Billy was a chubby 9-year-old boy. He lived out in the suburbs, in a town called Werry, a small, knit-together community in southern Maine with a population of little over 10,000. The town had a small middle school that took care of the education of 5,000 kids, a library, a couple of grocery, hardware, and thrift stores in what could barely be called a downtown, and housing further north. Other than that, it was a cozy little place to live.
It was the summer. School had just let out little under a week ago, and the kids had already found their hobbies. Billy’s friends since elementary, Wesco and Saul, liked going outdoors, finding interesting places to camp, and being out in the country simply to explore. Billy, however, was interesting in the town’s only fast-food chain, McDonalds. It had just been recently added, in fact. What was strange, however, is that no construction ever took place. What had used to be a rundown house, called the Bell House on McDover lane, a place that the kids in town always avoided for being haunted, was simply gone. It had turned into a McDonalds overnight.
It was late in the evening, having fun with Wesco and Saul at the creek, when Billy decided he was gong to have dinner at the restaurant. “Wanna come?” He asked Wesco and Saul, but they both had been called home by their mothers. Billy shrugged, got on his bike, and rode off towards downtown.
The sun was barely touching the line of trees when Billy arrived at the McDonalds. From outside, it was brightly lit. Creepy even. He leaned his bike against the front stoop of the restaurant and opened the door. A bell rang somewhere deep down in the restaurant.
Billy walked deeper into the McDonalds. He gazed at the lights, the kiosks where you could order food without even talking to a cashier, and even a soda-pop fountain.
Nobody appeared to be in the McDonalds, and the bright fluorescent lights seemed to flicker for just a moment. He peered around the register. Nobody was there. Maybe he could have a little taste of their new double cheeseburger!
Billy snickered to himself and snuck behind the register. The kitchen itself was dark, and yellow fluorescent light from the dining area barely illuminated it. Then, suddenly, Billy heard voices coming from the back of the kitchen.
All the way past the fryer, and inside the walk-in freezer, he saw tinkling little lights, and the sound of ringing bells. Goosebumps erupted on Billy’s arm. Billy had heard rumors that some parts of the Bell House were still remnant in the new McDonalds. He shuddered, and was about to turn back, when suddenly there was a small tinkling from right behind him. He whirled around, to find a plate with a hamburger on it. It was a double cheeseburger, with a side of fries. He looked up and found a platter of hamburgers leading straight into the freezer, which was pitch black inside. The children’s voices came back.
“Billlyyy, come baaack heeereee…”
Billy shook his head. No way. Nu uh. He was not going back there. He turned and ran, almost tripping over a hamburger. The hamburger had a red flag sticking out of it. Billy burst out of the door, jumped onto his bike, and pedaled away. Away from here. Anywhere that wasn’t a McDonalds. He found his favorite restaurant, Jimmy’s Burgers and Fries, had dinner there, and rode home, the sun dipping below the horizon.
It was pitch black inside of Billy’s room when he gasped, sitting ramrod straight in bed. He was covered in sweat from a bad dream and was incredibly thirsty. Billy’s alarm clock light was the only source of illumination in the room. He opened the his room door, which creaked. He winced, not wanting to wake his father and mother, and tiptoed downstairs.
The eerie light of the microwave oven startled him. The door to it was wide open, and inside – A platter of double cheeseburgers. Billy gasped, the breath whooshing from his lungs. A red flag was sticking out of the bun.
He turned to run back up the stairs but was blocked. A figure stood in his way. It was impossibly tall, with cracked white skin—
Billy stumbled backwards, and his back slammed the microwave door shut. There was no light. Billy couldn’t see at all, but someone was in the kitchen with him. He closed his eyes and whimpered against the kitchen countertop.
There was a clattering sound, and he could hear clothes rustling right in front of him. He squeezed his eyes shut harder.
“Billlyyyyy….” Came a singsong voice. It was coming from the figure. He just knew it.
“Billyyyy, did you eat McDonalds for dinnerrrrr? Billyyyy”.
“BILLY. DID YOU EAT AT JIMMY’S TONIGHT?! OPEN YOUR EYES”
The voice was suddenly harsh and cracked. It sounded like a million years of pain and torment. Billy opened his eyes.
It had two red poofs of hair on the side of Its head. Its nose was painted red, and the white paint on Its skin was cracked and peeling. The clown jingled, it’s facial expression was pure anger.
“I know you ate at Jimmy’s this evening, Billy. You had some of their delicious fries.” The singsong voice was back. Saliva dripped from It’s mouth.
“Here, have a double cheeseburger”
The clown raised it’s hand, and there was a double cheeseburger.
“I-i-I’m n-Not sup-posed to t-take f-ood- from s-s-strangers” Billy chocked.
“strangers, billy? Okay…. I’m Ronald McDonald! The Dancing clown!” The clown jingled bells on it’s arms. “And you’re Billy. There, now we know each other! Now eat the burger…”
The clowns face turned angry again, filled with hatred.
“EAT THE BURGER BILLY. EAT IT! EAT IT!”. The clowns voice was raggedy and hoarse. Billy cried as it edged closer, saliva dripping from it’s chin onto his pants.
To be continued.