[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein's truest attempt at fiction. Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar - a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]
Eight hours after winning the first battle of a war that would last until the week’s end, Daryl Millar and his two allies ambled towards the Dean Brothers’ Fun-Time Circus. Clean and cold, the October air did its best to forewarn the teens of winter’s approach. Kicking fallen leaves. Screaming in their faces.
However, the trio was guarded. Denim. Studded leather. The heavy-duty hood of a cotton/polyester blend. And the warm fuzzy feelings of malt liquour.
Inspired by the day’s events, Riff had made an afterschool trip to the package store. With a wallet loose enough to waive the necessity of photo identification, Riff approached the counter with three fat bottles. An amateur beer-drinker, his purchase of Colt 45 was based on two key facts:
Snuggled in their brown paper jackets, the forties were tokens of victory. And celebration. And Brady Moore’s humiliation. And an evening of three-ringed entertainment. So even though it was only Tuesday, Daryl’s sensibilities (which were usually in place to curb Riff’s debauchery and 8-Bit’s anxiety) said that pounding beer was the right thing to do on this most glorious of nights.
Sensible sensibilities. Everything in moderation. Especially moderation.
8-Bit, without a doubt the most inebriated of three, raised his empty glass trophy above his head and attempted a speech. “I’m okay — I’m really okay for the first time in my life. And it’s because of everything you two have done for me. Really — I’m okay. I know most people don’t even want to look at me, let alone hang out with me. And to have found friends who are decent and genuine and awesome and who will steal posters and buy beer and put their necks on the line for me, well, fuck…It’s enough to make a guy think that the future, and even the past and the present, may be worthy. Worthy of trying for.”
Met with a pair of befuddled and increasingly drunken eyes, 8-Bit modified his tribute. “Shit, it’s like…You remember when Rocky knocked out Ivan Drago? And then he told the entire Soviet Union that ‘If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!’? Well, I think he’s right. But you don’t need to. Change, that is. So please don’t.”
Smiles all around. Each member of the triumvirate took the opportunity to relish in indisputable delight. An ecstasy almost hypnotic when coupled with a solid buzz. This was one of those rare instances in which time appears to stand still, if not disappear altogether. Temporarily entranced, each boy’s consciousness ran unhindered while reality slowed to an infantile crawl.
Yes, this is the best part of existence — unity through kinship, the sense of belonging in this world despite it being a terrible and chaotic mess at times.
With real-time resuming, the three heroes finally stumbled onto the site of the circus. Crossing into the circus’ jurisdiction, the empty jumbo beer-containers were tossed in the trash. Although discretely disposing of bottles was the safest move for a set of underage drinkers, it was unlikely that anyone would’ve noticed anyways. There was simply far too much going on at a circus for the enforcing of worthless rules.
The boys were subjected to true sensory overload. Animals from foreign lands were traipsing about, carelessly shitting. An underlying aroma of waste barely overcome by the sweet fumes of roasted nuts and fried dough. Buzzers and sirens. Carnies screaming words of encouragement, hawking their respective game booths. Only at circuses and carnivals can such an environment be accepted at face value instead of being accused of having some parallel dimensional quality.
Looking about with the awe of a farm boy visiting the skyscrapers of the Big City for the first time, 8-Bit mindlessly headed for the entrance of the main tent. It was only when he didn’t receive an answer to “Do you think we’ve missed the lion tamer?” that he realized he had veered away from his two buddies. Spinning around, the nerd spotted Daryl and Riff sneaking towards the back of a trailer.
It was clearly marked. EMPLOYEES ONLY! NO TRESPASSING!
By the time 8-Bit caught up, Daryl and Riff were leaning against the trailer’s back door. The teens were pressing their heads against the door, with Riff cupping his hand and placing it so as to act as an ear horn. Not understanding the secret nature of the mission, the Nintendo-Master blurted, “What’re you doing? I don’t want to miss the lion tamer!”
“Shut the fuck up,” Riff hushed, “this is more important than a fat cat.”
“Well, what is it?”
Daryl stepped in, “We thought we heard someone laughing really hard.”
“It sounded like laughing in a really creepy, almost maniacal way.”
“Whoever’s making all the noise,” Riff inserted, “he sounds that chucklefuck Cesar Romero.”
Interest piqued, 8-Bit leaned in to try to hear for himself. But even the light pressure of his frail weakling body proved to be too much and the door crumpled inwardly. Daryl and Riff and 8-Bit sprawled into the trailer and saw. Boy, did they see.
On a dingy mattress in the middle of the trailer were two clowns — they could have easily been mistaken for Ronald McDonald and Bozo — in the midst of an intense buttfuck. The more Ronald-looking of the two was in a doggystyle mount, powerfully slamming Bozo’s face into a cream pie with every thrust. In turn, Bozo was blindly attempting to spray Ronald with a bottle of seltzer with one hand while beeping a bicycle horn with the other. No words were spoken by the two jesters. They just cackled. Uncontrollably.
Seeing a pair of sodomizing clowns, the three teens couldn’t help but laugh themselves sick. Had they stumbled into a trailer with two dirty old truckers getting it on, or even just a pair of teenage lovebirds, the instant reaction would have been to recoil in embarrassment. But the sight of two clowns with their oversized pants stuck on their oversized shoes while boning was just too much. With the buzz they had caught, the teens couldn’t dam the laughter.
By sheer chance, Ray Dean had been walking by the trailer. Hearing a bit of a ruckus, he had walked around the back, peeked in and saw the matter at hand. While not panicking, the roly-poly ringmaster realized that he had to intervene.
Ray jumped into the trailer and instantly began ushering out the giggling intruders. Doing his best to close the broken door, he firmly suggested, “Hey boys, why don’t we give these two some privacy?”
Drunk. Beside himself with amusement. But obliging. Daryl asked, “Sure, but who’re you?”
“Well, son, I’m Ray Dean. Along with my brother Carl, I own and operate this circus. Let me extend my apologies for what you boys just witness–”
“Apologize?! That was some of the greatest shit I’d ever seen,” interrupted 8-Bit.
“Well, maybe so. But I don’t hire clowns so that the audience can watch them have sex.”
Wiping a tear away from his eye, Riff reassured Ray Dean, “Well, don’t you hire them to make people laugh? I’d sure say they got the job done!”
“Maybe so. Andre and Marko are my two best performers and I guess I just have to accept the fact that they like drilling each other. A lot. And maybe there is some market out there for that, I don’t know…In any case, I’m trying to run a family operation. So, if you boys promise to forget what you just saw, I’m willing to give you something in return.”
In unison, “What?”
Ray Dean stroked his filthy beard and offered, “A chance to have your fortunes read by a gen-u-ine gypsy mystic.”