Last week I wrote a post and had five pictures up for you my dear readers and friends to vote on. Whichever picture had the most votes I promised to write a short story about. I want to thank all who participated in my little experiment. If you missed out you can find the post with the pictures to vote on here.
I meant to write today’s post on Tuesday, but things around here got a bit hectic and so I am running a few days late. Sorry about that.
So, which did you pick for me to write a story about?
The winner by a landslide is ………….. #2!
Great choice people! This could go so many ways! Here is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!
Bill sat on the bench with his head in his hands. He was worried and upset. He had heard that morning of a friend of his that had quit his job the day before. Bill always thought Jeff loved his job!
He had been an accountant, just like Bill. Yeah, Jeff had loved his numbers, Bill remembered. Jeff had worked long hours at his job, coming in early, leaving late. Cost him his marriage Bill knew. Jeff had confided in him one night as they both sat at the neighborhood bar. His wife walked out on him, saying she never saw him anyway, so what difference did it make.
Bill and Jeff worked in the same building downtown. Same job, accountants, different companies though. They had met years ago right on this very bench one sunny afternoon at lunch time. They struck up a conversation and became fast friends that very afternoon.
What made Jeff leave his job? He had a great salary, benefits, health plan. He had been there for almost 20 years!
Bill had tried calling his friend that morning but all he got was voice mail. Today was Saturday, where the hell was Jeff? He decided to go for a walk and try Jeff later. He walked and walked trying to figure things out and ended here. On this bench, tired and worried.
Bill heard someone walk up and stop next to him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw bright yellow. Taking a chance he looked over then quickly away. There was someone standing next to the bench in a bright yellow costume! Probably one of those clowns Jeff and he laughed about most days.
There was a clown class held in a small building not too far from where Bill sat. Bill and Jeff used to watch them on their lunch breaks. The clowns would try to make people laugh with jokes and pranks. Bill supposed it was a classroom project. He remembered the jokes he and Jeff would laugh about as they watched the clowns, many in costume run around and make fools out of themselves.
Bill put his head back in his hand and tried his best to ignore the yellow fellow. Maybe he’ll just go away Bill thought. He wondered if he should try Jeff’s cell again. He wanted to talk to his friend and find out what was going on. Accounting was all Jeff knew! What was he going to do now that he quit his job?
He heard the guy in the costume shuffle closer to the bench. Bill hoped the guy wasn’t going to bother him, he really wasn’t in the mood for jokes.
Maybe if he pulled out his cell phone the guy would get the hint and move on. Worth a try Bill thought and he wanted to try Jeff again anyway. So he pulls out his cell and scrolls through his numbers till he finds Jeff’s. Hitting the button he hoped Jeff would pick up now.
Seconds later he hears the call ringing at the same time the costumed guy’s phone starts ringing. Bill doesn’t think much of it, just swiveling in his seat so his back is to the clown.
He listens to the ringing in his ear and hopes Jeff picks up.
Finally he hears a Jeff’s voice!
“Jeff?? What gives??”
Jeff hears his name in his ear and from the yellow guy behind him at the same time! Slowly he lowers his phone and swings back to look at the guy with shock.
“Jeff???? No, it can’t be you!!??”
Bill watches the guy slowly reach up and pull off his round yellow head.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
Jeff sits on the bench and puts down his bucket and costume head.
“I’m fulfilling a life long dream of mine Bill.”
“Yeah, I’ve always dreamed of being a clown. Ever since I was 5 and went to the circus with my parents. Clowns are heros!”
“Clowns are clowns Jeff! They are ridiculous! You’re an accountant for God’s sake! And a damn good one!”
“Being an accountant was what my dad wanted, not me. He was an accountant, as his dad before him and so forth down the line. I was expected to be one too! It’s never what I wanted though.”
“But a clown Jeff??? Really? We used to sit here and make fun of those jokers!”
“I know and I always felt bad afterwards. I felt bad and jealous. I wanted to be in those oversized shoes! I wanted to have that makeup on!”
“So what’s with the yellow fellow then? Where’s those oversized shoes and clown makeup?”
“A clown has to start somewhere Bill.”
“You gave up a great job and all those benefits for a yellow…..yellow…..what ever the hell it is?!!”
“I won’t always be the yellow fellow Bill. But a clown has to work themselves up the ladder.”
