Lunch Menu by H. J. Garven

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The room was painted pink. It was a flamingo pink that hurt the eyes. The job was done by an amateur because the mustard yellow was still visible over the new stripes of paint that were thrown over the walls. The smell coming from the kitchen, a mixture of chicken and sweat, formed a cloud protecting us from the heat of the few working light bulbs.

Today’s menu consisted of corn, few pieces of fried chicken, and the persistent limeade that tasted more like sugar water.

I love Tuesday’s menu, so much better than Thursday’s, the lady standing in front of me said. I think she expected a form of agreement from me, but I said no words. She turned around, almost motionless, and showed me what appeared to be a smile. Her gums were pink like the walls of the room, had bloodstains on her chapped lips, and had no teeth. I stood still and tried to have no reaction to her expression. She turned back around to face the kitchen. She had made her point.

Check your pocket sweetie.

I ran my hand over my pants and felt a small bump. I searched the room for anybody who was watching me, but no one acknowledged my existence. It was then that I realized everyone wore yellow suits except me. Nervously, I reached for what was in my pocket and found a small plastic bag, dispose after each use. My shaking fingers opened the bag and inside found six plastic teeth and a note with instructions that asked to wipe gums before use, to insert three teeth on top and three at bottom, and to please dispose of teeth in the correct bins after each use.

I looked away from the instructions and found all heads pointing at me. Frozen in space the bodies smiled all at once. No teeth, not one. My hands reached for my mouth to feel my teeth. All of them intact. I tried to scream and laugh at them. I didn’t need these. My mouth opened to form a syllable, but no sound came out, instead a flying tooth made its way to the ground, then another, and another. I shut my mouth with both hands. I didn’t want to lose more.

There is no way around it sweetie.

The heads looking at me waited. They wanted to see me spit out more. I wanted not to please these bastards. I spat two more out and let them fight. I swallowed the rest.

H. J. Garvin

H. J. Garven, a Texas native, is a fan of all writing styles, but has an inclined preference for Latin and European literature. He writes about about dreams, some of which are humorous, others surreal, and most others are plain ridiculous with abrupt endings. He is also working on novel about the struggles of being a writer, something he is quite familiar with.

Photo by emyzario

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