HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE OF THOSE DAYS? The kind of day that finds you sitting quietly in your armchair and suddenly a terrific din is heard outside. You might stand up and walk to the window, in order that you might see the source of this noise.

My word! Heavens! Crikey!

Look at that, will you...a tiny parade filing past your house. Right here on quiet, peaceful Juniper Lane!

It is not the clown with the bleeding head wound marching by that scares you, as much as does the pack of trained Pomeranians. The little devils have teeth that have been filed to razor-sharp points, and their backs are shaved (you wonder about the clown's back - is it shaved as neatly and as cleanly as are the backs of the demonic Pomeranians?). The Pomeranians jump and twirl and stand up on their hind legs, all at the behest of the woman in the top hat, it would appear. Looking as dangerous as Ecstasy-fueled Euro-trash in her tuxedo jacket and fishnet, she shouts in guttural Slovak at the demonic Pomeranians, and lashes at them with a tiny, tiny whip. "Nadol, hnusné beštie! Nadol, hnusné beštie," she cries.

The diminutive whip cracks. Pomeranians growl. "Nadol, hnusné beštie!"

Mrs. Remke pokes her head out the door. Your neighbor is obviously concerned, but stares longingly at the top hat and the tiny, tiny whip.

While the marching band laboriously struggles through the overture from Tannhauser, the bleeding clown weeps and twists a balloon monkey into shape. The squeak, squeak, squeak of the latex causes tiny, closely-shorn hairs to stand up on the backs of seven demonic Pomeranians. They growl. They yap. The woman in the top hat cries out in a seething rage, "nadol, hnusné beštie! Nadol!"

Nothing like this has ever taken place on Juniper Lane, you are certain of that. While the strains of the overture are pleasant, you remember that there is a nice cup of coffee waiting for you next to your armchair. Wouldn't it be nice to sit back down, enjoy the morning and relax in the comforting quiet of your parlor? Yes, indeed it would be. You take your seat, enjoy your coffee and dig in to your crossword puzzle.

The clown is left, barely breathing, in a heap on Juniper Lane - his balloon monkey in shreds.

Mrs. Remke puts a plate of bacon and eggs in front of Mr. Remke. A tiny, tiny whip cracks over his head. "Nadol, hnusné beštie!" cries Mrs. Remke, in her best Slovak.

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About Tom Janikowski


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Tom Janikowski is a midwestern fiction author, currently living in Davenport, Iowa. His flash fiction has appeared in print and online on both sides of the Atlantic. His forthcoming novel, "The Crawford County Sketchbook," will be released 15 August 2015, by Red Hen Press of Pasadena.
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