Monthly Archives: July 2018

Harlequin in the Fog…

The path on summer’s first day gave way to tendrils of mist, a cool breeze enveloped me as I wended down the serpentine trail to my blue perch. Sasha was ahead, already sniffing out what nocturnal creatures passed on by and Andi, behind me rooting around fragrant green shoots, sniffed the air for unseen interlopers.

I reached my chair and sipped at my tepid joe, scanning the lovely field before me, waving grass waiting for a second cut, a lone red-tailed hawk circling high above, screeching at something not privy to my human senses.

Besides the cool current of air, there appeared to be something else, something not seen but felt, some thing out there, on the fringe of field and forest–watching.

The dogs had already sensed it. Their noses turned up, sniffing for whatever waited in the shadows. Bird calls suddenly ceased. The hawk sought flight elsewhere.

I leaned forward, and listened. The dogs were clearly agitated. Whatever was out there remained patient and invisible. Soft curls of mist still lingered atop the grass, undulating sensually with the wind, like seaweed swirling in ocean currents.

I whispered to the dogs, to come closer. They stood, erect, tails rigid, eyes peering in the distance. Whatever lurked on the fringe calculated our presence.

Suddenly, out of the fog, a dim figure emerged, accompanied by discordant tinny music. The noise grated my ears, and the dogs whimpered from the foreign sound and strange figure that slowly moved effortlessly through the grass.

It came through the mist, an ancient fat clown riding a tiny unicycle, with assorted instruments strewn about its body. It wore a broad straw hat, with small skeletons dangling from the brim, the clown’s face hideously revealing a huge toothy grin. The makeup was awful; smeared lipstick riding high on its plump rouged cheeks, mascara seemingly dripping from its dark black eyes. It cackled as it approached.

Balancing on the one tiny wheel, it continued to play this godawful music, tuneless and nerve-scraping, as though it had not in the least bothered to learn the intricacies of any instrument.

The clown stopped playing. The smile turned into a thick line of crimson, its eyes narrowed into furrows of utter madness.

And then it spoke.

Greetings, dear human and canines! I bid you, bid you a good day! Will you, will you stay? For I have a song, a song to play!”

Eyeing this odd character, I swallowed the last of my coffee and put my cup down. Heck, I didn’t have any plans. “Sure, why not. We’ll listen to your dissonant tune.”

Excellent!” replied the clown, as it somehow balanced its bulk on the minuscule bike. “My selection today is about Fate. Are we all ready to hear this, hear this, mate?”

Proceed,” I said, thinking just what I needed today; some hideous obese rhyming clown singing to us on a quiet summer morn.

After a moment fiddling and un-tuning various instruments, he began:

The day was calm, sunny, and bright

With all good, good intentions to write

But the usual demons suddenly appeared

And wreaked havoc between your ears.

Chorus of skeletons: Why? Why can’t I write? It feels so right!”

But the gods above had other plans

And dealt your cards to the Netherlands

Below in hell the devils smiled and danced

Laughing, not believing you had a chance

To compose something—anything

Knowing the curse of hesitancy was your thing.

Chorus of skeletons: Why? Why can’t I write? It feels so right!”

Today, though, I give you advice

To go sit in that chair and pay the price

For if you wallow and despair

The page will forever, forever remain bare

Now go take your dogs and return home

And plunge your spirit in your tome.”

Without a word, the clown whirled around in the wet grass, the ghastly instruments still making a din and, with skeletons swirling about his head, he disappeared into the mist.

Well, you heard him,” I said to Andi and Sasha. “Time to go back.”

We meandered down the path, back to the house and, once ensconced, I ascended the stairs to my garret, sat down in my chair, and wrote this story.

But now, as the clown had said, it’s time to return to my MS.

Time for ink, don’t you, don’t you think?…

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2018 – All Rights Reserved.