Karma for a clown

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: House of Poetry and Stories
In a dark alley way, a drunken mime and a shoe-less boy attempt to save a rape victim.

Submitted: February 14, 2016

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Submitted: February 14, 2016



Karma for a clown

By Scarlet S. Sylversteen


It was on Rosenby Avenue that the games were played, and painted men danced. The clinking of coins in buckets, the laughter of children, and the grunts of parents telling them to hush-up. Here on every street corner and stretch of cement, with every kick of the drum and scratch of chalk, entertainment was enjoyed by the whole town. It was Saturday after all, and what else is Saturday for but for playing?

Come night, the streets would light up in red, where the drunken lovers would shag and dance. Still, despite the lights and saucy fun to be had, a shabby spirit hung over the place, a spirit of some glum old man who hated life. This ghost’s shadow seemed to grow larger the more the day progressed, and at night, it would be overwhelmingly large, shadowing all those on Rosenby Avenue, at least for those who were sober.

It was on one such night as this, when a young boy, by the name of Russ-barefooted and all-decided to go snitching. They’re all bloody drunk, and high, Russ would assure himself,  besides, they sleep on diamonds, and make love in golden bunks; surely snitching a few nickels for my breakfast won’t hurt.

Russ tip-toed towards the chaotic clammer of the crowds, their hyper shadows flickering on the wall, glowing. Laughing women, screaming with delight, and men shouting for more pleasure and boozz to settle their animal-like tendencies. The whole place smelt of sour wine and raw loving; it all made Russ cringe.

Russ watched the bobbing of heads and shaking of bodies, long locks of hair beating like raven’s wings in the air. Wonder if my mum is here,  he asked his shadow-and if she was-would she recognize me? He shook it off, avoiding those thoughts and the broken glass and wet things on the ground.

A few hundred paces away, a painted entertainer sat, cross legged against a brick wall in his little chalk circle, next to his face-paint, ropes, and juggling things. Spot they called him, because of the way his face was coloured. He was a mime, a juggler, a balancing act. He was a comedic icon made for jesting, and the world to laugh at. Seldom did Spot frown or wear a solemn face, except for now; when he was finished for the day.

He always wore his black and white face paint: the black lining his lips and eyes, over a sad canvas of faded white. His hat and clothes were ragged and worn, and smelt unpleasant; and his shoes had holes at the soles.

Spot watched the bleating of the other humans. He shook the coins in his metal bucket, making time with the ravenous beat of the stereo. Though the colours flashed and the music played, he didn’t find pleasure in it. Every colour was faded in a gradient of depression; every sound no more significant than moanings of matter. His world was in sepia; a blunt way of living.

He took out a cigarette and his flask of strong drink. Here he would find his solace: in the buzz and numbing grace of the fire water that burned his throat, and the smoke that tainted his lungs.

There he drifted in and out of reality.

Russ managed to pocket a few dollars from tipsy men and slutty women. He had a way with them, sneaking behind their naked backs, slipping his little hands into their back pockets. Even if they saw him, they were too intoxicated to catch him, and were always unsuccessful.  He learnt over the years to be quick on his feet. I like them a little better when they aren’t sober, Russ decided, but I still hate them all the same.  Then his mind went again to his face-less mother and anonymous father. He hated them too, because they left him. He felt lonely with his shadow and pocket full of change. His closest friends were his own thoughts, and even they seemed to betray him at times.

He sulked down an alley, shivering from the chill that crept up in and around his scrawny bones. The coins jingling in his pants with little lustre. He wasn’t going anywhere in particular, wherever the cement took him.

Spot blinked twice before sitting up. His companion, square and tin, lay open in his skinny hand. He was dizzy and  vomited. After wiping his face tastelessly on his sleeve , he sat there, watching the garbage bin spin at the other side of the wall, the waste protruding over it’s side like some cancerous tumor. Spittle ran down his cheek.

He didn’t really give much notice or care to his surroundings. Except he remembered a little boy-yes- a little a little boy walk past. He looked sad too, but the boy still gave him a quick smile which he then returned weakly. After that he searched his ripped pants for another cigarette.

Russ was surprised to see a mime, obviously retired for the night, sitting slouched against the wall. From the way he looked, he could tell that the man was drunk like the rest of them. He’s alone too though, Russ concluded, just like me. Russ didn’t hate other people like himself, alone and sad, but he rarely ever met those types of people. He gave the mime a curt nod and a smile.

It was a scream he heard, and due to his state of mind, his reaction was delayed. It came coldy from the deep end of the alley way. Spot stood up, and for a moment, watching the atmosphere swim, he leaned against the shiver of bricks. The voice was desperate. His mouth frothy and limp, would make any normal man slurr his words, but being the man he was, he couldn’t speak anyways; so engrossed in the silence of his character.  

