What is the classification of a criminal? A bad guy, someone who does wrong, or someone who works against the favour of a law. Laws implemented by the ruling of man, and how did such laws come to be. A fruition of the fickle minded fool who considered themselves a governor of the people and decide by which decrees those below them are forced to live.
That’s what it was. He could see it, the clown, he understood the concept well. He had considered it, brewed upon it for some time, formulated his own ideals or at least a perspective of it. Perhaps it was why he was so drawn to his queenie, the work they exercised to eradicate law. It wasn’t just fun, but also justified for the likes of a clown such as himself. The laws were restrictive to his fun, they got in the way of his games and ergo needed to be eradicated. Following along with his Queenie's wishes wasn't just a benefit to Errings Rising, but also a great benefit to himself. It was curious to actually belong in a guild that suited his needs, he had attempted to have some fun with Nightmare, but unfortunately that proved to be a fruitless endeavour, the only perk of ever had been there being working with the Music Man, who was admittedly, quite a fun little game make himself. But still, the Music Man wasn't enough to keep Jester's attention to the guild and so he had left, and so the game of fate had eventually brought him to his Queenie. The woman in white, with those wild pink eyes and sharp teeth, who knew that day would lead him on such a fun and exciting adventure.
All of which had brought him to today, where the information brought to him by his guild has led him to a new game, a game in honour of the guilds laws and ideals. The mission that he’d been sent on was surprisingly personal for the clown, it wasn’t just the act of punishing some government officials, and making a display of it. It turned out there was so much more to it than that. Because as Jester learned the name one of the officials, he’d be punishing for the sake of the job. Someone who he had crossed passed with before, quite intimately so. What a nostalgic game it was.
Aisha Herston, a powerful woman, who had worked her way up from a simple law student to governing official of Bosco. “James… please…” Her voice croaked painfully from the bed upon which she was tied. Jester glanced over, his golden eyes scanning her blood-soaked body, her tanned flesh layered from head to toes in small cuts, her hair matted and knotted. Her chest heaved, her eyes were wide with fear and sweat dripped her skin. He turned away from the window, where he’d been reviewing the city of Shirostume from the town hotel at which Miss Herston was staying during her trip. As he approached the bed upon which she lay on, she trembled at the sight of his approach, her stained nightie crinkling as she curled her knees up under her, whimpering in trepidation. Jester climbed onto the bed, like a predator, stalking over the woman, he kneeled above her.
“Oh Sha,” He whispered, reaching over and running a finger along her arm, an action that what might have once sent tingles along the woman's skin, now caused her to shudder under his touch. “Why so frightened Sha? Isn’t this want you want… if fact you practically begged for this…” He said with a deep chuckle, referring to their earlier reunion, when she had wanted to reignite the past, only this encounter hadn't been nearly as pleasant as what she recalled. It hadn't taken much, a coincidental reunion at a bar, laughs over a few drinks quickly followed by a seductive invitation from the woman. “All of this, everything, is all.. Your...fault.” He said, using his fingers to climb up and arm and roughly grabbed her chin. “I hope you’re ready for the grande finale, it’s almost time for your big show!”
~Eleven Years Ago~
Aisha turned on her side, a satisfied expression on her face. “That was wonderful James,” She said breathily, lulling her head to the side as she eyed the bare back of her lower. The red-head glanced over, looking upon her with a calm, collected expression. “Sha, My beautiful Sha…” He purred, although the words didn’t meet his eyes, not that the woman noticed, too lost in the euphoria of the post-intercourse satisfaction. “Did you find out what I asked?” Aisha stretched under the bed sheets leisurely, stretching much like a cat, with a teasing gaze.
“Oh James, you want to talk about that now? Why not come back to bed?” She asked, leaning over to stroke his back. The red-heads eyes closed for a moment, Aisha didn’t notice, but the slight hint of irritation flickered over his features. He sighed, before looking over at her with a supposedly endearing smile, “Please Sha, it’s important to me…” He implored patiently, had it not been for fact that he had yet to get what he needed, he would've shown her his true nature. She eyed him for a moment, pouting slightly before sliding out of bed. Her lithe nude figure sauntering across the room, wiggling her hips at an attempt to entice him. It didn't work, his eyes were eager, but not for her, but for what she had yet to show him. Aisha moved over to her desk draw, pulling it open. She reached in, retrieving a sealed purple Filofax, she would return back to him. Unclipping the binder, she reached inside, pulling out a small, folded envelope and handing it to him.
