Friday Flash Fiction – The Scarecrow Part 1 of 2
The scarecrow sat there his anger increasing with each passing moment. He’d been sitting on his uncomfortable perch for too long and was starting to wonder if he looked like a demented budgie. ‘Tweet, tweet’ he thought snarkily. He also wondered if he could sneak into a local hostelry for a restorative drink or several. He could tag along with a group of marshals. They wouldn’t notice an extra scarecrow, surely.
A likely group came into view bearing clipboards. Judges not marshals them. ‘Wonder if I can sneak off once they’ve gone’ he thought. He willed them to hurry up as he was beginning to get serious cramp. ‘How the hell do you judge a scarecrow anyway? I’ll give the sour faced one 1/10 for effort and pretty little thing at the back gets an 11!’ The pretty little thing in question gave him a beaming smile as she walked round him.
‘Down boy!’ he smirked to himself as she went on to stroke his blue mane of hair and straighten his tie. ‘This one gets 10 out of 10’ she said cheerily. ‘I love scary clowns!’
‘Scary clowns aren’t serial killers so he doesn’t count! The rules are quite simple. The theme for the competition is serial killers and scary clowns aren’t serial killers!’ snapped the sour-faced judge who reminded the scarecrow of his embittered ex wife.
‘What about John Wayne Gacy?’ retorted the pretty one. ‘He was the ultimate in scary clowns, surely!’
‘She has a point’ replied a lanky youth. ‘I’d give him a 10 too!’
He waited patiently as four out of the five judges mutinied and awarded him 10s. Sourpuss refused to vote and was promptly jettisoned from the judging panel. ‘Yet another rejection’ thought the clown ‘serves you right. Get your facts right before taking a position!’
The clown noted with wry amusement that the winner of this competition was going to be more about settling old scores than actual merit. That wasn’t to say that he wasn’t the best entry. As far as he was concerned he was. He was also unique as he was the only scarecrow that hadn’t been made by someone unless you counted his parents.
He was unique in other ways too. Firstly, he was the only living scarecrow. The marshals and judges did not count as they were humans pretending to be scarecrows. Secondly he really was a killer clown. Today however he was on sabbatical and here was a pleasant place to spend it. He and Wayne, his partner in crime and fellow scary clown had hidden the white van well out of sight. Both had periods where they wondered whether to re-spray the van a different colour as they’d had so many failed abductions of late that there was now an urban myth pertaining to serial killer clowns in white vans.
He rather fancied painting the van in lurid psychedelic hues while Wayne felt a discrete ‘tasteful’ colour like black to be more appropriate. Perhaps they could spend some of their down time pimping their van which had seen more action than an aging hooker.
The scarecrow watched people come and go. He wondered how many times he was going to appear on social media and whether he should have washed his clothes for the occasion. He’d forgotten how much the general public liked their scary clowns. Wayne would have laughed at that one given how many of their victims joked about them being serial killers. ‘Or should that be joked until the knives and duct tape came out?’ he wondered.
He also wondered where Wayne was. It was getting cold, the rain was sheeting down and a serious wind was making its presence felt. As were several pairs of hands. Before he had time to react he was thrown into the back of a very smelly truck. ‘Not serial killer clowns, then. We always have white vans’ he observed. This was followed by wondering where Wayne was when you needed him.
His thoughts were interrupted by the truck juddering to a halt outside a local pub. ‘We’ve brought the guy. It’s a scary clown!’ came a familiar voice. Sourpuss’ was about to have her revenge he thought as he was unceremoniously hoisted onto the bonfire.
‘It looks like the winning scarecrow!’ came another voice. ‘Won’t someone notice it’s been stolen?’
‘Hardly’ Sourpuss said gleefully, ’rules have just been changed. All the entries for the scarecrow competition get burnt on Bonfire Night instead of going on display and cluttering up the village!’
With that Sourpuss and company headed into the pub known as The Burning Man to get hammered. He lay there on top of the unlit bonfire. He tried to move but couldn’t due to the amount of straw and sand that Wayne had sown into his scarecrow disguise. Not for the first time he cursed Wayne’s attention to detail.
To be continued next week…