Flash Fiction Friday: A Short Rumination On Things That Aren’t Really Food
by Bert Stanton
Totino’s Party Pizza is anything but a party or a pizza. It’s a square of questionable food stuffs; dough, cheese and meat in name only. The reality is ingredients manufactured in the basement of a North Korean sweatshop. At a dollar a pop, you really can’t expect much.
But… The Party. That’s what sells it, right? That’s the part that makes you look over the twelve inch Red Baron pepperoni, or the half off DiGiorno Supreme. Even the Tombstone. The pull of The Party is too intoxicating. Maybe the night won’t be wasted. After all, the promise of fun and excitement is what you’re paying for, yes?
But there’s no party. At least, not the kind you want: one with raucous music and exotic drugs and sexy co-eds you usually can’t get within twenty feet of without hearing a rape whistle. Just a flat piece of bubbling cheese, and each bubble grows until it looks like it’s going to burst. Big orange and yellow domes that should pop at any moment but instead get bigger and bigger. Bubbles the size of baseballs, the size of basketballs. When the bubbles blink and become eyes and the ancient pupils spin around madly, each one locking with yours, you’ll wonder where The Party is. It’s not here, is it? Not as the pizza pushes open the oven door. It’s not even pizza anymore, not that it ever was in the first place.
The Totino’s Party Pizza forces itself out of the oven in every directions and slides all over the place. On your cracked linoleum floors, up the dirty walls, across the nicotine yellow ceiling. The front window and door have disappeared in a thick, sticky, sludge of white and yellow and orange and red, and is it hot in here, or is it just you? No, it’s hot. Maybe the oven is still kicking out heat, but where the oven is at this point is anyone’s guess. But this is far more than any oven can kick out, and whatever is creating that volcanic heat can’t be natural.
The entirety of your hovel has become a breathing mass of judicial eyes, each one a jaundiced iris of loathing and disapproval, and they are all staring at you, into you, through you. After all, how can you live like this? Chain smoking in grubby underwear on a Friday night, eating Totino’s Party Pizza, drinking Busch Light and waiting for some party to come to you? That’s another checkmark on the long laundry list of reasons you are a no-account, not even a blank footnote in history. Right next to your lack of education and hygiene and personality.
So how stupid do you feel now for not paying attention in school, or going to college, or finding true love, or rising above, when all you can do is stand in your kitchen while a living, breathing, feculent organism shifts and pulses and closes in all around you?
You’re the party in the pizza, you dig?
Bert Stanton is a bizarro, weird, and horror writer living in Portland, OR. Please follow him on Twitter.
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