Only clowns came to Connor’s birthday party that year. They arrived by the carful, in improbable but ever-increasing numbers. They all seemed to know him— was this a strange prank? Were they all his seven and eight year old friends in disguise? But Connor didn’t have this many friends, and the clowns were all grown-ups. He went warily through the motions of the party, but worried about how it would end. The clowns were apparently having the time of their lives, and the party was supposed to have ended hours ago, but showed no signs of letting up. And where were his parents?