The Clown: Beginnings – Ian Hill

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The Clown:  Beginnings

1983-2004:  Harold leads a normal life full of excitement and laughter, but he finds himself with thoughts of rage.  His friends comment on the “episodes” where Harold will snap at random times.

March 15, 2004:  Harold graduates from Paramedic school and is assigned to a station.

April 23, 2004:  Harold goes on his first call where there is bleeding involved.  While he has seen blood many times before, this is the first time he tastes it.  As he bandages up the man’s leg, the man goes into shock.  During the seizure, the man’s blood splashes into Harold’s mouth.  Normally the fear from blood-borne pathogens would be enough to scare anybody, but the warm metallic taste takes control of Harold.

April 26, 2004:  Harold begins to save bandages and used gauze from patients.  He later takes the dressings home and chews on them to get the taste of blood in his mouth again.  It’s not the same.

May 5, 2004:  After discovering rat droppings in the kitchen cupboard, Harold buys baits and places rat traps thoughout his house.  Something must be done about his growing hunger for blood as the bandages aren’t working so well anymore.

May 7, 2004:  One of the rat traps Harold set catches a mouse by the tail.  As Harold picks up the trap, the mouse frees itself and Harold is forced to stomp the mouse to death.  Then he notices the blood.  After tasting the blood with the tip of his finger, he comes to the conclusion that human and animal blood are quite different and he prefers the former.

May 30, 2004:  On the way to the hospital, Harold draws blood from a woman to give the doctor on arrival.  However, Harold soon finds out that too much time has passed from the point where he took the blood and now the doctor will have to take more.  Harold pockets the blood.  Later that night, Harold removes the blood from his refrigerator.  In the background Bullet with Butterfly Wings begins to play on the radio.  As he looks down at the vial of blood, suddenly the world comes into focus for Harold.  For the first time, his own self-image becomes enjoyable as he realizes who he is.  He is a vampire.  He removes the cap from the tube and downs every drop.  The strong iron flavor burns at his tongue. The back of his throat is coated with life for the first time.  It is the greatest moment Harold has ever experienced.

2004-2010:  Harold refines and uses his new technique of obtaining blood for the next 6 years.  He selects only blood from clean, sober patients and begins to supplement his daily diet with blood.

August 24, 2010:  After picking up a patient who had broken his ankle at the local skate park, Harold’s ambulance is t-boned by a distracted driver and flipped on its side.  Having been buckled, Harold is dazed, but otherwise unharmed.  His patient, however, was crushed during the impact.  One of the boy’s arms protrudes from the rubble.  Slowly, a stream of blood begins to run down his arm.  The sight was too much for Harold to bear.  The boy was already dead and he had only seconds before the first Good Samaritan would show up.  Harold leaned down and allowed the boy’s blood to flow directly into his mouth.  The sensation reminded Harold of that first drop of blood that had gotten in his mouth all those years ago.  Nothing had made him feel that way since, not even his daily intake of blood.  The feeling was so vivid Harold didn’t notice his partner struggling to reach him.  Lucky for him, a fake busted lip covered up the blood in his mouth; the blood he was trying to savor as long as he could.

September 1, 2010:  The experience from the week before had left Harold sleepless.  He wanted to know what made that blood taste so different.  He went through the collection of tubes he had amassed over the last few months, trying different types and sexes.  He tried each one, but none of them gave him the same reaction.  He had tried every type of blood in the house…except one.  As if Harold knew the thought held the answer, he grabbed the nearest knife and slashed at the palm of his hand.  As the blood began to flow, Harold held his hand up and allowed the warm, fresh blood to flow into his mouth.  The absolute contentment flowed through him like the knife had done to his skin and just as the contentment was replaced with pain, Harold had his answer:  he needed fresh blood.

October 3, 2010:  After taking a month to heal from the wreck, Harold was eager to return to work.  His harvested blood supply was beginning to run low and now he had a new desire to feed that also came with new challenges.  How could he harvest the blood and drink it right away?  Maybe, he thought, he could sneak around to the front of the ambulance when they were dropping the patient off.  It might not be as fresh, but he should be able to keep it warm long enough.  A woman was going into labor and needed to be rushed to the hospital.  Harold loved these cases because most of the time, expectant mothers were clean and in enough distress that they didn’t even notice him taking the blood.  This mother was different.  This mother was a doctor and she knew that Harold wasn’t supposed to be taking her blood.  She wouldn’t say anything right away, but during her intake, she made sure to tell a doctor about it.

