Anarchy. How could one be “led” by an ideology that contradicts the concept of leadership? A group with anarchy in the name shouldn’t implement the concept of hierarchy in the first place, let alone have leaders and groups and squads.
But what did he know? He was just a clown. Or a jester, it depended on who you ask.
Hugo Martins, the Circus Freak, held his grin wide and eyes closed, pretending to be asleep. He perhaps had the same look when he was really sleeping but he wasn’t sure of that, so he preferred to stay awake. Every minute or two, he would giggle creepily. Or chuckle dangerously. Sometimes, he mumbled vague threats.
The passengers sitting next to him were understandably freaked out, and all the others were finding every reason not to walk past him.
He wondered if he would ever find out why it amused him so much, to effect people in that way. Maybe one day he would think about it but so far in his life, the Circus Freak had never seen the interest in introspection. After a couple of hours of that, he pretended to wake up from a nightmare. A startle that scared the people next to him
“Oh wow! I just had the craziest dream,” he looked aside at the woman who had the misfortune to be sitting next to him, “the train was attacked by the beasts, and it was a massacre! That didn’t actually happen, did it?”
The woman involuntarily met his gaze and shook her head.
“Good good, night’s young, though!”
“Well it is where the beasts are at,” he winked.
The Circus Freak opened the magical scroll.
The Shadow Conclave had mailed it so it’d be waiting for him after his mission, on the main station. He tried writing something on it right then but it didn’t transmit. With a bored sigh, he instead looked up to see if there was any new writing.
The Hunter had messed up and manually written her initial so it showed up twice – that made him laugh. The Mad Genius had written some kind of threat directed at someone, the man really liked to remind other that he was dangerous. And there was an additional entry saying the meeting would be in two days.
He closed the scroll as two men loomed over him, intimidating the two women who sat to his left. He felt their violent stare and so shoved the scroll inside his pants. He looked up at the two. They had mismatched padded uniforms and wore gas masks, all of it grayish and boring.
“We are Led by Anarchy. We–”
“Working together! How adorable. You guys should pick up a dictionary, sometime. Look up some words. Like anarchy?”
A pistol was aimed at him, the man nearest.
“You will surrender the diary.”
“Boys men geezers – can’t really tell with your masks on – are we gonna talk this out like the lunatics we are or am I gonna have to hurt ya?”
The one wielding the pistol grunted.
“I don’t even know why we keep trying.”
“Lunatics,” the Circus Freak smirked, “I just tolja.”
Hugo swiped his arm, slapping the gun aside. A bullet pierced the seat in front of him and maybe hit no one. The screams that bounced back in reaction did not seem to be dying. He kicked the man to push him off of him and meanwhile heard gas bursting into the room.
A quick glance showed the second man had a grenade-looking thing in each hand, and was throwing them into opposite sides of the train.
“There’s no way out now, freak!”
He laughed at both men for two solid seconds, and then lunged.
The man he had kicked was off-balance, leaning back against the seats next to the wall. The train had the usual placement of seats. Every row was made up of seven seats, two next to each wall and window, and three at the center. The Circus Freak had been sitting on the first of the three at the center and the man was off-balance next to the second just off the wall.
The Circus Freak dove and jumped off the seat’s armrest with all his strength, tackling the man he had kicked right at the window. They hit the window hard but it didn’t break.
“What are you doing?!”
“WHAT I WANT!” the Circus Freak growled, excited and full of enthusiasm, as he kicked against something. Might have been a person, might have been the seat itself, but he gained enough traction to put his full weight into the push.
The window gave in and they plunged outside of the moving train to the sound of maniacal laughter.
He wrestled in the two seconds they were falling to make sure the anarchist took the blunt of the fall, pushing him off upon contact to minimize the collision on his body and to be able to tumble free of the bulky armored body.
He giggled as he came to a stop. He was still laughing when he heard the man moan in complaint.
“You’re in-you’re insane!”
The Circus Freak stood up. He had retained some cuts and a particular rash on his arm but was otherwise pretty much okay. The train was already leaving them behind, the faint gas exiting through the window he had broken through like a really weak chimney, quickly getting lost in the much larger and thick steam.
He walked to the man judging that he had broken a leg and dislocated both arms. It was easy to tell just by how said limbs were fixed.
“Ahha, at least I know my dictionaries, anarchist,” he mocked, “you don’t look in good shape.”
“Oh I’m going to kill you….KILL YOU!” The man managed to yell, amidst painful moans.
“Yes yes,” Hugo crouched, “queue up for the line, sunshine. Meanwhile, tell me how’d you find me. I’m curious.”
“Go to hell, freak. Ahhhrgh, I’m going to kill you.”
The Circus Freak’s expression suddenly flipped into a passive state.
The man was writhing in pain, cursing and threatening.
“Are you just goin–”
“GO TO HELL! I’ll kill you, I swear I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you.”
He kicked him in the head to knock him out, feeling suddenly hateful of the man.
“Be as crazy as you want, anarchist. Just don’t be boring.” Feeling disgruntled and annoyed, he turned and walked away.
“That’s just the worst.”
He needed to find another means of transportation. It wasn’t hard, he found some kind of merchant that was rushing some merchandise. He convinced her to take him along.
He would maybe be a bit late, but oh well. At least he had company.
He was in the back, lying down next to the crates she was transporting, but they could still hear each other.
“Do you have any interesting stories?”
“Stories? Like what kind?”
“The interesting kind,” he grinned, “crazy ones.”
