Clowns. For some they are symbolic of the enjoyment of a childhood trip to the circus. To others, they tend to evoke far more sinister feelings. Maria Herring’s “Bubble Juggler” begins when a lonely woman buys a painting of a clown in a charity shop. She soon finds that each time she looks at it, she becomes transfixed. Surely those the striking nature of those staring eyes and the melancholy turn of its mouth are just down to the skill of the artist, aren’t they? And is it just her or is the temperature dropping? A wonderfully chilling short story. Read about Maria Herring, the author.