"Okay can you explain to me why my girlfriend is hyperventilating in the bathroom right now?" Finn asked, referring to the restaurant's bathroom where George (short for Georgia) was breathing into a paper bag to recover from a terrrifying close encounter.

"George is pathologically afraid of clowns." Audrey, George's best friend, explained as she stirred her grape slushie with an oversized pink straw/spoon hybrid. "I'm surprised you don't know this."

Finn laughed lightly to himself. "Just one bad viewing of It or what?"

Now it was Audrey's turn to laugh. The idea of George's pathology being that simple was funny to her. After all she had been there when a Ronald McDonald impersonator had come to a birthday party on George's street, when they had encountered a drunken man named Melvin on the bus in balloon pants and a red nose and the time George had seen her first Michael Jackson video. "It goes waaaay deeper than that." Audrey replied after some more chuckling.

Finn's eyebrows knit themselves together in curiosity. "Explain."

And she did.

When George was seven years old, her mother had a midday gig singing at some high profile country club wedding party she left George with their old neighbor, the baby starved, infertile and single Bessie, who had recently turned to food in her sorrows and gained a record 200 pounds in three months, finally living up to her cow-ish name. Although Ben and Jerry hadn't consoled her over the years, a full-unsupervised day with a living, breathing child made her weak in the knees. So she hopped (not so much hopped as wobbled) into her mechanized wheel chair, let George ride on her very spacious lap and took her to the funnest place she could imagine for a child; the circus. A long trip to the concessions stand before they took their seat and she got a cotton candy for George, and four for herself along with three hot dogs, two popcorn tubs and a box of Licorice Nubs.

All through the show, despite the fact that the sound of Bessie chewing rivaled a tractor driving over a bed of shrapnel and Bessie creepily watching her every second (desperate to observe a child in its natural environment), George loved the circus. The colors and sounds and smells and the crowd oohing and aahing at everything. The fabulous feats preformed by the acrobats and tight ropewalkers. The large wild animals that threatened to stomp on or feast on their handlers at any moment. The magician who not only cut his assistant into some immeasurable fractions several times did the extremely clichéd but beloved pulling the rabbit out of his hat.

But what George loved the most were the clowns. Especially One Eyed Willy, the handicapped but exuberant main attraction. By the third cream pie in the face, George was in love, and Bessie a little hungrier.

And by the seventh pie in the face, ole' Willy found himself face down in the straw. While the rest of the crowd rolled in the aisles, George screamed at the thought of her hero, dead by coconut cream and ran down the aisles to the front where she began sobbing as she tugged at Willy's body. Of course Willy wasn't really dead and hopped up with a smile on his face and hugged the tearful little girl in front of him. With a squeak from his rubber nose he had George smiling again and set her down. He ruffled her hair and gave her the little white rabbit left over from the magician's act, which had been hopping around below the first row of seats. Fondling the adorable little creature, George returned to her seat, where she enjoyed the rest of the Willy's act. It was the happiest day of her life. Until…

After the show, while Bessie tried to extricate herself from her seat in the stands, George snuck away to find Willy and thank him for her beautiful new pet. Scouring the whole circus for her idol she found herself behind the lion's cage, close enough to hear him roar threateningly as she passed by. Turned around and afraid of the lion, George followed the voices of two people somewhere nearby.

"You call this medical grade Antonio? I could get better quality from my grandmother and she runs her grow-op in the back of her trailer!"

George found the owners of the voices ten feet away from the lion's cage. A clown with a large purple wig and big green shoes was yelling at a short Spanish dude in a leotard while waving a small bag of some white substance. Of course George was only seven and didn't fully realize what went on that day until she was about 13.

"What can I tell you Rob, I buy from some Mexican dude." Small Spanish acrobat replied.

"I don't wanna hear this shit man!" Clown Rob screamed. "I got three more shows this week! I need something good to tide me over!"

"Well I don't know what to tell you." Antonio said helplessly with a shrug of his small shoulders.

"You can tell me your gonna grow some fucking balls and find a new supplier." Clown Rob said angrily. He threw the small baggie of white powder at Antonio, which succeeded in hitting him in the face. Antonio sighed in frustration and picked up the bag while Rob lit himself a cigarette, still sulking.

Just then, George who had been cowering in the corner listening to this conversation had unintentionally loosened her grip on the rabbit that hopped out of her hands and onto the grass towards Antonio and Rob.

"Willy Junior come back!" George squealed and ran after the rabbit that had hopped up onto Rob's big shoes.

"What the fuck?" Rob said looking down and then noticed George running towards him. He grinned menacingly at her, making her stop in her tracks and bent down to pick up Willy Junior by the scruff of his little rabbit neck.

"This your bunny little girl?" Rob asked, holding up Willy Junior and waving him in front of George's terrified face.

"Yes sir." George mumbled as she trembled in fear before the clown.

"Do you want your bunny back?" He asked in a voice as sickly sweet as the glaze of a thousand poisonous candy apples.

Antonio, not wanting to do anything to jeopardize his parole, stepped in. "Rob she's just a kid-"

"Did I ask you dickweed?" Rob yelled at Antonio. Antonia, backed down pretty quickly and Rob resumed smiling wickedly as he turned back to George, who had just about pissed herself by then. He repeated, "Do you want your bunny back?"

"Yes sir." George answered again, her voice barely audible from terror.

Rob took a step closer to George and took another puff of his cigarette while still holding Willy Junior.

"Did you have a fun day at the circus?" He asked cruelly. He took another step closer. "Did you have a fun time at the fun circus with your fun bunny?" With each question he jabbed his lit cigarette into George's upper right arm, chuckling gleefully at George's winces. George nodded slowly, tears welling up in her eyes.

"That's great." Rob said, cackling evilly. "I didn't have a fun time today."

"Maybe you should get some cotton candy." George blurted.

This suggestion caused Rob to double over in laughter, while still managing to keep his cigarette perched gracefully in between his lips and Willy Junior's neck scruff clenched in his left fist.

"I don't know, maybe I should just take yours!" Rob yelled and literally kicked the leftover cotton candy out of George's outstretched hands. By this time George was working up a good cry, which only made Rob angrier.

"You want your bunny back girl? Would that make your day fun?" He asked. George, whimpering, didn't respond.

"YOU WANT YOUR BUNNY BACK?!" Rob screamed hysterically. "WELL GO GET HIM!" And with that the hysterical clown chucked Willy Junior, the innocent rabbit to his left. Willy Junior soared gracefully through the air before landing, regrettably, inside the lion's enclosed cage. A roar and some blood splatters, and Willy Junior was no more.

George, sobbing ran in the opposite direction and somehow eventually ran into the inflated arms of Bessie, who proceeded to fall into a diabetic coma.

Finn reeled back in his booth and ran a hand nervously through his hair. "You've got to be effing kidding me." He said finally.

"Nope." Audrey replied. "True story."

"Wow. That explains a lot."

Updated about 4 months ago · Comment · LikeUnlike

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Chloe Anderberg at 1:41am December 13

my favourite character was bessie :))