Login   Sign Up 


The Space Kebabs of Death!

by scriever 

Posted: 30 March 2017
Word Count: 973
Summary: For the challenge. In the far future, death is nearly a thing of the past.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

First, let me tell you about my shop, Pedro’s Kebab and Bulgar Joint, Proxima Spaceport. Pedro's the robot chef; he has eight arms, a torso that turns a full 360 degrees and a black, bristling moustache which hides a loudspeaker, condiment dispenser and scanner. He can spray mustard, bbq sauce or ketchup while he speaks, which the kids just love. And one thing all life forms appear to love is kebabs, so the little shop’s a big money spinner. Life is sweet, if a bit dull.

That day, 34 Octo, seemed like any other until about 15, just past the lunch-time rush, when the air in the little shop, normally full of the warm steamy kebab smell that the customers expect, turned icy. At first I thought the aircon was on the fritz again, but when I emerged from my cubicle I could see that wasn’t the problem. Pedro was motionless, and the space on the other side of the counter was empty, apart from two hazy, thin apparitions. The Forbidden. 

You had to squint out of the corner of your eyes to see them, which explained the lack of movement from Pedro. His Microscanner™ just couldn’t cope. They existed in a dimension that only touched ours in a peripheral way, as far as I could understand. And they were trouble. We weren’t supposed to communicate with them, have anything to do with them. When they turned up, something, or someone, died. In a universe where death was for the terminally poor or careless, that was a scary prospect. So I was scared. If they hadn’t come for a kebab, there was only one other thing in that shop that they could be after. Me.

It wasn’t fair. I was only 149, just a boy, I didn’t want to die. So I broke the rules. I spoke to them.

“Hi, gents, what’ll it be? A Special Big Moose Kebab, maybe a Chicken Little with our unique chillanchovie sauce™? Or a big bag of laser-fried Bulgar and Quark? And just for you, as first time customers at Pedro’s, a 25% discount. Whaddya say?”

The shadowy figures didn’t speak, but I heard, or sensed, words forming in my head. “You are Peter Dodso. We have come for you, Peter Dodso. We do not want your Special Big Moose Kebab, or the other things you offer.” Not many laughs with these guys. I swallowed hard.

“But, hey, how do you know you don’t want one if you’ve never tried it? Everyone loves a kebab! And ours are the best! We’re the most popular fast food franchise in the western spiral. Go on, give it a try. On the house.”

The spectres seemed to merge into one. Perhaps that was the way they spoke to each other. All this time Pedro was looking at me, then the apparently empty shop. “Who are you speaking to Pete? There is nobody there.” As usual, there was a faint background of Mariachi trumpets when Pedro spoke. It had never seemed more inappropriate than it did at that moment.

I motioned him to be quiet. The two figures seemed to drift closer to the counter. “Very well,” that voice in my head again. “We will try one of your offerings. We do not taste food as you understand it, but now that you mention it we are a bit peckish. We will ingest a kebab, then you must come with us.”

My mouth was dry, and I was shaking, and not from the chill air. I cleared my throat. “Pedro, a Special Big Moose Kebab and a Chicken Little Kebab with chillanchovie sauce™ for the gentlemen, with all the trimmings.”

Pedro turned his torso as he scanned the shop. “But we have no customers. Are you not feeling well Pete? Have you been drinking that Sybian Panther Juice again?”

“Just do it, Pedro. Make the kebabs and put them down on the counter. Do it!” The last command came out a little high pitched, and Pedro hesitated. He couldn’t disobey a direct order from the franchisee, though, so he set to with the knives and the salad choppers, creating two perfect kebabs in just over 30 seconds, which he placed on the counter. They couldn’t be picked up until Tilldro had been fed, so I dug into my pocket for the cash.

“There you go, gents, enjoy.” Each one picked up a kebab. The Forbidden seemed to have mouths just about where we would have them. As they ate, a strange thing started to happen. The shadowy figures seemed to solidify. Little by little, two figures were emerging. Pedro and I watched as two tall, thin figures materialised. Their skin covering was pale, nearly translucent, and they had dark holes in their skulls where their eyes should have been. I realised I was holding my breath, and let it out with a kind of wheeze.

I clapped my hands together, and both of our customers turned towards me. “Well, how was that gents? You didn’t take long in polishing them off, I must say.”

The two figures looked at me, then at each other. “We have materialised. This is irregular,” said one. “Most irregular,” said the other. I realised I was hearing this with my ears. They looked back at me. “We will return, Peter Dodso.” They hurried out of the shop into the busy street.

They never did come back. I heard that they had started working in the Spaceport Laundromat, a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I see them passing the shop occasionally; they don’t look particularly happy, but then how could you tell? I only know that my little kebab shop saved my life that day, and, for all I know, the life of everyone else in the universe. They ought to give me a medal.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

No comments at present.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .