Short Story: Toupie (2022)


You can thank Tod Browning’s notorious 1932 film, Freaks, for what follows, which is certainly one of the most vivid circus-centric narratives I know. The important thing about Browning’s unfairly maligned movie is where the director puts our sympathies – we are never in any doubt – and likewise the age-old question it asks as to the difference between men and ‘monsters’. I’m not going to say much more about the short story that follows, except to say it was written for The Kick-About No.53, and inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting of a clown performing with his black pig, and also this: The Greatest Showman it is not.


You can find a PDF version here


4 thoughts on “Short Story: Toupie (2022)

  1. I finally had the time to sit down and read this Phil! – such a haunting bizarre tale and of course bloody brutal! You’d always wonder what goes on behind what’s on show, but I guess the old clown had the last laugh in the end X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Graeme – yes, indeed. This was another one of those instances in which the story just appeared to me like an existing place, and all I was doing was switching on the various lights to see it. Pretty brutal as you say, but it went where it went! Thanks for taking the time to read :D. I enjoyed writing it, despite the places it goes to…

    Liked by 1 person

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