Intergalactic Clown Thief

I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. Well, maybe more than one, if I was being completely honest with myself. I never should have agreed to the parameters of the heist job in the first place. Dress up as a clown, they said. It’ll be an easy score, they said. Well, they can kiss my ass. I hate clowns, for one. Dressing up as one was hell. The face paint felt like shower grout and the wig itched worse than lice.

All that aside, being dressed up as a clown put a giant target on my back for every little kid within a thousand miles. Do kids have clown sonar, or something? Two even followed me to the bathroom when I went to shuck my disguise and crawl through the vents to get to the heavily guarded room with all the jewels.

“I hid a bag of candy back at the party. Look for something red, and you’ll find it.” That made them leave me alone, thankfully. And no, I didn’t feel bad, lying to kids. Not when I was about to rob the damn place.

Ok. Maybe I felt a little bad. I decided to buy them a whole candy store once I robbed the place blind and fenced all the goods.

Once I ditched the clown costume, I thought it’d be smooth sailing. But the face paint wouldn’t come off and the air vent was a tight fit. What else could possibly go wrong?

“This is the emergency alert system. This estate is now on lock down.”

What the hell? I hadn’t even stolen anything yet!

“The planet Earth is under attack. Alien warships have been spotted approaching at full speed. Please proceed to the underground bomb shelter immediately. This is not a drill.”

I thunked my head on the bottom of the vent, leaving a smudge of clown makeup, as the message repeated itself. Now what? How had my life come to this? With a sigh, I scooted backward out of the vent. I never would have made it three rooms over, anyway. My ass apparently wasn’t built for air vent navigation.

Back in the bathroom, I eyed the clown costume distastefully. I wasn’t sure what choice I had. I may be recognizable as a clown, but I’d be a lot less suspicious. With a disgusted sigh, I became a clown again.

The emergency alert system let me know that the attack was imminent. I followed the running lights that led to the shelter and stood at the top of the stairs. I could go down the stairs, hide out with the gathered families, and eventually they’d discover what had happened to the real clown: an intergalactic sneak thief had stolen his costume and taken his place.

Or I could try my luck with the aliens.

I didn’t see either scenario ending particularly well for me, but the idea of being trapped like a rat in a clown suit seemed like the greater of the two hells I could imagine.

I turned on my heel and left the creepy stairs and the bunker full of kids behind me.

As I made my way through the mansion, I found the room I’d planned to rob completely unguarded. I looked up and down the hallway. Not a soul. Too bad about the cameras. Except that I was still dressed as the clown. I shrugged. What the hell.

I turned the handle of the room. Locked, of course. I slipped the EMP device from my tool kit and activated it. The door clicked open. As an added bonus, the emergency alert system shut down, too. Blissful silence.

I made quick work of the room. Jewels, credit chips, gold, and the diamond bracelet I’d gone in for. I held it up to the light. Beautiful. It had been my mother’s, once upon a time. I’d spent decades tracking it down. And hey, I’d only admit it while drinking, but it might have had an influence on my career choice of thief.

At any rate, at least if aliens killed us all now, I’d have had it in my possession for at least a few minutes.

I made my way through the mansion and took the most direct route outside: through the front door. When I stepped out onto the lawn, I stopped short. An alien warship was settling onto the grass.

I sighed. Great. I was going to die wearing a clown suit. I put my hands in the air in surrender.

“We come in peace! We’ve been looking for you, Lord Ronald. Your empire is well-known across the galaxy.”

I frowned. Did they think I was Ronald McDonald? I could work with that. It probably wouldn’t end well, but hey, I could keep wearing the clown suit if it kept me alive for awhile longer. It could even be a fresh start. Intergalactic clown thief didn’t have a terrible ring to it.

“Very well, then. Take me to your leader,” I said.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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