"They each mumbled something and took their coffee. Happy commented on the sunny morning and Fred answered him, trying carefully not to look repelled by Happy’s skin or his mates’.
It wasn’t easy. Of the three, Happy was the most disfigured. His face displayed a roadmap of his horrendous childhood and young adulthood. It told the story of brutality and unimaginable violence.
Happy’s real name was Arthur Mundt—not that it mattered. The happy clown face he wore gave him his name. But was he happy? Nah. How could he be? He used to say the best he could do was try not to kill people.
Yes, his life had been too hard.
The clowns met in the Storeyville Orphanage in Georgia. The place was infamous for brutality. The cigarette burns had long since healed as they had on the others, but the scarring from razors and broken bottles was particularly bad. There was copious scar tissue which had turned deep purple. Jagged lines of it covered his face and ears, too. Poor fucker.
What Fred had pieced together about Happy was, he’d been living with hoboes after running away from home. Cops raided the shithole they were all holed up in and he got dumped at the orphanage as he was under twelve.
Noble and Danny had been turned over to the orphanage shortly after being born. No one told them where they came from. Their names were given to them by a doctor who liked to read. That was why they’d been called Noble Dickens and Danny Shakespeare, respectively.
“We all suffered hell,” Happy used to say. “If we weren’t used by the orderlies for sex, we were loaned out to their friends. They drank a lot and when they were pissed, they’d really start in.”
After a few orphans died, things got better, but not for Happy or his pals. They were good friends by then.
Danny was the most cordial, probably because he was the least scarred. “My face might not show it but all the times I been screwed up the ass—that’s what give me my hemorrhoids.”
Sad, all of them—Noble had it better. If it hadn’t been for the scarring on his jaw and throat, he’d have felt okay about not covering his face up with clown makeup.
“Anyone want eggs?”
The eggs were Fred’s surprise. He smiled when they reacted with enthusiasm. “Got them yesterday.”
They decided to wait for Baby Alice, but before she came out, the clowns had swallowed their coffee and applied their makeup. They liked her enough not to upset her."
"DON'T BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THIS IS A ROUTINE, RUN-OF-THE-MILL, CARNIVAL SCARY.
NOTHING ROUTINE HERE! CIRCUS OF HORRORS is a very special story, and I'm glad it introduced me to author Carole Gill, an exceptionally talented writer."
“This is horrific in the best way! It is extreme ... and disturbing.
"Riveting. Imaginative. Chilling. Fantastical."
"Wonderful horror with a side order of ribs."
"Outstanding story line and strong characters. I felt like I was right there and a part of the sideshow.
"An awesome little creepfest!"
"Never going to the circus again!"
“Scary from beginning to end! Sit back and read your way into a horror filled tale! Enjoy!”