“It’s not what it used to be,” said Corvus, his voice muffled behind his Renaissance doctor’s mask. “People don’t think of children’s entertainers when they see clowns anymore, they think of murderers and psychopaths. It’s like dressing up as the boogeyman.”

“People don’t think of healers when they see those plague masks, either,” said Squids, her smirk enhanced by the greasepaint. “They think of assassins and quacks.”

“But medieval doctors were assassins and quacks,” replied Corvus. “Not so clowns. They’ve done a complete 180 from beloved to reviled. So why do you want to dress up as one?”

“Look, Corvus, you know that’s not what the Club is about,” said Jangle. “We wear what we want to wear and this is a safe place for it.”

“No, it’s all right,” said Squids. “Corvus thinks I’m trying to put on a Goth affect and being coy about it, and I want him to know that’s not the case.”

“Well, then, what is it?” said Corvus. “Don’t tell me it’s because you want to be a jolly old-time clown. You don’t have the temperament for it.”

“Corvus!”

“It’s all right,” Squids said, though her painted smile did not budge. “It’s…all right. I dress like this, Corvus, because of that duality, not despite it. I’m dour, I’m sarcastic, I’m a stick-in-the-mud who smokes. Pre-serial-killer, maybe. But at the same time, it represents what I would like to be: more outgoing, better with kids, less concerned with what people think of me. I’m a new clown trying to be an old clown.”

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