06:14:52 pm on July 22, 2011 |
Friday Flash Fiction
Chicken of Life:
It looked like a frothy heart on the coffee’s surface. I pick up the small straw resting on the saucer and then move a line down the center of the heart.
“Thank you. It smells absolutely explosive.” I smile up at him and look down at the broken heart then stir it up a bit smearing the image.
“Let me know how you like it, wait for the after effects before you judge the flavor.” Smiling back at me he starts to walk off to the kitchen. “I’ll be back with the daily special sandwich.”
The daily special drink and dish are always his daily inventions. Something new every day in the small café next to the BA Studio, Ballroom Arts Studio, I come here every weekday from there for dinner.
Well, more like Lunner, dinner and lunch in one convenient package. It’s too early for dinner and too late for lunch. But when you’re a dance instructor the hours are always off from the norm. Most normal people work nine to five. For a dance instructor your hours are from eleven to eleven for six days out of the week. That doesn’t leave much time for anything else but the basic maintenance of life. Then again, most seem to like the constant party vibe that being a dance instructor provides.
I take one more look at my coffee and decide to take a sip. Out of the corner of my eye I see the coffee guy coming this way.
“What do you think?”
As he arrives to my table he sets the plate in front of me. Looks like a Caesar salad sandwich with the crisp lettuce and chicken. I am sure that’s not all that’s in it or it wouldn’t be considered the dish special of the day. I stare at it warily not sure if this will be a good or a bad creation day.
“Oh, come on. Admit it, that coffee is the best you’ve tried so far.” He raises his eyebrow at me, searching for some clue from me of my agreement to his statement. I just smile back at him to sooth his ego.
I used to think people who raised their eyebrow were just being arrogant but the way he does it makes me think he’s just looking for approval.
“Explosion of flavor for the taste buds.” I never specified what type of flavor. But then again I only had a sip. No, that’s just an excuse. Nothing seems to taste the same anymore.
The small amount of joy I got from food and beverages seems so miniscule these days. I am sure if anyone else tasted this coffee they would burst out with happiness at how wonderful it is. But I am not anyone else; I am just me. But my comment seems to make him happy enough.
“Terrific! Now before you go back to the studio let me know how you like the sandwich. I think I’ve made it better with my secret ingredient.” He smirks at me and then goes behind the counter to help the next customer. That half smile makes me very cautious about even placing this sandwich near my lips. But he keeps looking back to my table expectantly. Picking the top slice of bread off the top I began to observe its contents. It seems normal enough to eat.
Then I heard the magic words from the counter.
“I’ll try the sandwich special.” One of my employees came in to try the special on their lunch hour.
This is truly a miracle. A wave of relief washes over my face as I sigh and then place the slice of bread back atop the sandwich. Stirring my coffee I look over to see his sandwich being delivered. I guess since he had already made mine that it was faster to produce the next sandwich due to the ingredients being already prepared.
Staring at him from the corner of my eye he begins to pick up the sandwich. Like a beast he delves into the sandwich, one of the largest bites I’ve ever seen. He wasn’t even cautious before placing that much of a mystery food into his mouth. There is so much food filling his cheeks I can’t be fully sure but it looks like a smile.
“Vince! What do you have in this?” As a crumb falls from his mouth he then licks his lips.
Vince, I hadn’t noticed that was his name. Or maybe I did but forgot.
“What?” Vince looks up from the counter.
“The sandwich!” His eyes go wide and then he takes another humongous mouth full.
“It’s the best creation yet isn’t it? All thanks to the special ingredient I thought of today.” He winks over at me.
I think he noticed I hadn’t done more than play with my food. I guess since the sandwich has passed the test from my employee I can trust it enough to take a nibble. Picking the sandwich up I then place it to my lips and take a whiff of its fragrance. It smells alright.
Wrapping my lips around the chicken, lettuce, and secret ingredient I sink my teeth in to try some for myself. Chewing the food the flavor seems simple almost bland. As usual the experience is not the same for me.
The coffee guy looks over at me smiling. I smile back, the appropriate thing to do.
“How do you do it?” My employee three tables down asks breathlessly. He leans back in the chair with his hand upon his stomach. Closing his eyes he smiles like a flame in darkness. If my eyes weren’t already adjusted to the light outside I believe I would have had to blink several times to adapt to the brightness of his attitude. As if that sandwich was the elixir of life.
Is mine missing the main ingredient?
“As I said, secret ingredient.” His smile was just as huge and a bit on the cheesy side. Blowing on his fingers he then rubs them off on his shoulder. One of those ‘it was nothing’ gestures.
“No, I mean, how do you come up with all your recipes every day.” He sits up earnestly interested but continues to sigh and rub his belly.
“I am not sure, everyday it just hits me like a baseball to its mitt. Just comes to me. My specialty dishes are being considered for regular items soon.” He leans on the counter occasionally looking my way.
“You better be asking for a raise on that deal.” He picks up his empty plate and then walks it over to the coffee guy.
Coffee guy, I could of swore I heard his name somewhere.
I feel awfully bad about throwing away perfectly edible food but my employee has the right idea about getting back to the studio.
Taking my full cup of coffee and my barely touched half sandwich to the end counter I then drain the coffee down the sink and toss the sandwich in the dump.
“Thank you for the meal. See you tomorrow.” I wave to the coffee guy and then walk out the door with the little bell ringing behind me.
Yet another day of seeing everyone else enjoying the fruits, or in this case chicken, of life. Maybe one day it’ll make more sense.
This peice is an exerpt from a novel I am working on called, “Crescent.” Paranormal Romance about a girl who is losing everything it means to be human peice by peice and saving the world from a face ripping monster all the while! Great fun.Advertisements