The Wing Shop

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 02, 2016

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Submitted: November 02, 2016

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There was this place down the block from our apartment that Penny and I used to go to. Their buffalo wings were so good, I hardly ever ate any of the other food there. And they always had red spiral peppermints to freshen up my mouth afterwards. Well it had been quite a while so I decided to try it out. Oh how I could imagine the taste already—of smoky barbeque—spicy flame—teriyaki—multiple flavors! I had always looked for the owner—a man from Korea whose name I tragically never kept track of. Instead a blonde Caucasian woman was up front—“where is the owner?” I asked if we were longtime friends, despite not having remembered his name. “I’m sorry,” she said as if it was a minor inconvenience, “Mr. Kyong passed away a few months ago” the bubblegum from her mouth blew into a bubble and popped. “Why, did you know him?” before I could answer she assumed my intentions, “—we don’t do the discounts anymore” I smiled politely, trying not to suppress my aggravation. “No, It’s just—it was almost traditional seeing him all the time.” “Well, that sucks.” The bubblegum popped again. “Are you going to order something?” A man with a strong resting bitch face brought out a large green trey with my order—teriyaki, barbeque, spicy flame—10 of each. Despite saying no to his inquiry about hot sauce packets, he generously left me some anyway. Here it was, the first bite—of delicious barbeque. Well I must say, I was rather disappointed. The wings tasted nothing like Mr. Kyong's. They were undercooked, over-sauced and just unappealing. I realize they were just wings, but this was just intolerable. I could just picture the bubblegum woman standing in front of the materials just dumbfounded—eventually dumping sauce on uncooked wings without a care in the world. But I thought of something else that was different this time—aside from Kyong’s absence.

Penny. I never connected the two before—the reason I hadn’t been to the wing shop in a while is because I no longer had a reason to—it was our tradition. But now the loved one in my life was away—the traditions shattered. Even though I had spent $30, my appetite was lost. I no longer felt any sort of excitement with this place. Despite hardly eating a bite, I instinctively grabbed a peppermint from the front. But when I tried to open the wrapping, the little devil slipped through my hands. As it fell to the ground, I saw flashes of Penny—the laughs we had, the wings we shared—this one time she knocked my soda over and Dr. Pepper spilled all over me. It was so uncomfortable and sticky--She always promised to buy me another pair of pants to pay me back but I guess she never got around to it. The peppermint was shattered—but I was hesitant to grab another one. What if that one slipped, too? Then I would’ve wasted two. I didn’t appreciate the bubblegum girl or the bitch face man, but I left a tip regardless. I opened the door. “Excuse me, sir” a woman approached me, “you left this” in her hand she held a brown square wallet with a grape juice stain at the corner, my wallet. “Do you want me to get you a to-go box?” My appetite had returned. “Do you want anything else to-go?” she said in a sly voice. I thought very briefly and a lightbulb went off in my head—“If I could get some Dr. Pepper”—I tried to keep a straight face but alas a smirk leaked.


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