The Clown-Faced Creep
(VO) Morgan Freeman as Dead Rabbit
…all you can do is laugh. You can do everything right and still fall short…
Jaclyn Pierrot sits on the side of the bed. Her piercing golden eyes stare out the window. The clown had been reluctant to reach out and speak to anyone, not even her friends. Shoulders pinned to the mat, she had exited quietly out the back door - avoiding Montague on the way out. She rushed home and spent the next few days sulking alone in her room.
She does her best to breathe deeply.
(VO) Morgan Freeman as Dead Rabbit
To hold it in as she thinks of him: and how she let him down again.
In her heart, at least.
Her bottom lip quivers causing her to bite on it lightly. Despite herself, she blinks and a pair of matching tears drop down onto her lap. The twins are followed by an army and soon she sits doubled over on the floor.
(VO) Morgan Freeman as Dead Rabbit
She knew what they’d say: “She did it again.”
The very thing she trained, fought, and worked hard to change ultimately came true. The fatal flaw of the femme fatale: her ego.
“Can you stay the fuck out of my head?!” Jacky shouts, sitting up suddenly from the floor. A muffled voice answers her through the wall.
“Well, can you stay the fuck out of my room?” Morgan Freeman’s shouts. She huffs and shoves herself up from the floor, storming over towards her nightstand and the stash of blond lebanese hashish found within.
“I know what’s been going on.”
The bright red 1958 Plymouth Fury barrels down the road, passing a sign that says ‘55’ but whether that’s a bypass or a speed limit, it hardly concerns the well-dressed magician. He is part of the way through Wisconsin, on his way to look into the legends of the Hodag hot after failing to find fortunes with the Frogman. He had peeled off his coat halfway after he passed Waukegan and rolled up his sleeves. His free hand reached out occasionally to dip some of the veggie straws into a travel tupperware of everything hummus.
“I’m not sure what you mean.” Montague Cervates squints down at the iPhone held in Rett’s hands as he clambors back and forth along the dashboard. He can see the pigtails of the clown Pierrot. His favorite part of the clown was her unpredictability. You never knew what the day would bring. She was a wild card - a shot in the dark. A loaded pistol - aim and shoot. Sometimes, however, even the most reliable guns backfire.
“I couldn’t put it together. I did everything right and it happened again,” she grumbles.
“What happened?” he asks.
“I couldn’t figure it out. It keeps happening. I get three wins and then right when I’m there…poof. Gone. And it’s always the same people - Seb. The Bubblegum Bitch. Old Man River. Time and Time again. Those three, time and time again.” Montague raises an eyebrow, setting his half eaten straw down as he attempts to follow the frantic clown. “It didn’t make any sense. I couldn’t figure it out and so I went online and started searching. I looked first into triangles - after all, it’s always those three. The three of them - three rich, powerful people. So that led me to look into something called the Illuminati. Are you familiar with them?”
“I am,” he says, not liking where this was going.
“Well then you better sit down,” she says, pausing. He looks around himself, unsure of how to accommodate the request. Fortunately, the rumbles of Rett resemble the movement enough for the distracted clown to continue. “What if I told you it went deeper. Like much deeper. Subeterannean even. Okay so look, listen.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he can see her shift her camera towards her laptop.
“It says here that these Lizard Men are an ancient race that have ruled mankind for a long time. One thing that you can tell about a lizard person is that they always get ahead. I know you’ve been out there on the hunt, but what if there was really the unknown amongst us. Hear me out.”
“Jacky…” he attempts, but the passionate clown continues.
“What if the next thing we look into is why people like Sebastian and Centuri-”
“Jacky!” he says more forcefully, rubbing at his eyes. It has been a long trip already. She turns the camera back around to her face. ”The Lizard Men Illuminati is a hoax.”
“It’s a hoax. I promise,” she clicks at the mouse for a few seconds. ““Jacky, are you high?”
Her bloodshot eyes squint into the screen. She frowns beneath the painted smile.
“Is everything okay?”
“I…” she pauses. He can hear her voice crack before she starts to cry, “...I let him down…I always let him down.”
She can see her cover her face with her hand, trying her best to hide her tears.
“No. You made us proud. You made him proud.” Jacky peaks out from between her fingers. “You made me proud.”
After a long pause, she wipes her eyes and smiles. “Thank you.” Jacky sniffles and dabs at her cheeks.
“You okay?” She nods her head. “Okay. Try to get some sleep. And get off the internet - that place is a creepshow.”
She giggles softly, wiping at her nose.
She hesitates, unfamiliar with that escape her lips. “Congratulations. You really deserve this.”
Montague smiles - knowing full well how hard it was for her to say those words. He is her closest living friend and better than any other he knew that though she is a wild card, she also has a heart to match those golden eyes.
