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Flashfiction #25: Dinner

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. afgpride Global Moderator

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    Theme #24: Dinner


    Rules:
    1. Your work must be within constraints of the theme.
    2. Of course, all themes can be interpreted in any number of ways.
    3. 500 words maximum per entry, or else the entry will be disqualified.
    4. Only post one entry per theme. The highest rated entry will choose the next theme.
    5. You may not rate/review your own work.
    6. Add a rating out of ten at the end of your "review".
    7. Be constructive/honest when criticizing a piece. No mindless flaming.
    8. You do not have to enter a flashfic to rate.
    -----------
    Dates:
    Start: 30/Dec Saturday
    Finish: 12/Jan, Friday
    Crit start: 13/Jan, Saturday
    Crit finish, 17/Jan, Sunday
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  2. Mider T VM Rapist

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    Everything would go off without a hitch.

    Paul woke up even earlier than his usual prompt timetable. He'd made all the arrangements the day before but he was still nervous about possible delaying factors like traffic or weather. A quick look outside his window showed promise in those areas though.

    "I wonder if I should bring an umbrella just in case?"
    Paul was a man who left few things to chance. His mother had taught him- no, ingrained in him that no son of hers would so much as make a step forward without contingencies in the event should he trip and fall backward or sideways. She was a careful woman, and young Paul had often wondered if she was the inspiration for Sarah Connor. Life was no movie though.

    "The past can't be changed." Paul muttered to nobody in particular before grabbing his umbrella and walking out the door.

    The first stop on his trip was the winery. It was the furthest away but Paul preferred to plan his errands from furthest to closest, so an unforseen circumstance wouldn't stretch his time at the last minute. After that he would pick up the food at the restaurant his mother founded for their supper together this evening. Every year they'd have a special meal at grave of his father on the anniversary of the man's death. Paul never knew his father, but his mother always took those meals very seriously. He'd never seen her smile on those days.
    "Your dad was always showing up late and he died early, so if you want to live long then strive to be early." She'd always tell him. Unlike most widows she's never shied away from talking about his dad's shortcomings, or even her own. Paul had been told she was quite carefree and fun-loving woman before the untimely death of her husband, but she hardened up the day he passed when faced with the realities of the world. Her criticism of those she knew was never negative- nothing she ever said was out of spite, it was simply fact. She would tell Paul in a way he could learn from it.

    Paul snapped out of his thought and focused on his 3rd step ahead like he always did. He'd already picked up the wine while running on autopilot. He pulled up to the restaurant. Cherise was just coming outside with some styrofoam containers in a bag.

    "Early as ever Paul; tell Ms. Maureen I said hi."

    Paul nodded, took the bag, then took off. Cherise was the employee most like his mother, she wouldn't be offended. That's why she was in charge now after all. Never one to leave anything to chance, Maureen had groomed her well in advance for the day she would take over.

    Paul pulled into the cemetery and strolled to the grave as if by memory alone. He popped the wine and took out three glasses.

    "Hi dad" he filled one glass up. Then he drank.
    "Hi mom"
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  3. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    A rich man and a much poorer man ate dinner together one evening. They sat at the rich man Edgar’s hardwood dining table with its pristine white tablecloth and heavy candelabras, delicious food recently placed before them. Edgar looked at it all with a pleased, proud expression, but the poorer man, Josiah, though gaunt with his stomach audibly growling, looked upon it apprehensively as if it were a chore to be undertaken.

    Edgar closed his eyes for a few seconds to ask his regular mealtime blessing, and as he grabbed up his silverware he noticed Josiah with his head still bowed, his eyes shut tight and his lips quivering a silent prayer. He put back down his utensils and waited patiently during the minutes it took Josiah to finish.

    “Thank you for your patience while I thanked the Lord, and also let me offer sincere thanks to you, sir, for this heavenly meal.” Josiah said this with his eyes cast down, and he reluctantly picked up a fork to begin eating.

