The Joker – Very Short Story

“Yes, yes! Let’s party!” a man with clown makeup cried while dancing around a larger, bulkier, man with a shaved head and a mean expression. Jason, on any other night, would have punched anyone who dared annoy him, but he found the clown strangely captivating. Jason was proud of his ability to remember anyone he ever met and he was pretty sure he could recognize them even with makeup on, but somehow, he couldn’t put a finger who this man was; but he looked familiar.

Intrigued, he let the clown do his thing, while the small entourage of men followed closely behind. Suddenly, the clown grabbed his hands and swung him in a circle without letting go. Jason tried to stop him but the clown only swirled faster and faster until Jason lost his grip (or did the clown drop him?) and fell on his ass. His cheeks flushed red.

“Ooof, need to work on your balance there, my friend,” the clown said.

Jason bared his teeth. I’ll mess you up, he thought and accepted the clowns helping hand. The hand popped out of its socket and left a hole around the clowns sleeve. Jason fell again. The light from the streetlamps shaded the faces on the group behind them but they were no doubt trying their hardest to suppress a smile. “Weehehee,” the clown laughed.

All right, tonight I kill a clown, Jason thought as he got back on his legs.

“Oh, don’t be like that,” the clown said. “Everyone needs a good laugh every once in a while. Tell you what. I’ll buy you a drink at–,” he paused, looking around. “That bar,” he said and grabbed Jason’s arm.

If there had been a convenient alley that he could force the clown into at that moment, he would’ve, but yet again, the clown was lucky as he dragged him into the bar. People stopped and stared at the clown, however, they cowered as soon as they saw who the clown was with. The bar stools emptied for the new guests and the barkeep handed out the drinks promptly and without taking pay, which negated the clowns promise.

“Cheers,” he said, apparently willing to conveniently forget about it.

Jason ignored the clown and drank with a frown.

“You’re not still mad at me, are you? I’m the Joker, I joke!” He cried happily and fooled the man next to him with a fake flower that wet his nose.

Jason finished his drink. “Another one,” he growled.

Jason still couldn’t put his finger on who the clown was. He was far too comfortable around him, and he started to worry that he might be somebody he should know. The clown dies tonight either way, he thought to himself. “A joker, eh? Then let’s go kill somebody,” he said. “You and me. The greatest joke there is, right?” He chuckled, imagining the clown’s eyes to hide in his skull out of fear because he couldn’t get any paler than he already was.

But the clown didn’t seem uncomfortable at all, in fact, there was a glee in his face and he became misty-eyed as if from joy. “I thought you’d never ask,” the clown said and ushered Jason out from the bar and danced down the street again, singing. “Kill, kill, kill, let’s kill!”

Jason was mystified by this reaction. Even though he was THE thug of the street, the clown didn’t seem afraid of him. Perhaps he was mad. “Will you shut up!” He said. “This is not how it works.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just so excited to kill with my new best friend,” he said while walking. Then he stopped abruptly. Gasp. “Should we kill him, or maybe him? There’s so many to choose from!” He said and grabbed a random stranger and pushed him close to Jason’s face.

The stranger looked bewildered and scared as he met Jason’s eyes. “Is he good enough?!” The clown said.

“Are you crazy?” Jason said and threw the stranger to the side who was promptly picked up by his entourage.

“Hmm, you’re right. He didn’t feel right…” he said and started looking for another.

Jason had had just about enough of this clown and he pushed him close to his face. “Are you trying to get me into trouble? Who the fuck are you?!”

The clown smiled; he never stopped smiling. “Worried they’ll recognise you? You should’ve had makeup on, like me!” He smiled. “But don’t you worry, they’ll never notice you once I fix your nose!” A machete emerged from the clown’s pants and with one sweep, Jason’s didn’t have a nose anymore.

Jason staggered and touched his face that was wet and full of blood. He didn’t feel anything, though. Not yet. “In fact,” the clown said. “I should fix a few other things while I’m at it!”

Jason’s left ear came off cleanly and he didn’t feel the pain immediately that time either, but as he realised what was happening, he felt the pain and he crumbled to his knees. “Stop, please!” he cried.

“Please? Too nice a word coming out of you!”

The clown planted the blade deep into Jason’s skull and he collapsed, pathetically, onto the street. The clown looked at the entourage who remained frozen a few feet away. The man they’d caught slipped out of their grip. Somehow, the clown thought that was very funny. “Weheehee! I am the Joker. I’m the one who jokes!”

© Christopher Stamfors

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