'A Double Cheese Burger, Please.'

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

Submitted: November 09, 2017

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Submitted: November 09, 2017

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A Double Cheese Burger, Please.’

It was unusually late when Bradley arrived. He’d got held up by the boss, who ‘wanted a word.’ Nobody said no to the boss, unless they wanted to find themselves looking for a new job. Bradley had wondered what he’d done wrong but it was nothing, just instructions for doing an inventory the following week.

Now the place was heaving. He mostly managed to put in his order, find a seat, before the crush of people came through the doors. This day though, he’d have to take his place in the queue, and make out the rumbles that were coming from his stomach were actually coming from the person in front, or the person behind.

At least the queue was moving quickly. The next problem would be to find a vacant seat. He liked to sit on his own, didn’t enjoy any sort of company while he was eating. No point scanning the room yet, though. He’d have to wait until he’d put in his order.

Burger and chips, as usual....or something different. Double cheese burger, that’s what he’d have, plenty of onions too! If he forgot the chips it would not cost him that much more.

He gave his order over the counter, then turned to look for a seat. Not many empty tables left at all, but there was a double table over by the window, one seat on each side, both empty. That would do.

Bradley took a seat and waited hungrily. He hoped it would not take too long – he really was famished. The waitress brought his order and he took a moment to take in the glorious sight of his burger. Three layers of bap, two burgers both of which were lavishly dripping with cheese, and peeking out between the layers those brownly fried onions.

Before he had even taken a bite, a man in a suit took the seat opposite and busied himself with his smartphone. Bradley decided he’d just have to try to ignore the stranger’s presence.

He picked up the burger, hoping it wouldn’t turn out to be too messy, and lifted it towards his mouth.

“Oi! You don’t want to do that!”

Startled, Bradley put his burger back down on his plate and looked around. It didn’t seem to be the guy opposite. He was still busily tapping away. Bradley looked around but no one seemed to be paying him any attention. He must have been mistaken, thinking someone was talking to him.

Licking his lips, surreptitiously, he picked up the burger again.

“Stop!” It was that same voice again. “You don’t want to eat me. I’m bad for you.”

Bradley’s eyes were drawn towards the burger. He was sure he saw a gap, just like a mouth, closing between the burger and the bun. Had someone laced his coffee? He wanted to ask the man opposite if he had heard anything, but he was still engrossed in his phone. Surely if he’d heard anything he would at least be looking up.

“Cholesterol! Just think of all that fat!” There was no doubt left in Bradley’s mind. The voice was coming from the burger. He looked at with a hint of distaste and a lot of suspicion.

“Buy yourself a salad. Go on, give your body a bit of respect. Me, I’m just slow acting poison. You only think you want to eat me. Listen to your body and the messages it’s sending you.”

How come the man still did not hear? It made no sense to Bradley. None at all. Had he gone mad, been struck down with some kind of fever that was making him delirious. But he felt okay. No aches, no pains, no chills or shivers....nothing wrong apart from being hungry.

Bradley thought of clogged up veins, fat-lined arteries. He thought of crisp green lettuce, sliced red tomatoes, grated carrot, crunchy celery....and it did nothing for his appetite at all. He listened to his body and his body said, ‘Eat!’

Shutting his ears to the protests, Bradley picked up the burger. It was already cooling but never mind. He raised it to his lips, took a big bite and shut off that voice in an instant. Delicious!


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