“Goodnight.” he says.
“Yes. Goodnight.” The call ends and Rett attempts to shut the phone off. His effort causes the cat hybrid to rattle too close to the edge of the dashboard and tumble to the floorboard. Montague looks down as it gives a pathetic ‘Rett’ from the ground.
He shakes his head and gazes up at the moon - the same one that the clown looks up at once more in Morgan Freeman’s apartment as she slides away from the desk, pulling her Bunny into her arms. She stares up to the moon - his moon. Tempest’s best friend. Jacky stares and she howls, hoping somehow he heard.
Every dog has its day, but the night?
The night belongs to the wolves.
The scene opens up to Jaclyn Pierrot sitting at the end of her bed. She lazily wields the knife Pagliacci, a gift from her boyfriend and former UGWC Cross-Hemisphere champion, digging it into the wooden footboard. She stops carving and looks up.
“They all said I should be more like him. Stronger. More stable. A focused knife and not a wild shot.”
She speaks in a screechingly high-pitched voice.
“She stands in her own way.”
Her shoulders shrug.
“And yeah, in the end - you got me. Pinned to the ground: one, two, three. Right where you wanted - but not where you needed me to be. That we have in common, cause that’s where my sights were set - right where I wanted, but not where they needed to be.” She nods her head. “Thank you for setting that straight for me, Sebastian the Third.”
There is a loud thunk as she buries the knife into another part of the footboard. Jaclyn forces a smile on her face.
“You opened my eyes and now I see. I’m right where I want me. Right where I should have been this whole time. Not living in his shadows as it was so eloquently put, but standing in his shoes - with his belt wrapped right around my waist.”
She rolls her eyes.
“You were right. This should have been his place - after all in the Coalition, there is one throne - the throne of the Spider King. And this title? This is his crown. An eye for an eye - a tooth for a tooth, he was taken down by a clown, it’s only fitting that one rises up to take his place. Play the role - and so who will be first to go?”
With some effort, she is able to pry the knife loose and waggle it at the camera.
“Eenie, meenie, miney moe,
Catch the Tiger by his toe.”
She stops with it pointed directly at the frame.
“The question is? Not whether he taps out, but whether I’ll choose to let him go.”
Jacky bites her lip.
“Hiya Hide - long time no see. Not because I wasn’t looking, of course, but who ever is? The once mighty warrior - reduced to nothing but that of a stooge, standing at the side of someone so…what’s the word…” She waves the blade in the air for a moment. “There?”
She covers her mouth to hold back some of her honking laughter.
“The mountain of a man? Simply in the shadow of leaves - left crumpled and crushed, time after time. How does it feel to know that you serve the same purpose as Konrad Raab, the man who somehow scored less points in this tournament than even the Dark Destroyer? Tell me Hide - how does it feel now that you know and what did it feel like to roam? Do you even remember? What it meant to be free?”
“You had your moment - your chance.” Jacky shakes her head. ”But that is your legacy: not that of a ruthless fighter, but of a kept beast. A play thing. Those chains around your neck? They’re not a weapon: they’re a leash, tethering you to what makes you weak.”
The clown jabs the knife at the screen.
“Him. His purpose. His goals. His vision - holding you back and dragging you down. Just before you catch the prize - snap. You reach the end of your rope.” She sticks her tongue out and bakes a brief gagging noise, pantomiming pulling at an invisible leash. “And choke.”
“Ask yourself: does he really see the same thing he sees in him…in you?” she shudders, “Hide...you used to be something so much more: something great. Something primal and vengeful. Something to be feared. A contender - a champion. I guess it’s funny then, especially coming from me.”
In the soft glow of the moonlight, her eyes reflect in the knife. “The sick joke is, I guess I see a bit of me in you after all.”
“So let’s forget about the past and what they’ve made us. Let’s forget about Johnny and the length of your leash and I’ll forget about Lucy. Let’s show them where the wild things really roam. Let's do this belt right! In his name, for him. Let’s make a pact: neither of us leaves anything behind. Bloodied, beaten, bruised? Let’s go ‘til we break and push it just beyond.”
Beckoning with the knife, the camera zooms in towards her face.
“Come Hide: free yourself in the ring.”
Her eyes begin to dilate, the pupils once again becoming lost in the sea of gold.
“The caged beast versus the wild animal? Let’s leave nothing behind but an echo in time - the sounds of two animals fighting…”
“…and the concussions from when two worlds collide.” Jacky plants the knife once more into the bedpost.
The camera turns down to where the knife is embedded and zooms in on the primitive art beside the blade. In the wooden footboard, there is a large heart etched with force and the words - “The Clown-Faced Creep” - carved in the middle.
The scene fades to black.