Entry # B3


Chaos Theory and the Clown:
By
Neil Leckman


Jason Albright had always wanted to be a clown as long as he could remember. In grade school he was the class clown, which ultimately meant he was hated by most teachers as a disruption to the learning process. Girls loved to laugh at his antics but would never go out with him on a date because he was a bit of a fool and they didn’t want to be made fun of. Jason was oblivious to all of this though as his one thought was to leave everyone he met with a smile on their faces. At first his jokes fell flat since he didn’t know the first thing about humor and timing, people laughed at him, instead of with him. Over the years he learned to fine tune the humor so that he got the timing and punch lines down to a fine art, the future looked bright.

Jason’s other passion was physics, which would seem to be at odds with a sense of humor on all levels. Jason believed there was a basic theory that could tie the two together, teachers tried to discourage him from trying to link two things that were so dissimilar. Late at nights when he sat in silence and the loneliness ate at him like cancer he would totter on the brink of comprehension and panic. At those moments he would get up and turn the stereo or television up real loud to push the panic back before it engulfed him. After the moments passed he would laugh at his own failings and fall asleep exhausted by the effort it took to once again escape the madness that hungered for him as much as he hungered for laughter.

Nobody realized what lay behind the constant smile and jokes. The only one who came close to the truth was his physics teacher, the one who committed suicide in his garage by sucking on exhaust fumes. His eyes were wide open with a look of terror, yet he had a smile on his face. The detectives that took the case came to the conclusion there was no foul play involved since the teacher left a letter explaining how he lusted after several students both boys and girls. He knew that his passions would eventually disgrace his family and hurt his wife of twenty years so he took the ‘noble’ way out, with a smile. The ligature marks on his neck looked to be from a failed attempt to hang himself earlier that same day. The frayed rope lay beside the driver’s side door on the oil stained garage floor.

Jason went home bruised and sore and laughed himself to sleep the day it happened. He stayed home sick for four days and hoped the hand shaped bruises on his arms would fade before he went back to school. The teacher had fought back fiercely in the final moments as the subtle poison, not exhaust fumes, took the last of his life. It wasn’t the first life Jason took; in fact it wasn’t even one of the first one hundred lives he took. Each one of those deaths ate at his humanity a little. Now that humanity had been stretched so thin all he had was lifeless eyes and a big smile. So when he graduated he decided to enroll in clown school thinking he could find himself there. Instead what he found was a school about chaos and the people who dealt it out a little at a time. His first lesson was the tiny car that clowns pile out of. If ten clowns piled out that meant that twelve went in, two paid the price so ten could come back out. Chaos would let you bend the laws of physics, but only at a price. The first time they piled into the car he heard blood curdling screams as the first two clowns went in and a fountain of blood erupted covering the other clowns in red. It all faded except for their noses and lips. Chaos had a price for happiness and it was souls, lots of souls. Tonight was a special performance that would feed chaos for a long, long time, at least Jason hoped so. At random spots under the portable bleachers he had planted cylinders of poisonous gas that were odorless and almost instantly fatal. Each one was set with a timer that would open up the valve twenty minutes into the big show. That would be right after Christine came out and did the stunts on the back of her horse Wilbur. Just long enough for the “Flying Wilanskis” to come out and climb up to the high wire. Once there the clowns would roll out in their little car and pile out to entertain the crowd while the Wilanskis prepared for their act. Juliette Wilanski had laughed at him when he told her that he was in love with her. Well now he was going to have the last laugh.

He had taken one of those cans of oxygen you could buy for trips into the mountains and jury rigged a small facemask. It would only last long enough for him to watch his handiwork, but that was all he wanted. As the Wilanskis were climbing up the rope ladders to their perches people in the audience began to slump in their seats, dead. Soon panic ensued, but that only hastened the deaths as people breathed quicker. Jason sat in his tiny car, mask strapped to his face as people all around him fell down, gasped and died. He could feel the chaos reaching out and plucking their souls away. He waited until Jake Wilanski fell from the high wire and snapped he head at an impossible angle. He climbed out of his car and looked up at the remaining members of the Flying Wilanskis and waited. In panic they crawled around looking for an exit, but there was only thick tent fabric everywhere they looked. Tim fell next, his leg snapping when he hit a platform part way down, the bone sticking out as he hit the ground unmoving. Tony reached out for Juliette, his eyes rolled up in his head and he fell forward, bouncing off the tight rope, spinning as he plummeted to the ground. Juliette held her breath, but it was silly to think that would stop the inevitable from happening. She slumped across the tight rope and slid off, arms limp at her sides. Hitting the edge of the net placed below her in case she fell, it bounced her over next to the dead horse Wilbur.

Jason ran over and laid down next to her, removing the tiny mask he wore and throwing it into the crowd.

When the detectives got there one of them looked down at Jason and said, “Leave to a freaking clown to think this was funny!!”

Chaos was happy too, and for one day random deaths didn’t happen, but only for one day.

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