segunda-feira, 28 de outubro de 2013

"Punchline" por Leisl Egan

Moptop sat at the bar in the darkened cafe and stared into the last dregs of froth in his ale. Wearily he rubbed a liver-spotted hand over his oily, wrinkly face. There were still smears of greasepaint around his hairline and nostrils. His cheap suit and greasy shirt were caked with grime, save for a fresh frangipani flower gleaming in his buttonhole. He puffed meditatively on his pipe and caught the eye of the Bearded Lady across the bar. She blushingly lifted her glass and giggled something to the Snake Charmer next to her. Alarmed, Moptop cleared his throat uncomfortably and ran his hand through his tangled curls. Thankfully, a hand slapped down on Moptop’s shoulder, he turned to see Vladimir and Poxy join him. Vladimir lifted Poxy onto the barstool and sat down next to him.

“How did it go?” asked Moptop. “Did you manage to work in the balloon gag?”

“No!” scoffed Vladimir, his red ringed eyes betraying his inebriation. “Those chush’ sobach’ya balloons could kill a man. Where did you get’em, Poxy? Mexico?” Poxy glared at him and began to gesticulate fiercely in return.

“Oh, keep it down,” replied Vladimir wearily. “Even with the gag we would’ve died, the crowd was nichego, tonight anyways.”

Poxy glared at Vladimir and turned to face the bar. Moptop nodded resignedly.

“Yeah I watched the beginning from the sidelines. They were a pile of corpses,” he agreed. “This town is the worst.”

He downed the rest of his ale as the bartender replenished their drinks. Vladimir stared at Moptop’s moody persona as Poxy winked at the Snake Charmer and waggled his excessively long tongue at her. She and the Bearded Lady tittered.

“What don’t you join us next time Boss?” Vladimir asked quietly.

Moptop made a non-committal reply and stared at the Strong Man sipping his blackcurrant syrup daintily in the corner.

There was a commotion at the door and The Big Cheese entered, his rusty-coloured coat tails flapping behind him. On his arm was his robust wife, Imelda, her layers of flesh tightly strapped in by her spangly belt. Someone small and thin trailed behind them, obscured by Imelda’s waggling hips and jutting bosom. The Big Cheese spotted the three clowns from across the room and made an instant beeline towards them. Moptop sighed and turned back to the bar. He didn’t need this.

Publicado originalmente na Oystermag 

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