Emily crouched low inside the old cupboard, peeking out through a thin crack she surveyed the area. The sound of whirring gears was heavy in the air. Suddenly the source of the noise came into view as a mechanical clown with a porcelain mask and evil glowing eyes shuffled past in the slow, methodical way all the toy clowns did. It walked within inches of the cupboard. Head constantly swiveling back and forth, looking. If Emily could breathe she would have held her breath. But the doll simply continued along, ignoring the slightly ajar door.
The sound of noisy turning gears softened to where Emily could only her the key slowly turning in her back. Signaling she was safe for the moment. No sooner had she let out a mental sigh of relief when once more she heard the sound grow louder. She thought for a moment that there was a second clown in the area, but she realized it was simply the first one returning to the past it came from. Watching it closely through the narrow slit in the door it shuffled past, heading for the basement. Looking away and up to the boarded up kitchen window she could see shafts of light peeking through the uppermost board edge, morning had finally come. She waited another twenty minutes, making sure every last one of the neigh-demonic toys had left before she climbed out and stretched her limbs.
Taking a moment to dust herself off, Emily did a quick check of herself. Hoping that something gad changed since the sun went down the night before. Tall black buckle shoes, white form-fitting pants with a red stripe running up the sides, red shirt with oversized buttons painted on, epaulettes, and a black tall-hat fastened to her head. Setting off across the kitchen she found the dust covered frying pan sitting against the bottom of the sink cabinet, wiling it off she saw her reflection in the shiny surface. Her face a constant smile, bright red dots on either cheek, and a key that slowly rotated behind her. Easily the brightest thing in the dark and abysmal house.
It had been five days, she reminisced, since she had come to be like this, she couldn’t remember why, or how she had come to be this way, but however the means, she had been trapped. She only remembered waking up standing in the middle of the dusty foyer, ten inches tall and transformed into a female version of the toy soldiers kids from the eighteen hundreds played with. Which, guessing from the look and feel of the house, it was at least that old. None of the clocks worked in the house, either too caked with dust and cobwebs or in need of winding to be of any use. So she wandered for unknown hours panicking and trying to find a way out. If she had only known the real terror would start once the sun went down.
As she found herself alone in the quickly darkening house, she was alerted to the sound much like the one the key in her back made as it constantly rotated . But far louder. Thinking she had found someone to help she made her way to the source, the kitchen, where she found herself face to face with half a dozen toys of equal size to her, but dressed in ragged and dark clothing. With each wearing a porcelain face, stylized as a clown. The beings turned as one and focused on her with glowing yellow eyes as they began to lumber toward her, arms outstretched.
Panicked, Emily fled, she was faster than the others, but not fast enough to ever make it out of sight, luckily the rooms on the ground floor were open with many interconnecting rooms. That, and the fact that the clowns only followed her directly allowed her to escape capture. If they could have planned to surround her they would have easily caught her, but luck was on her side for now. For when the sun came up the attackers gave up the chase and headed back down to the basement. After hiding for a few hours, sure the demons would be back any second, Emily gathered the courage to look down into the abyss. The entrance to the basement was a heavy wooden door, swung out over the steps leading up, leaving her with no way of closing the door. Looking down she saw the steps themselves went down for a short flight, before making a sharp turn to the right, blocking the sun. there was no other light from the basement, but pausing, she could hear the sounds of hears clicking and clacking naught but feet away. She imagined them waiting in the shadows slowly making their way upward as the sun set. With a shiver sunning through her plastic and metal body she fled away from the doorway and sought a place to hide.
That night, from the safety of the cupboard, she watched though the crack in the door as once more the clowns rose up from the basement. Their glowing eyes ever searching for her. Even the spiders inhabiting the many webs in the house seemed to shy away and crawl to the tops of their webs when they walked past. Emily noted that they didn’t move fast, Nor with purpose. Much like zombies in old horror flicks, before the directors started making them fast. A shudder raced up her key shaft imagining these evil clowns moving as fast as a normal person. Refocusing on the robots she found they randomly searched through the other cupboards in the kitchen. Opening one door, but not checking the other. One even opened the door to her cupboard, but she leaned back as far as she could, hiding behind a box of stale crackers. If she could have gasp she would have as the rays of light given off by the eyes came to rest on her foot. But she didn’t jump, didn’t dare move, and soon it closed the door and wandered off. Emily stayed laying down on her side the rest of the night, for the first time falling asleep.
She awoke in the morning of her third day at the house refreshed. She once more began looking for a way out of the house, but could find none on the first floor. The front door from which she had entered appeared to have no less then nine locks on it. Three deadbolts. Two chains, three latches, and a bar across the middle. They were far out of reach of the diminutive soldier-ette, and the chairs in the kitchen were made from heavy oak wood. She couldn’t even budge them. The windows of the house were boarded up with wood, only allowing sunlight through the cracks. She didn’t even have to try to know she had no hope of pulling the large nails that anchored them in place out. So, her only other option was the flight of stairs leading up to the second floor. She had ignored them before, because it seemed darker than the main floor, but she felt confident she knew the zombie-clown-robot-toys weren’t coordinated enough to climb, and they all moved to the basement in the daylight.
