• Dzama

Cancel the Albatross

The girls had their hair tied so it stuck straight up and ate turtle soup out of turtle shells at the bar. They wore short skirts and their long legs were criss-crossed with tight black ribbons. Dwarves walked back and forth behind the bar on a raised platform using giant ladles to keep the turtle shells filled. There were little people swimming in the soup- little men in white shirts and ties- but the girls slurped away, occasionally crunching up the little men just like they crunched up the stewed cabbage and broccoli. A small mouse walked down the bar on his hind legs, a certain authoritative air to his stride. “Would you like to hear the specials of the day?” he squeaked. The girls tittered.

“The first special is something we haven’t had here in a long time,” he went on, waving his tiny hand. “In fact we haven’t had it here since 1971.” The girls were captivated. “It is, of course, albatross, skinned and fried up with mango sauce. The second special is cotton candy about the size of a basketball. The third special is caviar made out of tiny human heads. Anything sound appealing, ladies?” He stood between the soup bowls and looked up at the girls. One of the white shirted men swam over to the edge of the bowl and stared down at the mouse but was quickly swept into one of the girls’ spoons and was crunched to pieces and swallowed along with some duck broth and a carrot.

“You’d like the caviar, I can tell,” the mouse said. The girls looked at each other. Then one picked up the mouse and held him out for closer inspection. Then she kissed him and put him back down onto the bar. He appeared flustered. “Well, uh, there’s, um, also the… Albatross! Yes. Or the, um, don’t forget the cotton candy!” The girls looked at each other and laughed. “Or, no specials at all, that’s another option.”

“Albatross,” one of the girls said. “Okay, one albatross,” the mouse said into a tiny walkie-talkie. “And for you, miss?” The other girl started to answer but then heaved and spewed all over the soup, the bar, and the mouse. She couldn’t stop throwing up. Half-chewed broccoli and the hands and heads of little men spilled all over the bar along with the rest of the yellow, reeking throw-up. The other girl recoiled in surprise. The mouse tried to clean himself but another ocean of puke splashed down on him, almost washing him off the bar. “Get her out of here! Get her OUT!” The dwarf yelled. The other girl grabbed the puking girl’s arm and they stumbled toward the exit. The girl projectile-vomited all over the restaurant, an endless shower of rancid chunks and gravy.

When they made it out to the street the girl could only dry-heave. Luckily a cab arrived and took them out of there. The mouse, all cleaned up now but still dripping wet, watched as the cab drove away. He spoke into his tiny walkie: “Cancel the albatross.”

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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