So it turned out the Circus Freak was riding with a serial killer. While it wasn’t really his thing, it did make good grounds for funny stories. He hadn’t laughed that much – in response to someone else – in a long time.
“So this kid’s looking from me to her, from her to me, completely lost, right? Whoever he recognizes is absolutely screwed. But he didn’t see or hear me doing anything, just heard me laugh and eat that apple.”
“So they tell us to laugh, and then to eat an apple, it was so stupid. My life hanging on such a random thread.”
“I’m guessing the brat picked the innocent woman?”
They laughed together.
“That’s hilarious! What kinda law is that?!”
“Proof? Testimony? Who needs that!?”
“That was the end of the scalper,” she shrugged, “and the beginning of the skinner.”
“Ew, you skinned people?”
“Just their butts,” she giggled, “have you ever seen glistening butt-cheeks?”
“Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.”
“That’s what I’d do to them: skinned their butts and leave them in the air for their buddies to find. Sometimes I’d put something in-between the cheeks.”
“Like what?” He chuckled.
“I dunno…cucumbers, bananas, something to eat definitely, I found that appropriate.”
“So you were still targeting rapists?”
“Oh yeah,” she was enjoying some kind of sweet as she talked, licking and slurping away casually, unbothered by the heavy-handed conversation. “You ever wanna go on a killing spree, pick rapists. Of children, preferably, nobody’s gonna chase you too hard so long as you kill people they hate.”
He chuckled again. That said a lot about the pre-supposed morality of the law and those who upheld it. Self-righteous people picking and choosing, judging who was worth protecting and who wasn’t.
“Here’s to morality! Convenient and adapting, but above all else, so predictable!”
He couldn’t see her, she was somewhere “above” him since he was lying down on his back. So far, however, she was probably the most interesting person he had met in the past few years. She was like him, not really interested in playing good and honorable. For anyone’s sake.
“But jokes aside, it really is like th–”
“Hey hey, no jokes aside,” he banged on the wood of the carriage, serious, “never put jokes aside, they’re the best thing about the world!”
“Whoah okay, no problem mr. Freak.”
“Oh, you know who I am?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“The Circus Freak.”
“Ooohh,” she hummed in realization, “yes, well, name fits ya lke a glove. So you’re reall him?”
“Wait, you didn’t know? Why’d you call me Mr. Freak then?”
“’Cause you’re a freak?” He could almost feel her raising an eyebrow, “why else would you be amused by my stories? Normal people are appalled, not entertained. ”
“Maybe I just really hate rapists, did you consider that?”
“They don’t chase me that hard, sure, but that doesn’t mean they think it’s all that funny.”
“Pfah,” he chuckled, “they’re the freaks. If they go into a room and see an ex-rapist, butt-up glistening with a cucumber in-between the cheeks…and they don’t laugh? Something’s wrong with ‘em.”
“No, Mr. Freak,” she still giggled, “something’s wrong with us.”
“Well, to each their own,” he shrugged.
The carriage wrest into a stop.
“We’re stopping? Are we there yet?”
“No, I just need to sleep.”
“Ah, should I exit? What town’ve you brought us to?”
“What? No,” again the raised eyebrow, “I’m just going to close my eyes for a few hours. You should do the same.”
“What? Here in the middle of the road?”
“We’re not exactly on the road,” she exasperated, “listen, I’m on a schedule, I can’t really debate this with you, okay? Shush, let me sleep.”
He heard the wood creak a little bit as her back relaxed against it, just inches from the top of his head. Within five minutes, she was snoring with a tranquility that was somewhat off-putting.
He loved it.
“Heh. I knew there were still interesting people left in this world.”
He thought about it, Hugo hadn’t slept in the train which meant he had been awake for two days.
Is it two days? Maybe it was more?
He quickly lost track sometimes but he knew it’d been enough that he would just pass out if he wanted to sleep for real. The Circus Freak followed the lead of the serial killer and went to sleep.
He woke up with the movement of the carriage. He shrugged and stretched, sitting up. He hated feeling stiff.
“So tell me about yourself, Circus Freak. If that’s really your name.”
“Ha!” Good delivery on that one. “It’s not actually my real name, how’d you know?”
“What’re you doing back there?”
“Stretching,” he let her know, “gots to be limber.”
“Limber? You’re just lying down all day.”
“Oh no, not today. Need to keep in shape, people aren’t gonna freak themselves out, ya know?”
He did a handstand and started doing pushups.
“So what can I call you?”
She coughed one laugh.
“Freakish! Outlandish! Hilaaaaarious! So many things to call me, and all of them true, too!”
He flipped and did a split, proceeding to performing abdominals forward and back. He did them slowly since they were difficult to pull off while maintaining the split. She was laughing.
“Well okay, Amazing. So seriously, you’re the Circus Freak?”
“Clothes say circus, attitude says freak!”
“Tell me your story, then.”
“You want to know my past? The tragedy! The woes and throes of fate and destiny! How I’ve been flayed and disgraced by the very people I once wished to entertain?”
“Hell no,” she scoffed, “I want to hear about the funny stuff, hilaaaaaarious.” She said it sarcastically. The woman spoke with such an attitude that the Circus Freak burst out a laugh, losing his balance in the process. He fell on his back, temporarily dislocating his right leg.
“Oh boy, you’re a riot! Yeah, okay,” he snapped the leg back into place and crossed his legs, “I’ll tell ya all about the magnificent clown! Hugo!”