Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday Flash Fiction - The Temple of the Clown

Ronaldo was one of the faithful. He attended mass, took communion at the Temple of the Clown every Sunday, along with thousands of others. He stood in line reverently, face upturned to consider the Holy Menu. At his turn, he placed his order in the ancient way, and his communion meal was delivered with the traditional catechism, "Have A Nice Day Enjoy Your Meal".

He took a moment with his tray to kneel before the fibreglass statues of the saints and make the holy sign of the double-arches before taking his place at the pews and tables. His meal was meticulously prepared by the acolytes in the Kitchen. The beef would be perfectly cooked, the lettuce and tomato cut with precision and care. The wrapper was folded in intricate origami patterns, and every long finger of fried potato was exactly the same length, exactly the same shade.

But today, something different happened. Today, he received a vision. Just as he took the first bite into his burger, the figure of Saint Ronald himself, after whom Ronaldo was named, appeared in the air before him.

"Ronaldo, my people have lost their way. Their worship is empty, their actions meaningless. I have chosen you to lead them back to true faith. You will be my prophet."

Ronaldo sat, stunned for a moment, at the vision of Saint Ronald. He had read of things like this in the scriptures, but they all happened so long ago. Could it really be happening, now, and to him?

"Look around you, Ronaldo. What do you see? Do these people worship, deep in their hearts, or are they merely going through the motions?"

So Ronaldo looked, his own communion meal forgotten. There were people sitting in the pews at their tables, irreverently wolfing down the carefully-prepared burgers. Children throwing fries at each other. Teenagers removing pickle slices from between the sesame-seed buns and flinging them to stick on the walls of the Temple, laughing with each other in this sacred place of worship. How had he not noticed this before?

Ronaldo knew what he had to do. He stood from his place and began methodically moving along the aisles, overturning the tables to the stunned looks of fellow "worshippers". He flung their meals to the ground and gave stern looks to all who watched him. He made his way to the front counter and stood on top, every eye in the Temple on him. He would turn the people back to true worship. He would reform the Church of the Clown and bring the faithful back. It was his holy mission, and he would make Saint Ronald proud of his people again.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think you know which clown I mean.
PPS - I have been to that "temple" too many times myself.

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