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Young Writers Society

12+ Violence Mature Content

The strange sights of Riley Gretchen

by vampricone6783

*This story is a sequel to my story “Clyde’s story”, which you can find under my folder “The curse of Clyde and other stories”. It is also based off a Halloween tale in my story called “31 horrific Halloween tales”. That Halloween story is under my folder “31 Halloween tales”. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*


Riley Gretchen stared out the window. If she squinted her eyes, she would see a clown with closed eyes, standing still in her backyard.

She didn’t tell anyone about him. She knew that no one would believe her.

The main question was…

Why did she see him?

Chapter One

Riley didn’t particularly want to go out. Her parents, however, insisted that she get ready to go out apple picking, one of the most boring things to do in the history of mankind.

As she slipped on her favorite cotton candy pink and cream colored visor on her head, she saw the same clown from her dreams in her mirror.

Riley blinked her eyes.

The clown was gone.

She would definitely tell her parents about him today. For sure. It was the perfect opportunity.

Chapter Two


Riley still hadn’t mentioned it to her parents. She just sat silently in the backseat, watching the trees roll by.

Best get it out.

“Guys? Can I tell you something?” Riley asked.

“Always, sweetie.”

“This is going to sound really crazy, but you have to believe me.”

“Nothing you could say would ever sound crazy to me.”

Would Mom still think that after she told her?

Chapter Three

“I’ve been seeing this clown with closed eyes. I don’t know how I’m seeing him or why I’m seeing him, but it would be great if you believed me.” Riley said. Goodness, it sounded so ridiculous coming out of her mouth.

Mom didn’t say anything. Dad drove on, also silent.

“We’re not going apple picking. There’s been a change of plans.”

“Where are we going?”

“To the doctor’s office.”

Chapter Four


Riley wasn’t sure if anyone would actually take them. An appointment hadn’t been made.

Her parents were frantically talking to the receptionist. Riley watched the brightly colored cartoon on the small TV screen. It was so incredibly boring, but there wasn’t much else for her to do.

“Riley Gretchen?”

Chapter Five

IN ROOM #149

It appeared that the doctors thought that what she was seeing was enough for her to go without an appointment, because she was already sitting on the bed patients sat on.

Her parents sat on the chairs. The doctor stood with a clipboard.

“You say you see a clown?”

“Yes, yes I do. I’m not crazy. This is what I’m seeing. I just wanted to talk to my Mom, I didn’t want to come here.” Riley said. She really wished her parents didn’t look so offended. If anything, she had the right to be offended. They sent her all the way to the doctor’s office for something she saw.

“But you’re here now.” The doctor said.

“I know. I regret ever saying anything.” Riley said.

And because she didn’t want to stay there any longer, she got up from the bed and opened the door.

Chapter Six


Her parents weren’t even in the mood for apple picking anymore. After how she walked out of the doctor’s office, they just wanted to go home. At least the doctor didn’t ask for her again, that left Riley in peace. The whole visit didn’t feel real. It felt more like a dream. How funny that a doctor’s visit felt artificial when she knew that the clown was as real as her.

Riley stayed quiet. She would most likely see the clown again when they got back.

But instead of telling them and risking being sent to somewhere that wasn’t the doctor’s office, she’d face the clown and ask him why he was there.

She watched the trees roll by.

Chapter Seven


Riley waited for Dad to open the door. He always fumbled with the keys and this time was no different.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket.

She bent down to pick it up.

A text from Chayanne. That one friend who always wanted to go on reckless adventures and who never texted her back.

It read:

“Wanna hang out? I’ll bring the others!”

At long last, the door opened.

Chapter Eight


“What would we do?”


“There’s an abandoned carnival. Everyone knows about it. It’s been around since 1947. I was thinking maybe we’d go there.”

Riley didn’t respond. She heard of the abandoned carnival, but she never really thought of exploring it.

Riley looked at the wall mirror that was facing her bed. The clown was in the reflection, shaking his head.

What harm would hanging out with friends do?


“Sure. Why not?”



Chapter Nine

Wouldn’t her parents notice that she was gone? Wouldn’t they worry?

No, they wouldn’t. They were watching TV. Riley had the door closed, so they wouldn’t bother her.

