“Are you ready for bed sweetheart?” Amelia called out, sliding a pair of hoop earrings on beneath her curled hair.
“No,” came a reply from the doorway, gathering her attention. Her young son, Anthony, looked just like his father. Dark caramel skin, close-cropped hair and hazel eyes with high cheekbones… just a handsome little devil.
“No? Why aren’t you ready?” Amelia asked playfully, adjusting the blouse she was wearing and checking her make-up once again.
“I just don’t want to go to sleep with you out again. I don’t feel safe.” Anthony said, not for the first time.
Amelia sighed. “Anthony, we’ve been over this. You have Grizzly and your other stuffed animals to keep you safe, and you have the key to our neighbor’s apartment in case something happens. I’ll only be out for a few hours, you’ll wake up tomorrow morning and find me here ready to make you breakfast like always.”
Anthony grumbled before turning away and marching back down the hall towards his bedroom. Amelia called out to his retreating back to get dressed for bed, and not to waste his time reading comic books.
“Okay,” he called back somewhat morosely.
After ten minutes of primping, Amelia stood and checked herself in the mirror one last time. Slinky red dress and half jacket, Amelia looked the part of a streetwalker, which was perfect. She intended to tease a lot of men tonight… work had been rough this week, and she needed some release.
Walking down the hall to her son’s room, she rapped her knuckles on the closed door before opening it up, finding her son in his pajamas on the bed, staring at a large stuffed bear that one of her past boyfriends had won for the boy from a carnival that had come through a few years ago. The foot tall bear was shaggy and white like a polar bear. It had hard plastic claws and hard plastic teeth in its mouth, which always made Amelia a little uncomfortable about it being around Anthony, but he loved the bear so much she just couldn’t take it away from him.
Stepping over a discarded robot and a mound of army men, she made her way to the bed to give her son a kiss goodnight.
“Now you go to sleep right this minute, do you hear me? If I find you awake like I did last time I came home I will be thoroughly disappointed in you, do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am,” Anthony groused, shuffling himself under his covers slowly. Amelia smiled, leaning forward to give him a kiss on the forehead.
“Good night angel and sweet dreams,” She said as she stood up, knocking her head into the clown that hung from the ceiling fans light cord. Tugging down on the long leg of the smiling clown she bathed the room in a cold darkness before walking out to the hall, closing the door with a quiet clack.
As she made her way downstairs, she could already hear Anthony moving around his room. The thump followed by the pitter-patter of soft feet was unmistakable, as it happened every night.
No matter, Amelia, though, slinging a clasp over her shoulder. I got a club to go hit up!
“Is she gone?” A whispery voice came about in the darkness.
Giggling, another voice chimed in. “Hold on, let me check.”
“Guys can we not do this tonight?” Anthony said as he heard the light footsteps approaching his bedroom door.
“Whatever do you mean Tony; we just want to have fun with you.” Rumbled a deeper voice.
“Yeah,” the Giggler chimed in from across the room, “lots of fun!”
“I guess… I’m not really sleepy anyway.” Anthony acquiesced. “What game do you want to play tonight?”
“How about Hiding the Knives?” Giggler suggested, chuckling low in the darkness.
“Or maybe Oil the Bathtub?” The whispery voice added, its tone growing airier by the second.
“I say we stick with Hiding the Knives, pretty simple if you ask me.” The deeper voice growled.
Amelia was laughing as she unlocked the front door to her house, dragging in a drunken college boy in behind her, his hands freely roaming over her body as they walked. She moaned as his hands hefted up her breasts before swatting them away.
“We’ll get to that soon; I was serious about that nightcap,” She said, slurring her speech slightly.
Walking into the kitchen, she turned on the light, allowing her eyes to adjust before she let out a yelp.
Sitting on the counter, long elastic arms propping it up against the cutting board, was that stupid clown. Not only that but her butcher knife had been slammed home into the wood of the chopping block, sinking in about an inch. Shaking her head as Alex walked in behind her, snaking his hands around her waist, he propped his chin on her shoulder and looked around the kitchen, eyes settling on the doll.
“Whoa, freaky doll. He yours?” Alex asked, moving around Amelia to go and pick the doll up.
“Yes… I mean no, he-he belongs to my son.” She said, admitting for the first time that night she had children.
Alex’s hand stopped short of the clown, turning to regard her. “You never mentioned that you had a son.”
She shrugged. “It never came up.”
“That’s cool,” he said, turning back to the clown doll. “Hey there little buddy, you do anything cool?”
“He has a pull cord on his back, but it’s broken…” She began to say just as Alex discovered the cord, pulling it.
“Hi, I’m Giggles the Clown and I want to be your friend!” The clown enthusiastically laughed as it spoke.
“Whoa, that is awesome,” Alex said, pulling on the cord once more.
“Giggles the clown is awesome indeed, thank you for noticing!”
Alex dropped the doll to the ground, backing away from it quickly. “Did that thing just respond to what I said?”