early because of a basketball tournament the next morning while Katrina and I decided to stay. We walked together on the way home, but parted ways before the woods since her house was closer to the fair. Right before entering the woods, I was alone. Or at least I thought I was.
I was casually on my phone, going through social medias, scrolling on my feed, and creating an album to post on Instagram. I hear the bushes make a noise all of a sudden. It’s probably an animal or something I thought to myself. But I feel a presence; I feel someone is there with me. Am I alone? Did Katrina follow me here to possibly scare me like what Joey did?
“Katrina… is that you? This isn’t funny,” I say worriedly. Then I hear a branch stick break and big footsteps. I can hear my heart beating from my chest, my body feels hot, I feel fear again. I go on my phone to call Mom and Dad.
“Shoot, no service. Ugh,” I say out loud. I lightly jog and I am about just 15 minutes away from home. I trip over something, and I hear it squeak. I trip over a small ball on the ground… it’s the red ball, and it looked just like the clown’s red nose from earlier. Did I not give it to the clown? Why do I still have this? I still have no service as I walk in complete darkness so I use my flashlight on my iPhone. I feel like I am being watched.
“Who’s there?!” I start panicking. I hear a familiar laugh, that laugh that gives me chills and makes me freeze. I flash the light and from a distance behind a tree then I see, 12 feet away from me an odd figure. It gets closer, but his can’t be true. It’s the clown. He has been following me home from the carnival. He laughs but approaches me in a not-so-scary way. His appearance is strange, is wig is messed up, the white overalls are stained with dirt, and his face makeup is all smudged it looks messy. One thing is missing, his red nose.
“ You have something of mine, I know you do! Hehe hahaa!” he says enthusiastically.
“Uh Uhm. Y-you mean the r-red ball,” I stutter,” I don’t have it on me right now, but I came a-across it in the middle of the woods earlier,” I say as I walk slowly away from him.
“ Well since my nose is missing and you had it, then you owe me something, I am going to need something from you!” he laughs and flashes his creepy and very disturbing smile. “YOUR nose!”
I run as fast as I can, but I can hear his loud big footsteps behind me, I see his shadow and it overtakes my shadow, where it looks like he has already caught me. I start to lose my breath, I need my inhaler, I thought, or else I’ll pass out. I hear his laugh behind me as he still chases me.
“Go away!!” I scream
Finally, I see my house. My parents are on the driveway and the have just gotten home.
“Mom, Dad!!!!!! Help me –” I fall to the ground, out of breath. “ He’s RIGHT there, help!!” I cry as I breathe hard.
“Adrianna, calm down, calm down there’s nobody there. Who are you talking about and what are you saying? my dad says. I look the clown is gone. My mom gets the inhaler from the house as I was on the sidewalk of my driveway. I calm myself down, and from a distance I see that tall, black figure. I see the clown. He waves at me, and smiles at me so disturbingly, a little child will cry at his smile if he were to look at a kid like that. I was out of breath still, too tired to move, too tired to care. I pass out.
I wake up in my room in the middle of the night. It’s raining and the storm wakes me up. It’s 2:13 AM. I am so confused. Was that all a dream? I try to fall back to sleep but I hear a squeak sound. I open my bedroom door, and there I see that red ball I held at the carnival and saw in the woods, rolling towards me.

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The Powerful Red Ball