11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106

Meet Stabby the Reclusive Clown

A lone light bulb flickers across the room, casting a fleeting orange glow onto the otherwise darkened supermarket. Blood splattered everywhere—or is that ketchup? Oh god, don’t let them see you. The horror, the horror!

Slashy the Clown wouldn’t be able to say how he ended up haunting a run-down Whole Foods—maybe he was always here, who knows. Really, the store found him. Sure, it was a pretty good gig—who wouldn’t enjoy haunting a health food store, spooking pretentious customers by day and snacking on organic, low fat pizza rolls by night—but something just wasn’t right today. He knew the layout of the store by heart, but something was out of place tonight. Someone…or something… was there, and they weren’t supposed to be. This was his store to haunt, damnit!

Was it another clown? No…it couldn’t be. His people had long since been exiled to the forgotten lands known as Saskatchewan, cursed to dwell in its frozen corn fields for all eternity. Except Slashy.

Slashy had a troubled history as a creepy clown, for he had a terrible, hidden secret. Years before the exile of his people, Slashy had discovered that another clown in his troupe—he dare not speak his name aloud—had tried to…to…oh, it was too horrible! Slashy could not even bring himself to dwell on the horror of what had occurred, but he knew this clown had to be stopped, lest their entire troupe be destroyed. In the end, Slashy stopped his enemy’s nefarious plan, but his actions were misunderstood by other members of his troupe. And thus, Slashy was cast out, and made to wander.

A spilled box of non-genetically modified cereal on the floor? How did that get there? Slashy felt drops of sweat moisten his brow. He looked over his shoulder, but saw nothing other than the free range poultry and beef. He hurried his walk, and hid under the display of stone ground crackers and cheese.

“Hello, Slashy. I’ve been waiting for you, my old buddy,” sneered a familiar voice.

Slashy shrieked. He rolled out from under the table, his huge clown shoes catching a leg, sending a glass container of goat cheese spread to the floor, where it quickly shattered into many dozen shards.

“Now, now, my old friend. That spread costs $13 per jar… you don’t want to waste it,” boomed the voice, deep and taunting.

Slashy quickly rose to his feet, and eyed the figure who had suddenly appeared. And what he saw, he couldn’t believe.

“Stabby the Clown! I thought you were dead. Run over by a Zamboni in Saskatchewan, all those years ago!” Slashy was so surprised, the words almost seemed to form themselves.

Stabby chuckled. “You’ve been gone for so long, old Slashy. A mere Zamboni is not enough to end me. But enough small talk over goat cheese, my boy. I have come to kill you, Slashy. For what you did to me.”

Slashy’s face turned white…but nobody would have been able to tell underneath the pasty clown makeup. He turned, tried to run down the organic body care aisle, but Stabby suddenly appeared in front of him. There was nowhere to run. Stabby laughed evilly, as he drew his clown knife, and closed in on Slashy, who lay motionless on the floor.

“And now Slashy, for stopping my brilliant plans all those years ago, it is time to die. Any last words?”

Before Slashy could speak, he heard the distance roar of a motor, gradually growing louder. Suddenly, a huge metal rectangle crashed through the shelves, flattening Stabby beneath its enormous chassis.

The driver of the contraption looked down at Slashy, who found himself able to move once more.

“Thank you,” Slashy said to him.

“You’re welcome, Slashy,” said the driver. “Now please, join me. Your old friends of Saskatchewan await you.”

And so Slashy rode away upon the Zamboni, never to return to the (formerly) haunted Whole Foods again.

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