October 5, 2010:  All good things must come to an end.  After investigating the allegations made against him, Harold’s supervisor is forced to fire him to avoid criminal charges.  By this point, Harold could care less about his job.  The only thing he can think about is how hard it will be to get more blood.  He hadn’t had time to refill his supply.  On his way out the door, he notices that his former coworkers aren’t looking at him the same.  None of them come up and speak to Harold or offer him any encouragement.

October 12, 2010:  After searching through Craig’s List for a few days, Harold finds a listing for an older gentleman looking for help with some of his yard work.  Upon arrival Harold realizes that this man is on his last legs.  They talk for a while and Harold discovers the man is dying of pancreatic cancer.  This leads to a discussion about mortality and Harold makes, what he thinks to be, a huge slip up when they move to the topic of blood.  He begins to explain to the man why he was fired from being an EMT, but instead of giving Harold the same look all his coworkers did, the man begins to smile.  The man explains to Harold that in his former life, he was a homicide detective.  He had spent years looking at crime scenes and tracking down killers, but had retired when his outlook on the criminals he was chasing changed.  He explained that at some point, he began to empathize with his suspects.  He, himself, began to see the problems with many of the victims and it became harder and harder to put them away as he began to realize the men and women he was chasing were doing society a favor.  This was some of the best news Harold had heard in a long time.  He immediately began to open up to the stranger and explain his life’s quest to find fulfillment through blood.  The stranger just sat there and kept smiling.  At the conclusion of his story, the man told Harold he had something to show him, so they started towards a clearing at the backside of the stranger’s house.  As they crossed the tree line, Harold noticed a large hole on the opposite side of the clearing.  The man instructed Harold to go and investigate the contents of the hole.  As Harold approached the side of the hole, he began to notice a smell.  The smell morphed into a sight.  A sight of many bodies in different states of decay.  It was a lot to take in and just as Harold turned to look away, the stranger yelled, “BANG!”  Harold jumped.  The man began to explain that this was the point where he would have shot Harold and added him to the collection, but after hearing such an inviting story, the man had decided to pass his torch to Harold instead.  Harold was to continue what his new friend had begun.  For the first time in a long time, Harold was excited.

October 12-18, 2010:  Harold spent the next week or so cleaning out his house and putting it on the market.  He told the neighbors that he needed a big change and was moving away.  The ones that were still talking to him agreed that this would be for the best.  Harold noticed the news seemed to make most people happy.  Fuckers.  Little did they know that Harold had no plans to move away.  He was moving in with Mr. Woodson.

October 29, 2010:  Over the past few weeks, Harold went through a sort of psycho killer boot camp with Mr. Woodson as his drill instructor.  He learned the ins and outs of effective killing.  He learned how to cover up the evidence so thoroughly that even a homicide detective couldn’t figure out who did it…not that they would ever find the bodies anyways.  Mr. Woodson had a son, Jed, who owned a pig farm and slaughter-house that saw to the destruction of the remains.  Now all he needed was an identity.  He had thought of adopting the role of a vampire since that was pretty much what he was, but the Twilight series had done too much to destroy the vampiric image.  A knock on the door came from the delivery man who would deliver this needed image.  The knock came from a child’s party-clown who had fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, shown up at the wrong address.  After Harold had explained to the poor soul that he was lost, a voice arose from behind him.  “Well don’t just stand there, Harold, invite the man in and kill him.” Mr. Woodson ordered with a smile on his face.  Just like that, the clown was spun around and the door was closed behind him after he was pulled inside.  The first stab must have hit an artery, because the blood exploded from the clown’s chest like a volcano.  The taste was fantastic and almost distracted Harold from receiving his delivery.  At that moment, Harold looked down at the clown during his last moments of life.  He noticed how the blood perfectly contrasted the white makeup on the clown’s face.  He noticed the small speckles of blood intermixed with larger drops, some of which began to drip.  The sight was like art and Harold had to have it for his own.

2010-???:  Applying the makeup felt more like removing a mask than putting one on.  Without the makeup, Harold was just Harold, but when he put the makeup on, Harold became who he was meant to be.  The clown was everything he now understood about himself personified in such a way that caused his victims to beg for death rather than spend one more second screaming.  Harold stopped removing the makeup a few years ago, about the same time he stopped responding to his name.  He stopped talking altogether just after that.  Nowadays the clown just sits around drinking blood, enjoying his normal life full of excitement and laughter.

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