Written to a prompt by Worcester Writers’ Circle.
I Hate Clowns
Look at him with his great big grin and all that red and yellow around his mouth. He’s bound to be picked first. Kids love clowns.
I want to be picked first. The gifts on the Christmas Tree have a competition every year: who’ll be picked first. After the food, the children will have Christmas games, then come to the tree to choose gifts. Please let it be me first this year. I really want it to be me.
Still, who would want a dusty little robin whose seen better days? Even with a spangled necktie. I must look happy. Look happy! Here they come!
A little boy comes first, brown hair and shy smile, he wears jeans and a reindeer sweater. Look happy! Look happy! He’s reaching for me … That’s right, pick me. Pick me.
No! No! Not the box wrapped in gold paper with red ribbons! Why, you don’t even know what’s in it! Why would anyone choose a box?
Off he goes, grinning.
There’s much muttering amongst the gifts on the tree, ‘The box has gone. The box has gone. Who will be next?’ What they don’t know is that I have an extra gift for whoever chooses me. Whoever chooses me gets what they wish for.
More children come and choose, completely ignoring me, and then, a girl with a blue sparkly headband. Here I am, dear. Pick me! Pick me! Look I’m smiling at you. No, not up there, down here, much easier to reach. Pick me!
She walks away with me clutched in her hand, I am overjoyed. This leaves only the clown.
The last small boy sees the clown and starts howling ‘I hate clowns.’
The little girl who chose me says ‘I wish he’d cheer up.’
And he did.
Polly Robinson © 2012