Circus Madness: A Novella: (Part Two)
Collaborators: me, wingedcentaur, and my friend, whom I call Doc LS (AKA "Moppet").
When George finally sorted himself out, somewhat, he reached for his cell phone to call 9-1-1. He needed the police, surely, the fire department, the paramedics, the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers to fix his roof.
Oh and did we mention that the obviously mutated creature's blood and guts were splattered around everywhere and on everyone? Good.
In any event, as he was making his call George looked up and saw through the hole in the roof what looked like an old fasioned air balloon -- more like a... dirigible. A ladder was retracting downward from this dirigible and bringing down with it a motley collection of people -- freaks, as they turned out to be, in George's estimation.
They alighted to the floor where the elephant was. And a fucking midget -- those are George's words not ours -- in a huge red top hat and red tail coat and a handle bar mustache right out of the nineteenth century, went over to the elephant. The little man let out a piercing wail of obvious grief.
In a high, helium-filled voice he cried, "Bobo! Bobo! Speak to me, Bobo!" Then a person in a white full head mask and a body-hugging black ninja suit, with a huge collar around his neck that looked like a model of the solar system, went over and kneeled next to... Bobo, and seemed to take his pulse or something. Mr. Solar System, let's call him, declared, "He's dead, sir."
The little man cried out, "Nooooo!" Then Mr. Moustache, let's call this one, balled his hands into tiny fists and bellowed in a rather threatening manner, "Who is the proprietor of this shithole?"
On his own he shouldn't have been a cause for concern. But Mr. Mustache was accompanied by formidable, albeit freakish back up. And therefore George Sanders found himself at a loss as to how and whether to respond to this query. But the decision was taken out of his hands.
Laying nearby, in two pieces, was the body of the patron who had been complaining about the soul-sapping effects of the coffee. The torso became reanimated temporarily. His top half flopped about and the half man pointed an accusing finger at George Sanders and said, "This is his place. Worst coffee in town. Always making my soul flee my body."
Apparently, his soul had just left his body prior to being bisected by a huge chunk of a heavy plate glass window. Mercifully, though his torso finally bled out and so the man was dead for good. The dirigible troupe, led by the diminutive Mr. Mustache advanced to confront him.
More than at any time in his life, George Sanders wanted his "blanky," which he hadn't seen in thirty-five years, and his mother, whom he hadn't spoken to in twelve years. He loved his mother. It was just that she was so.... exasperating sometimes. Sandra and the boy saw her, of course, every few months. Somehow, miraculously, his workload inceased exponentially, just at those times when a visit with grandma was scheduled. Damn!
Anyway, a word about two of the more striking members of the colorful dirigible troupe is in order. There was a woman who must have been the tallest, heaviest, most muscular, and strongest person on the planet. She was at least eight feet tall, if not a good deal more than that. The entrance into his place was a little over seven foot and this being wouuld have had to bend substantially at the waist to get in the door.
George Sanders was a six-foot-three two hundred pounder. But this woman looked like she could squeeze the life out of him with one hand and throw him like a football. It is hard to convey the menace this being projected. But if the Frankenstein monster came around, she would merely hang him up by his ankles and take his lunch money. And worst of all, she did not look pleased.
Then there was the boy. George thought he was a boy. He only got that impression because the eyes and face looked so young. He was about six and a half feet tall. He just had to be wearing a costume, George had thought desperately. He just has to be.
To put it bluntly, the boy seemed to be half gorilla and half human. His face was inhumanly wide and flat, and his eyes were deeply set in wrinkly, multilayered sockets. His nose was wide and flat, and honestly looked more like a snout. The shoulders were very broad but human looking, as were the top part of his arms. However, half way down they ended in enormous, hairy, black gorilla forearms and hands.
He had a gargantuan, yet tight belly that had almost touched the ground, supported by very wide, short, stubby, bent legs, with their long, wide, flat, flipper-like feet. And so on and so forth. He just had to be wearing a costume. He just had to be.
The gigantic woman helped Mr. Mustache onto the top of the small cashier's counter by the door, where George had been cowering. Mr. Mustache said, "You killed Bobo."
"Well... Bobo killed my roof," George said, "and my whole restaurant."
He had wanted to add that one or two of his loyal, cash paying customers had lost their lives due to errant, sky-diving elephants, so as not to seem callous. But he had not had the werewithal and the moment soon passed.
"Nonsense," Mr. Mustache said. "Your building was not up to code. Your roof was not properly rubberized. If it had been, poor Bobo would have merely been able to bounce to safety."
"What the hell are you talking about?" George said.
"Look," Mr. Mustache said.
Out of the dirigible a kangaroo descended. They all watched him as he bounced from roof to roof. The elastic qualities of all the other roofs of those buildings were clearly demonstrated.
