I can't resist a challenge, especially when I'm on Fall Break and I have absolutely NOTHING to do!
Dear, sweet Gary doesn't belong to me of course, but to CBS, Columbia Tristar, and Kyle Chandler, who brought him so adorably to life.
This story is rated G, as in "Gee, it looks like Steph forgot to take her medication this morning!" Please send feedback! I crave it like a college student craves a full night's sleep!
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by Stephanie Souders
"Oomph! Hey, watch where you're going, buddy!" At a dead run, Gary had plowed into a pedestrian walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. He paused momentarily and stuttered an apology, but the other man, dressed in business attire, simply glared at Gary and continued on his way.
Gary took off again. He only had a few more minutes before the story was written in stone. After three more blocks, he finally skidded to a halt, expelling his breath in short, smoky gasps. With numb fingers, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out the paper, turning the pages quickly to verify the story he saw only a little while ago. "Child Killed in Hit and Run," the headline read. Gary glanced at the picture that accompanied the story, and then looked up at the crosswalk.
Across the street, a very large and rather rambunctious birthday party was in full swing. At the curb, a woman that Gary assumed was the mother was alternately chatting with two clowns in full costume and yelling at Tommy and Andrea to stop playing with the lawn flamingos near the front steps. Several other kids were playing a very disorganized game of soccer. There didn't appear to be any teams or any rules- just a lot of kicking.
Suddenly, one kid gave the ball a mighty kick with his toe and the ball went flying into the road in front of Gary. A little blond boy matching the photo in the article ran into the crosswalk after it, carrying a plastic bag full of jellybeans in his right hand. Gary shot a look up the street, and saw a small black car speeding down the road in their direction. "Lookout!" he shouted, charging towards the child at top speed.
The kid froze in place, holding the ball and jellybeans in his hands and staring at Gary with wide blue eyes. Gary's bodyweight collided with the little boy, and the two of them collapsed onto the sidewalk. There was a squeal of car tires, and Gary felt the breeze of the car just narrowly missing his legs.
What happened next escaped all cosmic predictions.
The force of the impact had caused the child to let go of the bag and ball in his hands. Jellybeans scattered everywhere, and the ball bounced down the sidewalk. Gary heard a small bell ring, and looked up to find a teenaged cyclist heading in their direction, panic on her features. To avoid toppling over the ball, the biker swerved off the sidewalk and into the street, where one of the clowns was pulling a trunk of props out of a blue van. A scream cut the air as the teenager barreled toward the clown, brakes screeching in protest. The clown jumped out of the way- and found himself teetering over the edge of an open manhole. Then the clown disappeared into the street rather comically, crying out in fear before he hit the bottom.
A short while later, a man dressed in an orange utility vest, the mother, the little boy, both clowns, and a very sheepish Gary piled into the mother's kitchen. The first clown limped in, supported by Gary's shoulders. Gary helped the clown sit down at the kitchen table, then went to get some pillows from the living room while the mother filled a baggy with ice, wrapped it in a towel, and handed it to the clown to hold against his swollen ankle.
"I'm really sorry about this," the mother told the second clown, a female, as Gary worked to elevate the first clown's foot.
"It's alright, it's not your fault," the clown replied. "But without Michael in the act, I'm not going to be able to do the pie juggling routine."
"But Mom!" the kid suddenly wailed. "I want to see the clowns juggle the pies!"
"I'm sorry, sweetie," the mother soothed, smoothing the child's hair away from his forehead. "I guess we're just going to have to make do with one clown this year."
"But Mom!" the little boy cried again, his lower lip jutting out and trembling.
Gary shoved his hands in his pockets and shifted uncomfortably. "Is there anyone else in your company that can, that can fill in for Michael?" he piped up, turning to the female clown.
The clown shook her head. "No, our third partner is visiting his mother in Arizona for two weeks-" Abruptly, she stopped, a light bulb turning on behind her eyes as she looked at Gary. "Actually, there may be someone who can fill in for Michael..."
Before Gary could register what was going on, the female clown grabbed him by the arm and hauled him outside to her van. She reached into one of the trunks sitting right outside the vehicle and pulled out a red nose and a wild rainbow wig. "Here, put these on," she murmured, handing the items to a perplexed Gary.
Gary's eyes widened in understanding. "No...wait, I can't, I gotta go..."
"Hush!" the clown commanded, yanking the wig out of Gary's hands and pulling it over his head, sticking the nose on his face with a triumphant flourish. She stepped back and gave him a quick once over. "Very cute," she said to herself, grinning broadly.
Gary felt ridiculous. "Listen, I-I-I don't even know how to juggle..."
"That's okay, neither does Michael. That's what makes it funny. Here, you're going to need this." The clown gave Gary a violently pink umbrella, then turned him around and pushed him towards the back yard.
Twenty kids greeted their arrival with loud cheers and a shower of jellybeans. Gary zoned out in his embarrassment, barely hearing the female clown's introduction. He snapped back into reality when the clown suddenly shouted, "Is my partner ready?!"
No, Gary thought to himself, his muscles stiffening as he saw the clown preparing to toss a banana cream pie in his direction. Desperate not to get hit, Gary did the only thing he could think of- he tried to open the umbrella. Unfortunately for him, the umbrella was apparently rigged. It instantly turned inside out. Gary ducked, but he wasn't quite fast enough- the pie slammed into his shoulder, spraying fluffy yellow-white cream into his face.
Gary blinked and sputtered amidst a roar of laughter. A furious blush raging across his features, he wiped at his eyes with his hands and stumbled blindly towards the house.
-Cue opening credits-
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