Russ jumped when he heard the scream. He backed away into the shadows, his legs wobbly and cautious. The voice came from a women, he knew by its tone.  It wasn’t a bout of pleasure like the ones he heard on Rosenby every dark Saturday.  It was a cry from the heart.

Russ was braver than most boys his age, being an adult at half the age of one, he, for the most part, knew all of the adult parts of life, such as sex. He thought it was gross,  but that didn’t mean he didn’t understand. With this knowledge he concluded this scream could be caused by nothing less than rape, which happened on occasion in dark alleys at night; this time, though, he had a heroine-like urge to act. ButI’m scared, the boy inside him said.

He came on her, already hard and heavy. It just happened; a horny intoxicated man meeting a person with somewhere to put it. He grunted and laughed as she screamed bloody murder. His cold sweaty hand bound her lips to his skin, as he disciplined her by other means. No matter how hard she fought, or how deeply she sunk her teeth into the callous fingers, he wouldn’t lay off. She was just like a doll in the hands of a naughty tot.

After standing in his measly chalk circle, parading the dizzying line that snaked around in his whisky-soaked brain, he surveyed his collection of entertainment things and picked a rope. He stumbled towards the chilling scream and cruel noises, tracing the brick’s rough edges with his hand to keep himself from falling. His rope he tied loosely around his torso.

Russ crouched. He watched the dirty spectacle unfold before him to the rhythm of fornication. The man was big and muscular, and reminded him of an action figure he once had, before he lost his shoes. She is hurting, Russ looked away. I can’t let him do that, that isn’t right. He searched his pocket for his swiss knife amidst the lint, loose change, and wrappers. Everything got louder in his ears, and all too familiar. Christ-Christ-Christ- he found his knife and gave it a flick, it felt odd in his sweaty hands, because he was going to hurt with it-well, at least he’d give it a try. Stick the bad man where it counts, he told himself, stick him good and he’ll stop hurting her. Then he thought of his dad.

Spot was trying his best to hold himself up. He glared, trying to see past the curtain of blur that jaded his perception of the world. He heard grunts and moans a few paces ahead and could see the vague outline of the two people caught up in a fiery embrace-which would explain the sounds. She doesn’t seem to like it though, spot concluded as he stumbled on. Thought as much. He continued walking and tried to get a closer look. He untied his rope as quietly as he could. Once he was a few paces away, he could see the back of the man, big and meaty, along with his naked bottom. He was doing it violently from behind.

‘Hush up bitch, or I’ll kill you,’ Spot heard him say. ‘Lemme finish, you’ll get your payment when I’m done, jus’ stop fuckin’ squirmin’’’ This dialogue progressed, but not for very long. She listened obediently. After going over this in his mind, Spot  decided what he should do, in spite of his drunken state; he gripped the rope so his hands burned.

karma, sweet karma, Anika screamed in her brittle, domesticated mind. He was nearly finished, but she knew by the way men worked, he wasn’t finished with her. The ground beneath her was getting baptised  in tears and paint, just like her. Money was all she could think of, money and blood.

Russ was shaking. His hand seizuring, making the knife click continuously. Russ tried to stop it so the bloody knife wouldn’t blow his cover. The Bad Man, though, was too engrossed in his pleasures to give a shit about it. Even still, the knife slipped from his grasp, the tinny sound made his ears bleed as it made contact with the ground and glided down the pavement.


Spot was so close he could  feel the wind from his pumping body. He had made a drooping circle in his hands with the rope, and was ready to put it to use. Being half-sobered, he didn’t think twice before he did it-he just did it.

Falling fast to the ground, the rope curving elegantly around the stranger’s neck, he watched with a twisted innocence as the face of his victim turned from red to blue, etched still with the ghost of his smile.

The women lay heaving like a heart, taking in gulps of air, not bothering to cover her nakedness.

He still wondered to himself why he was doing what he was doing. The women stood up, shaking in the light of the moon, half a women and half a clown.  

‘Holy fuck-’ Russ blinked twice before turning his head. He saw strange, uncomfortable things as some invisible fist continually beat on his forehead. He sat up casually against the wall, holding his hand to the massive lump that peeped through his hair. He looked around for his knife.

The clown-lady was-well-greatly shaken by the looks of it, and the once formidable man was sacked and burned, writhing in the hands of a human quarter his size.  

Fuck, it’s that soak I saw moments ago. He’s killing him, he’s actually killing him.

The naked man was struggling to take in oxygen, it was obvious to see.

‘Stop-’ the woman cried, kneeling beside the Bad Man.