Night had arrived. Chayanne wanted to meet up with her.

She creaked the window open.

Chapter Ten


It was only when Riley got to the front gates of the carnival did she question her decision.

What was she doing out late at night, going to an abandoned carnival? This was the kind of thing that got characters in stories into trouble.

The clown with the closed eyes appeared next to her. He took her hand and pulled hard. Riley was yanked onto the ground. He didn’t open his eyes once.

“Rude.” Riley said, dusting off excess dirt.

She got to the gates and tried climbing over them, since they were locked, but something pushed her down again.

It was him. The clown.

“Leave me alone!” Riley cried out, throughly frustrated and annoyed. Why was he bothering her? He never did anything before.

The clown was gone.

“Serves you right.” Riley said smugly before she climbed her way up the gate.

Chapter Eleven


Riley jumped to the other side with ease. Chayanne stood in front of the carousel, waving her over. Kyle and Josh stood next to her.

The clown wasn’t in sight. What was she even worrying about in the first place? Her memory was all fuzzy and blurred.

Riley ran over to them.

Chapter Twelve

“What should we do first? The carousel? The cotton candy stands? The games?” Chayanne asked excitedly.

“This carnival is abandoned. You can’t do anything in it.” Josh replied, rolling his eyes. Didn’t she realize that earlier?

“I actually have something we can do.” Kyle grinned.

The three friends groaned. Whatever Kyle wanted, it was bound to be insane. That was just typical Kyle behavior.

“Ever heard of the sleeping clown ghost?”

Chapter Thirteen

“They say that he just sleeps. That the clown never opens his eyes. The sleeping clown follows his future victims and even with eyes closed, he manages to kill them.” Kyle said.

Riley’s skin prickled.

“The only way to find him is to rip up the circus tents. That’s said to set him off.”

Was it really such a good idea to be out late at night? Trying to disturb the dead? Riley was only twelve, she still had a lot to live for.

“You know what? This was a bad idea. Let’s just go home.” Riley said. If the clown wanted anyone, it was her. After all, he had been stalking her.

“Home? Go home? Now? We just got here.” Chayanne said, rolling her eyes.

“It’s so dark and-“

“You’re not afraid, are you?” Kyle asked with a wide puppet grin.

They had ceased walking and were standing right in the middle of the carnival.

They were all just staring at her. What? Was it a crime to have fear? Why were they all looking at her like that?

“N-no.” Riley sputtered.

They continued walking, but the air felt heavier between them.

Chapter Fourteen

“Guys, can we go home? I don’t like this.” Riley said after a long while. It really was so cold.

“Really, Riley? Right when we’re here? Come on, he’s just an old and dead clown. Nothing is going to happen.” Chayanne said. They all stopped walking once again.

“Can we just go?! Please?!” Riley asked, getting increasingly paranoid. She could have sworn that she saw a glimpse of the shut-eyed clown.

“No! This is our chance to be cool and you’re ruining it! We’ve never should have invited you to be our friend in the first place! You’re so weak!” Chayanne cried out.

So that’s what it was all about? Being cool?

“Invited me? Chance to be cool? I thought we were friends. Looks like it was all a lie.” Riley said, walking away. She wouldn’t be around fakes.

“No! You’re not leaving us! You’re going to do this dare!” Chayanne screeched maddeningly, like a crazed banshee.

Before she could leave, all three of them grabbed her and…the carousel was getting closer…closer…


Chapter Fifteen

Crushed against a carousel…chance to be cool…never really cared…

Riley opened her eyes, feeling very different.

Well duh, you just got thrown on a carousel, of course you would feel different.

She appeared to be in a circus tent. Well, a tattered circus tent, but a circus tent nonetheless.

And was that…the clown? Standing in front of her? With his eyes wide open? They were completely white, no signs of color. They were so big too, like a porcelain doll’s. Come to think of it, he looked like a life-sized porcelain clown doll.

She preferred when his eyes were closed.

The clown handed her a mirror, which she took with…she didn’t remember her hands being whipped cream white.

Riley looked at her face on the mirror, which wasn’t her face, but a porcelain clown human clown doll abomination.

One side of her face was still skin and her green eye, but the other side of her face was pale porcelain, heart-shaped red lips, a little round clown nose, and a doll-like pink eye.

