‘The Husband & Wife’s Lung is magnificent.’
You take Ruben’s advice. He orders the Duck Sang-Froid.
Your waiter wheels over a bulky apparatus. It has a cylindrical body, enormous funnel, a hand wheel, and a spout. The moment he’s gone, you ping! the apparatus with your dessert spoon.
Ruben’s smile collapses so abruptly it’s like it was a glitch.
You put the spoon down.
Your waiter arrives with a gorgeous mallard. For the first time ever, you notice how many colours they have.
It will not go into the funnel quietly.
‘My sincerest apologies…’
Your waiter stumbles away, flustered, arms full of berserk wings.
After a while, your waiter and the duck return. Whatever happened behind the scenes had a calming effect. He lowers the amenable bird headfirst into the apparatus. Meanwhile, it’s all kicking off behind Ruben; an angry gentleman is on the receiving end of an arterial spurt. An adjacent waiter throws his hands over the spray, but it’s already petering off. When the gentleman takes off his glasses, it looks like wet sunburn all over his face.
‘Since this is your first time –’ Ruben smiles as he squeezes into his disposable gloves, ‘– I’ll let you turn the wheel.’
By day, Gareth Durasow works in a gents’ tailoring shop where he can measure a bloke’s collar, chest and inside leg at a glance. He writes flash fiction on the sly when it’s quiet, and some of these stories are soon to appear in Neon, Ellipsis, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and the Bath Flash Fiction Award Anthology 2019. He is a STORGY flash fiction prize winner. His off-the-wall poetry collection Endless Running Games is available from Dog Horn Publishing and featured in the Guardian’s readers’ books of the year. You can find him here @garethdurasow.
Cover Image by manfredrichter
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