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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2242264-A-Fools-Errand
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2242264
A fool gets the last laugh
Some are strong and some are not. For those who are not there must be some sort of compensation. Something must make up for that lack of pure strength. Many seek wisdom or agility while others seek the company of numbers but some use trickery and deceit. That was the choice of the character that I had met on that fateful day. I had just finished working in the stables and had gone to the tavern, as was my habit.
Once inside I had ordered the usual and while sitting down to relax I had noticed something quite strange out of the corner of my eye. Someone clad in what could only be described as a jester's outfit. Bright clashing colors adorned with a hat of donkey ears. To say he stood out would be an understatement. In a town dominated by muted earthy tones, no one native would be caught in these clothes. This is why, not to my surprise, a man began to chastise this jester. "Like to play the fool, I see?" The local man roared, drunker than most around him, as he stood up from his place at the bar to berate the stranger. "You look ridiculous! There are no kings or queens around these parts to entertain. Why bother looking like such an idiot?" He began shouting, possibly without knowing how hostile he appeared. I would say that this brought a smile to the jester's face if he hadn't already been smiling the entire time. Something was unnerving about that smile. The way he showed his teeth as he smiled, it was almost as if he were bearing his fangs. There was an intensity to his demeanor as if his attitude prevented him from experiencing fear. It seemed fitting to be so foolhardy looking the way he did. "Do you like riddles?" The jester said, and as he did, he let out a chuckle that was both eerie and unpleasant. This chuckle did not cease; It grew into a roar of laughter. Uncertain of how to proceed, the local man frowned. "What are you laughing about?! Is there something funny?" The man appeared to be upset, reaching the limit of concealing his temper. "Why yes! There is always something funny if you know the right way to look at the way things are." The jester replied. "Here is my riddle. What is up that can also go down?" Appearing bewildered, the man had had enough. He reeled back with all of his might to throw a punch at the fool and just before beginning the launch of his attack the fool quickly used his foot with his hooked shoe to sweep the back leg of the enraged man sending him crashing to the floor with all of his weight. Slamming his head against the ground the man was out cold. "The answer was time!" The fool laughed hardily. "Your time was counting down and now your time is up!" Taking a concealed blade from his sleeve the fool stabbed straight down on the man with savage veracity. He stabbed many times in quick succession while cackling as the blood began to form from the man's body and pooled on the wooden floor of the tavern. The stunned onlookers could not react in time before the lethal damage was done and as quickly as the attack had begun it had ended. The fool quickly ran to the door before anyone could stop him. "Help him!" A woman cried out but then quickly fainted. Several bodies crowded around him as they tried to stop the flow of blood that shot from the man's chest and stomach but to no avail. Within seconds it was clear there was nothing that could help him.
Standing to leave I also ran out the door to catch up to the fool. I had no plan what to do once I caught him but it seemed like the right idea at the time. Pushing out the door I looked wildly in either direction to catch a glimpse of where he might have gone. Seeing no trace of him I wondered where he could have gone to so quickly considering what a small village this was. There were only a dozen or so buildings present and if he ran to any of them there would be no way to stop himself from being seen by the townsfolk. Knowing this, the only other reasonable place to go would be straight out into the forest. Dashing into what I thought would be the most probable direction I ventured out into the darkness searching for the fool. I had been out of breath by the time I stopped to rest. I supposed it wasn't likely that he could have gotten far but out here in the night there were too many places to hide and too many to search. When I was about to give up I heard a voice close behind. "It's curious that you would follow me after seeing what just happened." He snorted and continued laughing the same way as when I had first heard his laugh. The blood from the man in the tavern was splashed across his garb in a way that caught the light of the moon. It flashed crimson as it came from out of the clouds and pierced the darkness that surrounded us. Waiting for an answer, he assumed a relaxed pose, as if there was no seriousness to the situation that we were in. "Why did you do this? Was there a point in killing him?!" I gasped, exasperated from the sprinting just prior. He began to laugh in a way that resembled the fury of someone in battle. His eyes lit up as though he was now enjoying himself more than ever. "Point?" He wheezed between bouts of hard laughter. "Where there is a blade, there is always a point!" Bewildered, I stepped back. He began to walk off into the distance without another word but with a resounding laugher that didn't cease. Even after he was out of sight, the laugher lingered on into the night.
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