Clownward Spiral

Posted: May 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

A small car, a VW bug or Minicooper, drives down the street of a cute neighborhood. It’s dusk. The houses are quaint with cartoonish flowers in cartoonish pots in front of them. Other similar cars are parked on the street, but only one is moving. It stops and clown gets out. A large heavy set clown in a patchwork jacket and striped balloon pants. A tall skinny clown in a similar, but not matching outfit gets out behind him. He has a bowler cap with a flower hanging from it. He stands loosely. Another clown, a short squat fellow in  a suspenders gets out, then two clowns who look like twins, but with very different makeup. Another clown with squeaky shoes gets out, then seven more, then another, then three more clowns. They line up politely as if getting on a bus. Twenty one clowns in, our hero, Joyful, gets out of the car. He’s wearing a jacket and bowtie. He has clown o’clock shadow. He looks exhausted. He’s carrying a lunch pail.

Joyful nods and waves to his comrades. They waver back. They start to get back in the car. Joyful walks up to his house and sighs wearily at the front door. He opens the door with a ring of large hard plastic keys. They’re all primary colors. The house key’s blue. He walks inside, the place is adorable. Bright colors and friendly patterns. There’s a painting of a cartoon sun and a whimsical landscape hanging on the wall. Joyful walks past his empty room and puts his lunch pail down in the kitchen. He makes himself a drink: two fingers of vodka, a handful of ice cubes, and seltzer applied with seltzer bottle. He takes a drink and smiles, and walks back to the living room.

Joyful sits down at his computer. It’s big and simply made. It looks a little bit like a toy oven. He opens up the browser makes himself comfortable. On screen are two boxes with pictures of clowns in them, big fellas, kind of tough looking; “Vs” is written in a blocky font between them. Joyful clicks on a pile of gold coins and pulls them over one of the clowns. It deposits with a “ching” sound and joyful looks confident. He looks over his shoulders suspiciously. With no one watching, Joyful opens up another window. Two sexy clown girls in patchwork lingerie are sitting on a bed stroking each others arms and shoulders seductively. Joyful’s eyes widen with excitement. The girls’ giggles and titters make his heart race and his brow bead up with sweat. The tension mounts until Joyful can barely take it, and the two girls simultaneously pie each other in the face. Joyful takes a moment let his heart rate stumble back to normal.

Joyful gets up and straightens his pants and jacket. He walks around and sets down on his couch a poofy blue leather thing. It’s clear the cows here are blue. He reaches under his seat and takes out a wooden box with hinges on one side. He opens it, and it’s full of long skinny balloons inside a prescription bottle. Joyful takes one out, twists it, snaps it, rolls it up, and puts it to his lips. He takes a long steady inflate to it, and pulls it from his dreamily. He does it a few times until the balloons big and full. In a moment Joyful’s squinty eyed and lethargic as several balloon animals float hazily about his head.

He reaches for his remote and turns on his giant television. On screen is a Mixed Martial Arts cage, the Octagon. The two clowns from the computer are standing in opposite corners. A bell rings and they come out and touch gloves. The two clowns are in shorts and fighter’s gloves and nothing else. They’re make up looks intense and well done. After touching gloves, the clowns start juggling, long juggling, with each other. Seven purple and orange balls fly in a flurry between the two as they circle about. Joyful pumps his fists in excitement.

Things are going well in the juggling when the clown Joyful bet on missteps and falls backwards. The other clown charges forward and puts a foot on his fallen opponents chest. He juggles aggressively atop the downed clown. The fights over. Joyful stares vacantly with his mouth agape at the screen. The phone rings.

Without looking at it Joyful reaches down and pulls it up to his ear. It’s an old two part phone with a receiver and earpiece. The voice on the other end belongs to Jester Fairbreaker, a fat surly clown who’s always chomping on a wet cigar. He’s wearing a stained white A-frame shirt and polka dot sweatpants. He sneers into the phone. “Give me my @#$% money.” A bicycle horn goes off while he’s swearing.

Joyful puts the phone down without ever blinking or acknowledging Jester’s threat. He walks over to his seat near his computer. Joyful takes out another special box. This one has a pistol in it. Joyful takes it out and he puts his to his temple. Joyful pulls the trigger and jerks back violently. A “BANG” flag pops from the barrel and confetti brain splatter paints the wall behind him. The room falls silent.

Jeffrey sits up from the crime scene. His face looks just like Joyful’s but without the makeup. The place is similar too, but it’s normal, like some schmuck’s.


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