Freak Show || kid!penny fic || Part 1/?
A young boy by the name of Penny was abandoned at a circus by his parents when he was just a toddler. Years pass and they put him in the freak show as Pennyworth the Dancing Clown. It’s Georgie’s birthday and the only thing he asked for is a trip to the circus. Bill and the losers agree to take Georgie, unaware of the new friend Georgie would find.
A young boy, skin as pale as porcelain, lay uncomfortably in a pile of hay, awoken from his restless sleep when the caravan hit a bump. He sat up, crawling on his hands and knees to peak out of a small crack in the wooden door. It was a cool autumn night, too dark to tell where they were headed. The boy sighed and hung his head as tears began to well up in his eyes. Before a sob could escape his lips he was knocked forwards, using his hands to break the fall. The boy looked up at the culprit and broke into a grin. “Simon!” He exclaimed with a giggle, reaching up to pet the two-headed goat. “Meh-eh!” Simon cried, to which the boy hushed. “Quiet, you’ll wake your brother!” He warned softly, referring to the limp head he named Billy. Simon just huffed. The boy shook his head with a soft chuckle, hugging the animal’s torso. “I’m glad I’m not alone anymore…” He murmured, nuzzling into the goat’s coarse hair. It whined and laid down in the hay. The boy rested his head on its belly, warming up from the shared body heat. The rocking of the caravan quickly put them both to sleep. Neither was awake to see the passing sign that read– “Welcome to Derry.”
“Man, fuck the circus!” A boy loudly exclaimed.
“Richie!” The other three shouted in unison.
“L-Language,” One warned, covering the youngest’s ears. “G-Georgie’s here.”
Richie huffs, rolling his eyes.
“Oh! So sorry, Buh- Buh- B-B-Billy boy!” Richie mocked, earning a sharp blow to the arm by the shortest boy. “Ow!”
“Can it, trashmouth.”
“Oh, you know I love it when you call me pet names, Eds!” Richie laughed, pinching Eddie’s cheeks, though they were quickly smacked away with a growl.
“Would you two get a room already?” Another added, not looking up from his birdwatching guide.
“Why? So you can join in on all the fun, Stanley?” Richie retorted, to which everyone groaned.
“You wish, Tozier.” Stan replied. The three teenagers bickered amongst themselves until the youngest boy began to shout.
“There it is! There it is! Look, Billy! There it is!” Georgie wailed, jumping up and down. In front of them was a huge banner that read, “Welcome to the Royal Big Top Circus!” It was embellished with two elephants on either side balancing on its hind legs, and a grinning clown in the center.
“Aw, screw that, they’ve got clowns.” Richie said, turning on a heel to leave but was yanked back by the collar by Stanley.
“Oh no you don’t!” Stan said, shoving Richie forwards. “We promised Bill. You’re not backing out because of some stupid clown.”
“C-Come on, T-Tozier.” Bill stammered. “This is th-the only thing G-Georgie asked f-for his birth-birthday.” Richie gave an exaggerated moan, huffing deeply.
“Alright, alright, fine!” He gave in, raising a finger before he warned. “But I’m only doing this for Georgie. Got it?” The rest of the guys gave a nod, all except for Stan who simply shook his head. Bill smiled warmly as he watched his friend sneak up behind Georgie and scoop him up, squealing in delight. Georgie erupted into a fit of giggles as he was spun around. “Oi! What say we get some freshly popped corn kernels, eh?” Richie spoke in a thick English accent. Georgie nodded, taking Richie’s hand and dragged him the whole way there.
“Hey bucktooth!” A man called out, banging on the metal bars of the caravan. “Wake up, we’re in Derry!” The young boy sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “You know, this here town used to be a beaver trappin’ camp. Maybe we oughta leave you behind so you can find your family!” The man laughed, not caring that the young boy was frowning. He threw an apple at the boy, hitting him in the head. “Get in costume, freak show starts in ten.” The boy sighed, picking up the apple from the bed of hay, examining it for any bruises. The goat anomaly jumped up, both heads crying out. With a sad smile, he offered each head a bite of the apple before eating what was left over. He gave both heads a pat, Simon first then Billy, before padding over to a big wooden crate that read “Pennyworth” in big, bold red letters. He dug through it, throwing all kinds of items left and right. Penny pulled out a mirror and took a long look at himself.
“Worthless…” He whispered with a deep frown as he began to paint on a cherry red smile.
“Come one, come all! See the weirdest show of all!” A man in a top hat and fancy moustache shouted into a megaphone. “See the famous bearded lady! A two headed goat! And watch a bucktoothed clown dance for a penny! That’s right, folks! Dances for a penny and one penny only! Step right up, folks! Welcome to the freak show!”