    “Jolly well put, my good man.” Edgar speared a large chunk of ham and quickly chewed it up and swallowed. “Think nothing of it of course.”

    They ate in silence for awhile, crackling from the nearby fireplace the only sound besides that of fork hitting plate and teeth grinding food. As they came to the end of their meal, Edgar having slowed his eating down in order to let Josiah catch up, they looked at each other, one smiling and the other frowning.

    “I’m sure you know why I invited you, my dear sir.”

    “Yes sir. I thank you very much for the meal. You didn’t have to do that.”

    “Tut tut. As I said my boy, think nothing of it. I was raised with courtesy, and not to mention it’s only sensible to extend every reasonable favor to someone of power and importance. And you sir are definitely that.”

    “I wouldn’t go that far, sir.”

    “Balderdash. I’ve heard the things you can do. I didn’t believe it at first of course, but I’ve been thoroughly convinced, I assure you.”

    Josiah looked down at his empty plate with an expression bordering on regret. Edgar stared him down, his white eyebrows furrowed and his light blue eyes piercing.

    “You sir are clairvoyant. You see spirits. I know this as fact. I wish to speak to my dearly departed wife. She was taken too suddenly. I simply must talk to her once more before I’m able to move on with my life.”

    Josiah looked past him, over Edgar’s shoulder, at the dark, terrible spirit that had been thrashing around the room the entire meal. It sailed back and forth, raging its black limbs and screaming its silent wails into Edgar’s smiling face, bouncing off the walls of the house that acted as its cage. The spirit’s feminine face caught his stare and turned toward him, making him look down.

    Staring wide eyed back down at the plate, Josiah said softly, “Ok.”
     
  4. afgpride Global Moderator

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    It’d been decades since the last time he walked in to a McDonalds. The latest client left him in a shabby, secluded suburb hours away from home, and his stomach was grumbling. Eating in the car would leave a mess so the drive-thru wasn’t an option. In he went, overdressed, pretending not to notice the homeless-looking elder staring at him on his way to the ordering desk. The aroma was obnoxiously appetizing. So this is what trial and error smells like, he thought. I wonder what their profit margins are.

    “How can I help you today?”

    “Those nuggets you guys have, let me get the biggest box, and throw in some fries and a Diet Coke.”

    “Would that be medium or large?”

    “Large.”

    They give him an empty cup and a straw. He thought they misunderstood him at first, but read the environment to make sure. Right, the dispenser. Fill it up on your own, just like when I was a kid. He dispensed a helping of ice and a too-yellow-looking stream of Diet Coke, sipping to test. Close enough.

    It was jarring to notice how crowded the place was once he looked for a spot to sit. Nearly all the seats were occupied, yet just light murmuring and the rustle of wrapping paper could be heard in the entire room. He found a seat. That homeless creeper was sitting opposite. Fantastic.

    Might as well send the follow-up email while I’m here. He pulled a laptop out of his satchel and put his meal bag inside temporarily. He was obsessive about keeping his food warm when on hold by insulating it. 'Dear Mr. Wright', he began typing. 'Our selling offer of twenty-million…'

    He was mulling over ways to reword it when he noticed the elderly man in front of him reach down around his satchel and take out a box of chicken nuggets, laying it casually on the table. Why did he just touch my food? He wondered. They made eye contact. He was confused and irked. The old man was deadpan. The old man opened the box and helped himself to a chicken nugget. The old man was clearly mentally deranged.

    Keep calm, he reasoned. The old man was probably just hungry. Maybe this was the old man’s thing; scouting out customers and stealing their food. He reached out and took a nugget out of his box that he paid for with his own earned money. The old man looked down and up at him, perplexed, then continued taking nuggets out one by one; a level of audacity only a bum with nothing to lose could resort to. Furious, he decided this was his charity for the month, staring at the old man resentfully. The old man finished the box, saving one last nugget, handing it over to him with a nod and smile before leaving. You’re lucky I’m a good person, trash.

    Wanting fries, he opened his satchel only to notice his box of nuggets was there, untouched.
     
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