“My god Jeff! Are you having a mid-life crisis or something? If you needed some help you just had to call me!”
“No, I’m not having a breakdown. I just decided what’s the fun in life if you can’t do what you love?”
“But you love numbers! You told me so yourself countless times!”
“I do love numbers. It’s in my blood. I thought I could be happy being an accountant. As the years passed I became more and more unhappy though. I wanted to be a clown! I dreamt of clowns! I even had a clown outfit secretly made up for myself!”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I thought you wouldn’t understand. You’re my best friend. You helped me get through losing Helen. I just didn’t want to lose your friendship too.” Jeff stated quietly, looking down at his big yellow head in his hands.
“I love being a clown Bill. It’s my life now.”
Bill lifted his head and looked at his friend. He saw that despite the lines of worry on his forehead that Jeff looked more relaxed than he had ever seen him. Who was he to deny his friend’s happiness? He couldn’t.
Bill lifted his lips in a smile and leaned back into the bench.
“My son’s fifth birthday is the next weekend. He loves clowns too. Want to come over and practice your clown act?”
17 thoughts on “The Winner Is!”
You have created a great little story here. I might try this photo out as well – if I’m allowed.
Of course you are! I will look forward to seeing what you write! 🙂
Here it is- There was Humphrey, big, bold and yellow. Weren’t shadows supposed to be black or at least grey? Martin only knew the brightness of the object before him from as long as his memory allowed. As a small child, Martin played for hours with his yellow playmate, making his parents happy that he could entertain himself so well at such an early age. They boosted about his ability until that fateful day.
“Your first day at school, Martin. Are you excited?”
“Yes, very. Humphrey and me will have such fun there.”
“Now, Martin, that’s enough of this Humphrey nonsense. Big boys don’t have invisible playmates, we’ve told you that before.”
“Yes, son you have to be a big boy at school. You want to fit in with all the other children don’t you?”
Martin looked from mother to father to Humphrey in bewilderment. Why wasn’t Humphrey allowed to go to school with him? When Martin protested that Humphrey was real, his parents got mad and forbid him from mentioning his invisible friend again. Tears flowing down his cheeks, Martin ran to his room shouting back as he went that Humphrey wasn’t invisible at all. In fact he was bright yellow and his parents must be blind if they couldn’t see him. Martin didn’t get supper that evening.
Now Martin sat on a park bench unable to steady his emotions. He had needed to walk away from Cheryl and Tommy for a few moments. Humphrey had been his dark secret for decades. A constant companion through school and college but never shared with anyone not even Cheryl. They had courted and married without Cheryl ever knowing she was part of a trio.
“Daddy, are you alright? Did I do something bad?”
Tommy’s little face shone up at Martin, an innocent five year old, who saw the world as a fascinating place.
“No, Tommy, you didn’t do anything bad. It’s just that no one else has ever seen Humphrey. I was shocked when you asked him to play with us.”
A shadow fell over father and son. Martin looked up at Cheryl unsure how she would react. He sighed with relief when he saw her smiling.
“Now your secret is out maybe you can be a more relaxed person, Martin. What do you think?”
“I love you both more than ever before. Come on Humphrey we need to make sandcastles.”
I hope you like it. I had fun creating it.
That was good! Thanks for another take from the picture.
My sister had an invisible playmate called George. Sometimes she still talks to George, just to make a point to her hubby or kids though. ha! 😉
Really good, Jackie! It’s a funny story but has so much more to it…
Thank you tiny. 🙂
Great story, Jackie,and with a moral. I hope someone who is in a job they hate will read this and decide to take that leap of faith.
Thanks Lois, I hope they do to. Why waste your life doing what you don’t love?
Exactly, it took me many years to find that spot, not giving it up ever again.
Smart lady! Same here. 🙂
Amazing writing, 🙂 It could have gone so many ways with that picture… 🙂
There were other stories going through my head, but this one is the one that ‘spoke’ the loudest at the time. Thanks rara! 🙂
What a fantastically charming and wonderful story, particularly coming from a rather creepy photo. LOL I enjoyed it very much!
thank you! Yeah it is kind of creepy, but I guess I wasn’t thinking creepy. Good thing or it would have turned into horror! 😉
Loved the story, especially the ending. Yay!!
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