Executioner Pierrot

116
Executioner Pierrot by Siskind - Photo by Sonja Lippmann

but he was thirsty

drip, drip, drip
the house was dripping
and Lewis couldn’t sleep
so like a lamb to slaughter
he rose

gnashing branches made the big house falter
fears—razor sharp—hurt his head
a burglar
a bear
a big fire
but Lewis was thirsty so
he walked on

finally he was at the big stairs
the rain was starting to fight with the house again
he held onto the banister
it was slick with something
but he knew there was a leak above him
so he told his mind to stop
why hasn’t dad done anything about these leaks

fifth step squeaks
ninth step creaks
the rest are safe
his stomach growled as the end of the stairs approached
Lewis shushed it quiet
a thick wave of unease pushed him back
it begged him to return upstairs
crawl into mom and dad’s bed
and pray for the morning

but he was thirsty.

itsjustyourimagination

woosh, woosh, woosh
the a/c whistled past Lewis’ ears
the kitchen was cold
hands that wrapped around the bare skin
on his ankles and wrists
it was the middle of summer and the coldest his kitchen had been
since december
odd

he shuffled towards the fridge in the dark
latching onto the table so he wouldn’t trip
it was also wet
and dotted with his mother’s roses
they were all broken

the a/c woosh-ed on
he pulled open the fridge door
the handle was covered in the same wetness as before
gross, must be one hell of a leak

he knew it made no sense so he grabbed the water pitcher quickly
Lewis gulped the water down, it tasted funny
a chuckle came from behind him
he didn’t see how any of this—
no one was with him
itsjustyourimaginationitsjustyourimagination

Lewis shoved the pitcher into the fridge
he raced to the stairs but tripped
were those—? yes they were
grayish, wilting hands were reaching from under the carpet
dripping and oozing liquid from the cuts dotting those fingers
those long, scaly fingers

the floor was a lot slipperier than before
he tried to get up
hands were reaching toward him
his own arms were heavy
chuckles filled his ears
he tripped again, this time on his own two feet
and broken roses on the floor

itsjustyourimagination
Lewis scrambled up
itsjustyourimagination
he climbed the stairs
itsjustyourimagination
he ran down the hall to his room
he shut the door
itsjustyourimagination
the laughter was following him

so he ran

pant, pant, pant
Lewis’ back was against the door
the laughing was thunderous now
oh g-d did it hurt his head
why aren’t mom and dad awake?

he closed his eyes and the laughing stopped
maybe it was all in his—
Lewis opened his eyes again
all the breath he had died in his throat
this was one hell of a nightmare

hands were under his bed
the same drippy gray hands from downstairs
they groped the floor
nails hooked into the carpet
and started to pull

first forearms—the same drippy-ness as the hands
then the beginning of a head—orange like the fruit
puffy like cotton candy
he was afraid that he’d just ruined cotton candy for himself
its head crowned
Lewis wished whatever it was had just stayed
under his bed

eyes like banana taffy squishing around the—
could he call it a—yes it was
a clown
a big red nose protruding even more than a thick
red smile painted on the lips
as soon as it’s head was out of the bed
it grinned

“I’ve been waiting for you, Lewisss
the clown hissed his name
Lewis pinched himself
“I thought you might be a little sweeter than your parents
so i just had to give you a try.”
the big ruby mouth split
rows and rows of horrid little teeth stood at attention
let this be a dream
please let this be a dream

Lewis looked around the room
for something
anything—an open book
an open book laying on his bookshelf
a foot next to him
he had time
the clown’s torso was slowly emerging
so drippy and decayed that
Lewis couldn’t tell what he was wearing
but his feet weren’t out yet

so he ran
he ran to the bookshelf
this thing couldn’t be human
but those eyes
those banana taffy eyes were probably weak
and Lewis was going to use that

he threw book after book
the clown laughed as Lewis did
“Little brat, it won’t be long before you’ll be my midnight snack
don’t struggle or your little muscles will be tough”
he kept throwing books
and the clown kept crawling out

and then he was free.

What do you think about this topic? We want to hear from you!
Join the conversation!
Siskind (she/her they/them) is a member of the class of 2022 at Annapolis High School in Annapolis, Maryland. She is in the Performing Visual Arts magnet program at her school for creative writing and is the president and founder of the Literature club. She loves languages and one day hopes to be fluent in at least one language from popular language families in order to translate her own work. Siskind enjoys binge watching TV shows and editing images in her free time.
Accompanying photo: “Droplets” by Sonja Lippman