Pudding Spooks: The Clown Dies at the End by Alex S. Johnson

Pudding Spooks: The Clown Dies at the End

Part One

By Alex S. Johnson

Special Agent Kandy Fontaine shook her head with vehemence. “I just can’t believe it. I grew up with Dr. Huxtable. He’s an icon of my childhood. Showed us all that a…”

“That a black man could display middle class family values, yes. I don’t mean that in a racist way, of course. Maybe I came off a bit crudely, but yes. The Jello Puddin,’ the cigars. William Cosby, Doctor of Education. The sweaters.”

“Reading Rainbow.”

“Right? As a father figure, there was none better. You could trust him. Hey, if you couldn’t trust Dr. Huxtable, the world would be a scary, scary place. But as it turned out, the world of Bill Cosby is a scary, scary place indeed.”

Director Steve Gustaffson passed the file over the desk. Fontaine picked it up and thumbed through. It was weighty and packed with incriminating evidence, surveillance photos, black and white glossies marked with red Sharpie ink: a figure in a patchwork gown standing over the limp figure of a young actress, on the card table a glass of wine drained to a dregs composed of chalky residue.

“Cosby was onto Rohypnol long before the rest of us. He even joked about it on a comedy album he made in the 60s. The ‘Spanish Fly’ routine.”

“You know, I didn’t put that together until just now. But now that I think about it, it’s chilling, actually.”

“It’s a matter of cognitive dissonance, I think.” Gustaffson cut the end off of a cigar and, twirling it, took a few quick puffs. “Now that’s a good cigar. You don’t mind if I smoke, do you?”

“No, Sir.” Fontaine’s eyes began to water and she reached in her purse for a tissue. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I followed your point. About cognitive dissonance.”

“It’s the inability to see danger in a familiar context. For example, an authority figure, such as Cosby, seems absolutely trustworthy. The brain has a hard time putting him together with serial rape and sexual abuse. A bit like clowns.”

“Ok, I see what you’re saying. Because we associate Cosby and people like him with values we hold dear, or hope we are perceived to hold dear.”

“Exactly.” Gustaffson snuffed out the cigar on his desk, cut it open with a six-inch, serrated blade and filled it with a composite of hash and cannabis, then sealed it up with another layer of tobacco leaf. “Care for a hit?”

“Oh, okay, I see what you’re doing.” Fontaine smirked. “Irony and all that. But seriously, Director, I want to nail this guy bad. If he’s really out there without any sort of constraint, drugging and banging girls under the mask of a lovable, wholesome Doctor of Education, he needs to be brought down. So what was all that about clowns?”

Fontaine opened the file and spread the documents on the Director’s desk. She looked up. “Clowns, Director?”

“Let me explain. That file is just a drop in the bucket. We have an entire library of evidence on Cosby, going back to his early comedy career. We even found backward masking on his Jello Pudding spots.” The Director clicked on a sound file and Fontaine listened with astonishment as Cosby directed children to “worship the Prince of Light, the Lord of this World.”

“I thought that was just, you know, gibberish,” said Fontaine finally. “Clowning around.”

“Bingo,” said Gustaffson.

“Pardon?”

“Take a look at the documents in the manila envelope at the back of the file.”

“Oh?” Fontaine eased open the envelope and added the contents to the documents that now covered the Director’s desk. As soon as she registered what she was looking at, she dropped the envelope and scooted back her chair.

“There’s two of them,” said Fontaine in a hushed voice, as though speaking to herself.

“Bingo again. Clownsby and Cosby. They were separated at birth. Clownsby had a terrible time. He struggled to make a living while his identical twin brother soared into celebrity status. You see, Clownsby was hampered by two things. One, he is an angry obsessive with a borderline personality disorder, which led him into the world of clowning. Two, Tourette’s Syndrome. Shit cock motherfucker, that kind of thing.”

“I only caught a glimpse,” said Fontaine. “But some of those photographs are…really gruesome.”

“Taken at the scene of the crime, some of them by the man himself. The placement of the bodies in ritualistic fashion is a hallmark of the Clownsby style. Note the balloon animals stuffed down the victims’ throats—that was by design. He wants us to know who did this. He shows in every instance signs of both careful planning and, in the actual attack, blitzkrieg overkill. There must have been something that set him off—something the victim said or displayed. A trigger. We aren’t absolutely sure what that would be, but we have some ideas.” Gustaffson clicked open another sound file. “This was obtained from surveillance. We dusted it off and filtered out the ambient noises.”

