“What are you doing out here, Knight?” A voice hissed in front of Darrin in the fading evening light.
He looked up—the red and white cloth in his hand—at a Clown with orange and green hair, wearing a puffy purple shirt and black and white wide striped pants. Darrin assumed the reason for the hissing sound, the Clown made when he spoke, was due to the pointy teeth in his mouth. He held a bucket in his left hand.
“Have you gone deaf, Knight?” the Clown snapped.
“Sorry,” he replied and stuffed the cloth into his jacket pocket. “I didn’t…”
“Didn’t what? Didn’t know that you are in Clown Wood without permission?”
“In what?” he answered looking around at his surroundings.
“In what, indeed?” the Clown became more agitated. He put the bucket down and approached. Saliva started dripping from his mouth. He stood face to face with Darrin. His breath smelled of rotten eggs and sauerkraut. “I could rip your throat out with my teeth for this trespass,” he hissed. “You know the rules.”
Darrin pulled the foil from his belt not yet raising it and said. “Where is Mary, Ace?”
The Clown squinted. “She definitely is not out here, Knight.” He spat emphasizing Knight. He hissed and moved his soft-overstuffed belly into Darrin. “Don’t you think you should be moving on?”
Darrin stared hard into the Clown’s eyes. He saw only darkness in them, no colour from the iris, just black. He held tightly to his foil, intent on defending himself if he needed, but still did not back away.
“I’m going to ask you one more time, Ace.” He said calmly, though adrenaline shot through his veins. “Where is Mary?”
Ace of Buckets flared his nostrils making the gum paste that held the red nose cap pulse forward and back. “Not. Out. Here.” He repeated. “They aren’t kept out here in Clown Wood.” He bounced his belly forward again pushing Darrin backward.
“Who?” Darrin began to ask, as the Clown pulled back his hips and belly from him.
“Have you gone stupid too?” he snapped, launching his belly and hips forward slamming into Darrin. The force knocked him to the ground. The Clown stood over him, looking down at him with a wicked smile. His sharp, pointy teeth glittered in the last ray of sunlight.
“Leave him alone, Ace,” a voice came from behind them. The Clown looked over his shoulder to see a boy and a girl Clown in matching yellow polka dot silk jumpsuits standing behind him, each holding a bucket.
“You know we’re in treaty right now.” The girl Clown continued. Darrin lifted his head, and looked between Ace of Bucket’s legs at the two standing behind him. The setting sun made their yellow curly hair look as though it were on fire.
“I don’t care about the treaty,” Ace of Buckets hissed.
Darrin slowly pulled himself away, not letting go of his foil, from the Clown as his concentration was with the others. When he was a full body’s length away, he quickly stood, and ran into the trees. The Clown snapped his head around hearing the heavy footfalls of the Knight running from him and he hissed a giggle.
“I’ll see you again, Knight. And next time I won’t be so forgiving.”
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