This is my first creepypasta. I'm guessing this idea has been done before.
Based on a True Story
Of course it had happened this way.
I had stayed up late last night reading a scary book.
And now I needed to get up to go to the bathroom.
The story of a five-year-old’s life, right?
The book was called Stories to Scare You!, a very uncreative name, but it had terrified me. There were the stories of the Whatever, an amorphous being that could hide you away and impersonate you to your family, and the werewolf of Martin Lane.
But the one story that had stuck out in my mind was the story of Mr. Jimm the clown. By day he was a happy clown, making children laugh at birthday parties. But by night he became pure evil. He would break into houses in his clown costume, kill the residents, and leave one person alive to tell the tale.
It was these things that I feared as I lay in bed with a bursting bladder. Every shadow was a Whatever, a werewolf, or Mr. Jimm.
I don’t know how, but some stroke of bravery came over me. I figured that if Mr. Jimm did attack me, and of course that was a big if, I could always call Mom and Dad for help. So I hauled myself out of bed, and cracked open the door to my room.
At this point I should briefly explain the layout of the second floor of our house. It is a hallway about fifteen feet long, with one missing wall that forms a balcony looking over the lower floor. My bedroom is on one end of the hall, and my parents’ is on the other. The bathroom is in the middle. I didn’t actually have far to walk to the bathroom, but in the middle of the night with the threat of an evil clown it seemed like those seven and a half feet were a mile.
Then I spotted him. He was standing in front of the bathroom, looking over the balcony, seeming just to be staring into space.
“Dad?” I asked nervously.
He turned to face me, and let out a sigh. “Oh — hey there, son,” he whispered. “Is something wrong?” For some reason, this was said slightly accusatory.
I said in a normal voice, “I was in bed, Dad. I just…need to pee, but —”
“Shh! Not so loud. You don’t want to wake your mother up.”
“Sorry. I need to pee, but I’m scared.”
“Scared? Scared of what?” he scoffed.
“Of the evil clown I read about. Mr. Jimm.”
Dad raised his hand to his face, which looked like it wasn’t even there in the darkness, and rubbed his temples with one hand. “Didn’t we tell you not to read things like that? That they’d keep you up at night?”
“I got to sleep fine. I just need to go pee.”
He knelt down to my level and put his hand on my shoulder. “Son, I don’t know if you’ve heard this before. But it needs to be said.
“Those monsters are not real.”
To my young mind this was a revelation, even though they had told me something similar by far.
“But not only are they not real, they’re really weak. They’re wimps! You want to know why?”
“Why?” I asked, intrigued.
“Because they are only as strong as you let them become. If you think that they’re big, evil beasts and clowns like Mr. Jimm, then that’s what they will be. But if you think of them as little mean insects that you can just stomp on, then those are the only ones that will appear.” He paused. “You love to squash bugs, don’t you?”
“Then squash some bugs for me and kill those monsters!” He pulled me close and hugged me, and we both laughed quietly in the dark.
He held me at arm’s length and said, “You just go to the bathroom, son. I’ll stand guard for monsters.”
Now I felt braver than ever before. These monsters were subject to my little will! I could make them do my bidding; I could make them be whatever I wanted! I went to the bathroom without any troubles, and practically stomped down the hall, though Dad cautioned me against it.
He tucked me into bed and kissed me on the forehead. “Good night, son,” he whispered once more.
“How come you don’t kiss me more often, Dad?” I asked whimsically as I rolled over. “I like it.”
“Trust me, son,” he said. “There may come a day when I don’t kiss you anymore. But I will never stop loving you.”
“I love you, Dad.”
“Love you, son.” He closed the door. “Sweet dreams.”
I must have fallen asleep right away, because that’s the last thing I remember from that night.
I woke up the next morning to the most peaceful alarm clock there is (the sun shining through the blinds) and feeling well-rested.
Then I remembered why I’d stayed up late the previous night. I’d been two excited to sleep, because the next day was my birthday! I would be getting gifts galore today, and I would be able to tell people I was 6 when Mom asked.
I felt so alive I didn’t even bother to wake Mom and Dad up. I went downstairs and got myself a bowl of cereal (free of milk spillage, as Mom always transferred the milk to smaller containers to make me feel independent) and ate it in my pyjamas. Birthday mornings weren’t as fun as Christmas mornings, but this one was for me.
I had about five bites of cereal left when I heard a knock at the door. As the issue had never come up before, I didn’t hesitate to run to the front and open it.
“Hello,” I said politely to the two police officers I saw there.
“Hello, child,” one said a little condescendingly. “Are your parents home?”
“They are, but they’re still in bed and I didn’t want to wake them up.”
One of the officer’s eyes widened. “May I come in for a moment?” he asked with a hint of…something in his voice.
“Okay,” I said. Scarcely had the second syllable escaped me when that officer shoved his way past me and ran up the stairs.
“What’s going on?” I said to the other one, confused.
He knelt down in front of me and put his hand on my shoulder. “You may not be seeing your parents for a while.”
From upstairs the other one called out, “CRIPES! It happened again, Rick! I don’t know how he hit three houses in one night but it’s happened again! Get him in the cruiser.”
“You’re going to have to come with me, son.”
“Am I going to jail?”
“Nah, it’s okay. Everything’s going to be fine…”
I cried for a week when I figured out that my parents were dead.
Someone had come into their bedroom and stabbed them both to death. One clean stab to both of their hearts, probably at the same time, so the other couldn’t call for help.
They had suspected a well-known serial killer. But when I asked grown-ups who had done it, they wouldn’t tell me. Somehow I was mature enough to know of my parents’ deaths, but not to know their killer.
The investigators found a note on my dad’s night table that said “Have a happy birthday! From your friend,” in wild handwriting that I couldn’t read at my age.
But that wasn’t even the worst part. They dusted the whole upstairs for fingerprints and struck gold on the balcony railing. Ten perfect prints that didn’t match any of my family’s, as good as profiling the killer.
You see, many years later, when I’d moved out of my aunt’s care and was unpacking my things into my new apartment, I came across my copy of Stories to Scare You! in one of the boxes. Somehow, I hadn’t thrown it away after that incident.
I looked through all the stories in the book. I hadn’t really been afraid of anything since that night, because I could tell myself that the monsters were under my power. When I got to the end of Mr. Jimm’s story, which was the last story in the anthology, I realized that there was a small italicized note there.
Based on a true story.
For me, it wasn’t just based on a true story. It had become a true story.
I had been held in the arms of Mr. Jimm.