Everybody snaps; even those who bring you joy on an average. Bob is a comedian who comes home to find his breaking point and the laughter's over. ~Writer of The Never Born & The Bite -hope you guys check those out as well.
About a Clown
By Christopher Michael Carter
This is Bob. He gets out of the shower. Once dried he wipes the steam and sweat off of the bathroom mirror. With his makeup kit on the sink he begins painting his face white. He’s staring into the mirror with his face now painted stark white when his beautiful wife enters and puts her arms around him.
Bob sits on the end of the bed with his wife holding his left arm while her head’s on his shoulder.
A pair of red clown shoes sits on the floor.
She’s sitting back on the bed watching TV while he’s putting his shoes on at the end of the bed.
They’re at the door as Bob’s about to leave for work decked out in complete clown garb. Both of them are smiling. They kiss.
“I’ll try not to be too late.” Bob says.
“Knock ‘em dead, honey. I love you.” She replies.
He responds, “Love you too.”
“Oh wait! You almost forgot!” She grabs his big red nose for his costume off of the coffee table and gives it to him.
“Thanks, babe. What would I be without you?”
“You’ll never have to find out…” She says lovingly.
He puts the nose on and exits. She shuts the door and sighs.
In the night club we’re at floor level looking up at him on stage. He’s in his clown shoes, a blue and white costume with white gloves, his face is painted with a big red nose and bright red wig. He’s just finished his comedy set with a rubber chicken in his hand. Everyone’s laughing.
“Thank you everyone!” Bob concludes, “Good night!” The clown exits the stage. Fans and attendees discuss the show at their tables.
“Ah, man, he’s hilarious.” A man says.
A woman adds, “He’s so funny. I’ve been to all his shows.”
Backstage Bob stands with the club’s owner, Vince.
“Think they dug it?” Bob’s always thinking about the audience.
“You kiddin’ me?” Vince started, “You killed ‘em out there! That rubber chicken joke got ‘em good! I can’t wait to hear what the new stuff is like.”
“Well when it comes to me you’ll be the first person to know.”
“How come your wife never comes to your shows? I bet she’d love it; her man bein’ a big time comedian.”
“Eh, she just doesn’t like crowds.”
“Understandable. My sister’s the same way. Well alright, Bobby, you have a good night.”
“You too, Vinny.” The two men exit in separate directions.
At the local bar, The Tide, Bob enters, walking through the door. People are clapping. Tony, the bartender looks over at the clown, “Hey! There he is! How’d the show go, champ?” Tony sets Bob up with a shot of alcohol and the clown approaches the bar.
“Eh, it seemed to go okay.” Bob the Clown shrugged as a drunken customer comes to his side, “Okay!? He was funny as hell. Heh, I think I peed a little.”
“Thanks, friend.” Chuckles Bob while patting his fan on the back. The drunken man walks back to his group and Bob sighs before taking his shot.
“Think I’m gonna head out.” Bob starts to leave.
“You headin’ out already?” Tony shrugs throwing his towel over his shoulder.
“Yeah, I’m gonna go home and get me some lovin’.”
“Alright, later.” Tony chuckles.
At the apartment building, Bob’s walking up the stairs to their apartment humming a tune stuck in his head. He opens the door and hears his wife moaning. He takes off his bright red wig and opens the bedroom door just a crack to see what’s going on to find his wife having sex with another man. He drops his wig in almost a slow motion and he’s gone before it hits the floor. He leaves; the door shuts. They hear it.
“Oh shit.” The guy says.
“Oh my God!” The adulteress says with her hand on her head.
She opens the door and sees the bright red wig lying there on the floor before her. She kneels down and picks it up. A sad look clouds her face.
“What? What is it?” The man says walking over to her.
“He was here. He knows.”
“Then I guess he got the hint and took a hike. What’s the problem?” The guy says putting his arm around her. She knocks his arm off and pushes him away, “Asshole…” The man returns to the bed, “C’mon, babe… C’mon…” She looks like she hates herself.
Meanwhile Bob’s walking down the street whistling the theme to The Incredible Hulk TV series.
Back at The Tide, Bob enters the bar again looking as glum as ever.
Tony sees this, “Whoa, Bob, who died?”
Tony gives the man a beer, “What happened, man?”
Another drunk customer approaches the clown, “Heya, Bobby, how’s life treatin’ ya?”
Bob gives him a look from the corner of his eye, “He’s sleepin’ with my wife.”
The man laughs, “Funny guy, this one. Have a good one, Bobby.”
“Yup.” The man leaves.
