Disclaimer. this is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to places or people real or imaginary would interest the author greatly, but is entirely coincidental. All credit for the concept of Forbidden Dish and the world around it go to girlfood.
A Forbidden Dish tale
Based on characters and settings by girlfood. Written with permission of the original author.
Clark hit Michael on the shoulder and pointed to the oak in the common, or more specifically to Donna, who was standing under it. She was chatting with a small swarm of girl friends.
“Dude, I’m totally going for it,” Clark said before jogging towards the gaggle of girls. Michael just rolled his eyes. Clark was always like that. He’d get an idea in his head and he’d go off and do it. Michael was more of a planner. He’d get so lost in the planning part that he’d never actually get to the doing if he were left alone.
Good thing Clark was so outgoing, or neither of them would get to talk to girls.
“And it’s totally legal!” Donna told her friends, “It was amazing. Best 21st birthday ever! I hope I get to go to Forbidden Dish again soon,”
Her friends were hanging on her every word and didn’t even notice Clark casually walk into the crowd and begin nodding along. Donna did, though, and she started laughing.
“So, Donna, How about you go out to dinner with me? I’m buying,” Clark said as he leaned against the tree. Donna’s eyes lit up.
“At Forbidden dish?” she asked hopefully.
Clark had never heard of Forbidden dish. Sounded like a high end Chinese restaurant (Forbidden City and all)
“Of course, where else?” Clark said casually, “You in?”
Donna squealed with excitement, “Really?” she leaned in “accidentally” showing plenty of cleavage, “I didn’t know you were into that sort of thing,”
“Uh huh,” he said not really paying attention to her words. To be fair there wasn’t much blood in his brain. He didn’t understand why the other girls gasped, but they seemed to be impressed, and that was all he needed to know.
“Oh, I almost forgot,” Donna said, “I promised my friend, Martha, that I’d take her if I ever went to Forbidden Dish again. Do you have a friend who would be interested in going with us?”
“Donna!” Martha said turning a little red. Clark looked at Martha. She was small and shy but very pretty. Perfect. It was better than they planned. Clark covertly waved Michael over.
Michael saw the signal. He casually began to walk by the tree as if he didn’t notice the group of girls.
“Hey Mikie!” Clark called now openly waving him over. Michael walked up to the girls as if this wasn’t their plan all along.
“What’s up?” Michael asked.
“I’m going to the Forbidden Dish tonight with Donna, and she was wondering if I had a friend that would like to go with her friend Martha over here,” He put his arm around Martha and brought her to the front of the group. Martha smiled shyly and looked down.
Michael couldn’t believe his luck. She was exactly his type.
“Definitely!” Michael said, possibly a bit overenthusiastically.
Martha finally looked up, “Really?” She seemed as delighted and surprised as he was. “You know what Forbidden Dish is right?”
Michael borrowed a page from Clark’s book and pretended to know what they were talking about. “Ah, yeah. I’ve always wanted to go there,” he said. Based on the looks on Donna and Martha’s face it must have been the exact right thing to say.
“So, what time do you want us to pick you up?” Clark asked.
“Don’t you think it would be better if we picked you up?” Donna asked.
“Even better,” Clark said. If appealing to a bit of feminism would impress them then he was game.
Donna leaned in and breathed into his ear, “Tonight at 8 then. Don’t chicken out now,” she said and the girls walked away whispering excitedly again.
“Dude. Score.” Clark said.
“Yeah,” Michael said.
“We’re totally screwed,” Michael said later that night at Clark’s apartment, “I looked up that Forbidden Dish place they were talking about, and apparently people go there to shrink other people and swallow them!”
“What do you mean?” Clark said.
“Exactly what I said! I’m serious. It’s all over the internet, and their official website confirms it,” Michael said, the panic obvious in his voice.
“There’s no way that can be real,” Clark said, “And if it was they wouldn’t do that to us. You saw how Donna and Martha are. They’re too nice for that,”
“Oh yeah? Then why did they suggest it in the first place?” Michael said somewhat shrilly.