“The two-headed goat sounds cool,” Richie said, taking a lick of his vanilla cone.
“It’s probably fake,” Eddie replied, making a “gimme” gesture with this hand, silently asking Richie for the ice cream.
“Freak shows are cruel,” Stanley informed them, closing his birdwatching book for the first time all day. “They treat humans and animals like they’re some sort of sick joke. They starve them, beat them up - bottom line, I’m not going.”
“Aw, come on, Stan!” Richie cried. “I heard they have a chicken with no head that just runs around till it dies.”
“Jesus, Richie! Why would I want to see that!?” Before Richie could answer, they heard a familiar voice.
“I said dance, you fuckin’ freak!”
They turned their heads towards the voice, eyes going wide. It was Henry Bowers. “Welp!” Stanley clapped his hands together. “Looks like we should get going while we still have the chance!”
“W-Wait–” Bill held up a hand, watching what they were yelling at. Henry was throwing something into a cage, the rest of the boys laughing and shouting more slurs. “W-We need to stop th-them.”
“No, Bill! Just leave things be for once. It’s Georgie’s birthday, we’re supposed to be having fun!” Stan argued, gesturing over to the birthday boy, who was about ten feet away in the petting zoo. Bill sighed. “I guess you’re right.” There was a brief silence amongst the friends. It was broken when the youngest boy came running up to them.
“Billy! Billy!” Georgie exclaimed. “They have cotton candy! Can we get some!? Please?” Bill laughed, messing up his little brother’s hair lovingly. “S-Sure th-thing, Georgie. L-Let’s go.”
“Please stop! Please!” Penny pleaded with the teenagers. “You’re hurting me!”
“Not until you dance, faggot!” Henry mocked, throwing another rock at the clown, hitting him in the kneecap. Penny cried out in pain, holding onto his knee to ease the hard blow. Another boy took out a lighter with one hand, shaking a can of hairspray in the other.
“Better start soon, freak, before I burn ya to a crisp!” Patrick threatened, using the aerosol can as a makeshift flamethrower. Penny flinched in fear, backing up as far as he could from the flame. The teens kept shaking the bars and shouting at him. Penny finally began to dancing, kicking his legs out to either side, but his jig didn’t impress the boys.
“Come on boys, this freak isn’t worth it.” Henry decided, spitting in the cage.
“We’ll be back tomorrow, freak. Don’t think we’re letting you off the hook.” Patrick warned with an evil grin. “Hey, maybe we could steal your dad’s gun!”
“Are you kidding me? I’ll take it right in front of his face!” Henry laughed, high-fiving the other boys.
Penny broke down, sinking into a ball on the pile of hay. He let himself sob, his makeup melting off his face as he cried. He didn’t care if he got in trouble from the ringleader. Right now, Penny’s only fear was that of his life. He tucked his face into his knees, smearing makeup all over his costume. Suddenly a gentle voice startled him.
“Are you okay?”
“GEORGIE!” The boys continued to call out. “Wh-What the hell, R-Richie!? Y-You were supposed t-to be wa-watching him!” Bill shouted, jabbing his finger into his friend’s chest.
“Back off, Bill!” Richie shoved the boy back, throwing him off balance. “I only looked away for a second!”
“That still m-makes it your f-fault, ja-jackass!”
“He’s YOUR brother! Maybe YOU should’ve been watching him!” With that, Bill cocked an arm back to punch him, but was held back by Stan. Eddie did the same to Richie.
“Guys, guys! Pull yourselves together!” Eddie shouted as Richie shrugged him off. Bill paced to cool off. Richie was the first to break the silence.
“He was there one second and gone the next…” Richie explained, looking down as he scuffed his heel against the grass. “I handed him the cotton candy, and I went to put my change in my pocket and he was just… Fuck, I’m sorry Bill…”
“It-It’s okay, Richie.” Bill sighed, still pacing. “L-Let’s just focus o-on finding G-Georgie.” They all agreed and began to make a game plan.
Penny looked up to see a young boy, about his age, holding colorfully spun cotton candy. He sniffled, wiping his red nose on his sleeve.
“Why are you crying?” Georgie asked with sympathetic eyes.
“I- um….” Penny wasn’t ever asked questions like this before. He wasn’t sure what to say.
“What’s your name?” Georgie asked, head cocked to the side.
“Pennyworth…” The clown answered quietly, looking around cautiously.
“What a silly name!” Georgie laughed, taking a bite of his cotton candy.