Riley gently put the mirror down and caught sight of her hands, which were porcelain and flesh wounded together. She noticed that she was dressed in a soft baby blue ballerina dress, complete with the dainty teal sock with a purple bow on one foot.

Wait, that wasn’t how a ballerina normally dressed. She only had one black ballet slipper and one gray Mary Jane which was on the blue-socked foot.

Riley felt something heavy on her back, like it was weighing her down. She turned around and saw a large, windup screw. Right on her back.

Her head felt different too.

She touched her hair, taking out a lock in the process, which was pink…pink? She had brown hair.

What was she?

“What is this? Who are you? Aren’t you supposed to be dead? Am I dead?” Riley asked the clown. She couldn’t just sit there, blindly accepting everything that was happening.

He just smiled at her. He was smiling at her? Why?

“I’m dead and you’re dead. I saved you. You didn’t deserve to die, so I brought you back to life. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I can do.” He said, gesturing to her porcelain-human flesh body. He seemed a lot more calm and collected than before. It was the first time she heard him talk, too. He wasn’t really talking. More like whispering.

“I’ll explain everything later. I promise.” He said, again in a silent, almost imagined, whisper.

Chapter Sixteen

For a few minutes it was just the two of them in the tent, not saying a word.

Riley got tired of sitting in silence, so she stood up and asked:

“Are you going to tell me anything?”

The clown gave her a small smile.

“I was just about to.”

Chapter Seventeen

“I was human once. I was a father of a teen girl, a little older than you. But only a little. Her name was Davina. She didn’t like me very much.”


“I don’t know. I reckon my ex-wife Clarissa said bad of me or maybe she just didn’t like my personality.” The clown said.

“What happened?” Riley asked. She didn’t see how what he was talking about related to her situation, but since she had nowhere else to go, she decided to be nice and ask.

“She met a boy named Eric. They spoke to each other in her room. She grew distant from me. And then, on my birthday…” He seemed to stare off into space.

“Yes?” Riley prompted.

The clown shook himself back into reality and continued with his story.

“And then, she took me here. She was Eric. Both of them killed me the same way your friends killed you. I haven’t fully awakened until now.”

A thought crept into Riley’s mind. If he “slept” for so long, did he remember his own name? Would she forget hers?

“What is your name?” She asked.

Chapter Eighteen

“My name? Well, I should be the one asking you that, you see, because I found you-“

“It’s Riley. My name is Riley. Now, what is your-“

“What importance is a name when people are just going to call you-“

“It’s a simple question.”

But the clown just smiled and shook his head.

“We don’t know each other that well. You don’t have to call me anything.”

He left the tent, and with it, a confused young girl.

Chapter Nineteen

Riley stepped out of the tent.  Sunrise had shimmered through into the stretching sky, which meant that the whole night had passed. Her parents would be furious with her for sneaking out.

Then she remembered that she couldn’t go back to them, ever. Not when she looked the way she did.

Riley would have to spend the rest of her life with him, the clown.

Chapter Twenty


The clown didn’t speak much with her. He didn’t close his eyes, but he still seemed asleep.

Riley didn’t see her friends return to the carnival. She thought that maybe they’d visit her, but that was not the case.

They still cared, right? It was an accident, yes? A careless accident? One anybody could make?

They didn’t mean what they said about being cool, did they?

Did they?



She recalled Chayanne saying after Riley’s death that she, “had to do it” and “Riley was being annoying”. The boys said nothing to defend her.

That was what they really thought? That she was annoying? That she was a burden?

Riley thought that maybe her friends wouldn’t think she was crazy, that maybe they would believe her, but she was wrong.

At least she never had to see their deceitful faces ever again.

Is this a review?



User avatar
42 Reviews

Points: 2058
Reviews: 42

Tue Feb 06, 2024 1:54 am
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Avian wrote a review...

Hellooo, fellow author! Now, I might be a little late (very late) for a review, but I've been scrounging the depths of the Green Room, so I decided to take a look! Today, I'll be using my very own bird-themed review, partially inspired by the YWS S'more Method! Let's take a look, shall we?

