A Conspiracy of Clowns
A Conspiracy of Clowns takes the basic premise of the 80s sci-fi classics such as ‘They Live’ and ‘V’, only, rather than extraterrestrial lizards in a human skinsuit trying to suck our planet dry of resources while brainwashing and indoctrinating everybody to fight in their Leader’s wars, it is interdimensional clowns under a holographic shroud that have come to siphon away all of our emotions, beginning with joy and happiness. They infiltrate all walks of life, from world leaders all the way down to doctors, nurses, police. Garbage disposal personnel. Teachers. The media. The Clowns are everywhere. There is no way to stop them. They are all-pervasive, they have infiltrated every level of civilian and government life in every country on Earth.
One man, Don Michaelson, knows the truth, and nobody listens. Upon his discovery of widespread medication and incarceration due to a rash of inexplicable ‘paranoid coulrophobia’ of other regular civilians that have discovered the truth about the clown invasion, he begins to break as many such people as he can out of the prisons and institutions that the clowns have been utilising for their foul purpose.
Don Michaelson’s journey will take him from the depths of the seediest comedy clubs and open mic nights in the dingiest pubs to the very heights of the political sphere and maybe beyond imagination itself.
He soon breaks out Julie Harmony from the tender care of her holographically bald clown-doctor, and along with a small group of desperate individuals begins to mount a resistance against the Conspiracy of Clowns.
In time he will be contacted by a group of rebel clowns within the main clown command structure that are trying to take apart the Big Top structure from within, but will he be able to overcome his own prejudice and extreme paranoid coulrophobia in order to work with these interdimensional clown ‘good guys’?
Inside a dingy pub a bunch of drunkards are arguing over the correct collective noun for a group of clowns. One declares loudly that it is ‘a bunch’, another replies that it is ‘a circus’, a third shouts that it is ‘an alley’. The bartender simply shakes her head and refuses to get involved in the discussion.
From the shadows at the end of the bar, a hooded man, uninvolved in the conversation until this moment speaks.
“The word you’re looking for, gentlemen,” The hooded man begins, his voice rasping. “Is conspiracy.”
A brief pause as the rest of the people present glance at the interloper, then they burst out laughing. The hooded man simply finishes his drink and leaves. The bartender’s eyes narrow suspiciously and follow him as he exits. She then picks up a phone and moves away from the three drunkards still laughing uproariously.
A doctor’s office. Doctor is sitting across from his patient, a woman who is clearly distraught.
“This is clearly a case of paranoid coulrophobia,” The Doctor’s voice soothes. The woman nods.
“I’ve always hated clowns, but I don’t know, lately it feels like they’re watching me, but I can’t seem to work out from where…” She sounds calm as she describes her situation.
“Due to your lack of control, it seems as if you’ll have to stay with us for a while longer,” The Doctor smiles. It is too wide, with too many teeth and for a flash the holographic shroud is penetrated. “And perhaps we should increase your dosage as well…” The patient nods along with his words.
Beneath the shroud lies a CLOWN! Fuzzy green hair tops the Doctor’s supposedly bald head, glasses perched upon a big red nose and exaggerated makeup leaving one side of his face despairing, the other full of cheer. The woman stiffens almost imperceptibly at this. She wants to believe that it’s all in her head, but deep down she KNOWS. In an instant the vision ends. The Doctor is his normal, regular human-looking self. Bald, glasses sitting on the bridge of a large, hawklike nose. Not big and round and red at all. Instinctively she glances down expecting to see giant floppy shoes and is relieved when she spies regular sized shoes of black leather. She blinks and they’re massive, red things with white polka-dots, blinks again and they’re back to normal.
“I think an increase in my meds is probably a good idea, Doc,” Julie Harmony tells him. In the back of her mind, she’s screaming that something is intrinsically WRONG, but her mouth won’t cooperate. “I keep seeing weird stuff.”
Moments later their session is over. A nurse comes to take the patient back to her room. He shares a knowing glance with the Doctor and the pair wink exaggeratedly at one another. The nurse is clearly also a clown.
Don Michaelson bursts into the padded cell, holding out one hand to a very groggy Julie Harmony.
“Come with me if you want to laugh,” he tells her, eliciting a slight smile from the clearly heavily medicated woman.
The pair work their way out of the asylum in which the unfortunate Julie Harmony had been locked away, working their way to the carpark on the lower levels where they are stopped by a police officer.
“I can’t let you take her; she belongs here, she clearly needs help!” The police officer, a regular human recruit, holds his gun in trembling hands. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, but orders are orders.
“You can’t keep doing what these clowns tell you all the time, think for yourself!” Don Michaelson tells the young officer.
After what feels like an eternity, the officer lowers his sidearm.
“Go. You might be able to make a difference. I thought I could, doing this, but clearly, I signed onto the wrong team.” The officer sounds resigned to his fate.
“Maybe. Or maybe you’re about to start changing things up from the inside…” Don Michaelson tells him, gripping his arm for a brief moment before fleeing with Julie Harmony as more police vehicles are pouring into the carpark.
The pair find an unlocked and unattended vehicle and hide inside it as their new potential ally risks his life and career to distract and lure his fellow police officers (some of whom are obviously clowns) away from their quarry.
Tense minutes pass by and the fleeing pair start up the vehicle that they’ve found themselves in, only to discover that it belongs to none other than Julie Harmony’s own Doctor and contains both evidence of the Conspiracy of Clowns and an interdimensional transporter, with which they can travel to the Clown Dimension.
Determining that they should never, under any circumstances, use that device, the pair take the Doctor’s car out into the night, ending the pilot episode.
I would absolutely love to incorporate Keith David in this somewhere, somehow. Perhaps as the Clown defector, or as an older police officer that discovers the truth in episode 2 or 3.
Obviously, the heroes MUST use the Clown Dimensional transporter at some stage, probably more than once.
There will come a time when a choice will have to be made: to completely obliterate the entirety of the Clown Dimension, thus preventing any further incursions, or to find another way that doesn’t involve genocide. Or coulrocide, I suppose…?
There should absolutely be some kind of Clown/human hybrid. Consider the reveal of the lizard baby from the original ‘V – The Final Battle’ but instead of scales, clown makeup and frizzy hair and a big red nose. Or a regular, perfectly adorable baby human nose in a horrific clown face. It will be a hybrid, after all, and the lizard baby had human-looking eyes.
NOTE REGARDING ‘CLOWN MAKEUP’ I’ve used the term ‘makeup’ a lot herein. That is just how they appear to humans; it is their natural skin pigmentation. The only way in which these clowns alter their appearances at all is their holographic shroud. The ridiculously big clownshoes, the silly-looking clothes that appear when their shroud fails? That’s their uniform, and their feet are naturally that large.
The enlarged feet holographically shrouded to appear regular human size can be a way of discovering the undercover clown near you, simply stamp your foot in front of theirs. If they scream in agony, they’re a clown whose foot you’ve just stomped on several centimetres beyond the apparent confines of their holographic shoes.
About the Creator
Author and Creator of Anno Zombus, but don't let that worry you; I write more than just zombie stories.
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