Death at the Circus (a tribute to Terry Pratchett)
I don’t really do fan fiction but after the death of one of my heroes, Terry Pratchett, I wanted to write something for him. It is a pale imitation of the great man’s work but at least I feel I am showing my appreciation. So here it is, I hope you enjoy…
Death at the Circus
Bonbon stared at the cloaked figure in front of him, mesmerised by the lights flickering off the highly polished blade.
YOU SEEM FAR TOO HAPPY TO SEE ME, the figure said in a voice like two rocks being repeatedly smashed together.
“It’s the face paint,” Bonbon replied, “anyway, you’re not allowed on stage, we’re in the middle of a performance.”
IN MY LINE OF WORK YOU GET, the figure paused, trying to form the rest of the sentence, CERTAIN PRIVILAEGED ACCESS
“Have you been talking to Meryl? I told him we didn’t want audience participation. We’re trained professionals, let amateurs on and anything could happen. Someone could get killed.”
OH, NOTHING, JUST THINKING TO MYSELF. I THINK IT MIGHT BE TIME FOR YOU TO GO.
“Time to go? But we’re nearly at the big finale.”
I AM AFRAID YOUR BIG FINALE HAS BEEN AND GONE.
“Oh, so that’s it,” Bonbon was quite irate now, how could Meryl do this to him, “fired in the middle of a performance, well he’s sunk to a new low now.”
FIRED ISN’T REALLY THE WORD, MORE THE END OF A GLISTENING CAREER.
“What? So that’s the line he’s spun is it? One little accident and all those years of entertaining the kids comes to an end.”
I WOULDN’T CALL IT LITTLE.
“Look, the act was successful, I drove the car like I was supposed to and the doors came off at exactly the right point.”
YES, BUT I DON’T THINK THAT ELEPHANT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE INVOVLED.
“It was…,” Bonbon started, trying to think of a suitably eloquent way of making his point, “…artistic license, taking what the audience expects to happen and twisting it on its head.”
IT’S THE TWISTING THAT ELEPHANT HAS DONE ON THE HEAD THAT IS THE MAIN ISSUE.
“Look, it worked and it’s not as if anyone got hurt,” Bonbon look towards the elephant sat on the now rather flat car, a small gloved hand poked out the side, “oh, yeah, maybe that wasn’t supposed to happen.” In hope of lightning the situation Bonbon continued, “I’d hate to be that guy.”
Realisation dawned and Bonbon staggered back as if he had been hit across the face by a rather large haddock, “but….but…but…” he started then concluded with, “that explains that sudden sickening smell of elephant innards.” A brief shudder came across Bonbon whilst he contemplated where his head, his physical rather than spiritual head, was at this present moment in time before being thankful that his mind was not there with it. “So what happens now?” he asked.
IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR THE MESSENGER OF YOUR GOD OF CHOICE TO TAKE YOU TO THEIR HEAVEN.
“But I’m not a religious man.”
I’D START PRAYING NOW THEN.
“But who to?”
I AM NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE ADVICE, ANYWAY THEY ARE ALL PRETTY MUCH THE SAME.
“I don’t know any Gods though.”
WHO DID YOUR PARENTS WORSHIP?
“Oh no, my Dad never approved of me being a clown, I am not going to spend eternity with him.”
WELL YOU BETTER PICK SOON, YOU’RE STARTING TO FADE.
Bonbon could only think of one God and even though fading into nothing would have been much more beneficial than praying to him the human condition is prone to wanting to stay alive. Well maybe those are the wrong words, prone to going on existing would be more like it. Bonbon clasped his hands together and screwed his eyes shut, he had not prayed since he was a small child and did not know how adults did it.
As thoughts ran through his head, as he wished the messenger would come, as he pleaded with a God he did not know there was a shudder in the earth below him. His eyes shot open, standing in front of him was an eight foot tall monkey. Furry wings sprouted from his back and he had a confused grin on his face.
“Well I have never wanted to live in the mountains, but he was all I could remember. My Dad used to tell me the story of how the God Simius rallied an army of monkeys to take the mountains from an evil sorcerer. Apparently he built a great city up there, could be worse places to spend infinity.”
IT WAS SIMIMON WHO USED AN ARMY OF MONKEYS TO FREE THE MOUNTAINS. “So who is Simius?” THE MONKEY GOD HE ASKED TO GET AN ARMY OF MONKEYS.
“So where does Simius live?”
IN THE JUNGLES.
“Does he have a great city?”
NO, JUST SOME TREETOPS.
“So where does everyone live?”
IN THE TREETOPS.
“People live in treetops without a city up there?”
HE IS THE GOD OF MONKEYS, EVERYONE THERE, APART FROM YOU OF COURSE, IS A MONKEY.
“No, that’s not right.”
DON’T WORRY, SIMIMON IS QUITE BORING, HE JUST GOES ON ABOUT THAT BATTLE ALL THE TIME.
“But he’s not surrounded by monkeys and at least has a city to live.”
WELL THERE IS THAT.
“This can’t be right.”
The winged monkey screeched.
I THINK HE WANTS TO GO.
“No,” Bonbon turned to the monkey, “there has been a mistake, I am not going with you. I’m going to pray to someone else.”
SORRY, I HAVE TO TAKE YOUR FIRST ANSWER.
And before Bonbon could reply Death had gone. ‘Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,’ Bonbon thought. He decided not to say it out loud. Not only would the monkey not understand him but it sounded rather wrong given the current situation.