“Calm down. We can’t back out now. Did you see how many girls heard us agree to go? We’ll look like tools if we don’t play along,” Clark said, “We’ll go, and if it gets too dangerous we’ll find an excuse to back out. Say there’s something we have to take care of,”
“All right, but if there’s any truth to this, we better scramble,” Michael said, “I hope you’re right though,” They could see Donna’s car pulling up in the parking lot. Michael had a bad feeling about this whole thing.
“Are you sure it’s ok?” Martha asked still sounding doubtful.
“Of course it is,” Donna, answered, “I told you, there are lots of guys that are into this. The one I had at my party practically begged me to eat him,”
“I just, it just, um. I don’t know Donna,” Martha said unable to fully put her doubts into words, “They seem like nice guys, and I don’t want to hurt them,”
“Don’t worry, they want this,” Donna said, “You heard what they said. Besides, aren’t you curious?”
“A little,” she said looking down and playing with her fingers, “I just don’t understand why they would want us to do this,”
“I don’t care why they want us to,” Donna said, “I just want to get them to the restaurant and in here,” She rubbed her exposed belly and smiled.
When Donna’s car pulled into Clark’s driveway, Clark and Michael went out to meet them. They were nervous, but they still believed what the website said was impossible. Donna and Martha got out of the car, and Donna hugged Clark.
“Hey you,” Donna said, “Ready to go?” She was wearing a midriff bearing tank top and homemade cutoff jean shorts that were so short the pockets hung below the jagged edge of the leg hole.
“Um, yeah, definitely,” Clark said. He was too stunned by her to worry about what Michael had told him mere minutes ago. He’d lost the ability to speak English.
“Hop in then,” she said. Clark climbed into the front passenger seat and called out to Michael,
“Hey Mikie! Let’s roll!”
Martha and Michael just stared at the ground and shuffled their feet.
“You look, um, nice,” Michael said. Nice? Idiot! YOU LOOK NICE? He was face palming internally.
“Thank you,” Martha whispered, “You look nice too,” Once again she blushed and got quiet. Martha was dressed more conservatively than Donna. Her hair was down, she wasn’t wearing makeup (tell the truth she didn’t need it), and she still had her glasses on. She was wearing a simple blouse with a t-shirt under it to make up for the fact that it was low cut and a simple skirt. Michael found her modesty attractive. It made her more approachable. He opened the back door for her and then climbed in himself. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.
Donna and Clark were talking and laughing during the whole trip. They seemed to feel that they had to fill every moment with noise to kill their nervousness. Michael and Martha sat quietly in the back. Every now and then one would slowly sneak a glance at the other only to quickly look away if the other noticed. They barely uttered a word to each other the whole trip, but learned more about each other than Clark and Donna with all their words. Despite this being only his second time “talking to” Martha, Michael was sure he was in love.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at her, but Martha was excited. She would’ve never had the courage to ask Michael out herself, but he was exactly her type.
The car ride was shorter than Clark or Michael would’ve wanted. Donna was the first out of the car. She eagerly walked toward the door before realizing that nobody was following her. Michael got out of the car and opened the door for Martha, and then Clark got out. They walked in the Restaurant with Donna in the lead, Clark following her but looking like he was dragging his feet. Michael was beside him, and Martha was bringing up the rear.
It was a very high end restaurant and every member of the wait staff was gorgeous! The hostess walked them to a table and asked the girls if it was there first time there.
“I was here yesterday and just had to bring a few friends!” Donna said.
“Good, good, do you want to show your friends around, or do you wish to have one of our staff give you a tour?” The hostess asked.
“We’ll just roam around a bit,” Donna said.
“Very well, If you have any questions feel free to ask any of us,” The hostess said. Since it was a Friday and they seemed good on their own she went to help other patrons.
They went to the dining area and sat at one of the tables. A peppy young waitress approached them, “Hi welcome to Forbidden Dish. May I take drink orders?” The waitress asked. They all politely declined, “Sorry if I seem a little nervous, it’s my first day, so bear with me,”
“Is it true what they say about this place?” Clark asked raising one eyebrow esoterically.
