My mother used to breed them...

Jim stared after the clown as it strolled on, never stopping walking.  Finally he turned back to face the front again, and glanced over at Roger.

"My mother used to breed them, you know," said Roger thoughtfully.  The darkness in his eye sockets was miles away, his mind preoccupied.

"Breed what, Rog?"

"Clowns.  She always said they were easy to get going, but a bugger to bring to maturity."

"Come on, Rog, no-one breeds clowns."

"She said they were always getting stuck on the balloon animal stage.  She used to try everything to get them past it; one time she even dug them all up and put them in the bath for three weeks, in some kind of hydroponic system.  Those were... smelly days."

Jim looked sideways at his companion, a dark thought forming in his skull.

"Rog, you never said what people you murd--"

"Look!  Over there, there's another one!"

Jim looked, and stopped trudging.  A little way off, with a painted smile on a miserable face, was a clown wearing an asbestos hazmat suit.

"Where in the seven he-- heres did he get one of them?"

"Dunno Jim, but it'd sure come in handy.  You ever mugged a clown?"

"Is it not as funny as it sounds?"

"Haha Jim, you're a card alright.  Seriously though, how much easier would it be chipping away at the rockface if we had a little protection?"

"Well, I'm not saying I wouldn't appreciate it, but there's only one of him and two of us."

"That's the best kind of odds for a mugging, Jimbo.  Did all that accounting fraud make you scared of numbers?"

"No Rog," said Jim patiently.  "But only one of us could wear that suit at a time."

"You do have a point there, but I don't think it's good enough.  I say we mug the clown.  Keep an eye out for his flower in his lapel, mother always bred them to be poisonous."

"No Rog, seriously..." Jim's voice trailed off as Roger glanced quickly around him and then scuttled over to a handy rock formation that Jim wasn't at all sure had been there a moment ago.  Psychotropic geography was just another hazard of this particular circle of hell.  He weighed up the situation quickly in his head, listening to his thoughts rattling against the inside of his skull, and decided that a half-share in an asbestos suit was better than no suit at all.

"I hope someone finds this funny," he muttered to himself, scuttling after Roger.

The End

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