Jester took it, eying it for a moment, for a moment he would almost appear anxious, as he unfolded it, flattening the envelope. His thumb from the corner of the envelope, he thumbed the sealed flap of the letter, before running his thumb underneath and peeling it upwards. Opening up the letter carefully, he pulled out a piece of paper that had a photo attached to it. He skimmed the page, his golden eyes taking in the information. There was a small intake of breath and he looked upon the auburn haired woman in her mid-forties, standing at the grocery aisle unaware of the photographer capturing her in this moment. His eyes would soften slightly, flickering with the slightest glimmer of pain as he perused those familiar features. After a moment, he folded up the sheet, and tucked it back in the envelope. Reaching out he placed the envelope on the desk, “So… did I do good?” Aisha asked, lingering over him curiously, like a puppy waiting to be petted for doing a good job. He gazed upon once more, it was clear from her expression what it was she wanted. And whilst she was but a tool for the clown, he wasn't in the mood to kill her, not after looking at that photo. He supposed she had earned one last reward, before he disappeared from her life. He reached out, grabbing her by the waist, he would pull her close to him, “You did Sha, exactly as I request.” He said, with a swift yank, he threw her down onto the bed, earning from her a delight squeal. And following this he would lower himself upon her to offer the woman the gift of a carnal nature. One that would lead long until the night, and when Aisha woke the next day, James would be gone, along with the envelope and any trace of her short-term red-headed lover.
It was strange, for the most part, anyone Jester used as a lover, for whatever reason didn’t often survive the ordeal. But unlike most of his ‘games’, the purpose for her had been different. This wasn’t a game of suffering, or someone to toy with until they cracked. No Aisha was different, he used her for other purposes, she was a woman of power, someone who was able to get information that he couldn't get elsewhere. Information of people, people who in reality, shouldn't be able to be found. It was from this usefulness, that he had decided to spare her in case he needed it again. But at this point in the clowns life, that no longer mattered, and the clown had admittedly forgotten about the woman. Until now. It amused him how things had come full circle and finally, the lucky lover that had somehow escaped with chaos that was entwining oneself with the clown was finally receiving the same fate at the rest.
“James… why are you doing this? I did everything you want…please, let me go...” She asked desperately, her eyes filled with tears, heavily gasping under the strain of her injuries and blood loss. Jester reached forward, brushing loose strands of her hair away from her face and tucking it behind her ear. As he pulled his hand back, his hand was suddenly holding a card as though he had ‘magically’ pulled it from behind her ear. He giggled playfully, balancing the card on her forehead. He turned away jumping off the bed in one swift motion, “You did Sha, you did it so splendidly… but now you have a new purpose, a greater purpose.” He would twirl on the spot, laughing maniacally at the end of the bed. The woman's fear became laced with angry, this man who she had once festered feelings for, had morphed into something sinister. The betrayal caused her to forget her situation as she addressed him.
“You lied to me James… you’re not who I thought you were…” She hissed venomously, her voice laced with regret. The clown stopped spinning, his back facing the woman. “No, Sha, I am not… I am so much more than what you thought…” He would raise his arms up, palms facing upwards, his wide smile stretched across his face. “All of this is but a game, you are the pawn and I, well I am the gamemaker Sha. Now, enough talk, it’s time for to move into the final stages of this little play.” He turned to her, and from her hands cards would begin to arise, flying around the room. Fluttering like butterflies they spread, erratic yet eerily beautiful. “Oh Sha, Sweet Sha. May you rest… in eternal anguish, regret the curse you bare and relish in the suffering you brought upon your pitiful, pathetic life.” The cards begin to pick up speed, appeared less like a gathering of butterflies and more like a swarm, they spinning across the room threateningly, flying at unimaginable speed. As the glimmer of malicious intent fell onto the clowns face, the womans expression contorted until one of pure terror, her voice laced with fear as she began to plead with him. “No, James, what are you doing? Please stop! Please!”
The cards swarmed forth and the room was filled with the piercing sound of Aisha’s screams.
~Later that day~
The town square was bustling with energy this afternoon, the mayor was scheduled to make an announcement to the public. The stage was set, stepping up to it were governing members from other cities and countries. The press were placed sporadically all around, recording the event and covering it moment by moment. The area had an exciting atmosphere to it, something big was going to happen in Shirostume, and any moment now they would all be there to witness. The minutes inched closer to three o’clock and the Mayor stepped up to the microphone, ready to begin his speech. The city bell would ring, and so the crowd would fall quiet. “Thank you all for gathering here today, here you will witness a great change in our town, a change for good. You see, Shirostume has for many centuries withstood the implication of change, adapting to times without needing to sacrifice our ideals, cultures or traditions. We take pride in our ability to maintain the core of what makes this place a wonderful place to exist. However, as times change, even we must consider the best alterations to make in order to protect ourselves. The world grows more dangerous, crime is high and the presence of dark mages remains a foreboding presence on our people.”