“It sure is,” She answered. Clark and Michael exchanged nervous glances, “So, I take it you’ve come in together?” The waitress asked. They nodded, “So you probably don’t need menus or bracelets. Unless someone wants a snack or something,” They all shook their heads, “I’ll go get you two’s paperwork. Be back in a jiffy, and if you need anything, I’m Jackie,”
“Paperwork?” Clark said.
“It’s a contract. A waver to say you’ve come here willingly. No big deal,” Donna said.
Clark was about to object when he noticed people at the bar openly groping each other. As he started to pay attention he saw that it was happening all over the restaurant.
“What do we have here?” Clark asked.
“It’s sort of an unspoken rule here,” Donna said, “If you agree to be shrunk and swallowed by someone the right to touch them is implied,”
Clark ushered Michael to a private corner, “Dude, I know you want to bail and everything, but we have got to stay until I at least get to second base with Donna.”
“What? Are you crazy?” Michael said pointing to a group of girls at a nearby table with tiny men in bowls in front of them, “We’ve gotta get out of here before we end up like THAT! Is second base worth that? Huh? Huh?”
“I fail to see your point,” Clark said. He’d always been a breast man, and a good set could guarantee complete loss of brain function for him. Donna, needless to say, had huge, um, tracts of land.
“You like Martha right?” Clark asked.
“Yeah,” Michael answered.
“You already said you don’t believe they’d do anything to us unless we let them right?” Clark asked.
“Uh huh,” Michael answered.
“I’m not asking you to do anything but hang out with Martha until I’m ready to go. If things go south, I’ll call you on your cell and we’ll bolt for it,” he leaned in and whispered, “I have to make the trip worth something. It’s already coming out of my wallet,”
When they got back to the table the paperwork was already waiting for them at their seats. Clark leaned in to kiss Donna and she dodged slyly and smiled.
“No, no,” She giggled, “Not until you sign the papers,” She leaned in by his ear, “Then we can go to the back, and I’ll give you exactly what you want,”
Clark and Michael exchanged glances. Michael knew that there was no way to argue with Clark without causing a scene and just sunk into his seat.
Martha turned to him. She had difficulty meeting his eye, “If you want to, um you know, it’s ok,” She said. Fear was obvious in her voice. Michael knew that there walking away and talking after hearing about the touching policy had put her on the spot and wanted to ease her mind.
“I just want to sit with you for a bit,” He said. She looked partly relieved and partly downcast. She thinks I don’t like her. He held her hand and smiled at her, “I just want you to be comfortable,” She smiled at him.
Martha was happy. He still liked her; he was just trying to be a gentleman. He’s so sweet. Martha couldn’t believe her luck.
Clark grabbed a pen and started signing and initialing as if the paper would vanish if he didn’t hurry. Michael picked his copy up and began to read it.
“Dude, hurry up,” Clark said handing Michael a pen. He gave him a look that was an argument unto itself. He gave him that look any time he seemed to be overanalyzing a good thing. Michael sighed and started signing and initialing the papers. Any time he stopped to read, Clark would clear his throat. How bad can it be? Martha smiled at him, but looked away when she saw him look up. If it gets bad, Martha will help me out.
Jackie came and took the papers when they were finished, “Ok, I’ll take care of these. Feel free to explore. I’ll be around if you need me”
When they were alone Clark tried to kiss Donna again and she ducked him. She lifted him out of the seat by his hand, “Let’s get in line shall we?” She said and he followed her without a struggle to the end of a nearby line.
Martha looked at Michael as if she wanted to say something, but couldn’t. He knew she wanted to get in line too. Not wanting to upset her, he smiled, got up, and walked with her to the end of another line. The line was pretty long. He still had time.
Clark was surprised to see how fast the line moved. He’d see a man and a woman go into the room. Afterwards he’d sometimes see a woman walk out with a tiny man in her hand, sometimes they wouldn’t come out for a while, the line would move forward, and when they did come out the woman would be alone.
“Why do some of them stay in there so long?” Clark asked.
