SHE WAS ONLY A CLOWN is a special serialized novella presented in weekly installments every Saturday. Click here to read chapter 1, click here to read chapter 2, click here to read chapter 3, click here to read chapter 4, click here to read chapter 5, click here to read chapters 6 an 7, click here to read chapters 8 and 9, click here to read chapters 10 and 11, click here to read chapters 12 thru 14, click here to read chapters 15 and 16, click here to read chapters 17 and 18, click here to read chapters 19 thru 21, click here to read chapters 22 and 23, click here to read chapters 24 and 25, click here to read chapters 26 and 27, click here to read chapters 28 and 29, click here to read chapters 30 thru 32, click here to read chapters 33 and 34, click hereto read chapter 35, click here to read chapter 36, click here to read chapter 37 and click here to read chapter 38.
Elwood sped through the chaos of the entity’s mind. His grip on Kiana’s severed head was tenuous.
The doorway to Kiana’s nightmare exploded behind them as the wormy bits of Mandee’s body, all full of mouths and teeth and eyes, congealed back together into one knot of ropey gesticulating awfulness and raced out into the mind-storm after them.
A cacophony of bright colors, sounds and visual images surged around them, nearly obliterating every sense they possessed. Elwood used his free hand to grab hold of a glowing thread that stood out in the chaos. The thread lead up and around, seeming to continue forever until it disappeared against the blinding insanity infinitely far away.
“What is that?” Kiana’s head asked as Elwood flew along the glowing thread’s path.
“I laid a guide through the creature’s mind so I could find my way.”
“Your way to what?” Kiana’s head pleaded, her eyes wide, clearly overwhelmed by the sensory overload. “Where are we going? Where are we AT?”
“We only exist as thoughts inside of this being’s mind!” Elwood shouted. “Our physical bodies are dead, but this thing keeps its victims consciousness locked in its brain. To feed off of our torment. That’s where we are now except outside of the prisons it made for us.”
“What?!” Kiana’s head panicked. She hyperventilated in his arms, breathing quickly as though she still had lungs to breathe with and wasn’t just a severed head.
Elwood ignored her panic attack as he continued to race along the glowing thread. “At the same time I was freeing you from your thought-prison, I was out here. Searching. And I found what I was looking for. I located the physical nerve center of the creature’s brain. I found out where we’re actually stored in its flesh! And I laid a thread of my own memory so I could find it again once I’d freed you.”
“I don’t understand a fucking word you’re saying, Elwood!” Kiana screamed. “How do you know how to do any of this?”
Elwood struggled to maintain his one-handed grip on the memory thread as a gust of cosmic mind-wind blew across them. He glanced down at the knotted jumble of tendril-mouths climbing up the thread faster and faster, gobbling up their escape route as it climbed.
Worried, but still zooming along his path, Elwood spoke. “I can’t explain it. It’s almost like, the more the alien peers inside my soul, the more I peer back inside of it. I just know.” He even felt different. In life Elwood was such a meek and fragile person. He could have never performed these kind of heroics. But now? He was changed. Changing? Yes. Becoming something else.
Before Kiana could respond, the tentacle-thing lashed out a ropey limb, finally close enough to catch Elwood by the ankle, dragging him down the memory thread.
Elwood’s grip nearly gave out.
“I-I can’t hold on!” Elwood screamed. His voice barely carried over the infinite howling of the celestial winds, the malevolent thoughts and the solar interference of the core mind of the entity seeming to sense Elwood’s panic, doing its best to drown him out entirely. “You have to keep climbing! Do not lose sight of this thread or you will be lost forever in madness!”
Kiana cried out as Elwood’s hand slipped further down the memory thread, allowing the horrible many-limbed creature to slip its tendril up Elwood’s calf. “I can’t climb! I’m only a head!”
“No!” Elwood said, lifting Kiana’s head up above his own as the tendril that was wrapped around his leg grew mouths and sank them into his flesh. He yelped in pain, but kept speaking. “You’re not even that! You aren’t here, remember?”
Kiana’s head rolled in Elwood’s hand to face him, her features awash with worry.