“Man, that bitch! I’m sorry, bro. That’s rough shit.” Tony sympathizes.
“You’re tellin’ me.”
“Man, I’d probably kill a bitch if she did that to me.”
“That’s what I’m thinkin’.”
Tony looks around before coming in closer whispering, “You gonna kill your wife?”
“I’m thinking about it.” He says taking a drink of his beer.
“Gettin’ a little fucked up, don’t ya think?”
“It’s already fucked up. I gave that girl my heart. You saw the ones I passed up for her.” Bob shakes his head, still in disbelief.
“Bombshells, total knockouts…”
“Then you see what I’m sayin’. What if… What if you went home tonight and Shirley was fucking some dude in your bed?”
“Alright, I get it. One sec…” Tony walks away from his friend for a moment. Bob continues drinking and lights up a cigarette.
Tony’s on the phone, “Hey, honey, it’s me. No, no, everything’s fine. How’re things there? Oh yeah? Okay. Anyone there? Oh, your sister? Okay. No, hun, nothing’s wrong. Okay, talk to you later tonight. Bye”
Tony walks back to the end of the bar where Bob is sitting. “So what did you say when you caught them?”
“Nothing. They didn’t see me. I saw ‘em and booked it.”
Bar local, Jim, approaches the bar.
“Ay, Jimbo.” Tony greets him.
“Ay, guys. What’s up, Bobby? Girl problems?”
“You can say that.”
“Broads, huh? Say, whena re you gonna hook me up with a couple of tickets to your show?”
Bob turns to Jim, “Jimbo, you show up and I’ll get you in the show.”
“Now that’s what I’m talking about. Bob, you take care. Tony, I’ll see ya tomorrow.”
Tony stops him briefly, “Jimmy, you got a driver?”
“I’m hailin’ a cab. I’m good.”
Jim exits. Bob looks deep in thought.
“Another beer?” Tony asks.
“Nah, I’m good.” He’s still stone faced.
“You think he’s still there?”
“Maybe.” Bob shrugs.
“You’re not gonna try to patch things up, are ya?” Tony’s face scrunches.
He lets out a stifled chuckle, “C’mon, Tony, how long we known each other?”
“Go home to Shirley tonight and you love the shit out of her. I’m goin’ home.” Bob gets up.
He walks to the door still in a daze.
“Bobby, you’re not gonna do anything crazy, are ya?” The worried friend asks.
Bob stops and thinks to himself, “You never know. Hey, Tony, what do you call a live cheating wife?”
“I don’t know. What?”
Tony nervously laughs.
“I’ll be fine. Have a good night, Tony.”
“You too.” Bob leaves while Tony speaks to himself, “She might not be so lucky,” before refilling drinks.
Bob the Clown continues to walk home in a trance; his expression an about face to his makeup. He kindly waves to people in the street in passing while continuing his journey home as if nothing was bothering him.
Upon getting to the apartment building he looks up to his window to see a dim light and shadows. Bob opens the passenger door to his car and gets into his glove box to retrieve his pistol he keeps for safety. The door is shut and he takes another look up at the window before taking a deep breath and pushing forward.
He slowly walks up the stairs he’s walked for years, this time with a purpose; he’s a man on a mission. The clown reaches the door and opens it slowly, scanning the living room. He quietly closes the door behind him locking it. He treads lightly in his large red clown shoes.
Back at The Tide, Tony continues to work but the conversation with his friend is weighing heavily on his mind. He stops, thinking to himself, and goes over to the phone, picking it up.
The apartment’s quiet but he can hear slight chatter from the bedroom; no moaning this time. He sees his wig still on the floor and bends down to pick it up. He puts it on positioning it correctly and cocks his gun.
In the bedroom the man is getting dressed while his partner in this affair is dressed and sitting on the end of the bed.
“I just don’t think we should do this anymore…” She says shaking her head.
He’s struck by this, “What? You can’t be serious? What’s with all this shit about how you don’t love him and you want us to be together. I thought you loved ME. Don’t you want me?” He’s furious.
She’s confused, “I-”
Before she can finish the door is KICKED open and the clown steps in firing four rounds into his wife’s lover. The gunshots are explosive and send the man back into the closet in a bloody mess. His wife is screaming with her lover’s blood splattered on her. Bob stands frozen still pointing his gun and turns it towards her. “NO!” She screams running out of the bedroom. “I’m sorry!” She continues to scream. She gets to the locked door and wrestles with it before unlocking it. Bob is slowly walking after her blinded by rage. She opens the door and rushes out of the apartment. Other tenants are stepping out of their doors, “What’s going on out here?”
