Outa your mind.


© By Gary L Morton

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I turned my head quickly and shot a glance through the window. There he was; that mad clown, smiling broadly in the autumn woods. My thoughts felt like they were surfing on a weird feeling. He was up to something; I knew he was, but every time I looked, he was standing still, like a clown statue, beaming smiles at the sun.

I returned to my work for a while, and then a shiver of fear crawled up my spine. I became tormented with the thought that I was someone who couldn't remember who he was. As a counter I imagined myself at home in Atlantis. Tidal waves swept in and I was surfing on that weird feeling again. I glanced back at the clown. He wasn't moving; he was motionless; he was up to something I couldn't catch him at . . .

It was late afternoon; an antique sun glowed in the jet trails. Since it was autumn I was Tezcatlipoca once again, naked as the rustling leaves of lost times. Sunbeams filtered through the boughs and I wondered why there was a bright window in the forest, then I looked at a rainbow in the glass and remembered how I had once wished it was yesterday.

I fell out of my reverie and shot a glance out the window. There he was; that mad clown. It was unbelievable; he was laughing like an escapee from the funhouse and waving my reputation at me with his white-gloved hand. He carelessly stuffed it in his back pocket and ran off in the forest, leaving a trail of echoing laughter.

I lost control of my eyes and lungs and I tried to think, but dripping water was the only thing that would come to mind. The door was locked so I knocked it down and crashed into the forest in hot pursuit, running so fast that I passed bounding hares as though they were standing still. The leaves tore like parchment as I tore madly onward.

While catching my breath, I saw him cart wheeling to and fro in the distance. I rushed toward him. He disappeared then. Looking around I spotted him; he’d disguised himself as a grinning buzzard and was perched on the highest limb of a dead lynch-mob's oak.

Approaching him I yelled, “Return my reputation you clown thief! Or I'll take it by force!” His eyes blazed with lies. I grabbed the bole of the tree and rocked it, trying to shake him down, but it was like he was glued there.

I climbed the tree in descending twilight, slowly moving upward toward him, but it grew dark and I lost him in the branches. Carefully moving through thick screens of dead leaves, I finally caught him. Keeping a stranglehold on him, I looked for my reputation; it fluttered from under his wing and ballooned up into the night sky. Furious, I flogged some branches with him and tossed him over my shoulder for luck, and then I looked for my reputation and found it in the heavens.

The constellations spelled reputation in bizarre calligraphy. Each star pulsed rays of reputation. Comets of reputation swept across the sky. Meteors, dwarf stars, black holes, entire galaxies and nebulae exploded in a kaleidoscope of colored reputation. The breeze riffled through the trees and filled my ears with a whisper of reputation. Psychic vibrations and rumbles of reputation from the fault lines caused my bones to ache. All of the creatures of the land and sea appeared before me as reputations. Atlantis, earthquakes and volcanoes burst and showered me with magma of reputation.

Ashes drifted.

I was staring out the window; that mad clown was strolling away. He hadn't done anything I thought he would and he kept beaming those smiles at the sun. A weird feeling kept making me wonder what he'd done to me, then I felt the way you used to feel and knew I would dress up as you once again.

The End