Bird’s-Eye View: First Impressions!
This story tells a haunting tale of a young girl. She can see things that others cannot, and, upon realizing no one will believe her, decides to keep it to herself, save the one time she told her parents. This story took an interesting turn, and I was excited to see how the story would end!

Flying High: Things I Loved!
I love the mystery surrounding the sleeping clown character. We are introduced to him in the beginning of the story, but then we later find out that it may be more of a well-known myth than we think. It adds just a hint more mystery, and gets the reader to think more about the story!
I feel you did a really good job telling the story, which sounds kind of obvious but can be trickier than you think. I didn't find any spots of confusion throughout the piece, and I was engaged all the way to the end. The mystery and suspense of the story really drew me in as a reader, and made the piece fun to read!

Bird Song: Favorite Lines!

He didn’t close his eyes, but he still seemed asleep.

This detail gives a really good image of what this clown is like. By insinuating that he acts like he is asleep, you're showing us exactly how he acts with just a few words. This was really nice imagery!

He seemed to stare off into space.

“Yes?” Riley prompted.

The clown shook himself back into reality and continued with his story.

You did a wonderful job of developing the clown's character. In these lines, it seems that the clown may be a little crazier than Riley first thought. He stares off into space, is often quiet, and is always ominous, never really giving Riley too much information. It adds some mystery to the character, as well.

Preen Your Feathers: A Bit of Advice!
Remember that this is just my interpretation, and you are in no way obligated to take my advice. Your writing is still amazing as is! I just want to make sure I'm giving helpful advice, as this is a review. :D
Throughout the piece, there is a lot of description of events, characters, and setting, which is great! However, I feel like you could expand more on the character's emotions, specifically Riley's. She is a child, after all, but we don't see too much in-depth what she's thinking or feeling during these mysterious moments. Showing how she is feeling can connect us more to the main character, as well as add some variety to the writing. I think you did a really good job of this with the last two chapters, but I didn't see much of it "in the moment." Other than that, I felt this was a very entertaining story!

Lifting Off: Closing Thoughts!
Overall, this was a really fun read with interesting characters and an even more interesting mystery. We are left with a small amount of wonder, but the ending still concludes the story in a way that leaves the reader satisfied. An ending like this is always a strong one!

May the birds sing to you, and keep writing! -Avian

User avatar
151 Reviews

Points: 39462
Reviews: 151

Tue Nov 14, 2023 10:57 am
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PKMichelle wrote a review...

Hello friend!
I saw your work in the Green Room and figured I’d check it out, so here I am!

On first impressions, this took me by surprise. I had no idea what you meant by "strange sights", but I'm glad I stuck around to find out because this ended up being a really good story.
The characters, most specifically Riley, were really well done. You could understand why she felt the way she did about going to the hospital and why she did most of the things she did throughout the story. And it's always nice when a character feels somewhat relatable (outside of seeing a clown).

If I could offer any sort of advice, it would be to use italics sparingly. They're most often used for emphasis or when a character is thinking, and sometimes they just seem overdone in certain areas of the story.
For example, when you stated,

The clown with the closed eyes appeared next to her. He took her hand and pulled hard. Riley was yanked onto the ground. He didn’t open his eyes once.

It just doesn't feel like there needs to be any additional emphasis on the word "hard" for it to be understood that it was indeed hard.
But it's always up to the writer, so please take this criticism lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by it.

If I had to pick my favorite part, it would be between the way you broke up the story into nice, digestible, short parts and the way you made the main character rationalize how foolish what they were doing was.
It's always really nice when the story is broken up and not just giant chunks of text. It seems to make it easier to read, and I, as a reader, really appreciate that.
And as for the rationalizing bit, I'm going to use a sentence from Chapter 10 to show that.
What was she doing out late at night, going to an abandoned carnival? This was the kind of thing that got characters in stories into trouble.

I just generally quite revel in a character realizing what they're doing is kinda stupid and they still do it anyway. It sort of adds a comedic factor that I'm all here for.

Overall, I have to say this was a really well-developed story with a clear plot and comprehensible characters. Which is, once again, something we readers really enjoy. So, thank you for taking the time to write and post it for all of us to see, and I hope you do more just like it!

Goodbye for now! I hope you have a magnificent day (or night) wherever you are!

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.
— John Barton