She doesn’t take time to warn them or tell them that her husband has lost her mind; she just continues to run down the hall. The clown steps out of the apartment with his gun poised. A couple of guys are standing out in the hall confused.
*BLAM* He drops one of his neighbors with a shot to the chest. People panic and scurry. *BLAM* He shoots another man and then *BLAM* a woman trying to escape his anger. It’s clear he’s lost it and is now on a shooting spree blind to his initial morals. Blood is spilt in the hallway as people continue to scream along with his cheating wife who’s running down said hall. He fires randomly to his sides and behind him before putting his wife back in his sights.
*BLAM* *BLAM* Just as she reaches the top of the stairs he delivers two shots into the harlot; one in the back and one in the head. Her body, now lifeless, crumbles, falling down the long staircase to the bottom. Though she’s dead well before hitting the bottom her collar bone and a leg are broken and bones are sticking out of her skin. Her body twitches for moments after death with involuntary nerve spasms. She’s covered in her own blood and her husband saunters down the steps. The broken shell of a woman at the bottom of the steps looks only vaguely like the woman he used to be so madly in love with. His big clown shoes step over to the other side of her corpse. He stares down at his former love with a blank stare.
He crouches down to her, “Why? What did I do? What didn’t I do? All I do is work and live to love you. Did I not love you enough? Did I love you too much? Did I not make you laugh? I just wanted you to love me. I’d ask you what I could’ve done different but it’s too late for that. It was too late long before this.” Bob motions to his gun.
He fires his handgun aimlessly upstairs at nothing in particular, reminding the tenants upstairs of terror. The shot echoes up the stairwell and panic can be heard.
“You see…people think a clown with a gun is scary but what’s really scary is marrying a stranger; or having someone unknowingly transform before your eyes from something you loved into something that terrifies you, that angers you.” He stops briefly listening to the mayhem. “No, what’s scary is giving someone your entire being only to find them use and abuse it…corrupt it. …No, I’m not scary, this isn’t scary,” He says holding up his pistol, “Having complete and total faith in something, someone and they go and shatter it without a second thought – that’s scary.”
People upstairs continue to scream and cry but it doesn’t faze him. The ethical notion of the chaos he’s birthed has evaded him. He continues to talk to his blood drenched dead wife.
“How long has this been going on? How long did you think you could get away with it? You weren’t going to get off light. Leaving you would’ve been too simple. Hitting you wouldn’t make you stop. In fact, it would only drive you to continue. No…this is right. He got what he deserved…and so did you.” Bob takes off his white glove and slowly takes off his wedding band gazing at the ring; at what it meant. He tosses the ring down onto her broken body before putting his glove back on and adjusting his wig. Closing his eyes he inhales and exhales big; a sigh of relief.
Inside his wife lies in a crumpled pile while her lover is sprawled out bleeding all over their bedroom floor. The neighbors are still terrified and probably will be for some time. Survivors are attempting to help the wounded and the dead are just that. The carpet is wet and stains and dampens the socks of those trying to help. The hallway is painted red; the same red the staircase is splattered with. Cries and whimpers fill the air.
Outside the building multiple police cars have arrived with their lights flashing. The clown steps out of the door with his gun in hand. The police draw their weapons.
“Freeze! Drop your weapon!” A policeman yells through his megaphone. Bob is still in a daze and raises his arms with his gun still gripped.
“I just wanted you to love me…” Bob says.
“Drop the gun!” The cops yell.
“I just want to make you laugh…” Bob says dropping the gun. Almost before the gun hits the ground he’s reaching into the shirt of his costume, “See…?”
The police see him reaching into his puffy shirt and open fire gunning the clown down to the ground. The shots are brutal and loud while the wounds are massive leaving his once white and blue clown costume a mess of dark red. The clown’s brief yet effective killing spree has ended and the police have taken out what they see as a madman; a stone cold killer. The newspapers love drama and with the actions of tonight they’ll have plenty of it to go around. Not often do they feature stories about a clown; a comedian whose laughter died and all hope plummeted which led him to a point of no return.
What he was reaching for wasn’t seen before he was shot down but they weren’t taking any chances. Bob the Clown gave his last show tonight and now lies dead outside his home on his back with his eyes open staring into the night sky. His white face paint is speckled with blood and his big shoes stick straight up. Though one shot surely would’ve sufficed, the bloody mess is riddled with holes.
The police move in on the body to find…a rubber chicken in his hand.