A Sam Phelps story: The Laughing Man

Level -5, the Lava Suite.

Sometimes, I sit in my office and daydream about what I’d do if I had money. You know, a lot of it. I’d buy myself some decent clothes, a car, nice place to live, a hooker or two. Nothing fancy. I always preferred low key.

But I guess when you’ve had money for a while you think bigger, grander thoughts. Why settle for a house when you could have a mansion, an apartment if you can get a  penthouse, a hotel room when you can get a fucking Lava Suite.

The suite’s outer walls were made of impenetrable nanofiber glass and gave a view of the molten core of the planet. You could sit in your jacuzzi getting bubbles blown up your ass, sipping a margarita and watching rivers of fires flow beneath you. Lucky rich bastards.

I took out my passcard and ran it through the swipe. The door flashed green and slid open. The room glowed crimson. It was like blood everywhere, deep, rich, and primordial. I stood there like an idiot, staring at the guts of the planet as they churned in a slow and deadly dance.

“Well, hello there,” a voice from the sofa said.

I spun to face it. Stupid, stupid me. Not paying attention could get you killed.

A small looking man sat cross-legged on the sofa, a large leather-bound book in his lap, dressed in a red jester outfit, cap and all. The little bells jingled as he turned to face me. His face was painted white with light green diamonds around his eyes. He smiled. “I was getting bored, but now, finally, some entertainment!”

That didn’t sound good.

He jumped off the sofa. No, jump wasn’t an appropriate description, more like bounded, sprang, fucking flew off that sofa. In a flash, he stood in front of me holding a heavy solid-looking scepter. He launched it in the air. It flipped, turned, rotated. My gaze followed it, rising, up, up, up….

And that’s where I fucked up.

His knee smashed into my groin and I doubled over, gasping for breath. The scepter descended, he grabbed it and in one fluid motion cracked open the back of my skull like a ripe melon.

I blacked out.

When I woke up I was tied to a chair, staring at the jester’s grinning face.

“The joke’s on you,” he said, and burst out laughing.

Ha, fucking ha.

To be continued…