K. A. Laity
It was the clown.
The party had been lively enough before her arrival. Shrieking children seemed to entertain themselves for a while. She promised fun on her website—that balloon-littered vomit of coarse Pantone tones with too many gurning GIFsa and autoplay videos. That should have been a warning flag. It had been almost impossible to find the contact info. But they persisted: she was local.
Nothing in her arrival suggested more than the usual horrors of face paint, oversized shoes and a larger-than-life ‘personality’ as promised.
But the children were weeping now and several demanded to go home. Unmitigated disaster.
Not everyone could tell jokes, eh? But most would avoid actually blowing up a hamster.
They would never look at a balloon without shuddering now.