by Makishef

Five Instances in the Life of a Morbid Clown

One: Numb.

There is a numbness that starts in the pit of your stomach and works its way through each of your limbs, and you think that maybe this is what fear is to you.

Others panic, cry, lash out -- you have even seen one who laughs. But you, you are numb, you simply exist.

+

Two: Stain.

He trusts you so instinctively. He is pale and seems so fragile, and though you can see something fierce lurking below, it is a thing that has been taught to him and is not an intrinsic part of his gentle nature.

And he calls to you, draws you to him with large gemstone eyes and fingers sculpted to make music. Of you all, he appears the youngest, the most delicate, and perhaps he is, though you learn quickly that he is stronger than anyone gives him credit for, and it is this that makes you so willing to claim him, so willing to spoil his beauty.

When you kiss him, you imagine the crimson stain your mouth leaves behind, and his pale flesh turns rust-colored with the touch of your blood-stained hands. He claws and bites at you, clings to you in his desperation, but the marks on your skin are always white.

He is yours to protect and yours to covet; you will allow none to harm him except yourself.

+

Three: Crawl.

You watch him while he sleeps and you don't have to wonder why you saved him. He is beautiful and deadly, and his failure serves as a reminder that none of you are perfect.

And you realize that you and he are the most similar of all the five.

When you change the bandages around his waist, your hands want to slide down and grasp at him, and you need him in a way that has nothing to do with protection or possession or fingers made for the violin; you need him in a way that has everything to do with crawling inside him and losing yourself, forgetting where one of you ends and the other begins.

But you let him go, and he teaches you so many things without ever saying much, and you return to your lions and to loving and longing for large aquamarine eyes that sometimes appear as a darker, richer blue in your dreams.

+

Four: Shards.

You have lost something, and you cannot understand what. Trying to navigate all your empty thoughts is similar to aimlessly floating in space, and you aren't even sure how you understand this analogy.

Things come to you in dreams, mostly: flashes of sensation that you can't quite keep a hold on once you awaken.

Colors: pale, watery blue and a darker, gloomier shade of the same; red so deep it is nearly black and the rusty tint of dried blood spread over something white; endless, endless green, speckled with vibrant hues of purple and yellow and white and pink and you are so, so certain you have been there before, and it is home, yet not where you were born.

Sounds: music, lively and lovely and so out of place in the tense air; gunshots and explosions and screams barely heard over the cacophony; the contented purring of a huge cat; the solid sound of a knife splintering the wood, right next to your head; screams and then static and then silence; a rare laugh and the race of your own pulse.

Textures: warm skin under your fingertips, welted from your nails and covered in excited gooseflesh; rough cloth bandages under dexterous hands, wrapping firmly around a compact torso; soft, prickling fur, comforting and dangerous all at once; rubber and metal and the feel of knobs and levers and keypads and buttons.

It overwhelms you and you wake up with a cry, hands scrabbling at the sheets, head ringing, vision swimming, and you're unable to understand the world around you. Vertigo, vertigo, and it's so, so dark, and that girl comes rushing to help you, to tuck you back into your bed and mutter soothingly to you and she's so familiar, but she has nothing to do with those fleeting sensations you felt.

+

Five: Fade.

The war ends, and you feel no difference. Sometimes your memory still fades in and out, but your pretty, pretty, pale-skinned darling cradles you and lets you inside, lets you bruise and bite and claim his flesh, and he loves it, oh, he loves it, because you're both alive, and this is the perfect reminder.

And sometimes he gets a look in his eyes that says he doesn't quite understand you, so you just imagine that his creamy skin is more like golden brown and his platinum hair is more like sepia and his glistening aquamarine eyes are more like deep, thoughtful blue, and you can still love him.

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