“There are private rooms in the back,” Donna said, “Should we get one?” She leaned in and whispered the question in his ear. He tried to kiss her again, and she stepped back playfully. “A little further,” Clark smiled and continued forward as the line progressed. She was keeping him just tense enough that he wasn’t paying attention. If he thinks too hard about it, he might chicken out. When she saw that they were next in line she began to run her fingers up and down his chest. When he leaned in for a kiss she didn’t back up. Donna turned Clark around and began slowly guiding him as they kissed. His hand was slowly working its way up her shirt. He didn’t realize he’d backed into the shrinking booth until she was quickly backing up and lowering the door.
“Wha,” Clark started.
“I thought you’d be less nervous if your mind was, um, otherwise occupied,” Donna said smiling.
“Hi I’m Janice and I’ll be your operator today,” A woman that was standing next to the booth said startling them both. She was so quiet that she almost seemed to materialize when she spoke. She bent down and locked the booth, “Please bear with me. It’s my first day and I’m still learning the ropes” She grabbed a sheet of paper with a check list on it, “Let’s see make sure door is fully closed and securely locked, mmhmm, oh ok, so once that’s ready I push this button here. Oh wait!” She’d already pushed the button, “I’m supposed to ask if you’re sure you want to do this first, “That’s the third time this day,” she looked like she was going to cry. Donna opened the booth and scooped up Clark.
“Don’t worry about it,” Donna said, “We’re good,” She put a ten in the tip jar and headed out to the restaurant area.
“We’re good?” Clark asked, “I don’t want to do this!”
“Too late to back out now,” Donna said, “You’re all mine,”
She went back to their table and sat down.
“Please! This is a mistake. You’ve got to do something!” Clark yelled.
“Oh I’m about to do something alright,” She said lifting Clark above her head.
Just then Jackie approached the table, “Would you like a drink to go with your meal?” She asked.
Donna lowered Clark for a few seconds while she thought about it. “Jack and Coke please,” she said.
“And find someone who can put me back to normal size,” Clark said, “There’s been a little mix up,”
“I’ll be right back with your drink ma’am,” Jackie said walking away.
“She, she just ignored me!” Clark said indignantly.
“Can a piece of steak make requests?” Donna asked him, “As far as anyone’s concerned here you are just as capable of making demands as a jumbo shrimp,” She brought him to her mouth and licked him, “mmm. I wonder, should I wait for my drink or finish you right now,”
“Please!” Clark yelled, “Don’t do this Donna!”
“You’re putting up a lot of resistance for someone who was so gung ho about this earlier today,” She said, “You know what, I don’t think I can wait for my drink,” Donna opened her mouth and began to slowly lower Clark in.
“We didn’t know!” Clark screamed. Donna wasn’t sure she’d heard anyone sound so scared in he life. She pulled him back where she could see him better and saw that he was crying.
“What do you mean you didn’t know?” She demanded.
“We didn’t want to look stupid in front of you and your friends, so we pretended to know what Forbidden Dish was, but neither of us had heard of it, Clark was openly sobbing now.
“Neither of you knew?” she asked. She was a bit worried. I hope Michael speaks up before he gets in trouble. “Wait a minute. You knew about this place when we got here. You had to have found out before we picked you up,”
“We didn’t believe the rumors,” Clark said, “It sounded impossible. We knew if we backed out it would ruin our reputation, and we wanted to impress you,”
“Bang up job so far,” Donna said, “But there’s no way I could eat you if you didn’t know, that would be wrong,” Clark looked up hopefully, “I’ll ask the waitress to send you back. I hope you’ve learned your lesson,”
Clark nodded solemnly, “Thank you,” When Jackie arrived with Donna’s drink she handed Clark to her.
“There’s been a mistake,” Could you take him and change him back?
“No problem,” Jackie smiled, “Can I get you anything else?
Donna took a sip of her drink, “Nah, I think I can do my own hunting,” Donna sat and sipped her drink. She couldn’t see Michael and Martha in the line anymore, but she’d let that problem take care of itself. She had some prowling to do.
