I wrote the following 200 word story for a Goodreads competition a few years ago. I’m not too sure what the criteria was, but I guess there had to be a clown involved. And a priest.
“Look,” the priest said, “I’m too busy today to be messing about…”
The clown merely smiled through the chipped wooden grill.
“What do you want?” A strand of white hair drooped across his grey eyes.
“How are you feeling today, Tom?”
The priest looked away, sighed. “I’ve been better.” And then he looked up, “How do you know my name?”
“Do you ever wonder what it would have been like if you’d said ‘yes’ to Billy Smart?”
The priest stuck out his chest proudly. “That was a long time ago; I’ve been doing important work since then.” He looked at the comic flower and the rubber bulb full of water dangling from the clown’s red braces. He felt a twinge of regret. “Speaking of important work, if there’s nothing further…”
“They’re waiting for you, Tom.” The clown nodded slowly.
Together, they stepped out of the confessional, and the clown said, “Take my hand.”
The priest did, and he looked again at the bulb. “What now?”
“Go on,” the clown smiled, “give it a squeeze if you want.”
The priest’s eyes lit up, “Really?”
The clown nodded.
“Before I do,” said the priest, “what’s your name?”
“My name is Gabriel.”