the burrito of god

“I was getting lunch and thought you might like something too.”

From the doorway, she extended the foiled-wrapped delicacy in my direction.

“You like carnitas, right?”

I sat dumbstruck. Her form was silhouetted against the fluorescent lights in the office hallway. I had spent a lot of time looking at that form, but the law of platonic congeniality forbade entertaining thoughts of that nature too long.

I reached out. My fingers glanced the aluminum. REVELATION. FIRE FROM HEAVEN. LIGHTNING. Everything else faded into obscurity as she came into sharp focus

She smiled.

I started to write the next chapter.

 

[word count: 99]

closing time

I opened the door, felt the crisp air hit my face, and stared out into the dark, black void. I had to wait an extra thirty seconds for my eyes to adjust, too much to drink. Stupid. Stupid decision.

I turned back to the bartender. “I don’t recognize you.”

“I don’t know why you would.”

“You’re new here then? You’re new in town?” I tried to disguise the slurring. But this was the guy who’d been pouring me drinks all night, what was the use? Besides wasn’t that illegal or something? Didn’t he have to cut me off if I’d had too much?

“Would have loved to have this conversation a couple hours ago. If you come back tomorrow we can talk and share our life stories and braid each others’ hair or whatever but tonight, now, it’s time to go.”

“I won’t be here tomorrow. I’ll be dead tomorrow.” I slammed the door behind me, which threw off my balance. My face, red hot with booze, made first contact as the rest of my body spasmed, trying desperately to right itself.

A breath. The motel. I needed to get to the motel. I pulled myself up, too numb to rightly assess the damage. Keith took my keys when he left, so my only option was to walk the three miles.

 

[word count: 221]

small town
small town, part 2

after the lunch rush

The boy placed the small white pill under his tongue, surveyed his tray, and decided that limits be damned he would stack up five more cups from the dirty table. Maybe she’ll see me carrying all this and then she’ll be all like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe how strong you are and how helpful you are and how nice you are for taking care of my tables so I can get my side work done.’ Cause then I could be all like ‘No really it isn’t a problem I mean I’ve been doing this for a long time but I’m not gonna do this forever.’ And then she’d be all like ‘Oh really? What are you gonna do?’ And then I could say something like ‘I don’t know yet, but I know I need to make a difference in the world. I can’t live the rest of my life working for a place that makes me wear a Hawaiian shirt as my uniform.’ And that will totally get her thinking about how I’m not a bum like some of these other guys here and I’m motivated to better myself.

The fifth cup wobbled. The fourth cup followed. The third, second, and first cups obliged and collapsed, unbalancing the overloaded tray. As it hit the ground, salsa sprayed in a perfect arc, leaving a chunky red line that ran from his stomach straight down to his crotch.

The girl rushed out of the kitchen. Are you serious? Who can’t carry a goddamn tray. I wish they hadn’t cut down to two servers yet. Now I’m gonna have to help clean up this mess and he’s probably gonna make some pervy comment again about how he wouldn’t mind if I cleaned the salsa off his pants or maybe he’s gonna ask me for pills again. I’ve gotta tell the manager that I’m not gonna work alone with him anymore.

He stood up and assessed the damage. And opened his mouth to say something about the state of his pants. The look on her face stopped him short. “I… uh… I’m gonna go wash up and be right back to get this cleaned up. Sorry.”

“Yeah, okay. I’ll run back and grab a mop for you.” As she walked back to the kitchen, she slipped a white pill out of her pocket and placed it under her tongue.

The assistant manager looked up from behind the bar. These fucking kids.

 

 

[Word Count: 410]