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The Jesters' Show (Chapter 2)

by jadeactor

The show has started.

The spotlight is on me, the audience cheering me on. I swallow any worries I have. No. Now, I am a court jester. I am a jester, to entertain people. That is my life purpose. I launch into my first act, hopping on one leg onto a unicycle. I cycle it, while juggling five glasses. The crowd cheers. I throw a glass up high, and catch it with my teeth. 

I finally throw the glasses up, jumping up from the unicycle, and catching every glass with my body, and landing on one foot. The crowd cheers loudly. I bow, but just I bend down, I trip over a glass, and... oh no. No, not now! Just a little more! I... need... to entertain... them... 

My body betrays my mind, as the world fades from me. I can hear voices screaming 'Jake?! Help!'. I let go of the world, as my body sinks into oblivion.


I wake up, groggy at a hospital. Wait, a hospital? I didnt get any amnesia from bashing my head in last night, right? Can I still remember my name? Julia, right? Yes, it is. Why am I in a hospital? I didn't injure my head too hard. No, wait, I have to entertain people. No! 

I sit up, just to have a nurse restrain me. "Miss, I don't recommend you get up yet. You hurt yourself very horribly there." The nurse pushes me back into the bed. 

"How bad?" I ask. The nurse hesitates. "Would you like to take a look at your x-rays?" she asks reluctantly. I needed that. "Yes, please," I reply. The nurse hands me a giant folder.

Holy hell. I shattered my skull? The whole frontal part? How?! I didn't hit it too hard. Almost there, huh? echoes the voices in my head. You're in the fifth floor, ya know. I shake the voices off. I look to my side, and see... Jake? What was he doing here? 

"Is he close to you?" asks the nurse. "No, what happened to him?" I ask.

"It's pretty brutal. He's a clown, but he injured himself in the middle of a show. He fell on some glass cups, and some of the shards impaled his skin. It's also pretty ironic that his wounds are shaped like angel wings."

Wow. Being a jester is not easy. "Well, at least he can rest. It's okay to take off the mask, even just for one night." the nurse says, while shrugging.

Okay, I can deal with this. I can survive. Surely, I can. The nurse leaves the room, and I strategize. I spread out my arms, and multiple masks appear in front of me. What am I today? Hmm... maybe I can be energetic! I grab the mask, and it disappears. 

Are you really abandoning your obligation to entertain? No, you have to! Otherwise your stupid life will have no meaning! You are a jester! Don't be like poor Jake, who died because of a skill issue. The masses want you to entertain. 

No! I cannot give in! I… have a life! People to entertain! Yet, my whole body is racked with pain as the voices in my head mercilessly pummel me down. My enthusiasm disappears. 

So very nice. Become yourself. They are not entertained! You are like a gladiator in an arena, always trying to satisfy an emperor and a crowd. It’s no use. You can never entertain people. Some people are just too greedy. They can never have enough. Why waste your time? If you cannot entertain, then your life is of no use. People will get bored of you. They will abandon you. They will die. At least hell is eternal. Suffer eternally for your grievances.

"I give up," I say under my breath. "Take me. Don't kill me, just take me. Please. Anything to make you stop. I beg you."

Hahahah! Are you finally succumbing to yourself? Very excellent. I will take it from here.

My mind is suddenly filled with my thoughts. The voices, the pain! No, I can't- AAGGGGH! I scratch my bandage as I giggle, madness taking over.  I look to a mirror, and see my face grinning crazily, tears covering my face. Who am I? This woman is not me. I-I-I’m going to break! AHHHHHH! A hand grabs my shoulder. 

"Could ya shut up? You're making a racket." I turn my head to the voice, and see... Jake? His bandaged arm lay on my shoulder.

"Foolish one, do you not see the condition of this person here? EEEEEEEE! You look nice! Very... delicious... HAH!" What am I doing? I'm acting... crazy. 

"Well, foolish one, could ya pipe down? I wanna sleep." Jake seems annoyed.

“Ah, a fellow jester.” I lick my lips in anticipation. “So very interesting. Please, do entertain me.” I pat him on his head, then push his face down to my shoe. “ HAHAHAH! So very entertaining! Go on, lick the soles of my feet.” Jake complies. I recline back in my seat. Suddenly, I feel myself pulled down and into Jake’s hands.

“I was always a bottom.” Jake takes sleeping pills and shoves it down my throat. The world begins to fade to black. No... I have to... entertain! 

Jake carries me back into bed. "Let loose some other time, okay? Just rest. Ya need it for performances. You are okay. You can manage the mask for a while."

The last thing I see is Jake's face smirking. Maybe... just for a while... I can rest.


I look at Julia's serene face, now asleep. Did she just have a demon possess her? No matter. I call a number on a phone, and have a female voice respond. My manager. 

"What do you think about the fresh meat?" she asks.

"She's a natural. An excellent court jester, very skilled in masking. It's just her unmasked self that I'm worried about." I reply. 

"Why the worry?"

"She obviously has a lot of pent-up stress, anger and desires. She's a monster, Jade."

"Very nice. She can join us. She would make a good jester. From what you describe, she would make a good asset. We needed a replacement for the last jester anyway. All hail the Fool."

"All hail the Fool." Jake ended the call, and once more looked at Julia's serene face. He felt bad for the mess he just got her in. However, she is essential to further the Fool’s wishes.

Her pretty face would become much prettier.

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235 Reviews

Points: 6841
Reviews: 235

Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:12 pm
4revgreen wrote a review...

The second chapter of the story explores the psychological toll of the pressure to entertain and the self-destructive thought patterns that can arise from it. Throughout the chapter, the protagonist, Julia, struggles with her obligation to entertain and the fear of failing to meet the audience's expectations.

One example of the pressure Julia feels is evident in her performance as a jester. In her act, she is forced to juggle five glasses while cycling on a unicycle. She adds difficulty to her act by throwing a glass up and catching it with her teeth. The crowd cheers, and she proceeds to throw the glasses up, jump off the unicycle, and catch every glass with her body, landing on one foot. Despite the audience's approval, Julia is not satisfied and continues to push herself, leading to her eventual collapse. This is really nice character development from the first chapter and I liked seeing a deeper insight into Julia's personality.

This is turning out to be a super interesting story!

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909 Reviews

Points: 29
Reviews: 909

Fri Feb 10, 2023 4:55 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Oh god, what kind of world is this with demons and happiness juice and masks? It sounds like our world, but not quite. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued. Is Julia herself a demon? Maybe Jake is a demon. Maybe they can band together and do ridiculously evil things!!! I just…I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS. I am a little concerned about The Fool, though. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to check back next time.

I wish you a marvelous day/night.

Why should Caesar just get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? Brutus is just as cute as Caesar, right? Brutus is just as smart as Caesar, people totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar, and when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody because that's not what Rome is about! We should totally just stab Caesar!
— Gretchen Wieners