[Writer’s note: What began as a writing prompt — photo and first paragraph — has become at least the start of a story. I will endeavor to add short sections to it, at lest as long as there is some interest. It might be a little rough in parts, but that’s because it is coming “hot off the press,” which could be part of the fun of it. In the meantime, you are free to jump off from any part of this story thus far and write your own version. Click Holly’s Corner below to get Parts 1 – 6.]
by David E. Booker
“Possibly not,” I said, then took a bite of my sandwich. I didn’t have much money left and if this case didn’t pan out, I was going to have to look for 9 – 5 work, which was something I loathed. But a recipe? Had I stooped so low as I need to chase down some family heirloom the world had not heard of nor was likely ever to?
She pushed up from stall seat, turned, and stomped out the door.
My charming personality was working wonders again.I pulled out my cell phone and was checking to see if I had any messages, any other potential clients. None. No text messages either. I was about to say something I probably shouldn’t in public when I felt somebody staring at me. I looked up. Standing near my table, casting a shadow like a greasy plate of cold fries stood Marc. Spelled with a “c” and not a “k.”
I looked up.
“Got my tip?”
“Tip means To Insure Prompt Service. Should be an E, but probably nobody would say Tep. Your service was neither prompt nor ensured. Go tell your rock climbing boss he’ll get paid when I get paid, assuming my client feels like paying.”
“That’s not the deal.”
“The original deal didn’t call for you to put my client on life support, either.”
“Not my fault.”
“Those hot chocolate burns didn’t happen by themselves.”
The tables nearest us were empty and not being refilled. Since Holly’s was a seat yourself place, I could only take that to mean Marc and I were being avoided and bad for business. I liked the place and wanted to be able to come back, but before I could think of some way to end this, Marc stepped forward, picked up the half of sandwich I hadn’t gotten to yet and brought it up to his mouth. He took a big bite.
I glanced over at the nearly empty hot sauce bottle. When Tricia left, I decided I’d have the other half the way I usually do. I looked up at Marc. His broad, dark face had an eerie placidness about it as beads of sweat popped out of his forehead and scurried down his face only to be followed by another one or two or a dozen.
I hadn’t refilled my drink and there wasn’t anything on a nearby table, so Marc dropped the rest of the Ricky Ricardo on the floor, turned and raced out of the restaurant.
Everybody’s a food critic.
(To be continued.)