The clown in the doorway



Flash fiction inspired by a rather creepy picture of a marionette.

The film, his choice, was the stupidest thing she’d ever seen.

“Isn’t there anything else to watch?” she said and snatched up the remote. “What is it with people and their obsession about clowns being creepy?”

He shrugged. “It’s because they smile all the time when you know they don’t really mean it.”

“Like your mother, you mean?”

“Mine? You think I don’t know what yours says about me, the two-faced cow?”

They glared at one another, she holding the remote as if it was a grenade, he with a plate he’d been drying, balancing in his hands.

“If that’s a taste of the conversation I can expect this evening, I’d rather find a stray cat to talk to. Don’t wait up.”

“Ah, go to hell!” he hurled after her along with the plate.

She grabbed her jacket from the stand in the hallway and flung open the front door.


A boy was standing on the step, a mask in one hand, a hatchet in the other. He had taken off his smiling face and turned the real one to her, the one with empty eyes. They were beyond sadness, beyond caring.

“He’s through there,” she said and held the door open.

The boy nodded and walked in. She slammed the door closed behind him. A cat watched her from the top of the wall, but slunk away into the shadows when she caught its eye.

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