Remembrance Day – Part Two (Deleted Stories)
Normally, Herbert couldn’t stand Mime artists.
Clowns in general had always given him the creeps, but this one who was performing for pennies outside the entrance of his local Mentists office wasn’t like any clown he had ever seen before.
For starters, in spite of the thick white greasepaint all over her face, her bright red lipstick and her
shocking pink hair, she was an amazingly beautiful woman with brilliant blue eyes behind all that thick eye shadow and mascara and, secondly, she was doing one of the worst and most bewildering mimes that Herbert had ever seen; screwing and bolting something together but Herbert hadn’t a clue what.
“I could watch you all day”, he laughed, flipping a coin into the upturned, black velvet top hat
at her feet, “But sadly, I have a mentists appointment”.
The clown girl frowned the way that sad clowns do and, pointing to a painted black teardrop on her cheek, pretended to cry.
“I’m sure it won’t be that bad”, said Herbert, smiling warmly at her before heading into the office building.
Herbert had heard a lot of horror stories about “Going to the Mentist”, as had everyone and, though the appointment letter that he was gripping tightly in his hand said it was only a routine exam, it was hard not to be afraid, especially when loud, slaughterhouse like screams were coming from behind the locked steel door of the Mentists office; horrific, terrible, spine trembling screams that made everyone in the bright white waiting room shudder.
“American society is like a healthy tooth, boys and girls, that is constantly being attacked; eroded; chiselled away by the bacteria of subversive, anti-social elements; liberals, communists, perverts and dope peddlars; evil people who have an irrational hatred for authority and a deep longing to see our
entire, civilised way of life destroyed”, said a white collared doctor on the large plasma screen above his head, speaking in a deep, resonant , masculine voice, “But just as regular brushing can help a tooth to stay healthy and firm, so vigilance by ordinary American citizens can help to save our great society. If you notice any odd or unconventional behaviour by neighbours, classmates, teachers, work colleagues, family, friends or anyone else you may encounter then it is your duty, as a loyal American citizen to report them to your local Mentists office or Law Enforcement station. Don’t be afraid that your call to us may harm them because it’s for their own good after all. They must be saved from their own mental and moral decay and, together, maybe we can stop the rot of America from spreading”.
Then a picture of a blackened, badly decaying tooth flashed up upon the screen, “Do you want this to happen to your country?”, asked the doctor, speaking from off screen.
It was a horrible image alright but not nearly as horrible as the nightmare images conjured up by that vile screaming that was still coming through the door and that weird, terrifying whirring sound.
“What the heck is that?”, asked Herbert, wincing everytime he heard the noise, “That awful sound like the wind whistling?”.
“Don’t you know, daddy-o?”, said a bearded, black garbed Beatnik type sitting cross legged next to him and beating out a faux-African rhythm on some bongo drums, “Why ,that’s the mental drill, bill.
The drill that the government cats use to bore into your brain, Duane, like a rotten tooth, Ruth”.
Then, suddenly, the beatnik lifted up his black beret and,sweeping his floppy fringe aside, showed
Herbert where they had bored a hole between his bushy eyebrows like a third eye and, drawing
upon what looked to Herbert like one of those Marijuana cigarettes, the beatnik suddenly exhaled a large, blue smoke ring from the hole in his head, “Like Ginsberg said, I’m an angel headed hipster
and that there is my halo”.
Then, amused by Herbert’s revulsion, he started to laugh malevolently.
Until, that is, a burly nurse in a starched, white uniform swooped down upon him and, with a right arm like a wrestlers, snatched away both his bongo drums and the cigarette from between his lips,
snarling disapprovingly, “Back again are we, Mr Krakowski?”, she asked, “You know that we don’t allow any kind of smoking or those heathen, jungle drums here”.
The beatnik waited till the muscular nurses back was turned before flipping her an unwashed finger and muttering impotently under his breath.
But then, on the wide-screen TV overhead, Herbert saw a photo of a young woman. It was a grainy, black and white, badly lit photo with the word “WANTED” superimposed over it, “This is the face
of the hyperterrorist, Marissa X. If you have any information concerning this woman or think that you may have seen her, please contact your local Law Enforcement station. This woman is a threat to society and it is imperative that she be apprehended”.
It was the clown he had seen outside in the street. He was sure of it. The similarity of their eyes was unmistakeable but did he really want to tell the police. The penalty for withholding information
was four years imprisonment and, if he was taken into the Mentists office, even for a routine scan
they would surely find out.
But then the screaming and whirring of the mental drill stopped and there was a moment of eery silence before the sound of shattering glass and loud gunfire was heard through the door.