Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: The Clown of Smile.


Photo by cheriedurbin at morguefile.com

My breath fogs in the moonlight and I clutch my pen and notepad to my chest. Coming to the middle of downtown at midnight for an interview? What was I thinking?

“That’s far enough.”

I freeze under the pale halo of a streetlamp.

From the shadows, he emerges. Wig and red nose in place, face painted white, his costume stained red.

“Start,” he says.

“Only two clowns were found by the police after you called them. What did you do with the third you informed them about?”

            His teeth glisten. “He might be found, or he may turn himself in, or he could be somewhere no one will ever find him.”

“You murdered the other two, why would you leave him alive?”

            “Did I say that?” He laughs. “I thought my answer was very non-committal.”

“Why did you call the police after you committed your crime—”

            “How many innocent lives did those men—correction—animals take? What I did wasn’t a crime. For all anyone else knows I was walking and they attacked me. I fought back. What evidence do you have to the contrary?”

“If you didn’t do anything wrong, why do you hide your identity?”

            “Would you want to get blood all over your clothes or see it on your face?”

“Were they your first kills?”

            “I’ve never taken innocent lives.”

“Yes or no, please.”

            He forces air through his teeth. “Yes.”

“Why them?”

            “You wrote the story, didn’t you do your homework first?”

“I did, which means I know a lot more about you then you might like me to, and you already said you don’t kill innocents. Please, answer my questions.”

            He inches forward, but I hold my ground. I won’t lose control of this story. Not now. When he sees I don’t move, he rolls his eyes and retreats.

“They took the wrong kid.”

“How did you know they were involved?”

            “Three years of research. You’re not the only one who knows how to do the leg work.”

“When did they kill your child?”

            “Five years ago, Thanksgiving Day.” He clears his throat, crossing his arms.

“Are you certain you got the right men?”

            “If I didn’t, then someday I will.”

“Final question, why tell me any of this?”

            “Perhaps I needed to clear my conscience, or maybe I just wanted to call attention to the murder of our children in the streets. In either case, by the time your story posts, I’m not going to be on American soil.”


Thank you all for reading! Check back next week for the prequel to The Clown’s story.

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