Penny frowned at that, but politely continued the conversation. “What’s your name?”
“Georgie!” He spoke with a proud grin. “Why do they call you Pennyworth?”
“Because I’m only worth a penny…” He answered, flashing a sad smile. “I’m practically worthless….”
Georgie frowned. “Well, that isn’t very nice!” He paused, thinking of something better to call him. “How about Pennywise?” He exclaimed. “Because wise means smart! I learned that word from my older brother.”
Penny smiled at his new name. “I like that a lot better. Thank you, Georgie.” Pennywise smiled at the boy.
“You’re welcome!” The young boy grinned. “Why were you crying, Pennywise?” He pushed, concerned for his new friend.
“People are mean to me sometimes…” Pennywise explained with a shrug. He inched forwards, grabbing hold of the metal bars and pressed his forehead against them.
“How come?” Georgie asked innocently.
“They don’t like the way I look.”
“Because I’m different than them.”
“Because I just am!” Pennywise shouted, causing Georgie to flinch. Penny frowned. “I’m sorry, Georgie. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“It’s okay, Pennywise!” Georgie said simply. “It’s my birthday today, so nothing can make me sad!” He explained to his new friend so he didn’t have to worry. Penny laughed at this, cheering up a little.
“Happy birthday, Georgie!” Pennywise chirped, holding up his pointer finger before scampering over to his chest. He dug around for a minute until he found what he was looking for. “What’s your favorite animal, Georgie?” The young clown asked, stretching a long red latex balloon. Georgie thought for a moment before answering.
“A monkey!” He exclaimed with a grin.
“A good choice!” Penny praised, blowing up a red balloon. The latex squeaked as he twisted and knotted the balloon with gloved hands. He blew up a yellow balloon and turned around for the finishing touches. When he decided it was perfect, Pennywise spun around. “Ta-da!” He beamed, presenting it to Georgie through the prison bars.
Georgie’s eyes lit up when his new friend presented him with a monkey holding a banana made entirely out of balloons. He took it from Penny’s hands, examining it with a gasp. “A red monkey! Red is my favorite color!”
“Mine too!” Pennywise chimed with a goofy grin. Georgie placed a hand over Penny’s gloved hand, which initially made him flinch. Once he realized he didn’t intend on hurting him, Pennywise followed in suit.
“Thank you, Pennywise. This is the best birthday gift ever!” Georgie exclaimed, hugging the balloon animal close to his chest.
“You’re welcome, Georgie.” Pennywise replied. He was confused by this fuzzy feeling in his gut. Penny opened his mouth to say something else but was cut off by shouts.
“GUYS, I FOUND GEORGIE!” Eddie called from a distance, running as fast as his legs could carry him. The rest of the boys followed behind. Eddie came to a halt in front of Georgie, hunched over as he struggled for breath. He frantically dug through his fanny pack for his inhaler.
“G-Georgie! Th-Thank God.” Bill spoke breathlessly, scooping his brother into his arms. “D-Don’t you ever wa-wander off ag-gain!”
“Yeah, Georgie. Your brother almost– OH MY GOD, A CLOWN!” Richie screamed, falling on his ass. “What the fuck! What the fuck! What the–”
Eddie slapped him across the face, successfully silencing him. “Beep beep, Richie!” Had it been anyone else, Richie would’ve slapped them right back. Richie looked away shamefully, holding his tingling cheek.
“Richie, you don’t have to be afraid!” Georgie explained. “This is my new friend, Pennywi–” When the boy turned to face his friend, the curtains of the caravan were drawn shut. Georgie frowned deeply, looking down at his balloon animal. “Pennywise…”
Bill smiled sadly, reaching out for his brother’s hand. “Come on, i-it’s getting la-late.” He said, to which Georgie sighed and took his hand. “Can we come back tomorrow? Please Billy?”
“W-We’ll have t-to ask mom a-and dad, but I-I don’t s-see wh-why not.” Georgie smiled hopefully, following Billy home with the rest of his friends.
“Thank you for taking me, Billy.” Georgie said, looking up at his big brother wish a kind smile.
“Of course, G-Georgie. It is y-your birthd-day after all.” Bill chuckled and led his brother home.
All the while, Pennywise was peaking out from behind the red suede curtains. Tears rolled down his pale cheeks as he choked back a sob. He wished he had someone who loved him as much as Billy loved Georgie. He wished he had a family to celebrate his birthday with. Hell, he didn’t even know when his real birthday was. He only knew the day he was abandoned at the circus by his parents. Penny just hoped Georgie would be back tomorrow.