Friday, September 17, 2010

Pagliacci dall'Inferno

A little flash fiction for a Friday morn. When I started writing it, it was supposed to be kind of funny — about a kid who truly believes that clowns are evil demons. But then it turned dark, and then darker still.
It wasn't that Arnold was afraid of clowns, at least not anymore. He knew they were evil, but he also knew that he was no longer young enough to be their main target, so he wasn't afraid of them. Clowns preyed upon the very young, the impressionable, the innocent, and he would be starting high school in the fall. He was old enough to know not to accept their drug-laced candies and balloon shapes. Old enough to know their true intent.

Albert alone knew what evil lurked behind those brightly colored clothes, those false cosmetic faces, and he would stand for it no longer. If no one else would do anything about this evil menace, it was up to him.

He slipped the revolver back into the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt. Before him, silent on the dark pavement, was a costumed fiend who would never again lure a child into the darkness to be tortured, violated, and ultimately ritualistically eaten by a coven of paint-faced devils.

Albert turned toward home. He would return the revolver to the cigar box in his parents' closet tomorrow, after the circus left town. Until then, he would remain vigilant, scrutinizing every shadow, every hiding place, watching for both evil, fake-faced fiends and the only devils on Earth that were still more vile — the most maleficent abominations to walk the Earth: chihuahuas.