The original germ for this week's 512 Words didn't make it into the final piece, but I'm including that text here to give insight into my process:
Nobody calls him by his name. It just feels wrong, you know? He's too important to have such a dumb-ass name.
Some people call him The Clown. But that feels disrespectful, too. And you don't want to disrespect him. For a while, a few called him The Redhead. But then that girl showed up, and things got confusing. When most men say "redhead," they're talking about a woman--usually someone they'd like to screw. And he is as far from sex as anything can get.
Most people these days call him Shoes. It used to be Big Shoes, because that's what you were probably staring at when you were in his presence, if you were lucky enough to be granted an audience. You don't look at his face. And you really don't look into his eyes. It's not that he cares. But there's something there, something in his soul, it's overpowering. Some are said to have gone mad from a mere glance.
Anyway, Shoes. That's what people say when they talk about him. You heard about Shoes' new dollar menu? Hey, want to grab a Shoes milkshake?
Never call him by name. The name is dangerous.
And here is the video that inspired the final draft:
When I was in high school, my friend Gavin and I rented and watched Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I promise you, we were not under the influence of any controlled substances at the time, but we found the line "They're dead. Everybody's dead" hilarious in late-night context.
That's not really relevant, except to point out that sometimes things seem funny that really aren't. Like clowns. And nobody knows why.