Fontaine scooted back to the desk and planted her elbows, listening intently.

First came the voice of a young woman: “Wow, Mr. Cosby, I want to thank you again for offering to help my career. I’ve only just begun. A few local commercials and that sort of thing, but I really, really want to break into the big time, you know?”

There was a muffled grunt.

“Mr. Cosby, where did you go?”

“I was just changing into something more comfortable, doncha know.”

“Wow, okay. A little informal, but…okay! That’s a nice dressing gown. Hey, you’ve got some really neat pictures here. Is that you and Bozo the Clown?”

“Why yes it is. I took that a few years before he died. Bozo and I were tight, ya know.”

“I didn’t realize you knew so many clowns.”

“M’kay, clowns and circuses make me feel happy, give me that good feeling in my tummy like a Jello puddin.’ Would you like some?”

“Jello pudding? Now? Well, I guess.”

“It’s wholesome and nutritious. Everybody loves the puddin.’”

“It’s so…creamy and…salty. Salty?”

“Yeah, that’s the extra special ingredients I add because flibberty woberty zappo!”

“Um, Mr. Cosby?”

“Yes, honey? Would you like some more, because it looks like you wolfed all that puddin’ down in a squiffy jiffy…hold on, I’m just goin’ to the kitchen to get some more of that special ingredient.”

“Mr. Cosby? I, uh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel kind of woozy.”

“Why don’t you just relax and maybe take off all your clothes, I’ll be there in a flashety wamputty.”

“Something’s wrong…I don’t think I heard you correctly. Take off what?”

“While I put this big ole puddin’ pop in your mouth so you can taste all the chocolatey goodness m’kay. Let me just shrug off these pants and I’ll be inside you nice and tight. You won’t remember anything because of the Spanish Fly, I control the vertical and horizontal doncha know. Heh heh.”

“How do you…shrug off..pants…please no…stop…so sleepy…” The woman’s voice trailed off.

There was silence, followed by loud thumping sounds. Then grunting, panting, escalated breathing and a bloodcurdling scream.

“Mr. Cosby! What are you doing?”

“You are supposed to be asleep, young lady. I assure you that nothing improper is going on, nor could it possibly be going on. I’m a Doctor of Education.”

“Please let me go! You’re hurting me!”

“Oh it’s nothin,’ just a little bit of fun and play with the puddin’ pops doncha know.”

“No! It is not okay. I should have known when I saw those pictures…the clowns. It’s all coming back now. I…I can’t stand clowns! I hate them, and I hate you! You’re not at all what you seem to be. You’re a monster!”

Gustaffson paused the sound file. “This part is crucial. We think it’s the trigger—where he crosses the line. Loses the plot.”

Fontaine nodded.

“Ok, you know what, you’re right. I am a clown. A fucking clown. A fucking clown who is going to fucking rape you. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Who’s going to believe you? What are they going to say when you come to them with some crazy-ass story about Bill Cosby being a rapist clown?”

Whimpers. Sobs.

“Please stop…please stop! I won’t tell a soul, I promise. It will be our secret. I swear.”

“Young ladies like yourself shouldn’t swear, m’kay. Nobody should fucking swear. If there’s one thing I can’t fucking tolerate, it’s swearing. Comedians who work blue. And clown haters. Oh, I am going to fucking rape you like a fucking rapist…”

Gustaffson stopped the audio. “It escalates from there. The body was dismembered and the pieces were placed in plastic garbage sacks, scattered around the city.”

“That’s horrible!”

“That’s Clownsby for you.”

“So what happened to Cosby?”

“He keeps Cosby in a drugged condition, moves him around. When you see him appear on TV, have you ever noticed that he seems a little out of it?”

“Yeah, I thought that was just age.”

“That, and animal tranquilizers. He’s on a short leash, and by this point has brain has pretty much turned to mush. But if we find him, we’ll find Clownsby. And put a stop to these killings, once and for all.”

“Where do I come in?”

“We have intelligence that Cosby is doing a one-off benefit show at a club in Hollywood. Big security, hand-picked audience, of course. It’s going to be tough getting past the muscle, but we know he’s a sucker for a breathless ingénue. That, of course, would be you.”

“Naturally,” said Fontaine, batting her eyes at the Director and crossing her legs high enough to show her lacy panties. “And when is this all going down? So to speak.”

Gustaffson cleared his throat, gathered the documents from the desk and placed them in his lap. “Next week.”

TO BE CONTINUED

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