Giggles had simple dreams.
He didn’t want to leave his life from his mother, or from his father. He merely wanted to stay in the act. But as his father explained, audiences change and want to see fresh material. That was when Giggles was placed in a glass box and set onto a shelf, with all of the other past fads that his father had used and discarded. Looking over at Oliver, who mostly slept, Giggles furrowed his brow.
How could all of these others accept their fates as toss aways? Mere figures for an ongoing act that left them sitting as mere leftovers, forgotten memories that grew even more distant in the audiences’ mind as time ticked on. Giggles could hear the laughter of the crowd through the walls. The crowd cheering and laughing at the jokes of his newest brothers and sisters.
It made him sick.
He was Giggles the Clown! He was supposed to making people laugh and crowds cry. He was the one that had seen his father through his college years in dive bars and back alley clubs, choking on smoke.
Looking around the darkened studio, Giggles could make out the partial construction of a new sibling to add into the mist. A sloped back and a grim face, this dummy looked as if it were going to play the straight man to father’s jokes. Father told a terrible joke… that’s why Giggles needed to get back into the act!
He’d just have to make father listen…
David unlocked the door to his studio, smiling from the last performance he did for the small theater. While he hadn’t made it big yet, he could feel he was on the brink of success. He just needed a new dummy to complete his act. Maybe the gorilla he was working on would fit in… well he had to finish the gorilla first, at the very least.
Turning on the lights to the studio, he gasped at what he saw. Several cases holding past dummies had been knocked over and broken open, the dummies were broken apart and carved up with a knife. The gorilla on his workbench had been sawed into two separate pieces, ruining him for any kind of production. Looking around, he noted that only four of his dolls remained some from his earliest acts.
Josie stood in her dress and matching shoes in her case, arms crossed eyes glossy. Dunbar, a furry white and red monster was still in one piece, as was a skeleton with a top hat, dubbed Mr. Lucky. Finally, it looked as if Giggles had made it through whoever did this alright, the pierrot standing tall in his case.
“Well, at least you four made it,” David said to himself, trying to remember the voices for the dolls. “But what happened here?”
David poked about after calling the police, seeing if anything was stolen, if any of his dolls were missing. None were, though they were all torn apart and carved up, rendering them practically useless. The police came by and took a statement, checked the place over. No fingerprints, no sign of forced entry… they said nobody had entered the premises unless David had left something unlocked.
The police had, after asking for an autograph, left, leaving David to sweep up the broken glass and leftover pieces of his collection. These were his livelihood! Sure, he hadn’t used most of them in years, but he occasionally rotated one into his act to make people remember their faces. The only one he didn’t rotate in and out was Giggles, and that was because David had forgotten how his voice went. He felt bad for forgetting, but after twenty two years of performing, with only the first three using Giggles, he’d cycled through a lot of voices. He’d asked his wife, and she’d looked for recordings, but all of them that she found were distorted, especially when Giggles spoke.
“Maybe I could look up the old puppeteer who made Giggles and sold him to me, he could tell me what his voice was…” David muttered as he swept glass into a pile.
“You don’t remember my voice?” A high pitched wheeze came from around the corner. Looking, David didn’t see anything.
“Hello? Is someone there?”
“Of course, I’m here father! Why you’ve been the one to keep me here all these years.”
“Listen, man, I don’t know what you want, but I don’t have any money. If you just come out now, I won’t call the cops. I’ll just let you leave and we’ll call it a night.”
“I don’t want your money father, I just want in on the act!” The voice said, breaking off into a series of wheezy giggles. “Well, that and maybe a smoke.”
David’s throat went dry as he saw stepping from behind a column the pierrot-clad clown, wild red hair under a white cap with a cigar sticking from his painted over mouth. He walked with a stumbling gait, as if he wasn’t used to moving on his own. In his hand he clutched a carving knife, one that was covered in sawdust.
David shrieked and threw aside the broom, turning to run. As he moved he stepped on a shard of glass and slipped, falling and landing hard on his back, throwing it out. Groaning, he was quickly mounted by the smiling clown, the knife held high as he looked at David with a maniacal gleam in his eye.
“Why father? Why did you ignore me all these years?” Giggles asked, looking at him with rolling eyes.
“I didn’t know I was ignoring you! I thought you were just wood!”
“But you bought me at the auction! You invited me into your home, and added me as a part of your family!” Giggles exclaimed, waving the knife around.
“I’ll put you in the act Giggles, I promise!” David said, trying to move in such a way that his back would allow him to roll over and escape.
“No you won’t, you just admitted you don’t remember my voice! How could you forget my voice? It was perfect! You made it sound so real and alive, even I was impressed.” Giggles said, lowering the carving knife to David’s cheek and cutting a long line across it. “All you’re going to do now is try and get rid of me, like my last father did. Well I won’t let that happen!”
“Wha-ah!” David screamed as Giggles drove the carving knife into his eye before pulling it out and stabbing him repeatedly in the face, carving off great sections of skin as he mutilated his father, the entire time giggling.
Giggles stood in his glass box once more, staring out at a crowd of people as he had done so many times before. The man running the auction listed off Giggles value as the doll remained perfectly still. Maybe my next father will be more understanding, Giggles thought. Maybe he won’t leave me to rot, or treat me like an object. Maybe I’ll finally find a family that appreciates me.