On one corner of the innocuous stand sits a smiling toy clown on a tiny unicycle- a gift I received from my Aunt Helen. The clown’s short, yellow hair, made of yarn, covers its ears but is carefully parted above the eyes with a few stray fringe-hairs framing its forehead.
The cerulean blue eyes twinkle devilishly in the din of the dreary slivers of daylight that crawl through the barred window. Outlined in black with thin, delineated strokes, it has cherry-red cheeks, nose and lips that contrast with its paper-white complexion. Its broad grin disappears into the withered, lace ruffle around its neck. The deteriorating, two-tone, nylon costume is composed of a washed-out light green and a faded yellow; the two colours merge into a dark line running down the centre of the small outfit that is almost obscure among the multitude of dusty smudges.
Two big, pink bows surround its ankles, disguising its long, black shoes. The white spokes of the unicycle gather in the centre and expand to the black tyre so that the wheel somewhat represents the inner half of a grapefruit. Although the seams are ripping at its back, the clown and unicycle together still stand about a foot high. As the only endowment I’ve ever inherited, this colourful figure greets me with a sickly smile every time I enter my room.
Yet behind the sardonic grimace it bears, I know a certain blackguardly presence lingers there from before. Before everything changed for the worse. Before I ended up in these white drapes, sitting for hours on end, staring at my only “friend” who remains.
I’m not like them. I may look like them, I may act like them and we’ve all been through traumatic experiences, but we’re not the same. I shouldn’t be here, locked away from the world; but nobody else believes me, apart from the clown.
They all think it’s a figment of my imagination, but the clown and I know better,
and soon you will.