She saw a man in a nice suit setting by himself at the bar. He was wearing a red band on his arm signaling that he wanted to be eaten. She slid into the bar stool next to him.
“Are you sure you want to be shrunk?” Donna asked him, “My date got cold feet and bailed on me,”
The man looked her up and down, “I can’t imagine why,” he said, “He’d have to be crazy to not want to be eaten by you,”
How sweet. She put out her hand, “Donna”
He took it, “Duncan”
“Shall we?” She asked.
“I thought you’d never ask” Duncan said and they went to the line. It was much shorter than earlier and they were able to get him reduced fairly quickly. This time Janice remembered to ask if he was sure before pressing the button. He nodded nervously “As sure as I’ll ever be,”
Donna took him back to her seat and ordered a refresher on her drink. It was getting kind of late, “I wonder what’s keeping Martha,” She said out loud but to herself.
“Waiting on friends huh?” Duncan asked, “I remember one time I,” Duncan started, but before he could finish Donna had popped him into her mouth, played with him absently for a bit and swallowed. She had no time for stories, especially from someone who was trying to pad the last day of his life. She doubted she would remember the story anyway. By tomorrow she probably wouldn’t even remember his name. What was it again? Dawson? Danny? Whatever. Her drink arrived and she began to quietly sip it. Her second visit wasn’t as fun as the first one, but she already knew she wanted to come back.
Lindsay was bored and slightly angry. There were a lot of call-ins today. Some strange bug was going around. The only operator working today was a new girl, so the servers had to take turns working one of the shrink booths. It was Lindsay’s turn. On a Friday of all days! It was not that Lindsay didn’t like operating the machine; it was just that when she did she liked to enjoy the little treat that came out. Working the machine and then handing off the tiny guys to others was frustrating. I could have had so many by now. She saw a young couple approaching her booth. The guy looked frightened and ready to bolt, but Lindsay felt pity for the girl and decided to have some fun.
The line was moving very fast. Martha seemed distracted. She’s probably nervous. She’d stare off at something or other and the line would move without her noticing. People would bump into her. The taller ones (almost everybody to her) would nearly trip over her if they weren’t paying attention.
“Sorry,” she said over and over again in a high shy whisper.
As they got closer to the booth room Michael began to panic internally. Every time he tried to tell Martha he didn’t want to do it he’d lose his ability to speak. On the other hand she seemed to get more excited with each step. Before he could work up the words they stepped through the threshold into the booth room.
“Uh, Martha, I’ve been meaning to tell you,” Michael started but was cut off.
“Welcome to the shrink booth. I’m Lindsay, your operator,” A beautiful woman beside the booth said “I Just need you to step right here, good,” Lindsay said guiding Michael into the booth. He went without too much resistance. He had a hard time protesting people in official positions. She closed the door and locked it, “Now, this is very important, this is your last chance to back out. If you change your mind right now, you can walk out of the restaurant. Once I push this button, there’s no going back,”
Fear for his life finally won over his fear of speaking, “I don’t want to be shrunk!” he yelled, “I want out!”
Martha looked crestfallen.
“What’s that?” Lindsay said, “I couldn’t quite hear him. With those thick walls and the whirr of the machines I have a hard time hearing the people in the booth. Seeing as you’re the only other person here that could’ve heard him I need you to tell me what he said,”
“What do you mean you can’t hear me?” Michael yelled, “I can hear you just fine,”
Realization dawned on Martha’s face and her eyes brightened, “He said he’s ready,” She said smiling, “He wants you to get started before he changes his mind,”
“Martha?” Michael said.
“I thought so,” Lindsay said as she pushed the button.
Before he could figure out what happened Michael’s head was spinning. When he came to he was staring up at an impossibly large Martha, who was smiling. She reached down and gently picked him up. His head was still spinning and he couldn’t quite figure out how to react to what just happened.
Martha was staring at the tiny man in her hand with reverent awe. She looked at Lindsay, her big innocent eyes near tears. Martha tried to speak but was too choked up. As she went back to staring at Michael, Lindsay explained her options to her.