The creature pulled Elwood’s leg into its largest mouth, crushing the limb to a messy pulp in seconds with its grinding, pulsating teeth.
Elwood screamed. Wincing, he pleaded with the head in his hands. “Make a body! Get out of here! I’ll keep this thing busy. You must find the brain. It’s the only way to put an end to this! It’s how we save the Earth!”
“I can’t just make a body! Are you insane?”
“Look,” Elwood said patiently even though the coils of mouths and suckers continued to eat up his limb. “You find me in the brain, and maybe I’ll let you kill me. Deal?”
Kiana smiled at the twisted joke, in spite of the overwhelming situation.
“Deal.” She wasted no more time arguing. The creature had already consumed Elwood’s leg up past his knee. Its tendrils wrapped around his waist and dug into his flesh.
She hopped out of Elwood’s hand, grabbing the thread with her teeth. It was warm to the touch and tasted faintly sweet. Concentrating, she imagined herself gripping the thread with her hands.
Below her, Elwood’s grip nearly gave as the whole trunk of the starfish-shaped tentacle monster ripped through his other leg. Smiling, he looked up at Kiana’s head and said, “see ya soon, psycho!”
With that, he let go of the thread and tumbled into the chaos. With both hands now free, he turned them into long, scythe-like blades and Ginsu-chopped at the terrible monster’s limbs, spraying brackish green fluid into the winds.
In only a moment he was the size of a pinhead, then gone, lost in the solar storm of rage and hatred. Maybe forever if Kiana wasn’t able to get her shit together and fast.
Alone out there, swaying in the chaos, just a head, the entity’s mind seemed to grow louder and the winds seemed to blow more intensely.
Without Elwood’s and the monster’s added weight, the memory thread danced freely in the solar weather. Within moments, Kiana felt her teeth begin to slip off the thread. But no matter how hard she concentrated, she remained just a head with a bit of spine and a few tendons sticking out of her severed neck.
Terrified, she chanced a look down. That was a mistake. There was no end to the kalidescope of colors and sounds and smells blasting at her at light speed, all conspiring to knock her off the memory thread and into oblivion, lost forever amongst the chaos.
Fear overtook her. She opened her mouth and she let out a scream. “No! Nononononono!” she stammered as she fell away from the memory thread.
She clamped her eyes shut so as not to see the awful mental storm around her and she instinctively reached out, scrambling to grab hold of the thread.
And she did.
She opened her eyes, astonished. Her head hung there, as if suspended by some invisible anchor. But it wasn’t an anchor. It was her hand. She could feel the thread between her fingers. Only there were no fingers in front of her. And then, slowly, there were.
First tiny veins appeared, then bone, tendon and muscle. It raced away from the thread as it created the shape of a hand, then a wrist, a forearm, an elbow and then an upper arm.
The same thing happened on the other side of her body. In moments, Kiana had two transparent limbs, glowing and shimmering against the chaos.
Closing her eyes again, Kiana imagined wrapping her feet around the thread. Again, she felt the psychic rope, this time tickling her toes. Opening her eyes, she saw the glowing veins appear. She laughed out loud as they created and defined the shape of her legs.
After a time, her entire endocrine and vascular systems had been mapped out in stunning shining beauty right before her eyes.
A thin skin then sheathed the entire spectacle and she was whole once again. Naked and glowing, Kiana began to climb the thread. But slinking hand over fist, then boosting her lower body up after her was a slow going affair. She looked up after what seemed like hours of climbing, only to see that the thread still disappeared far, far away into the chaotic psychic storm.
“Fuck this shit,” she said, closing her eyes again, trying to recreate that effortless feeling of grabbing hold of the thread when she thought she was falling into oblivion.
She opened her eyes again as three new arms on each side of her shimmering naked body took shape and grabbed hold of the thread.
She smiled, spider-crawling toward the entity’s brain at a lightning pace with her fresh appendages.
Then, as an afterthought, she concentrated again, making her tits and ass a bit bigger to boot.
Check back next Saturday for chapter 40!