The cold was too much that night and the wind was blowing outside, the hoodie I was wearing wasn't enough to prevent the cold from entering me, I was shivering inside. All the shops across the street were mostly closed and lights turned off.
On like before, no shops were closed before 8:00pm at night, this is becoming strange and terrifying. I wasn't thinking straight anymore, I took a deep breath and quietly stop my bike's paddles. I was having a closer look at every shop I passed. All of a sudden, I saw a shop, it has a blue light on the sign board across the road. I approached the shop to take a closer look, something was written on the sign board in capital letters.....
“WONDER GIFTS : IS ALL YOURS”
I was shocked because in all my years I have lived in my hometown, I had never seen the wonder gift shop before. And it was the only shop that was open among other shops, this is very hard to explain.
Ravens were coming out from the shop opened roof and strange voices too. I make so moves and went towards the shop, I opened the door and went inside the wonder shop. It was a nice and arranged shop. The owner seemed to have interest in shiny things...silver bell,gold cup, all were well arranged in a glass shelf. I went further towards the gift section. There were numerous gift items arranged in shelves ranging from dolls, birthday gifts. The gift were graded in layers. But what surprises me most, I didn't see anybody inside the gift shop up till now. Suddenly, everywhere was calm and I started hearing a voice from nowhere.
“ little James, welcome to Wonder Gift Shop. My boy, this shop is only meant for birthday gifts. I hope nothing attacked you while coming to this shop?” I was so scared when I heard these words.
I was about leaving the shop when I saw an elderly man dressed like a clown and carrying a sharp knife in his left hand.
He was coming out of a dark room, most probably the dressing room. It was strange because there were no doors when I entered the shop. It came out from nowhere. The elderly clown man started closer towards me. He has different paints on his face and cuts on his cheek. He was so scary and creepy.
We were staring at each other for some minutes.
“How do you know my name and how do you know today's my birthday?” I asked with a shaking voice.
“Oh my boy, calm down and have a seat” the clown said with a soft voice. Without wasting much time, I took a chair and sat down facing him.
“My job is to keep profile of everyone's birthdays, mostly the young ones, I picked you this year for a special reason”. I wasn't paying much attention to him, I interrupted with a question, “why did you pick me?”. The clown continued this time with loud voice “children love celebrating birthdays because it is special for everyone, they have fun with their loved ones. But do you always think this happy last forever? I was shocked, thinking why he said such words. The clown continued, “ you see my boy, there is no celebration in birthdays, is just an illusion. It only brings you closer to death.”
I wasn't paying much attention, all I wanted is to go home on time, I was getting late.
“I have this special gift for, is a shiny silver toy car, take it, its one of my favorite toy in the gift shop. Once you leave this shop, you will never cry or feel depressed again, you will be happy forever.” said the clown.
I was having a feeling he was a lunatic, I was curious to ask, “why is today the last day I will cry or feel depressed?”
The clown smiled and said, “you will never grow old again, you will remain young forever”
I was really terrified and was so eager to leave the shop soon. So I bought the toy car, after paying him, I went towards the exit door. “Happy birthday James, you will have a magical dream this night, se you soon”. I didn't look back, I went towards were I parked my bike when I noticed I have forgotten my keys inside the gift shop. I went back to the wonder gift shop. What I saw the second time was the most horrifying moment of my life. The lights turned red as I entered the shop, I saw the clown, he was standing on a table and his skin were peeled off like paints from his body. I managed to pick my keys from the chair and quickly ran without looking back. I got outside the shop and went towards my bike, I started the engine and zoom off the other road. I looked back, the gift shop vanished, just like it was built with a dark magic. Everything was normal again.
After what happened that day, I thanked God for saving my life. Anyway I still celebrate my birthday with my loved ones and it was the best birthday ever.