“There are private rooms if you want one,” she said. Martha nodded excitedly, “Go back there and look for the next unoccupied room. Don’t forget to lock the door behind you,” Martha stared at Lindsay quivering with excitement. She tried to speak and when that failed, simply nodded and sort of skipped towards the private rooms.
Without a word, Martha locked the door and placed Michael on a nearby table. She had an odd smile on her face, and her gaze was darker. Michael couldn’t explain it. It was just darker. And her breathing! Her breathing was heavy and a bit raspy.
“Martha, listen to me!” Michael shouted, “There’s been a big mistake! I didn’t want to get shrunk! Please you’ve got to help me!”
Martha didn’t say a word. Her breathing became heavier and a shudder ran through her. Michael could see her hands tightening on the hem of her skirt as if she was restraining herself.
“We didn’t know what this place was when we agreed to come!” Michael yelled.
Martha let out a delighted squeal.
“You have to believe me,” Michael yelled. Martha poked him in the chest, and he fell down. Michael quickly climbed to his feet.
Martha poked him again.
This time he caught himself and remained standing.
“Martha, what the hell?” Michael yelled.
Martha giggled, “You’re exactly my type,” she whispered. Her voice had taken on a huskier tone, ”At first when Donna said you wanted this I was worried, but after hearing you in the booth I know you’re my type! I’m so happy!”
“Why did you tell that lady I was ok with this? I want to be changed back!” Michael yelled.
Martha shuddered again. She was now wringing her skirt. What’s wrong with her? She wasn’t like this before.
Her stomach growled, “Excuse me,” she said timidly, “I haven’t eaten all day since Donna said we were coming here,” She picked Michael up and raised him above her head.
“Put me down!” He yelled.
“I will in a bit,” She said smiling slyly, “All the way down,” She rubbed her belly, “When I was a little girl, every time I was alone, I used to imagine I had a little boy of my own to swallow. I’ve never told anybody this. You’re the first to hear,” She opened her mouth wide. Michael had a clear shot of her throat. She can’t be for real!
“Martha, I know you don’t really want to do this!” Michael yelled as Martha slowly lowered her hand. He could feel her hot breath flowing heavy over his body,”
“Of course not,” she said smiling, “That would be bad,” she continued to lower him towards her mouth. She licked his feet as he tried to curl up and make himself shorter, “So bad, so very mean,” Michael screamed and Martha shuddered again. She accidentally let go of Michael and dropped him into her mouth. He tried to crawl out, but she pulled him back in with her tongue and closed her mouth. She began to hum a happy tune and move him around in her mouth. Enjoying the struggles. Enjoying the fact that there was nothing he could do even more.
The suspense finally got to be too great for her. Martha tilted her head back,
Michael fought the hot mouth sauna as hard as he could, but it only served to get him banged against every surface of Martha’s mouth. He felt the terrain suddenly shift and before he could react he was sliding down.
“Nooooo!” he screamed as his feet caught in the esophagus below him. He could feel it squeeze his feet and pull. Suddenly, his whole body was pulled into the tight tube and being forced down. He fought tooth and nail to climb back up, but nothing he did changed his direction. After a few seconds that felt like forever he was squeezed tighter and then fell suddenly. He landed on something soft, wet and squishy. As he landed the area around him erupted into violent movement throwing him and tightening around him. The liquid that leaked from the walls coated him as he was tossed around. At first it itched, then it began to burn. He tried pounding on the walls and screaming, and then realized his mistake. He’d just let out all of his air.
The feeling of Michael’s struggles as he went down her esophagus was incredible. When it was over she wasn’t sure if she could feel him in her stomach or was just imagining it, but the image of him being trapped inside her struggling with all his might but unable to get out thrilled her in ways she couldn’t describe. The shudders were coming faster now. She finally gave in and drunkenly swayed over to the love seat in the corner of the room. She plopped down and slowly worked off her panties.
Lindsay had finally gotten back to tending bar as one of the other girls relieved her of operating duty. She saw the young woman she, “helped” earlier walk to a bar stool with a dreamy smile on her face. She almost seemed to float there.