George let out a scream and covered his face with his hands. When he finally removed them and opened his eyes, the only person left in the place was the diminutive Mr. Mustache, standing in the middle of the floor, brushing his teeth.
Young Tommy Sanders, not one to be left out of the loop, had taken provisions to keep himself apprised of the situation. It was a crazy house they lived in. The attic itself, actually had two levels. The lower level had a winding pathway that took Tommy to a spot that gave him direct audio access to the conversation happening below, in the living room, where his mom and dad had been talking.
He had been less than ten feet above them with his ear pressed to the floor. He had heard all, unbeknownst to his parents, of course. He went back to his room, swiftly but quietly. He had enjoyed the story immensely. The entertainment value it had provided him was almost worth not going to the circus, if it came to that.
But his mother soon came to his room to collect him. She obviously managed to talk some sense into father, again. It seemed that mother's practicality tempered father's flightiness. Which was ironic, of course, since it was father who was the hardcore businessman and mother had majored in art history in college. She spent many hours painting all the pretty pictures. He didn't know what they were supposed to be, but they were still pretty pictures.
When the family arrived at the site where the circus was to be held, they found no circus. Instead they found men and women in black, lugging all kinds of musical instruments into the huge domed building. George found someone who seemed to be in charge and asked what was going on.
The man said that the circus was canceled because the lead elephant had gotten sick. George wondered why that should have derailed the entire show. The man said that the way he heard it, the elephant's virus spread to some of the other animals, and some of the human performers. No one knew what to make of it. Instead the venue was hosting an orchestral performance.
George asked what was to be done now. The man said that since George had paid for the tickets to the circus, he and his family were more than welcome to the orchestral performance. Of course, he could always get a full refund....
George went back to the car and explained the situation to Sandra and Tommy. He started to apologize to his young son. But Tommy waved off his regrets and indicated that he was perfectly agreeable. The important thing was that they were out on a Saturday afternoon together -- as a family!
So they sat, watched, and listened to the music. At one point during the highly anticipated Souza phone solo, the dirigible troupe were actually emerging out of the blow hole of the instrument. They were all headed right for George. They were all shouting "You killed Bobo! You killed Bobo! You killed Bobo!"
George's face went taut. He ground his teeth. He went pale. He threatened to get sick. "This can't be happening."
Tommy said to his father, "I knew it. I knew it. You did kill Bobo." Then he started to laugh. The laughter turned from that of a young boy into something older sounding, yet higher and more helium-filled.
George looked at Tommy, who tore off, what turned out to be a mask, to reveal the ringmaster himself, Mr. Mustache.
"You gotta be kidding," George said.
A clown walked up to them and said, "Sure, mister. We're kidding. This is all a big joke. Have a sniff of my flower."
George leaned forward to smell the flower, actually hoping to get squirted with a stream of water, that might wake him up from this nightmare. He was surely still in bed, sleeping next to his wife.
But George was squirted with pepper spray. He was rolling around on the ground. A toy cop car rode up and out of it came a baker's dozen of burly police officers with their clubs at the ready, who beat George into submission before arresting him, although he had been offering no resistance.
At prison he was confined to an 8 x 8 cell by himself. It was an asylum atmosphere. He was visited by two people, neither of who were his wife. The first was a psychiatrist who spoke with an Austrian accent. The doctor wanted to diagnose him.
"So what made you become a wanton psychopathic killer?"
"Do you suffer from a complex, Mr. Sanders?"
"Did you have fantasies, as a boy, of killing your father and screwing your mother?"
"Did you kill your father and screw your mother where you came from, Mr. Sanders?"
"Or perhaps you wanted to kill your mother and screw your father?"
"Did you do that, Mr. Sanders? You can tell me. I don't want to judge you. I'm here to help you."
His second visitor was his apparent court appointed lawyer. She barely made eye contact with him as she asked questions and wrote down the answers. She said, "You're a first time offender and you are new to this dimension. Maybe we can get leniency for you."
"Leniency for what?"
The day of the trial came. The court room looked like any other court room. There was the judge's bench, high and lordly above everyone and everything else. There was the table where the prosecutor's team sits, and the table where the defense counsel and their client sits. There was a gallery for spectators.
He began to worry when he saw no section marked out for a jury. When the bailiff stood and said, "All rise for the Honorable Judge Roo Rufus Kang," and a kangaroo in a black judge's robe came in, George thought, of course.
His lawyer had been dressed in perfectly conventionally business attire. Except for long, furry ears tied to her forehead. A furry tail attached to her backside. Long, floppy, furry feet. She had also walked into the court room with a pogo stick in addition to her briefcase. The prosecuting attorney was done up the same way.
"What's all that?" George asked his lawyer.