Tears of a Clown
Parade day. Making balloon animals. Still getting used to my solo act.
“Your teardrop frightens the children.” Recognized the voice. She shouldn’t be here. She’d gotten Nora Roberts, I kept Elmore Leonard. Her, Bangles; Me, Springsteen. She’d chosen carnivals. Left me parades.
“You belong another ninety feet away.” My helium-infused voice wasn’t persuasive.
She sidled up. “It shouldn’t end this way.”
“It doesn’t,” I said, making a balloon centipede. “Goes another six blocks.” Honked my nose.
“You know what I – never mind. It does end now.” She raised her umbrella. One with the needle in the tip. Stabbed me. Cyanide, I think.
The crowd cheered my acting when I collapsed. Except I wasn’t acting. And I never got up.