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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2241675-The-Punchline
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Thriller/Suspense · #2241675
A divorced comedian wants a little retribution so calls in a debt.
The Punchline.
By Stephen A Abell – Monday 11th January 2021
Number of Words: 296



“Hey, I gotta new one I’m puttin’ in the routine.” The man paused for effect, “My Ex has this really annoying habit.” Pause; heighten anticipation. He shrugs and sighs, “People call it breathin’!”

“Ba, Dum, Dum!” The man opposite mimed slapping drums. “If you’re not careful she’ll sue you for slander.”

“Knowin’ my luck, she’d find the shows manuscript and do me for libel an’all.”

“And that would be a real punchline. Ba, Dum, Dum.”

“Cheers mate. She’s taken me for nearly everything, and that’s why I’m doin’ these small-town gigs.” He shook his head in dismay. “At least I’m not doin’ village ‘alls yet.

“It wouldn’t be so bad, but she’s the one who cheated. And me, like the proverbial fool I play, forgave her. Then it’s all over Facebook and Twitter that I’m cheatin’ on her, and the rest is history. As is all my hard-earned cash. If she didn’t get it, the lawyer did.”

“Well, if it’s cash you want, I’m brasic, soz.”

“Well, there be the rub,” he walked over to his friend and slapped his shoulder, “remember the cash I loaned ya?”

“Oh, man! I can’t repay that twenty-grand. I’m seriously skint.”

“How about we write it off?”

A quizzical look flittered over his friend’s face.

“I need a favour.”

“What kinda favour gets rid of a Twenty-K debt?”

“Kill the Ex for me?”

“Ah! One problem with that mate is she paid me yesterday to do the same.”

His friend turned to confront him, and he felt the sharp point stab into his side. As the blade penetrated deeper, coldness and realisation sunk in. “But it’s my money!” He stammered.

“It was mate; it was.”

As unconsciousness claimed him, he heard his friend one last time, “Ba, Dum, Dum!”.



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