A Calm Evening at the Clown Park, Where We Make Friends.
rating: +38+x

“C’mon boy, let’s go to the clown park, c’mon!”

Sweetie was walking her clown, Sazzle, to the local clown park. She didn’t feel like it since she had homework to do, but her mom kicked her outside with the jester anyway.

‘Well, he hasn’t been to the clown park in awhile, so I might as well,’ she thought. She can let Sazzle clown around while she talks to others, but most people at the clown park were usually adults or old people. Boring…

The streets were fairly quiet for a Saturday afternoon, save for the constant squeak of Sazzle’s giant shoes while he waddled along. He was slower now, almost 35. Mom had raised him since she was a child. Hopefully he’ll feel included and comfortable around the younger clowns at the park.

“Agent Durian, do you have visuals on the location given by PoI-90958?”

“…What the hell am I looking at?”

“What do you see?”

“A dog park. Why did you send me on a whole expedition for a dog pa…”

The man scrunched his bristled face up in exasperation. He was assigned a location, given to the Foundation by some weirdo called ‘Bambousio’.

“Why is it a clown park? Command, why are there clowns in a dog park instead of dogs? Why me?”

The other voice hesitated. “There’s clowns in the dog park?”

“There are clowns in the dog park. Are you sure you didn’t just interview a guy involved in a weird LARP group or something?” Durian sighed. There were better things to spend his time on.

“…Classified information. Please continue with your investigation.”

Agent Durian scratched his head. Being in undercover casualwear, he could always try to talk to the…people.

“God, I don’t even want to talk to my co-workers, nevermind clown owners.”

The clown park was a large, fenced area where owners could let their clowns have fun and socialise with other clowns. To the left, Sweetie could see a separate playpen for small porcelain and teacup clowns, and the park was covered in confetti and bunting, with lots of toys scattered around for the clown’s leisure.

There were many types of clowns around that evening. There was a rednose clown entertaining, pulling handkerchiefs from it’s sleeve. There were a giggle of scary clowns playing with fake knives, and a gaggle of various other breeds, running around and playing. Sazzle looked eager to get out and goof.

“Go on then!” Sweetie opened the gate, letting Sazzle run in and honk in excitement before closing it. She sat down, watching Sazzle cautiously approach a group of jesters and honk his nose in greeting. The jesters honked back, jingling the bells on their hats, inviting Sazzle to play. One pulled out a unicycle from seemingly nowhere, and began to balance on it. They seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

“Is that your one?” Sweetie heard beside her. She turned to see a girl around her age, with bright hair and some sick fashion sense, in her opinion.

“Yep! His name’s Sazzle. Which one’s yours?” She replied.

The girl pointed to one of the tall scary clowns, playfully jumping around with the other scary clowns, grinning with three sets of lovely teeth. “That one there, his name’s Gargamel.”

Sweetie smiled, “Oh, he’s lovely! He seems so excited to be here. Honestly I’m glad you came up to me because I was gonna be SO bored sitting around some old people.”

“Ugh, me too! I’m Una, by the way,” she said.

“I’m Sweetie. What’s your IG so I can follow you?”

Una took out her phone. “Nah hold on, look at that dude talking over there.”

“Which one?” Sweetie looked around.

“The spiky-haired dude. He doesn’t even have a clown.” Una motioned her head towards a scruffy man with dark shadows over his eyes, talking to one of the elderly people across from them. He seemed clueless as to why the clown park was here.

Sweetie huffed, a flash of annoyance went through her face. “Ugh, when will they learn? No clown, no clown park dude.”

“Tell me about it. Do you wanna hang out tomorrow, maybe…if you want?” Una asked.

“Sure! And we can bring our clowns.” Sweetie replied. Herself and Una continued to talk amongst themselves, while Sweetie noted the man's appearance. It didn't matter right now, she thought, the Foundation isn't getting in the way of her new friend.

Durian scowled. Out of all the things he could’ve been called on to do, he was told to investigate clowns. Out of all the literal millions of things on this wonderful and blessed earth, it had to be clowns.

“I’m going to speak to some of the things in the park. Are they dangerous?” He asked.
“Entities are confirmed non-lethal and human, at least the one’s without facepaint.”

“I’m so lucky. I’m absolutely delighted.” Durian deadpanned. He inspected the park from afar, before cautiously approaching the gate. There were a two adolescents, a group of laughing adults his age, and an elderly man. He decided talking to the senior was much better than stand the awkwardness of integrating into a group.

“…Fine evening,” he said, sitting down beside the man, who’s back was turned.

The man turned around, revealing bright greasepaint around his eyes. Durian flinched.

“…It sure is,” the old man replied.

“It’s pretty busy around here, too.”

“It’s actually pretty quiet. My dear Flopsy can’t stand large crowds. She’s so gentle. Just isn’t as energetic as she used to be, you know?”

Durian nodded like he definitely knew what that meant.

The man continued, “People don’t adopt the old clowns often. They’re always left in the shelters. I felt bad for Flopsy, so I took her in. Abandoned once they get too old, just like all of us, hm?”

“Y-yeah… It’s a shame,” Agent Durian said, “Where is the shelter, by the way? I was looking to adopt.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful! What breed? Let me write the address for you…” He asked, while taking out an old receipt and a pen from his bag and using a shaky hand to write the shelter’s address on it.

“I-uh…I don’t really know, I’m new to, uhm, clowns. Do you think I can talk to the clowns inside there?”

“Talk to the clowns? What are you on about? They’re not human like us! Anyway, a whiteface is good for beginners. Here you go, boy.” He handed over the receipt, which Durian took and put in his coat pocket.

“I’ll probably head over tomorrow or something, thanks for the chat.” He got up.

The old man grinned, “No, thank you. It makes an old geezer’s day, it does.”

Durian quickly exited the clown park and sighed. He didn't like playing detective, but someone had to do it. He noticed skin-toned greasepaint on his hands, from when him and the old man briefly brushed hands while taking the receipt. Looking back, he noticed the man had conveniently placed his hands in his pockets.

“Did you get Sazzle out?” Her mom asked as Sweetie came home.

“Yeah, brought him to the clown park.” Sweetie mumbled, taking off her shoes while texting Una about their plans tomorrow.

“Good, did you see the man?”

“Yeah, why do you care about the Foundation so much anyway? I honestly don’t care. Why are you getting me to play spy?” Sweetie rolled her eyes, lazily making her way upstairs.

“I don’t know, I just don’t want the bigwigs messing with your father’s business.”

“Is that what he’s doing with the clown cars in the garage?”

“Yeah, they’re for wild clowns, I think. He sends them to centres, or the ranches. You can tell me and your father about it when he gets home."

"But I don't get why you need me to do it!" Sweetie said, going up to her bedroom and sitting down with a sigh. Fine then, leave the fall of Bambousio Starswinger up to a teenage girl.

Agent Durian let out a defeated laugh.

“What do you mean the shelter isn’t there right now?”

“I’m telling you, it’s Time Clowns! The shelter just doesn’t exist today.” Bambousio shrugged, “It’s not my fault, if you’re asking. In fact, I’m strongly against Time Clowns in general-”

We know. Just…when will it, uh, ‘exist’?”

“I don’t know. Whenever it shows up, just like the clown park.”

Durian rubbed his eyes. He better be getting overtime for this.

“…Can you untie me now? It’s almost dinnertime for my porcelains.”

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