Feb 13, 2012

The Clown

By Najia Navaid
Chapter One

Ahmad wanted to murder his boss.

When he had applied for the job, he had specifically mentioned that he was looking for a career in management, not entertainment.

He slammed his hand hard against the steering wheel and then cursed himself as the car swerved towards the pavement. But what else was I expecting anyway? he thought viciously. It's not like someone up there is watching out for me.

He drove recklessly; not a surprise, considering the fact that one could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears. The car screeched to a halt in front of Number Seven, Zamzama Street. Ahmad looked up at the house - or rather, mansion - and the scowl on his face deepened.

Rich people and their snobby brats. He got out of the car and slammed the door shut. He walked around the car to the trunk and pulled out the bag which held his costume. After casting one look at his tiny, beat up car, he turned away and walked up the mosaic pavement lined with hydrangeas to the patio. He looked at the ornate door handle and dread tightened around his chest like iron bands. He could hear screaming and the pattering of feet.

He took a deep breath, counted to ten, and pressed his finger to the buzzer.


"No, Rayyan, you have to wait until everyone is here!" Mrs. Sherdil was in a state of distress. Her son's friends were running all over the place and already one of the priceless vases lay in pieces on the floor.

"But Mama, I want my presents now!" Rayyan screamed as his mother rushed past him, calling out orders to the help. He couldn't believe that his mother had told him off for the broken vase. It was all Sadia's fault; she had pushed him.

Mrs. Sherdil looked helplessly at her son who was now throwing a fit on the antique carpet, and then decided to let him be. Instead, she answered the doorbell.

The man standing on the doorstep took her breath away. He was tall with russet hair that was standing up every which way. His eyes were azure, a shade she had always been fascinated by. But what made the man really attractive as the way his eyebrows were furrowed. Mrs. Sherdil could tell that he was thinking deep thoughts and in spite of herself, she giggled.

"Are you Mrs. Sherdil? I'm the -" the man hesitated for half a second. "- clown."

"Oh!" Mrs. Sherdil's eyes widened to the size of saucers. "Oh, of course. Come in, do!"

The man stepped over the threshold and his eyes appraised his surrounding with an almost bored look. He was holding a large duffel bag which Mrs. Sherdil supposed held all his props and costumes.

She led the man to a broom closet.

"Go on," she chirped. The man looked at her as if she were crazy.

"What am I supposed to do in here?"

"Change your clothes of course! You can't entertain the kids wearing that!" She gestured to his scruffy clothes with a gesture of her hand. Her diamond ring glinted. She thought she saw irritation cloud the man's face briefly. Was it something she said?

"Alright. Give me twenty minutes." The man stepped inside the tiny storage room and slammed the door in her face.


Ahmad looked down at his sickeningly bright costume and almost threw up. It was a jumper suit with bright orange and green polka dots against a yellow background. His face looked as white as a newly painted wall.

"If Edward Cullen could see me now," he muttered to himself. He carefully painted triangles over his eyes and fumbled through his bag for the bright red balloon that was his nose. After surveying his face in the small cosmetic mirror, he snapped it shut and stuffed it inside his bag. He did not want to go out there. He just knew that the woman with the platinum blonde hair was timing his appearance - if the way she had been sneaking looks at him was any indication. Probably a dead marriage, he thought bitterly.

He could hear the clatter of dishes through the wall from what he assumed was the kitchen, and the sound of children running around screaming made Ahmad want to escape. He heard a balloon burst and a child started to wail. Obnoxious spoilt brats.

He looked down at himself one last time, put a trick flower into his pocket and took several deep breaths to steady himself.

"Show time," he muttered and then pushed the door open.


Sania Bilwani said...

Oooh, this is so interesting!
'If only Edward Cullen could see me now' Haha.
I'm kind of disappointed there isn't a second chapter. :)

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