Trifecta: Send in the Clowns

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.

(333 words)



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  1. #1 by Gabriella on August 7, 2013 - 6:11 am

    Fine piece of dystopian fiction! I like the contrast between the clown’s head and what we guess of the bleak present. An ominous ending which makes us want to read more.

    • #2 by Kallan Annie on August 8, 2013 - 9:37 pm

      Thank you, Gabriella! Dystopian fiction is so much fun to write, even if I do end up creeping myself out from time to time.

  2. #3 by Jo-Anne Teal (@jtvancouver) on August 7, 2013 - 8:23 am

    This blend of your uniquely excellent writing talent, Stephen King’s It and A Clockwork Orange about scared the bejesus out of me. I’m sleeping with the light on tonight! Yikes!

    But while I’m shivering under the covers, I would like to say that your description of “scrambling” over the clown’s tongue to get into the…what…building? statue? … was a stunner.

    Fantastic scene/storytelling, Kallan Annie!!

    • #4 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:07 am

      Oh, you wonderful Jo, you. I heart you for even mentioning this story in the same sentence as Stephen King and A Clockwork Orange–but I’m sorry I scared you. The picture that gave me the kick in the pants when I was looking for inspiration for this prompt scared the bejesus out of me, I’ll tell you.

      I’m so glad the “scrambling” over the clown’s tongue bit worked for you–creeped myself out with that one. 🙂

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment.

  3. #5 by LaTonya M. Baldwin on August 7, 2013 - 12:32 pm

    Damn! I wish they hadn’t come but given the setting, eventually they were going to. So what I love about your writing: You describe the details that matter like the clown’s head. Pacing is always dead on and no matter the word count, you write a complete story.

    • #6 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:13 am

      Wow, thanks so much, LaTonya. This means so much, coming from you. (And I didn’t want them to come back either…)

  4. #7 by steph on August 7, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    Wow, really great writing. I could see every move, feel every emotion. Nice work!

    • #8 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:14 am

      That’s very kind of you, steph! Much appreciated.

  5. #9 by Valerie on August 7, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    I love this one Kallan Annie! First we are introduced to a giant hideous clown head, and then we just happen to learn that the city is burning bodies! Shiver me timbers, woman! What a delicious nightmare world you’ve created!!

    • #10 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:16 am

      I have an image to go along with that clown head, but I don’t know where it came from so I couldn’t use it. I can tell you, though, it’s pretty darned hideous. Glad you like my nightmare world, Valerie!

  6. #11 by Jennifer on August 7, 2013 - 9:35 pm

    Freaky. I’m not crazy about clowns either, but if it would keep me safe to hide inside one I would do it.

    • #12 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:17 am

      Sometimes there’s just no choice, right? If the scary clown is the only game in town, we’re stuck with it. 🙂

  7. #13 by trifectawriting on August 8, 2013 - 12:17 am

    Oh wow. That’s a unique spin on the prompt. I love it. Very creepy. Thanks for linking up!

    • #14 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:17 am

      Thank you, trifectawriting! Always appreciate your comments. 🙂

  8. #15 by jannatwrites on August 8, 2013 - 3:56 am

    Clowns are creepy, but between that or the brigade, I’d take the clowns!

    • #16 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:18 am

      I’m with you, Janna. No brigade for me! Thanks for commenting.

  9. #17 by howanxious on August 8, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    A very interesting story.. and the ending was something that couldn’t be avoided. i liked the plot line; it might be used for writing a whole book.

    • #18 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:19 am

      Thank you so much, HA. I quite enjoyed playing in this world, and I may revisit it for a longer story, if not a whole book. Haven’t quite finished there yet. 🙂

  10. #19 by H.L. Pauff (@HLPauff) on August 8, 2013 - 11:23 pm

    This is really great. I’d love to see more of this story.

    • #20 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:20 am

      That’s very kind of you to say, H.L. I may revisit this world at some point.

  11. #21 by Draug419 on August 9, 2013 - 12:17 am

    If it’s a clown brigade, they’re really in trouble.
    This is great. I like the dialog.

    • #22 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:21 am

      Ahahaha! Too funny! And, yep, they’d be hooped! Thank you so much for the feedback.

  12. #23 by jeanmcurio on August 9, 2013 - 2:02 am

    Abandoned amusement parks are so inherently creepy, but this one even more so. I, too, would love to read more of this story.

    • #24 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:22 am

      It’s true, isn’t it? There’s just much potential for horror in an abandoned amusement park. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  13. #25 by Renada Styles on August 9, 2013 - 2:30 am

    ugh. cliff hangar! i was ready to read more!

    • #26 by kallanannie on August 9, 2013 - 4:23 am

      Sorry! Didn’t mean to leave you hanging, but those 333 words get eaten up so quickly! Thanks for commenting, Renada.

  14. #27 by syllabubsea on August 9, 2013 - 7:38 am

    A disturbing read – very realistic. Marie

    • #28 by kallanannie on August 13, 2013 - 2:59 am

      Thanks, Marie! Just hope it’s never part of MY reality!

  15. #29 by KymmInBarcelona on August 9, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Well, what do you want when you start off with a huge, abandoned clown’s head!!! Bring on the dystopia.
    Of course the last line was inevitable. Terrific story.

    • #30 by kallanannie on August 13, 2013 - 3:00 am

      Exactly, right? Huge, abandoned clowns’ heads and dystopia are made for each other! Thank you so much, Kymm.

  16. #31 by lovelylici1986 on August 9, 2013 - 11:44 pm

    Really well done, Kallan! I really connect with the characters, and kept reading, wanting to know more about them. I think the plot pretty evenly matched the characters too, and that’s quite a feat. One usually outshines the other. You rocked this out!
    -Alicia Audrey

    • #32 by kallanannie on August 13, 2013 - 3:01 am

      Can’t tell you how much I appreciate this specific feedback, Alicia. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.

  17. #33 by xandranihilo on August 10, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Really good. Deliciously good.

    • #34 by kallanannie on August 13, 2013 - 3:03 am

      You made my day, Xandra. Thank you so much.

  18. #35 by Marian Meihofer on March 20, 2016 - 12:20 am

    Glad to be one of the visitors on this awesome website :D.

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