“Can I get you a drink?” Lindsay asked.
Martha shook her head and rubbed her belly. Ah, she doesn’t want anything else in there with him. Can she feel him?!
“Thank you,” Martha said in a sweet voice. Lindsay winked.
“Don’t mention it,” Lindsay said. Really kid.
Martha smiled and walked to a nearby table where Donna was sitting.
Lindsay smiled and went to refresh another patron’s drink. He seemed to be plying up enough courage to request her to shrink him. Looks like I’ll get lucky tonight after all.
“There you are!” Donna said, “Where’d you vanish to?”
Martha sighed happily, but said nothing.
“Clark chickened out on me,” Donna said, “Big surprise there!”
“Oh,” Martha said.
“Of course I couldn’t eat him after he panicked like that,” Donna said, “I sent him back and got someone else to, um, fill the position,”
“Of course not, that would be awful,” Martha said. It would be very bad. Very mean. “I hope he’s ok,”
“You know what?” Donna said slapping the table,” I just realized, if he came here knowing what we were going to do, but not wanting to do it, he probably just staid to try and feel me up! That little! Errr! I should’ve swallowed him anyway! Hell, I should’ve chewed!”
“Don’t say that,” Martha said putting her hand to her mouth in shock, “You don’t want to do something you’d regret,”
“Speaking of regret, I had a few glasses of regret tonight. It’s probably best you drive us home,” Donna said. Martha nodded, “Oh by the way, how’d it go with Michael,”
“Wonderful,” Martha sighed.
“Huh, Clark seemed to think Michael would chicken out too,” Donna said.
Martha shook her head, “He was very happy to do it. He was probably too embarrassed to tell Clark,”
“When we get home Clark’s the one that’ll be embarrassed,” Donna said, “When I’m done with him no girl on campus will want to date him,”
Jackie carried Clark casually in her hand as she walked briskly through the restaurant. She didn’t seem to care for his comfort or personal safety. When she’d stop at a table to take orders she’d casually wave him around. She was a major hand talker and would frankly forget he was there. Any attempts to ask her questions were ignored. Clark had had all he could take when he saw that she passed the shrinking booths without slowing down.
“Hey, We’re supposed to be going that way!” He yelled. She ignored him and kept walking, “Hello!” He waved up to her, but she trudged on dodging customers and wait staff who were carrying massive trays. At the far wall of the restaurant was a sign that read STAFF ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT.
She continued down the hall as other waiters brought trays towards the restaurant. Considering it was her first day, she maneuvered through the traffic like she had done it all her life. It seemed to be second nature to her. At the end of the hall there was an area similar to a tray drop off at a cafeteria with a bin of tiny men with a label that read DIRTY. Beside it there was a tray of dirty dishes that also said DIRTY, a bin of tiny men that said CLEAN, and a stack of clean dishes. She dropped him in the dirty men tray and walked off without a word.
The tray was full of angry and confused men yelling pretty much what Clark had been yelling since Jackie had picked him up, but nobody would listen to them. After waiting there for a few minutes a woman on the other side of the drop off started picking them up one by one and wiping them off with a rag. (You know, in case the customer had licked them before returning them) After wiping down and drying each of them, she transferred them to the clean tray and went back into the kitchen area. She ignored their cries as well. She might as well have been polishing glasses.
Every now and then, a waitress would come, count out a few, put them on a tray, and walk off. With each tray the sinking feeling in Clark’s stomach grew. Finally a waitress counted off six men, Clark included, and put them in individual bowls on her tray. She grabbed six cups and walked over to a drink fountain.
“Let’s see, three sparkling waters, two regular waters, with lemon, and a diet cola,” she mumbled to herself trying to recall the whole order, “Cheapskates. Always coming in here and never tipping,”
“Excuse me!” Clark called out. The others began to yell out to her as well, but Clark was closer and caught her ear, ”I need your help! There’s been a terrible mistake! Please, get me out of here!”
