For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Clown Puppet”

Thomas Ligotti


It has always seemed to me that my existence consisted purely and exclusively of nothing but the most outrageous nonsense. As long as I can remember, every incident and every impulse of my existence has served only to perpetrate one episode after another of conspicuous nonsense, each completely outrageous in its nonsensicality. Considered from whatever point of view — intimately close, infinitely remote, or any position in between — the whole thing has always seemed to be nothing more than some freak accident occurrent at a painfully slow rate of speed. At times I have been rendered breathless by the impeccable chaoticism, the absolutely perfect nonsense of some spectacle taking place outside myself, or, on the other hand, some spectacle of equally senseless outrageousness taking place within me. Images of densely twisted shapes and lines arise in my brain. Scribbles of a mentally deranged epileptic, I have often said to myself. If I may allow any exception to the outrageously nonsensical condition I have described — and I will allow none — this single exception would involve those visits which I experienced at scattered intervals throughout my existence, and especially one particular visit that took place in Mr Vizniak’s medicine shop.

We read it in Teatro Grottesco.