Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Story-A-Day #327: Punchin' Judy


Ever since Judy was a young girl, all the back as far as she could remember, she had not liked clowns.  She had been a meek child and assumed that it was the clown's propensity for grandeur that had soured her, but as a young woman, she realized the issue was much more deeply rooted.

Judy was a xenophobe, afraid of all things alien.  She was not agoraphobic; she had a job and friends that she would visit, but she definitely had a comfort zone that had its limitations.  She did not like trying new things; whether they were foods, routes to work, making new friends, or partaking in grander life experiences.  She knew what she liked and figured she would stick with those things that granted her pleasure.

It only made sense that clowns; with their makeup, and costumes, and rambunctious behaviour would set her on edge.  They were not natural.  They were alien to her pre-defined set of rules and regulations for the way things ought to be.

Still, they were oddly fascinating, which is no doubt what had convinced her to bring one home.  It was a Halloween decoration and therefore even more ghastly that then ones most were accustomed to, but she thought that if she were to display the effigy in a place of prominence within her apartment, then she might grow to understand her fear.

As her day drew to a close, she set about shutting off her appliances and making sure the doors were locked, then she walked into her bedroom and stared at the the clown that she had placed deliberately in the corner of the room.  It stared back at her with unblinking glassy, plastic eyes.

She climbed into her bed and flipped through a  few chapters of her book before shutting the lights off.  Something felt off.  She rolled over onto her other side.  This continued for an hour until finally, exasperated, she reached up and clicked on her bedside lamp.  She glanced towards the corner of the room, for no particular reason, and realized the clown was no longer hanging where she had left it.

She sat up to gain a better view of the floor in that corner of the room.  A sudden burst of colour and laughter swept in on her from the opposite direction and she just caught a glimpse of an ashen white face and bulbous red nose before the polka-dot gloved fist slammed into her temple.

The world faded to black, and as it did, she thought she could just make out a raspy laugh.

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