Said the Joker to the Thief

Crackles and pops commanded the air and stifled all other sound. Wafting acrid smells of burning paint and dense smoke from treated wood filled all present nostrils. Bright but nondescript dancers froze in place, looking more like they were dodging the flames that licked at their frame. One dancer’s eyes turned coquettishly to the periphery, staring down the viewer.

The only remaining viewer stood stock still, watching the gentle destruction of more than just art while his companions chuckled and murmured amongst themselves. It hadn’t been all that long since all but his own jokes had been banned, yet already he felt weary, aged beyond his years for churning out either blandly inoffensive tripe, or the righteously persecutory satire their legitimately elected leader personally preferred.

He snapped out of his reverie when a hand clapped on his shoulder.

“Hey, what’s the matter?” the leader asked in his casual, frat boy demeanour.

He hitched up a smirk.

“I just realised I could’ve brought marshmallows.”

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