St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
12:00 AM - The Denizen

Joe Chait

The warm, stale smell of fried food pressed against his nostrils until he opened the door and stepped out into the crisp spring night.  He sighed as he locked the door.  He gazed at his white car where it sat alone under the orange sodium light.  He looked under the car as he approached, but saw nothing.  The hairs on his neck tingled slightly, reeling from the sudden change in temperature, he guessed.

When he sat down in the car, he checked the rear view mirror and started the car.  A country singer wailed about her lost lover on the radio as he stared across the empty parking lot.  He half-expected to see a neighborhood denizen walking around, but all he saw was the pale reflection of the streetlamp on the pavement.

He put his foot on the brake and shifted into drive.  He heard a frantic knocking on the window beside him.  Gasping, he jumped onto the brakes and looked beside him.  The clown looked down at him in a shadowy grimace, his giant curly wig blotting out the streetlamp like an eclipse.  A white-gloved hand released dozens of balloons into the cloudy, starless sky, and then grabbed the handle of the driver’s side passenger door.

“Ohmygodno!” the driver cried as he hit the gas pedal and screeched away.  He didn’t even bother to see if there was any oncoming traffic as he careened out of the parking lot.  As he escaped, he checked his side view mirror and saw the bizarre figure slowly stumble after him, with his big bulbous shoes and his little eyes glittering in the dark.


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