by Asphalt Bastard
Pedro hated the Stir Fry for the most tragic, though typical of reasons: his whole village had been wiped out by the Urban Corporate Stir Fry Conglomerate (UCSFC), a soulless entity in the misery spreading industry. Sometimes Pedro would pause and recall that horrible morning, the storm clouds in the distance waiting to ejaculate their water on the fertile plains, and the dejected sobs of his mother and his mother's friend. And he could recall the pained words his father spoke as he took Pedro by the hand and led him into truth: "My dear Pedro, people do not want stir fry that takes days to prepare. They want Stir Fry NOW! RIGHT NOW! They think NOW is better than LATER, and they think NOW is better.. oh wait, I said that already. The days of the Stir Fry artisan ARE over, my son. It happened to the carpenter, it happened to the hatmaker, it happened to Earl, and now, to us. Go Pedro, go into the city and try and rebuild your life. I will take your mother and your mother's friend and we will find refuge in the bosom of our ancestors. Go Pedro. Go."
And so Pedro went, trying to find work that somehow did not involve the Stir Fry but inevitably all occupations were somehow linked to the vehicle of his agony. With one foot in his grave, Pedro succumbed to the harsh realities of modernity and applied for the job of chef which he received. But he knew that it could not last long. Someday he would have to face the Stir Fry.
"I need four Stir Fry's for table 14," bellowed Mable the waitress.
Pedro stared blankly like a man listening to his death sentence. He covered his face with his hands and leaned against the cool wall.
"That's four Stir Fry's, Pedro. You get that?" said Mable, unaware of the vault of pain that she was unlocking with her demands.
"I HEARD YOU," screamed Pedro. And he did hear her.
"Hey, don't bite my head off," came Mable's abused retort. "I don't even like Stir Fry. Why are you biting my head off?" she asked, taken aback by Pedro's sudden demonic grin.
"We'll just see about that," said Pedro as he cut Mable's head off and placed it carelessly in the wok. "We'll just see about that," he said again, and again, and again.
The situation was nearing its climax. Pedro decided to deliver the dish himself. He slapped open the kitchen door and walked out defiantly towards table 14 and the thin man in the brown suit occupying it.
"AHHHH!" screamed the food reviewer who had ordered four Stir Fry's in order to ensure that his review of the dish would be more accurate. Pedro beamed at the reaction. He wanted to do to others what the Stir Fry had done to him: hurt; horrify; make very sad.
"There's a head in this Stir Fry. And in this one. And these two. There's a head in all these Stir Fry's," said the reviewer. "Excellent!" he continued, much to the horrified surprise of Pedro. "I thought I'd have to add my own!" said the reviewer, placing an extra-large freezer bag marked "Heads for Stir Fry" back into his briefcase.
"SNAP" went the briefcase.
The reviewer ate noisily and had finished all four Stir Fry's within the hour, pausing only once to look up at the skylight, whisper "head", and smile.
Pedro watched him with a glassy stare the entire time. He was stunned and lukewarm.
"Spectacular. A feast for the palette. I have never eaten such fine Stir Fry with Head," said the reviewer as he folded his hands atop the table and smiled. "But tell me, please, how did you make it so fast?"
"WHAT?" asked Pedro.
"Sometimes Stir Fry with Head takes weeks," replied the reviewer. "And while it tastes good, sometimes people don't want to wait that long."
"Well, I..." began Pedro, and didn't stop talking until the reviewer was fluently versed in the art of Stir Fry with Head. By the end of the week, Pedro was driving a teal Lexus towards his new future, that as C.E.O. of the Urban Corporate Stir Fry with Head Conglomerate (UCSTwHC).
Some days later, Pedro was strolling in the park and overheard an old man talking to a young child. He paused near them and looked away while he listened to their talk.
"My dear child, the time has come for you to move on." the old man said to the child with a strained voice. The days of the Stir Fry with Head artisan are over. Here is all the money we have, and some flour. Take it. Bless you my child," finished the man as he tearfully embraced the dumbstruck child.
Pedro ran to his car and threw his head in his lap, his mind leaping violently to a different time, a time long forgotten.
"Father..." Pedro began. "Oh my dear father...How I have let you down!" he screamed and drove away, never to return to that miserable city, except once much later on to visit some guy.