Mar 16, 2013

The Carnival Without Clowns


When the carnival danced into the town, Sheriff Cowen wasn't so sure about their intentions. 

For all that they were, the dancers, magicians and jugglers in the carnival looked normal, but something was amiss about them. There was a trick of light when you looked at them that didn't let your eye rest on them for a time longer than it took to take in their presence. 

But the winter had gone on for too long and now that sunny days were here, the town needed some entertainment. So the sheriff relented and let them all in. This was his last wrong decision as a sheriff, because he forgot to notice that the carnival didn't have even a single clown.

The carnival folk set up their shop in the open ground behind the town hall and when night fell, the lit up their torches and lamps that bathed their tents in a golden light. The townsfolk came to see the carnival like moths to the flame. 

The jugglers juggled things, the rope walkers walked the ropes and the few sorry animals with the carnival went through the motions of entertaining the crowds. 

And boy, were the crowds entertained. 

The children hooped and hollered and laughter, the adults clapped and the teenagers scuttled away in the dark corners to do the dark deeds that teenagers do. Still, there were no clowns!

When the program for the evening ended and a collection hat was passed around filled with coins and paper notes of all kinds, the people went to their homes. Entertained and satisfied, they slept unaware of the fact that they had refused to notice the un-existence of clowns.

When night fell and the town slept, Sheriff Cowen heard a noise that woke him up. He got out of his bed and went outside. The town was burning. A child ran past his house with his night dress on fire and two clowns chased him on pogo sticks. The flames that burned the houses kissed the night sky and more clowns pored from the fire to create mischief and mayhem. The clowns had come.

Sheriff Cowen went back in his house and tried to sleep. He was still awake when the flames reached him.

3 comments:

  1. Nice! I love the imagery of the last para...kid on flames being chased by clowns on pogo sticks.

    Actually, I have been trying to find your blog for a few days now. I had a blog goin on a few years ago...Neon and Noir. I had to leave it then...work n stuff (was 2009). You were one of the regulars for me then, and your last comment was here:
    http://neonandnoir.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/eb/#comments . Im pinging coz, well, I have managed to start writing again.
    I am really glad you are still writing.
    I am at http://thelazyengine.wordpress.com
    Would love to see you there.

    ReplyDelete