I came across this Facebook post that made a convincing argument that Mary Poppins and Pennywise the Clown (the monster from Stephen King’s It) were members of the same species. In my head, the story immediately started writing itself:
“Spin your little nightmares all you like,” Poppins said. “But I expect my charges back in their beds by 9 o’clock.” She rapped Pennywise on the head with her umbrella. “Intact, mind you.”
“Oooh,” Pennywise said, his eyes widening to the size of saucers. “And what if I took one teensy weensy BITE, Maaary? A spoonful of sugar, and all.”
Poppins wrinkled her nose in disgust, but it didn’t stop her from bringing her face close enough to his to smell his foul breath. Why he took this repulsive form was simply beyond her. “Listen to me, clown. We have an ideal arrangement here. We could keep this going for centuries. You want meat? Eat the bloody dog.”
Their gazes remained locked for a drawn out moment, but Pennywise was the first to look away. Mary Poppins was older even than him, and powerful. But more to the point, she was right. They’d figured out quite the racket, bouncing generations of children between love and terror, wringing them dry, and continuing with their children, one generation after the next.
OK. So Mary Poppins and Pennywise the Clown, alien collaborators preying on children’s psyches each in their own way. An Odd Couple, of sorts–her, the prim and mannered governess, and him, the uncouth and murderous monster. Poppins, being older and more powerful, holds Pennywise in check and plays the long game. But Pennywise is a loose canon and a slave to his appetites, chafing against her leash. Their conflict would arise less from a differing attitude to humanity and more from an alignment to law and chaos, respectively. Poppins is a strategic thinker. Pennywise is a rabid dog. Will their differences put them at each other’s throats? Or, like a horrific buddy comedy, will they find that their differences combined make them stronger, more effective predators?
But we have to start with the meet-cute. The first time Pennywise encountered Mary Poppins…
He walked as if in a dream through the fair, passing couples strolling arm-in-arm, women with their mewling infants, and gangs of children leading their minders on a chase through the grounds. Unnoticed. In truth he did walk with one foot in the realm of dream and another in the world of flesh and stink and noise. The shapes he took, from one moment to the next, came from the crowd’s expectations. For the moment, he did not want to be noticed. He was a hawker. A pony. An urchin. A fluttering pennant dislodged from its pole and twisting on an unfelt breeze. A red balloon.
As he walked, he tasted the minds he passed. He had no interest in the delight and excitement at the fore. But underneath those emotions of the moment was a deep, long-running current of misery and anxieties. That made his mouth water. In a manner of speaking. He had a mouth when he needed one, but to feed, one wasn’t strictly necessary.Something he tasted on the air gave him pause, though. Something new. No, that wasn’t right; it was something old. Ancient. Something that made him cautious.
This might be something worth finishing. I’ll see if I can make the time!
UPDATE: Timescanner provided the perfect plot structure for this. Basically (500) Days of Summer, but horror.
One thought on “Poppins and Pennywise”
Definitely looking forward to any potential additions; your writing is excellent!