horror · Humor

This is Where They Cook People

I sat patiently at the small table.

I was in a Thai restaurant I’d wanted to visit for sometime. I was in the mood for quiet so I ordered my dish to-go. I was going to sit in my car and savor the goodness. The rapturous  flavors and amazing textures blow my mind. Every time. Without fail.

I had parked in the back parking lot and had had to walk  a long way to come in through the front. I resolved not to look at my phone while I waited. That’s hard to do, anymore. I kept starting to reach for it and almost had to slap my hand on several occasions. What a silly game I was playing with myself.

I was enjoying watching patrons through the dancing incense smoke emanating from the Buddha shrine. A loud lady at the table beside me had been smoking far too long. I kept clearing my throat to help soothe her raspy one, ‘Or at least take a sip of your Thai iced tea,’ I thought. She was carrying on about being wronged by Sandy again, vividly relating the offense in an almost drunken drawl. She was so disgusted with Sandy she was spitting nails and pad Thai.

As I eavesdropped, in the back of my mind I wondered who got to determine how long a casual glance may last before it becomes rude? I was long past that line.

And what was with the garish blue eye-shadow? I found myself so sucked into the saga that I was startled by the waitress, Sue, tapping on my shoulder. She was a pretty Asian lady and she smiled as she handed me my order in a white plastic bag with “Have a nice day” written across it in red. I was a little irked by her interruption and inopportune timing but I smiled back, noting her jet black hair.

As I gathered my belongings, I asked if there was a short-cut to the back parking lot. She bowed and pointed to a grey wooden door behind her. I smiled again and nodded as I walked by her.

‘That is really black hair,’ I thought.

The flimsy knob almost came apart in my hand and the rickety door swung open faster than I anticipated. I stepped into a  small dimly lit room and the door sprung shut behind me with a dull thud.

Old binders were scattered on a crooked shelf beside fake flowers.  My eyes adjusted to the darkness and after a few seconds I made out another door a few feet before me. I swallowed deeply, glanced back at the shut door and stepped forward praying to God I wouldn’t step on a cat. Or a rat. I hurriedly grabbed the next doorknob and turned it. It turned several times and nothing happened. I swallowed again and turned it the opposite direction. It turned several times and nothing happened.

My mind played terrible tricks on me and I heard people speaking loudly in a foreign language and laughing. Were they watching me? Was I even going the right way? What was this place? Panicked, I threw my shoulder at the door and it groaned. I stepped back, really lunged at it and went bolting clear through it. I took a deep breath of relief at the blinding light,  and looked around, grateful to be outside.

But I wasn’t outside.

My heart raced and dropped at the same time.  She didn’t look up. A dank smell filled the huge room I found myself in. Black mold crawled on the wall to my right and there were puddles on the busted concrete floor. A withered old woman sat contorted in a rickety rocking chair in the corner. She looked like she had been sitting there for centuries.  Her few hairs were held in a tight bun but her deep wrinkles still flapped as a home-made cigarette dangled from the side of her mouth. She spoke and rocked rhythmically in an unfamiliar language, tending to a large pot of smoldering oil that was bellowing smoke in her face.

I froze in place, rather stunned. It seemed that I should say something, but what? I didn’t want to startle her. I swallowed deeply again and clutched my warm food to my chest. A strange  noise squeaked out of my mouth and she immediately cackled and threw her head back, stirring the pot the whole time. She had 3 teeth in her mouth. The cigarette bobbed up and down as she rattled off words and fell to laughing her head off, never once looking at me.

I glanced at the door beside her. I tried not to look into the pot. I didn’t want to know what was in it and how many people were stupid enough to not merely walk out the front door of the restaurant and back to their normal lives. I was afraid I would see a residual sludge of blue eye-shadow floating in the hot oil. What was this place and how many doors would I have to walk through to get out? Was I trapped here forever, condemned to an eternity of room after creepy room?

I looked at the door again and ran for it, knowing that any minute a net would drop from the ceiling and trap me in this hell hole. The door was locked!

I started to cry as she crowed her wicked laugh. I looked at the door and saw a small lock high up on it. My desperate fingers fumbled for it, missing it several times, so close yet so far. I jumped up and hit the latch. It flipped right off and I tried the door again.

I stepped out to the glorious sunshine and the dirty parking lot. I was about to set my food on the ground so I could kiss the blessed soil when I saw a small group of wait staff, decked in their black and white uniform, smoking cigarettes on their break.

“Have a nice day!” said a young man with a mop of dark, heavily gelled hair. I looked over at them and attempted a smile and an answer. I looked questioningly from him to the door I just walked through and back to him but my eyes were intercepted by Sue’s.

She smiled and winked at me.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tea/

 

 

Farming · horror · Humor

Wild About Cows

Wildly afraid, that is.

I grew up surrounded by savage lions and buffalo among other very wild animals. Cows are in a class all their own. They are terrible beasts that will devour their prey mercilessly at the least provocation.

I grew up with them. That might be part of the problem, considering I weighed forty pounds and they, about a thousand when we first met. The only thing they do that’s more disturbing than just standing there, staring unashamedly, is to gallop wildly, lunging their crazy heads, their massive bellies heaving powerfully. They fling their long strings of snot in practiced circles, bellowing in demonic tones, and charging me at a ground shaking twenty-five miles an hour.

“They wouldn’t hurt you,” my husband says flippantly, “they just want the food you have.” Well they can’t have the food I have!

My chicken coop happens to be in one of the fields that our cows graze in. I fastidiously save all my kitchen scraps for them in exchange for delicious eggs, a daily expression of appreciation for all my love. Based on my feelings towards my cows I watch them closely and only feed my chickens when the cows are at the far end of the field, a few acres away. I normally unlatch the main gate, latch it behind me, and stride as lightly as I can, my neck craning back and forth, much like my cocky rooster Rocky, across the twenty or so feet to the coop. I keep a stern eye on those monstrous beasts in the distance. Occasionally one will raise its head and consider the distance between us then return to its sumptuous feast of plain old boring grass. No kitchen scraps for you.

Today was a gorgeous fall day and I was in a great mood. I spied the cows in the far field and grabbed my mulch bucket and mealworms. I opened the gate as quietly as I could then looked over at the monstrosities in the far field. They didn’t even have the courtesy to look up. I unlocked the chicken coop and dumped the scraps, to their grateful delight. I looked at the regular spot for eggs. There were none. I tossed a handful of mealworms and they thanked me profusely by fluttering their wings. This took me all of twenty-five seconds.

I wished the chickens a happy day, turned to leave the coop and was met by a horrific sight. Time stood still as I beheld 2 massive bovines bounding at me not fifty feet away! At the same time, I realized that I had left the main gate wide open. I quickly locked myself in the coop and called Jesus incessantly. I had to divert them or I would have real trouble on my hands if they ran out of that gate. In a split second I scaled the ten-foot coop and fence, grateful for all the times I watched my son at parcour. He would have been proud of mama.

Once over the fence, I started grabbing weeds and desperately stuffing them through the holes in the chicken link fence to distract the cows from the open gate. This worked very well for the 2 by me. In my peripheral vision I caught sight of a third, gamboling straight at the twelve-foot opening, and, to my dismay, the gate was open towards her. I took off like a mad bullet, energized by her maniacal lowing as she kicked scads of turf 6 feet into the air, determined to beat me through that gate.

I will never, ever, be able to explain how I got there before her, grabbed that frigid green pole-gate two inches in front of her slimy snout, and backed up to lock its chain in place. She about screeched to a halt like they do in the cartoons, wild tail straight up in the air and blinked disbelievingly as I let out the most feral Tarzan-like bellow!