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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Clown

Another week and another writing challenge. This weekend it was decided that rather than the usual "here's an object, write about it" we'd go for a profession. An interesting change. The profession left for me to compose a short piece was a circus clown and so here is the resulting 'bit'. Lots of fun researching!

As the sweat poured from beneath his wild copper wig Bobbo gasped for breath. He pulled it off, mopping his brow as he cast it aside, smearing the carefully painted tears and white face mask and slumped against the tiger cages. His lungs screamed for oxygen and heart galloped at thunderous pace, thumping through the chest of his unwieldy fat suit. The water gun daisy pulsated at an alarming speed like the wings of a hummingbird. In fact, as he looked down at the fluttering petals, an idea leapt into his head and he pointed it towards his panting mouth, taking a few gulps of much needed refreshment and allowing him a moment of relative peace before the fast approaching mob found his tracks.

How he’d managed such a swift getaway in size 22 ruby red shoes and 64 gallon trousers was now a blurry mystery even to himself. He kicked the shoes off, each dropping with a squeak that made his shoulders tense and the hairs stand on the back of his neck and pulled the top of his augmented body suit up and over his head. The only clue to his erstwhile profession was now the smudged and smeared make up coating his face in a suffocating layer of marbled whites, reds and blues. As he frantically scrubbed at his cheeks though his mind was focussed once more on his main task by the increasingly voluminous din.

Through the bars of the cage he saw the entrance to the big top swept aside and an accumulation of people, all shapes, sizes and ages march forward. Like some kind of all encompassing cloud, without a true direction or target, they engulfed the caravans, cages and tents accommodating the circus and it’s residents. Tossing hay bales and carts, demolishing tents as beds and tables were overturned and cast aside. They were single minded in their pursuit that was for sure. Still, the extent of their hunt was confined to the immediate and illuminated area close to the compound and whilst their numbers swelled with each passing second, villagers and audience members caught up in the feverish mob mentality, their organisation was diluted. Like a raging river busting through its banks they were now snagged on every obstacle, slowed by their detailed inspection quite literally leaving no rock unturned. He knew that he needed to take his chance now though, before they inevitably seeped through to his hiding place.

As he watched the leader of the posse barked our instructions and directed his pitchfork laden lieutenants every which way but his. Bobbo noticed that the disgruntled parents of Billy were whispering orders, directing their puppet, eyes aglow, hate filled and wild with devilish intent plastered across each of their faces. Seeing such pure and unadulterated hatred he realised the scale, and desperation of his situation. His heart sank and, just for a moment, he was overcome with a sense of sorrow and great loss. An innocent situation turned against him for what? Befriending a lonely child? For caring? Something Billy’s selfish and oblivious parents had failed to do for any of his eleven years. His wallowing didn’t last for long. All of a sudden his train of thought was stopped dead in its tracks.

A sleek, golden leg with bolts of forked, black, lightening-esque stripes across its fur landed swiftly, silently, blocking his view. His eyes, now leaking genuine tears where once they were painted scrolled slowly down it revealing a giant paw, resplendent with long, curled, onyx claws. His eyes slowly crept back upwards, a shiver racing up his spine as he met the eyes of the big cat, awoken from her slumber by the gathering crowd. She studied him, motionless save a slight nervous tremble scurrying across the corners of his eyes, assessing the worthiness of this strange looking creature and the surrounding commotion. Then, without warning, the Bengal exploded into action as a deafening, fearful roar tore through the night air. Her teeth were incandescent, like daggers shining in the darkness. Bobbo was shaken to his core. For a split second time stopped, an eerie quiet fell and the world held its breath. Realising that their quarry was almost within their grasp the crowd surged towards him with a new found enthusiasm and terrifying intent. He had no choice. With his cover blown, he ran for it.