The Clown’s Gauntlet

23 Feb

By Evan Long
6th Grade

Carl always wanted something, but he wasn’t sure what yet. He always felt a touch of goodness and then a feeling of un-fulfillment, as if he hadn’t been born yet. It all came out over a dinner of mutton, which tasted like sweat, but Carl and his dad choked it down to preserve Mom’s fragile ego.

Mom asked, “What do you want?”

“I want – I want – I want everything.”

“What would you do without it?”

“Then I suppose I’d be empty.”

That night Carl tossed and turned. What do I want? What do I really want? Where is it? In heaven, or hell, or on earth, or all of the space junk in between?

Carl’s father was a clown. So was his grandfather and his great grandfather. Not to mention his great-great grandfather, great-great-great grandfather, and great-great-great-great grandfather. The first clown in the land was Carl’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Blart. Born in A.D. 932, he was the joy of the kingdom of Mississippi. Unfortunately his great-great-great-great grandson was banned by the Mississippi Queen. Carl’s father was a flop, so they moved to the open country. At three, Carl saw a middle-aged man dance around with a tomato nose. He was scarred for life.

When Carl took off, it was very awkward. On April 15, 1120, Carl told his mother, “I want the gauntlet of everything.”

“Okay. Don’t hurt yourself.”

And Carl was off. He went walking the trail until he found something he suspected to be a clue: a sign that said, “This way to the Gauntlet.”

As Carl trotted through the woods, he did not notice a low rose bush, gnarly and long like the mace of a six-foot bandit. Unfortunately, he chose that moment to kick his right foot forward. His foot was tossed and torn, and he fell on his face. His toes were ripped and cup after cup of blood sprayed on the dirt. “Well it can’t get any worse,” Carl grunted. THUMP! went a small tree into his leg.

As he skipped in a very awkward fashion, he heard grunting sounds. He was staring in the face of the Besdestion, a giant, multi-headed rabbit. He sprinted to the closest tree. The beast followed suit, except it hit the tree.

It’s not over yet. I have to face… Carl’s train of thought was delayed when the Ebsei, a giant one-eyed hot dog fried Carl’s tree with a laser beam. Carl thought for a moment, then brought out a mirror. The next beam bounced off the mirror and overcooked the Ebsei.

Carl then found the gauntlet. He stood triumphant, raised it like the baboon raising Simba, and then…

East Novelty Company?

The gauntlet was a prank! For the next two years, the empty Carl became a clown.

***

One day, Carl was putting powdery makeup on a crying little kid when he remembered what brought him to this lowly state. He promptly tossed the whining kid headfirst onto the ground. Then he heard someone call, “Message for Carl Clownson!”

The note read like a telegram:

You have seen the fake gauntlet STOP Evil men have seized the real gauntlet STOP them with all of your ability – Anonymous

“Hot diggity dog!”

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