The mime eyed her sadly and let go of his grip, as if he was unaware of what exactly he was doing.  Russ thought of a puppy.

Immediately, the naked man-after taking his liberty-went for the mime’s throat. He was on top of him. t all happened in the fray of a single moment:

The naked man wrapped his thick fingers around the little mime’s neck, making his face turn blue. Then, however, clown-lady collapsed onto his back, puncturing his spine with a knife.

Fuck, that's mine. Russ shivered, what is she doing?

She was violently cutting and dragging, and cutting and dragging. She wore a smile as she did it too, licking his red fluids from her face as it splashed. Russ felt sick. 

When she finished, she stood, soaked in a cryptic dye, the smile still laughing on her pretty clown face. 

For a moment there was silence; an ambience of silence quieter than a mime. 

Spot squirmed out from under the dead body of the naked man. His shirt was no longer white and black but red on red, except it wasn’t from paint this time. The clown-lady was standing over him with a sinister look on her face. She was holding a knife, and the knife wasn’t clean.

‘Next time, fucker, you’ll pay first,’ she hissed, spitting on the corpse. She bent over, showing her bare cleavage, and, whispering something in his ear, turned him over onto his back with a thump. Spot was now able to stand up. He leaned against the wall like before, except this time he was drunk with an emotion-not whisky- an emotion that was altogether foreign to him. Was it shock, or anger, or sadness? He didn’t know.

The clown-lady looked hungrily at the colourless face that looked bleakly at nothing.  Hysteria molded her messy features. She wiped the knife on her clothes and ran her wiry fingers through the frizz of her purple hair. 'Haha-Karma did you in-sucks for you.' 

Spot knew her, after seeing her fully. She was a clown named Anika, and she was known for killing things. She's dangerous, he glared at her and crossed his arms; as if that would intimidate. 

Russ was shaken up no doubt, by the brutality of the episode he just watched.He wanted some comfort, some love, some one to share in his fear. So, he decided he should stand by the mime, because right now, he didn’t want to be alone. Don't go near her, he told himself, don't. 

When the mime saw Russ, he didn’t look surprised. He just nodded and motioned him to his side.

The clown lady surveyed the two of them with her rather manic stare, and laughed again.

‘What’s so funny?’ Russ asked, averting his gaze from the death that lay at his feet, ‘y-you just got raped, din’ ya? And you just murdered someone. How cou’ you be happy?’

The clown-lady walked over to Russ and gently touched his forehead with her thumb, the stench of blood on her person made him feel even queazier. ‘Oh little boy, there are some things you just don’t know yet. The world is fucked up, and so am I; I’ve chosen my path. I just follow the beat of my blackened heart.’ She kicked the corpse, ‘scum like this, they don’t need to live another day. What has he done but make this world more fucked than it already is?’ She put her dirty hand under his chin like a mother would, ‘so I rid the world of these people, boy. These people that want my body, and taint my soul. So I laugh, therefore, because I have made this world a little cleaner.’

At that time the mime mumbled something inaudible. He put his hand on Russ’ shoulder and shook his head.

‘Oh, I didn’t see you Spot. You blend in so well with the wall.’

Spot frowned.

‘Why, what-’ Russ looked over his shoulder at the mime, ‘who-’ now back at the clown-lady, ‘-who are you?'

‘I’m a faker, an actor: a clown. They call me Anika, but that doesn’t matter, boy.’

She walked over to Spot and whispered something in his ear. She sensually trailed her hand down to his trousers, and after licking the blade, she put it in his pocket. 

'Well, thank you for watching, I'll be back on Monday.' She took a bow and winked at Russ. 'Next time, think twice before walking down this alley way; might save your reputation. After all, Karma may just nip you in the dick before you know it.'  At that she nodded at the mime, who now looked whiter than his paint. 

She then took off, humming some happy tune as she faded in the night, ready to paint her face again.

Russ and the mime looked at each other. Russ felt warm inside, like he had found a father, or even an older brother. But that feeling didn't last very long. 

There was an angry call, gruff and stingy from around the bend. The mime seemed to know who it was because he glared back at the noise and embraced Russ. The smell of alcohol was still draping around him. He put his painted lips to Russ’ ear as a man in a blue suite came around the corner with a gun slung at his side.In the solemn gentleness of his unused voice, the mime used the only word he knew, and that was: ‘goodbye.'

Russ saw the look on the man in the blue suite and he nearly shit himself. Hand cuffs were jingling as he walked. He shouted something. The mime kicked Russ in the shin and mouthed the word go. Russ tripped on an arm, and splashed in a puddle. 

He followed the dirty trail of Anika the clown. Looking behind him, before it got too dark, he saw the mime all locked up by the blue man and the corpse smiling at the moon.








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