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The Clown Box??? Yeah

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“Statement of Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, regarding the creation of and subsequent encounters with the, ahem, ‘Clown Box.’ Statement taken direct from subjects on June ninth, two thousand seventeen.” Jon sighed as he leaned back and let the brothers give their statement.

“Okay so,” Travis started, “we were shooting an episode of our tv show—“

Justin cut in. “Make sure to watch it, it’s six episodes and Lin Manuel Miranda is in one of them, and—“

“Could you not plug our show right now?” Griffin glared at his brother, voicing Jon’s thoughts exactly. “We’re trying to make a professional statement about the fucking possessed clown box that vored a child, this is not the time to advertise! Do… do however watch our tv show, it is very good.”

Jon felt the need to interject. Were they always like this. “Just a reminder, you are being recorded on this tape for future reference, please try to stay on topic.”

Travis nodded. “Right right. So, as I was saying, we were shooting an episode of our tv show and Griffin suggested—“

“Don’t pin this all on me! You two agreed.”

“Griffin suggested that we should have a clown box. He didn’t elaborate but insisted that we have one, so Juice and I didn’t really question it, and let him to his own devices.”

“Just to be clear,” Justin leaned forward, “left to his own devices means that we vaguely agreed and then Griffin showed up with this huge box and said that we needed to feed it cellphones, with absolutely no explanation.”

“Okay,” Jon nodded slowly, “so, Griffin, how did this ‘Clown Box’... come into being?”

Griffin threw his hands up. “It was meant to be like a fun and wacky television gag! Just a fun goof! But then it… went out of control? Is that the right term? Just fucking murked a teen on television. We released the episode anyways, we didn’t want anyone to panic, but fuck man. Wild as hell.”

Jon felt seconds away from hitting his head on the desk. He had had his fair share of frustrating statement givers, and added on to it was frustrating coworkers. But taking a statement from all three of them at once was nearly impossible, even for him. Especially a statement that didn’t have much coherency in the slightest. “You say it took a child, how did it do that exactly?”

Travis nodded. “Yeah, it took Griffin, so then Griffin came running up to us—“

“Wait, what?” Jon shook his head. “What?”

Justin waved his hand lazily. “Oh uh yeah. The teen was also named Griffin. The clown box took teen Griffin, so then our dear brother Griffin came to tell us about how Griffin was taken by the box that Griffin made, so naturally Griffin blamed himself for the disappearance of Griffin.”

“Can we just call the teen Griffin ‘Griff’?”

“But Traaaav, I want to be Griff!”

“Okay then can we just call adult Griffin by ‘Griff’?”

Justin nodded his affirmation, choking back a laugh. For three people that had recently been through a potentially legitimate paranormal event, the McElroys didn’t seem to take it seriously, or anything at all particularly seriously. But maybe that was just their way of coping. He had seen stranger coping mechanisms in his career as the Archivist. Jon tuned back into the conversation, and it seemed that Griffin had begun to insist that the teen now be called Griff instead of him.

“Where were you shooting this show?” Jon had the feeling that they would continue to bicker amongst themselves unless he interrupted.

“Our hometown of Huntington, West Virginia!” Justin declared proudly.

Griffin echoed with a cry of “Sister City of the Moon!!” and Jon could tell by the way that Travis laughed, it was another inside joke that he was likely never going to understand.

“What… what happened to the clown box? Was that the last time you saw it?”

Griffin cleared his throat. “Well, when I lost the boy, I ended up feeling guilty and running back into the woods. It was then night all of a sudden? At least it was deffo hella dark. I, uh, I don’t remember too much immediately after getting lost in the forest to be honest.”

“We did see it one more time,” Travis chimed in. “After we did our Candlenights show we saw it, and I think it congratulated us?”

“This clown box… congratulated you…” Jon really had no idea how to react.

“I mean, it was a damn good show,” Justin looked to his brothers for affirmation, “but yeah, still odd, right?”

Jon rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Right, right. Griffin, how… how did you make the box?”

“That information can never see the light of day.”

Jon couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but either way, he didn’t seem like he was going to disclose the information. Maybe he didn’t remember, and was trying to cover it up? That seemed reasonable, and Jon tried to cling to any scrap of reason when dealing with these McElroys. “Is there anything else that happened that you want to talk about? Specifically about the box, not just in general?”

Justin looked between his brothers and shrugged. “Don’t think so, unless you want to hear tales of haunted dolls.”

“I really wouldn’t, if it’s all the same to you. Alright then, statement ends.”

——

Jon sighed, turning on the recorder again. “Follow up investigation, if you could even call it that. Of course any of the parties involved besides the McElroys insist that the clown box was just a stunt for television. Whether this is because they were told to say that, they think it’s true, or it is true, it sure is damn unhelpful for me.

“However, in the occasion that this actually did happen, it is quite concerning, as the current whereabouts of the clown box are unknown. Also, the only person on earth who might know it’s full capabilities is Griffin McElroy, who stubbornly refuses to say anything. Not that I blame him, I would also be reluctant to describe how I made an eldritch horror that stole a child, but it still makes my job harder.

“There wasn’t much research that we could do beyond that, considering the incident happened in America. I did tell the McElroys to let us know if anything further occurs, but I have little remorse in saying that I hope to not have to deak eith them again.

“Recording ends.”