Billy tried to fool the rookie into taking the call, but he wasn’t stupid. 324 Deckard was on every pizza guy’s list: bad neighborhood, bad attitude, and worst of all, bad tippers.

“Last call, it won’t be that bad,” Bossman said as he slipped Billy the goods and patted the Honda’s roof. Billy floored the gas in acknowledgment. It didn’t take a people-reader to understand: Some smuck’s gotta do it, might as well be you.

See, a good pizza guy reads people, knows them. Billy read the receipt and growled. Anchovies, pineapples, and bacon. Jesus. With 324 it always something new. Families you understand: always the same orders, good tips. Co-eds: shared toppings, expanding palates. But with 324 it was wildness for its own sake. Hunger, greed , people looking to be fed but never filled.

A white girl opened the door, the air around her thick with herb and mamba. She inspected the pizza while her boyfriend sat inside, looking over his shoulder, noticing every move.

“Oh, Billy,” she purred, fingering his name tag. “Unlike some people, you always get it right.” Her eyes and neck rolled backwards in her man’s direction, making him clench his fist.

“No prob.” Last call. Just pay me. 

Making a show of it, she took out a twenty and a pen and scribbled on its face. She slipped the bill in his pocket, smirking, eyes with bad intent.

Trouble. A good pizza guy reads people, knows them, and Billy knew he was in trouble before the lamp even hit his face. Fighting the stars in his vision, he got to his car, leaving the Cuban-Spanish threats of murder behind.

“You shouldn’t’ve made him do that!” a woman screamed in the distance, she and her man’s hunger fed for the night, never to be filled.


About lacolem1

I'm a first-year Physics graduate student who spends his long drives from Mississippi to Texas thinking of new ideas and writing/enacting stories and publishable content in his head. I've been a comic book geek since I was 12, an internet philosopher since 18, and a wannabe media inventor since five minutes in the future. I love the beauty of short form fiction a la Maupassant, the ticklish excitement of flowery prose a la Bradbury, and the strict directness of blunt imagery a la Hemingway. Alas, this is countered by my love for bad black-and-white sci-fi from the 50s, bad Benetar-esque pop music from the 80s, and Bridezillas and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I'd like to think I have a natural talent for words and storytelling, but I guess it's up to you guys to decide
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