Punch lines – flash fiction by Hannah Lincoln
It’s Wednesday night and still too early for the bar to fill with bodies, let alone cigarette smoke and laughter. This isn’t the type of crowd to smoke, anyway: Westerners in their twenties, mostly white, simply dressed, with patient faces waiting to be entertained by tonight’s comedy, sharp eyes ready to judge, and over-invested analyses already penning affected reviews. Myriad blog posts could flow from the fingertips of their sweating hands, damning you, tonight’s entertainment, to legendary mediocrity.
As the audience trickles in, your heart staggers under the weight of this possibility. Jenna, your best friend, sits alone near the back