Carrie doesn’t want to go to bed. The sun isn’t even completely down and her mother Karen is already tucking her in and giving her an intense look of disappointment. Carrie rolls over and buries her head in her “snuggle puppy” pillow pet.
Taking in a deep breath and slowly exhaling, Carrie’s mother leans in and rubs Carrie’s back. “It doesn’t have to be like this, Carrie. You shouldn’t have burnt Becky’s Barbie dolls to begin with. I can’t just let you get away with this.” Tears begin to stream down Carrie’s cheek and she lets out a long explanation in a muffled voice.
“Becky’s stupid. She makes fun of me for having dirt under my nails and dirty shoes and makes fun of our car and tells me no girl plays with toy cars and—”
“Carrie, enough. Go to bed.”
“I wanna talk to Daddy. You’re mean like Becky and you don’t even care. I love Daddy more!”
“Daddy’s not gonna save you this time. You need to learn to confront others when you have a problem, not destroy their possessions.”
“But mom, it’s not fair!”
“Damn it Carrie, go to bed or it’s going to be worse than just going to bed early.”
Carrie pulls the covers over her head and flops around. Karen eases off the bed, walking swiftly out of the room, shutting the door behind her. She sits on the couch, thinking about how she’s incredibly exhausted from constantly lecturing Carrie. If only Robert would stop babying her, I wouldn’t have to put up with this mess. I’m tired of being the bad guy. It was always like this for Karen. She loves Carrie more than anything, but somehow she is always set up to do the disciplining. Robert, her husband, feared confrontation, even with a little girl. Anytime Carrie would do something like do poorly on a test, or play before her homework was finished, Karen had to say something.
She knows Becky is superficial snot and remembers how Becky’s mom, Linda, used to act the same way when she was in school with her. Like mother, like daughter. She lets out a sigh and moseys her way to bed to discuss Carrie’s irrational solutions for getting back at enemies with Robert.
After about a couple hours of trash talking her mother to Mr. Wuggs, (her stuffed animal) Carrie falls into a deep dream, tossing and turning, and soon that dream turns into a nightmare. She bolts awake, her short blonde ringlets bouncing everywhere. She steps out of her room, carefully tip-toeing around the corner. What she sees blows her mind. It’s like a mini circus in the rest of her house. There’s blinking red and white lights with happy organ music that indicate to Carrie there’s a nearby merry-go-round.
Her face lights up but then drops to confusion. Questions begin to run through her head- Where’s the couch? What happened to everything? Am I in my house? She has no idea what to think. The sweet smell of caramel apples and cotton candy linger in the air. Now, I’m hungry. She is captivated by the smell and her eyes begin to wander throughout the circus. She looks up, and walks around the circus with her eyes fixed on all of the flashing lights above, walking into a collage of tacky colors.
“Hello there, missy,” a strange clown bellows out as grabs Carrie’s shoulders.
“Who, who are you,” Carrie stutters.
“No need for introductions, sweetie pie. I’m here to bring you to your friends. Everyone is playing games in the other room and they are asking for you!”
Carrie takes a step back, skeptical of the weird clown. His face is plastered with white face paint with a cheek to cheek red smile and a bright red nose. His shirt has all kinds of different colored dots, like he just cut arm holes out of a “Twister” mat and called it good. She looked down at his pants, which had to be the worst: black and white checkered squares, like the linoleum floor straight out of a 50s diner. His shoes were polished to a shiny black, so shiny that the lights were reflecting off them.
“I wanna go home,” Carrie pleads.
“You are home. Now, let’s go find your friends,” replies the clown.
He takes her by the arm and leads her down a dark hallway and turns into a room with red, flickering lights. Carrie looks up and starts to fear for her precious little life.
“Whhhy are you taking me here?” she asks in a scared tone.
There are body limbs hanging from the ceiling leaving a drip-drip-drip sound of blood slowly hitting the floor.
“These are your friends. Look, Becky is up there to the right,” the clown points to a slashed carcass.
“Get me out of here! Get me out!” Carrie screams at the sight of Becky’s massacred body.
Everything goes black and there’s not a sound to be heard.
“Carrie, wake up! CARRIE!” Karen yells, trying to calm Carrie’s shaking.
Carrie jolts out of it with drool dripping down her chin.
“You were sleep walking, hon. Are you OK?” Karen asks in a concerned tone, pointing around the kitchen to the cracked eggs on the floor and the pile of forks by it.
“Mom, mom, I care about Becky!”
“I care about you, too. I’m sorry mama! I’m sorry. I don’t wanna see that clown again!”
“Honey, it’s OK. Everything’s OK. I love you, baby. No clown is going to get you,” Karen replies as she holds Carrie in her arms.
Well, I guess she did learn her lesson.