Penny for them.

Penny for them.

Pennywise clapped his hands, the white cotton gloves swallowing the sound. He leaned forward towards the group of mostly silent children. He bobbed towards them with his face breaking out in a grotesque smile, as the one etched on his skin.

“One of you’ll not leave this room alive, my dear children,” he cackled as his head cocked to the left.

“Why?” asked a girl in pigtails as she twirled it around her fingers.

“Why? What a fine question you ask, little girl,” he boomed as he squatted next to the girl, chucking her under her chin. “Because I’m going to eat one of you.”

“Why?” she persisted.

Pennywise cracked his fingers and pointed one at her. “Because I’m the demon and I eat people who are scared of me. That’s why, little girl.”

With obvious difficulty, he arose as his knees protested, turning away from her when her voice arrested his movements.


“Why do I eat people?”

The girl nodded, her pigtails swerving.

“Did you not listen to what I just said?”

“It’s not very clear.”

“Well,” his eyes rolled. “I’m a demon and I eat people who are scared of me.”

“Yeah, but why.”

Pennywise’s eyebrows rose to meet as he stomped towards her. “Because I AM THE DEMON and I eat people who ARE SCARED OF ME.” His voice echoed around the room and the children muttered amongst themselves.

“You don’t need to shout, Mr. Clown. My mama says that raising one’s voice is a sign of an inferior… inferiority complex. I don’t know what it means exactly but do you have an inferiority complex, Mr. Clown?”

“No.” He spat on the floor, drawing disgusted noises from the kids. Pennywise cleared his throat. “No, I do NOT suffer from any complex. I’m a demon and I eat children,” consciously lowering his voice.

“We heard you, sir. But why?”

Exasperation clouded his features, and his bulbous nose got redder. “Why do you keep asking me why? Why do I eat kids? I told you. I AM A DEMO-…” His voice cut off as he swallowed as the children watched him. With an exaggerated calm, he didn’t possess. “I’m a demon and I eat scared children.”

The little girl sighed as she placed her head on her forehead, her fingers gently massaging it. “I get that, Mr. Clown! What I…”

“My name is Pennywise. Mr. Pennywise to you, not Mr. Clown,” he interrupted, straightening his shoulders.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Pennywise. What I want to know is why do you eat scared children?”

“What sort of silly question is that? I’m a demon who eats scared children, that’s why!”

“So, if I’m not scared of you, you won’t eat me?”

“Fear is a condiment, little girl. It brings out the saltiness of the meat.” He smiled, hoping to make her cower.

“Are we eating meat? I love chicken!” Her eyes lit up.

“No. We are not. I mean, technically, I’m going to dine on it. You are the meat.”

“But I’m Aprajita. I’m not meat.” The other child tittered.

Pennywise felt he was losing his grip over the children as fear fled their hearts. Darn. He pulled on his gruesome face and made his eyes bigger. That will teach them to mess with Mr. Pennywise.

“Is your tummy hurting, Mr. Penny? I make that face when mine hurts.”

“What! No. My tummy is not hurting. I’m PennyWISE. Not Penny.”

“Okay, Mr. Pennywise.” Aprajita raised her palms in a placating gesture. “You were telling us the story about how you eat scared kids.”

“It’s not a story. It’s the truth. I’m Pennywise and I eat scared kids. And I’m going to eat all of you.”

“But you said only one of us will not leave this room alive.”

“Oh, I did say that. Yes. I did. I’m Pennywise and I eat scared kids. And I’m going to eat one of you.”

A cacophony of voices swallowed him as the children jostled for his attention. “Mr. Penny, can you eat me? Please?”

“Mr. Pennywise, my amma says I’m delicious. Eat me!”

A scuffle broke out with two boys coming to blows. The children formed sides and began chanting, “Fight! Fight!” Pennywise mumbled and tried to get them to regroup again, but in vain. The first boy pushed the other one, causing him to fall down. While the second boy’s body crashed towards the ground, he pulled the first boy’s ankle, making them both fall. The other children circled around them and their encouragement spurred the fighters on. Pennywise’s instructions and glares were ignored as the makeshift arena saw a different kind of action.

The first boy sat on the second one’s torso, pumped his fist into his opponent’s shoulder, and raised his hands in victory as Pennywise slunk out of the room.

“Yes! Mr. Pennywise can eat me now! Yay!” He yelled as he bombarded his chest with his fists. “I am going to be eaten!” He looked around for the clown. “Err… where is Mr. Pennywise?”

Aprajita pointed at the door. “I think he left from there.”

The boy slumped to the floor where the other boy lay and joined him as they both cried for different and similar reasons. “But he was going to eat me. I even got scared so he could eat me. But he… but he… left. Was I not fearful enough?”

Aprajita patted him on his head as she shook her head. “Apparently, not enough.”