And she will Shoot. A comedic tale of a mysterious clown murderer and the animal kingdom.
| The warm night air swirled through the bright, curly hair of a colorfully dressed man. The figure was barely discernible in the darkness, hunched over staring intently at the dusty ground. A large, striped tent stood not far off, and light was streaming from a small crack on the side. Laughter could be heard from the tent, along with the buttery smell of popcorn mingling with the dry stench of animal waste. Long rows of cars stretched out from the tent like the tentacles of an octupus. Crouching between two cars, the figure straightened, walked a few feet, and then bent agian. With his round, red nose almost touching the ground, Alec Baldwin was not having a good night. His eyes focused on a twin pair of tiny footprints leading off into the night. He had been weaving between, around, and under cars for nearly an hour, but still pressed on with fevered intensity. The wind rose again, marring the tracks, but he stayed on them like a hound. They had put up a good fight, but he was determined to find them. His career depended on it. Not that it was much of one, but he was good at what he did. He pushed the curly, red wig out of his eyes and bent again.
A roar errupted from the tent, followed by a chorus of "ooh's" and "ahh's". Alec looked up in time to see shadows inside the tent begin moving and dancing on the fabric. The show was over, and were people starting to filter out. He stopped for a moment and watched the growing throng of people, spurting out as though the octupus had become frightened, and then began to sprint along the tracks. Though he could barely see them, his adrenaline kept him on the path, seeming to extend his vision through his whole body. He felt so close to the end of the tracks. The first of the cars sprang to life, miniscule purrs compared to the finale of fireworks that had lit up the night only moments before.
The figure became crazed, darting between moving cars like a madman. Alec felt a shock of despair as the prints came to a halt directly behind twin tire tracks. The car had already departed, but he knew they were in it. He looked around at all of the immediate cars, but there were so many that it would be impossible to find them now. He spotted a red pickup truck, and chased it on a whim. It stopped with the traffic, and he panted up next to it, sweat glistening through his white makeup. As the light turned green, he spotted them: two balls of fur curled up in the back of the truck. The truck began to move and a frantic pang shot through him like a bolt of lightning. He drew a shoddy revolver and fired repeatedly into the bed of the truck. The first shot brought a plume of fur into the air, and the driver slammed on the gas. The truck sped away into the night, and Alec flopped onto the grass. He could hear sirens in the distance, a quick response to gunshots: a cruiser was likely nearby.
It didn't matter anymore; his act was lost, as were his only friends. They couldn't really be called friends, Alec did not treat them as such, but he had problems of his own. He was a forty-three year old clown, a fat, balding man with a red bulbous nose even without the false one. He was a good clown, but not a good husband: his wife left him twelve years ago. Since then, the circus was all he had, but now that was gone as well. As the sirens drew nearer, Alec got to his feet. He threw of his wig, sneered at a group of gaping onlookers who had gathered, and sprinted off into the night.
Douglas Donnahue lit another cigarette and braced himself against the tumultous storm that had begun. His hat shielded the smoldering stick in his mouth from the rain, but that seemed about all it did. Ash fell into the cup of coffee hovering below his chin, but his attention was on the man who had just come out of a spoon shop accross the street. The man straightened his trench coat against the wind and began to make his way, trotting quickly down the street. Douglas followed on the other side of the street with his own akward, loose gait that made it look like he had just gotten out of a vibrating chair for the first time in a week. It had been more like two days, but no one really kept track of that sort of thing. It was supposedly a massage chair, but even after prolonged periods it just felt like someone was shaking him excessively.
He downed the rest of his diluted coffee and threw the cup at an overflowing trash can, resulting in a wave of trash scuttling behind him as he crossed the road. The man ahead was still striding as though he had somewhere important to be. Doug was there to prove otherwise. A suspicious wife had hired him to follow her husband; it wasn't his favorite kind of work, but the bills were all unpaid, so he needed anything he could get.
His camera ground uncomfortably into his hip, reminding him of his vulnerability. He imagined himself firing a big hand gun, wearing sexy, bloodstained clothes, surrounded by broken mops. He didn't know exactly why, but mops usually replaced evil men in his day-dreams. At one time he tried pressing into it, but the psychiatrist died from a heart attack the next day, so he read the omen and let it rest. Of course, that was not why Douglas didn't have a gun. Private investigators often seemed to have uses for guns, but he had never invested in one. He simply didn't view himself as the gun-toting type. He was more a non-confrontational, hide-in-a-closet person. It wasn't that he hadn't been through a lot, he just wasn't prepared to take that step. A slightly over-weight man in his late thirties, he had never been much of a ladies man. Never married, but mostly because he didn't have time. He often wore a red, black-spotted tie, because it made him feel like a secret agent, but covert operative he was not.
The man he was following made a quick turn that jarred him out of his thoughts. Doug followed him quietly up some stairs, around a corner, and to the door of an apartment. There, the man was greeted at the door by a largish man in a studded leather mask, who gave him a long, wet kiss. Crouching at the corner, Douglas snapped a few pictures of their embrace, and then hurried off down the stairs. If he could collect his money quickly and throw enough pebbles at the electric company employees, they just might give in and let him pay his obligations without all of the usual shutting-down time that followed bills this late.
After dropping off the film in the usual one-hour developing studio, Doug walked three blocks down to a new french cafe that had just opened up. A muffin and another cup of coffee brought his total funds to zero. He sat in the cafe and thought about the two men he had seen earlier. Worry creased his brow slightly, and his muffin waiting patiently, half-eaten, while he remained lost in thought. It was becoming so common to see men cheating on their wives with other men. Doug wondered why anyone married at all if that was the most common end result. Maybe it was the marriage itself that drove men to other men, to wonder what it was like. He was jarred out of his thoughts when he realized that he had begun eating his muffin again, but had apparently forgotten to peel back the paper. What he pulled out of his mouth surprised him. A white, squarish, slightly chewed piece came out, with the remains of a number written on it. One other word adorned this mysterious gift. Doug. He looked at it with curiousity, then looked all around the cafe. No one suspicious was looming about, and the matron seemed completely oblivious to everything. He doubted that i could have been the man working the counter, because it appeared as though the paper had been baked into the muffin. That meant that someone had set the muffin aside, with instructions for the counter workers to give that muffin to him. That also means that someone knew his favorite flavor.
Doug glanced nervously around the room, shoved the paper into his pocket, and left the cafe in a hurry. Once he got outside, he walked down a side street, took an immediate left, and then doubled back. Eventually, he came to a pay phone in a shady part of town, after taking a route that, if mapped, would have given anyone a headache. The storm ealier had stopped, but the phone was still soaking with water, so he shook it before placing it next to his ear. He dialed the number on the paper, and someone picked up on the first ring. The impression he got from the voice was an older, greasy, balding man who was a nervous wreck.
"Hello?" answered a shaky voice.
"Hi, i got your muffin-mail," Doug said steadily into the phone.
"Doug," suddenly the voice was confident, strong, full of culture. "Wait exactly two seconds, then turn around." Puzzled, Doug turn his head in just in time to see a large man moving his hand quickly in his direction. Thinking fast, Doug froze and stared at the heavy, rounded object nearing his head. His eyes followed it all the way to his temple. A shot of pain followed, and then darkness washed over him.
See Pet the Bunny: Chapter 2
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