Written for Trifecta: Week Eighty-Nine
When the rains came, me and Shoe moved into the clown’s head. It meant climbing over the jagged teeth every time we came in or went out, but all the other buildings in the amusement park had been smashed and trashed by the Club Brigade, so the pickings were slim. For some reason the Brigade had left this spot alone, other than hacking the shit out of Bozo’s pearly whites with their golf clubs Maybe they had a clown phobia like Shoe, who knows.
Poor Shoe. First time we climbed in, he almost fainted. The big red lips and bulging eyes on the outside were one thing, but having to scramble over the pink tongue inside about made him whiz himself. I had to blindfold him with my extra t-shirt to get him past it, and then he refused to leave.
“Dammit, Shoe,” I said on the fourth day. “I’m not hauling your piss and shit outside anymore, and I’m sick of scrounging alone.”
He had the grace to look abashed. Truth be told, I’m kind of on the small side, and he knows if the Brigade ever get hold of me they’re going to use my head for driving practice. He knows because he used to be one of them before some militia dude pulverized his right arm with a Sig Sauer M400. They got no time for runts or cripples.
“Yeah, okay,” he says. “Hey, kid, what’s that stink in the air?”
“City’s burning more bodies. Guess they got tired of digging. Don’t change the subject.”
“Maybe if you got some paint, covered the clown’s face?”
“That face is the only thing keeping the Brigade from hunting your ass down and ripping your other limbs off.”
“It’ll still be scary if you paint it orange. Even scarier if you put a tarp over it.”
“That’s weak, Shoester, even by your standards.”
“Whatever. Fuck. I’ll go with you tomorrow, buddy, I swear.”
Maybe he wasn’t full of shit.
They came that night.