So she set out climbing the stairs. Even if she had been completely normal and shrunk to ten inches tall it would have been difficult. But the fact her limbs and joints moved with jerky and hard to control movements to the time of her key made it even harder than it should have. Luckily, she did find one of the perks of her new form she had failed to notice the first night. While the climbing was slow, once she got a pattern going she hardly had to stop. After fifteen steps concurred and only five to go she felt no more tired than when she started. Smiling inwardly she wish she could keep this stamina once she was turned back, which she was sure would happen as soon as she got out of this house.
Upon reaching the second floor she began searching the rooms, a master and two minor bedrooms, a large bathroom, and two broom closets revealed no exits. Te windows all boarded as on the first floor. At this time the sun had began to set and Emily weighed the safety of the second floor. She doubted the clowns could climb, and had saw none the entire time of searching. So she decided to stay up here for the duration of the night. She entered the master bedroom and used a bedpost to climb onto the bed. Happy to be somewhere soft, but slightly annoyed by the fact that she couldn’t “feel” that it was soft. But better to dwell on things like that then the fact she has been unsuccessful at escaping. Again the sun set and Emily closed her eyes imagining the clowns searching the bottom floor, unable to find their prey. As she laid there on her stomach with her hands resting beneath her chin she began to realize the clacking noises in her head were very loud indeed.
Opening one eye she looked around searching for the noise. The clicking noise was accompanied by a faint scraping sound. Focusing on the far wall she realized with a sinking feeling it was coming from laundry shoot. While unpopular in modern times, this house had several shoots that must have lead directly to the basement where the washer machine would be. But surly, those things couldn’t climb up a sheer metal shaft? No sooner had she said it aloud to herself then the hatch to the shoot swung inward, revealing three yellow-eyed robots.
They stood on a platform suspended with wires, they must have used it like a tram to get to the second floor. She didn’t have long to contemplate it as all three raised their arms and stumbled forward onto the hamper sitting in front of the shoot. The three continued lowering themselves onto nearby furniture that Emily had completely overlooked that they formed a almost perfect set of stairs. Emily remained n top of the bed, still hoping they couldn’t climb the way she had. The clowns neared the edge of the bed and raised their arms, trying to reach the unreachable. Emily had half a second to sigh with relief before she felt a slight shift under her feet looking down over the edge she was the three robots had grabbed fistfuls of the bed sheet and had began pulling. The only managed to budge the heavy blanket an inch, they would need more than three to pull her over. She didn’t even allow herself to feel the relief this time as she tried to recall if there had been laundry shoots in the other rooms. The arrival of six more clowns answered her question. All nine of the monstrosities began pulling, slowly shifting the top blanket off the edge, inch by inch. Emily simply backed up in time to the pull. Maintaining her place. Soon they pulled the uppermost blanket off and had started on the second. Emily easily managed not to fall off the edge once again. However, she noticed the sound of clicking was getting slightly louder. Timing it so she wouldn’t fall over the edge she peeked down. The robots had finished with the second blanket, and had piled it close to the bed atop the second. They were making a ramp!
Cursing them aloud, which they ignored as they continued to pull relentlessly, Emily grabbed the edge of the sheet they were pulling on and began to pull back. With nine verses one it was hardly a fight and she was forced to let go or be pulled off. The creature’s heads were now in sight over the edge as they grabbed at the last sheet and pulled. The sheet was fitted to the bed, and thus took longer than the others to start, but they strained until it came loose. Standing on the bed itself an idea sprang into Emilie’s head. Grabbing the end she walked it to the end of the bed as the clowns pulled it closer. She waited until there was just enough slack to execute the plan. She waited for them to finish with a down stroke and let go, then, she gave the biggest leap she had ever attempted in her life. With her slow and jerky legs it wasn’t far, but it was far enough she dragged the sheet over the robot’s heads and used the momentum to yank them from their spot atop the pile. She landed with a ‘thud” on her now plastic butt and skidded to a stop a few inches away from the mess of squirming blankets that contained her assailants. Using her head start she ran from the room into the nearby broom closet, behind a bucket of cleaning supplies for the rest of the night.
Upon morning’s light she left her closet and began looking through the area, she knew what she wanted, and could only hope she could find it. Thoughts raced through her mind about last nights events. In hindsight she recalled the most important thing she had seen since coming here. The first three clowns had ridden a fully functional lift up two stories. Those clowns were too dumb to figure out how to climb stairs, let alone construct something like that. She continued her search throughout the upper closets, and bathrooms. Not finding what she was looking for she headed downstairs. Going down the flight of stairs proved far more trouble than going up. She could either get down on her knees and schootch her way off onto the lower step, or she could try sitting down and sliding off facing out. Shimmying back on her jointed hands and knee was far safer, but painfully slow, as she had a hard time looking past her own shoulders, her neck very limited in it’s movements. But going facing outward was far faster, but equally dangerous. She almost fell the first three times she tried, her legs not being able to bend the way she wanted, and her plastic body not having a good sense of equilibrium. In the end she choose the slow way, calling herself a turtle as she lowered herself down.
Once on the lower level she gazed up to the windows and guessed it was just about noon, she had gotten better at guessing the time the longer she had been there. She quickly began rummaging through the cabinets and cupboards realizing the food was mostly five to six years expired.