The Recovered Journal of Marius Vladimirescu, Last of the Clown Hunters

*Translator’s Note: The following pages, excavated from the remains discovered at the site of the former town of Mormânt, mark the last days in the life of a legendary hunter. They have been translated faithfully from the Romanian. However, given the unconventional state of the subject’s body upon discovery, as well as the dialect—which is specific to a small, localized region—certain details remain, as it were, lost in translation.

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December 28,

Apathy, it would seem, is communicable. When I walk this city’s streets I am surrounded by it: aloofness, like water in my lungs. It’s nearly impossible to catch my breath. The people here are dull and without passion; they navigate between skyscrapers, ignorant to the passivity they themselves perpetuate. I would sooner die than experience such lassitude.

Indifference breeds inaction, which is tantamount to death.

It’s indifference they prey upon, standing on street corners, in train stations, and in the chaos of Times Square, effortlessly camouflaged beneath screens larger than most homes. They hide under a guise of mute innocence, playfulness, offering balloon animals to small children who don’t know any better, and bumbling antics to adults who should. Through their downturned smiles, cartoonishly exaggerated, and ratty striped shirts with oversized neck ties drooping below their belts, these tramps, without complication or rebuttal, spread their peaceable lie, taking advantage of the lethargy of their environs.

I’d been warned, prior to my arrival on these shores, of the menace threatening North American society, but little did I expect to find such widespread malice. The plague of industry that feeds this culture’s apathy has only widened the already open door for their unwanted chalk white faces. They have made themselves at home.

They are a plague. I am the panacea.

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>>Turn to Ash, issue 1, 2016

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