There was a low hum amongst the crowd, as they took in the mayor’s words. It was positive, a good start, the mayor charismatic nature was luring this in. “And so your leaders have been discussing how we are to dress this concern and have been working with the leadership of Bosco, who have already began formulating measures towards handling these concerns. Measures that they have generously shared with us. Here to present these measures, we have invited Governing Officer and Leader of the Bosco Defense Association, Miss Aisha Herston.” He said, initiating an applause as her turned to point towards the woman.
Except the woman wasn't there.
Instead, the Mayor would freeze in confusion and he seemingly was pointing to a giant box; two metres tall and decorating with colourful card suits. Everyone was baffled, the box hadn't been there before, when had it arrived? It's timing was strange, and it had a strange air to it. There was a buzzing amongst the crowd and they murmured in confusion, not sure what was happening. Normally these things weren’t so… theatrical. Was this part of the announcement?
All of a sudden there was a booming voice across the square, soft, silky and not belonging to any of the officials there. No one seemed to be talking, it was almost as though it was being sourced from some unforeseen location. “Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attendance today. Your being here, witnessing this, broadcasting this is most fortunate. The world will learn a great lesson today, a great yet disappointing truth. You see, what you are being sold to you by your pitiful Mayor, may seem appealing. And why would it not? A safer community? Free from the dangers of big bad criminals. But what will protect you from criminals on your doorstep… or rather amongst your governing officials.” The crowd was silent, uncertain, no longer convinced this was part of the act. But drawn into the scene nonetheless, human curiosity and the need for scandal keeping them there. Alluding them to the horrors yet to occur.
[b]“First of all, Mayor Quincy, humble man, always kind to the people charitable… adulterer, philanderer, and keen investor of the human trafficking, but of course, only when it suits his needs.” There was a horrified gasp amongst the crowd, whispers already brewing amongst the onlookers. The mayor ran over to the microphone, attempting to argue his case, exception the microphone was no longer switched on. His voice was no longer loud enough to reach the crowd. And much to the shock of the remaining officials, the list would go on, one by one this mysterious voice was go about introducing the governing officials and exposing them of their crimes; extortion, election crimes, fraud, bribery, pedophilia and so on forth. Each crime growing more and more disturbing. Until finally, the voice would circle round to the missing official. [b]“And lastly, Miss Aisha Herston, beautiful, powerful, well-spoken, a woman for young girls to aspire to become. But even the honourable Miss Herston had her weakness, and so abused her power as a governess, selling secrets to foreign countries and manipulating elections in her favour by liaising with illegal underground organisations. Her carefully selected payments are responsible for the deaths of over thirty civilians, competitors or people in her way, there was no mercy.” The crowd was in uproar, uncertain of what to make of this information, the mayor was bumbling down the microphone trying to regain control of the crowd, but the scene was quickly erupting into chaos.
[b]“But alas, fear not, for true justice will prevail,” The voice continued, the words playful, excited as he went on to elaborate,[b] “And so, Errings Rising, have decided to free these officials from the burden of their crimes.... Starting with Miss Aisha Herston.” There was a puff of smoke that burst forth from the box, the sides of the boxes would suddenly split open, unfolding and falling flat against the stage with a loud boom. There was a moment of silent as the smoke clear, unveiling the horror that stood there. Aisha Herstons dead face, staring blankly into the crowd, the base of her neck severed completely, pitched onto the top of a pike. As realisation dawned, one by one, the audience began to panic, and in a matter of moments the square fell into mayhem. People were screaming, officials were fleeing, everyone attempting to get away. But as they ran, suddenly before each official a Harlequin doll would appear and with the swift swing of their machetes, their heads would come off.
The press attempted to flee, but were blocked by the dolls, holding them at knifepoint, not killing them but instead forcing them to continue broadcasting. Only the public were allowed to flee, one by one the dolls would bring out wooden pikes, positioning them on the stage puffing topping them with the heads of the aforementioned officials. Until a row of them stood, looking out into the square, and once all of them were placed there. The Harlequins would hang a banner across the pikes, once this was done, the dolls would disappear as though never having been there at all. Across the square was now a morbid quiet, the public was gone, with the exception of the few remaining members of the press that have been forced to say. Across Earthland screens would show the horrific display of death as the camera scanned the around, the abandoned square, the newly assassinated officials and the bloody banner. Where written in red were the words;
‘Law is crime, ER’.
WC: 3,007 / 3,000