Joan Smokes

Angela Meyer

Joan Smokes
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Joan Smokes

Angela Meyer

Winner of the inaugural Mslexia Novella Award (2019).

She used to be someone else, but now she’s arrived in Vegas, where she can start again. It won’t do to let the past leak in.

It’s the Sixties now. She’s going to become … Joan.

She makes a list: Buy a new dress (fitted, floral). Dye her hair (dark). Curl it.

Buy red lipstick. Buy cigarettes and a lighter, too: Joan, she decides, is a smoker. There’s no need to dwell on why she’s here, what went before.

She is just moving forward, one foot in front of the other, becoming that new person. Joan. This city of flashing neon, casinos and shows is full of distractions.

Finding a job will be quick and easy. Things to do. New people to meet.

A clean sheet. She’s certainly not thinking about Jack, or … No.

Not any more. Her new life starts right here, right now.

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