“Relax sir, you’ll get out soon,” The waitress said, “You just have to go to processing first. It’s standard procedure I assure you. Once you’re processed you can get out,” She stopped for a moment, “Oh yes, they ordered an onion blossom as well,” After she’d placed the order and received the onion blossom, she walked the other way down the hall deftly carrying the tray.
“If we’re going to processing, why are you carrying drinks and an onion blossom with us?”
“The order’s going the same direction,” She said casually, “Why make two trips when you could make one,” This satisfied Clark and he asked no more questions. His worry was piqued again when he saw the waitress walking towards a table with six smartly dressed women. They were young professionals; most of them had their P.D.A.s out and a Bluetooth in one ear.
“Here you go, six shrunken men, an onion blossom, three sparkling waters, two regular waters with lemon, and a diet cola,” She said laying out the order. The diet cola was placed next to Clark. The women halfheartedly thanked the waitress and went back to talking. Clark tried to call out to the waitress, but she was long gone. He saw the woman across from him pick up her tiny man and pop him into her mouth. She didn’t even pause her conversation on her Bluetooth. She just swallowed and kept on talking. He turned to face the woman who purchased him and his heart leapt for joy. He was as good as saved!
“Vera!” Clark yelled. Of all the people in all the places in all the world he was lucky enough to land right in front of his oldest friend during his most desperate hour. Clark and Vera had started kindergarten together, and remained friends until high school graduation. They hadn’t been in contact with each other since high school graduation, but she was sure a sight for sore eyes!
Vera heard him yelling and looked down at her bowl annoyed at first, but then smiling, “Clark!” She said excitedly, “It’s been forever!”
“What are you doing in a place like this?” Clark asked. To tell the truth seeing her had filled him with relief.
“I’m working as a file clerk for Dewie, Cheatim, and Howe,” She said, “If I stick with the partnership they’ll pay for my J.D.S and make me partner when I graduate. They said I had great potential. To tell you the truth, I’m doing more law work than most lawyers. I just have to be a file clerk on the books until I get my degree. How’ve you been?”
“Not good,” Clark said, “Listen, I need,” Vera held up a finger.
“Sorry. Gotta take this,” She said and then began talking to the air, “Yes Hank, I understand. Undoubtedly, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are our client and they paid a retainer.” She paused and listened for a while. While she was waiting she lifted her soda and drank down about half of it. Vera began to absently play with Clark in her fingers, knocking him to the bottom of the bowl and pinning him without watching what she was doing. He noticed with fear that he was about the size of one of her fingers. Her French tipped nails were long enough to slice him in half and there she was just tap tap tapping around him with them unconsciously, “Exactly how unethical are we talking Hank? Fine, I’ll look into it, but you owe me,”
When she hung up she withdrew her hand from the bowl and looked down at Clark, “I hate to be rude and break this off early, but this is a working mealtime, and I only get thirty minutes. I have to finish this,” Very gestured towards Clark and her drink, “and get things ready for a surprise meeting before I can go home to bed. It was nice seeing you again though,” Clark stood up to protest, but Vera held up a finger,
“Hank? Yeah, I just have to shuffle a few papers around. It should be done before I head out,” She took another drink of her soda and picked Clark up. She played with him in her fingers as she took another drink, “A place called Forbidden Dish. No I’m sure you haven’t heard of it. We helped them with some paperwork when they started out, so now we get discounts. Just wanted a little something before the meeting. Yeah sure why don’t you come check it out some day. I’ll bring you myself. Sure, sure,”
She popped Clark into her mouth. As he screamed and begged he could hear her hum “mmmhmm, mmmhmm,” To “Henry” Suddenly he went barreling down her esophagus. He knew it was no use to fight, but that didn’t stop him. He struggled the whole way down before splashing into a mess of diet cola and stomach acid. Clark swam around blindly looking for a way out, and only finding walls that constricted and tightened around him. How could she do this? We were best friends! He braved through the pain and pounded on any wall he came in contact with. We were best friends!
“What Henry?” Vera asked, “Oh that? Just an old friend. Sweet guy, I’ll let you meet him if you come down with me tomorrow. Good, good. See you then.