F   I   C   T   I   O   N 


He was a funny guy. Pants down around his ankles, red bulb nose, slipping on a banana peel, the butt of jokes, always with the wisecracks, nervous for your laugh, checked coat, checkered career, under the lights, waiting for the rimshot. He was above none of this.

So when the words shot out of his mouth, those forbidden words, they ricocheted around the club, through his audience, up and through the walls and ceiling, and out to the world that knew little or cared little about him.

Now his words were all anybody talked about, and it wasn't funny. He responded with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders, as if the words were small creatures that had managed to escape from his mouth. But he still wasn't forgiven, especially when he tried to smooth things out with jokes.