April 9, 2015: Slapstick

He’s grinning and it’s making me uncomfortable.
His nose is red and he’s playing with a wooden sword.
Blood covers his clothes.
In the corner crouches his wife, her arms wrapped around their child, protecting, hiding.

A police officer, who responded to the calls of abuse, lies on the floor. Dead.
The man keeps trying to coax his wife into giving him the baby.

He moves towards his wife and pushes me down when I try to stop him.
The wooden sword pointed at me, he grabs the child from his wife’s arms.

Now…watch this. This is the way we do it!

I register the sound of glass breaking. Maybe a scream or a wail.
The room is quiet except for a stifled chuckle.
I realize the baby has been thrown through the window.

The man stands there, hunched over, swinging the wooden sword back and forth. His face still stuck in a grin.
I can see what looks like a bloody clown shoe in the hallway.
An alligator tooth is stuck in the sword.

I don’t even know how all of this has happened.
I just followed the call.
I’ve only been inside for, maybe, five minutes.

There’s a knock at the door.
Everyone holds their breath.
The man looks around at his wife, then at me, and lets out a little laugh.
He throws the door open.
A tall, pale, extremely thin man stands there, looks around the room and then steps inside.

The two men stare at each other. A sense of unease – even more unease – creeps over me and I start making my way to the open door.
I’m stopped by a hard hit to my knee with the wooden sword.

I hear the sword swing again and I cover my head and shut my eyes.
Something hits the ground next to me.
The tall, pale man lies on the floor. His head is bleeding.

That’s the way we do it!

The grinning man dances around, singing in a horrible high voice.

Why aren’t you laughing?

It’s funny! Why aren’t you laughing?

He stands over me, grinning wider.
I hear a dog in the background.
Something sounds like a tambourine.
He brings the wooden sword down on my head.
All goes black.

I fade in.
I see the devil and a skeleton.
The grinning man is trying to kill more people.
I fade out.

I fade in.
I see an alligator and a busker.
The grinning man is screaming, he sounds like a kazoo.
I fade out.

I fade in.
My head is pounding and I’m alone.
The room is empty, no bodies or blood.
A note tied to the collar of a dog that’s licking my shoe.

That’s the way we do it…and curtain!

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