The Food Truck (micro-fiction story)by Bel Nel

This story is approx. 500 words. I used a writing prompt from a group challenge that asked for the main character to always be outside, to be helpful in some form and include an animal.

Possible triggers *** reference to a pandemic and death.

The Food Truck

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Stacy lit up her phone to check the time again. Five twenty glowed back at her before the screen quickly went to black. A single, dim street light lit up the center of the empty parking lot.

Under its light was a beat up van with a large banner across the side of it. Written in a thick, black marker were upper case words that read: PEGGY’S FOOD TRUCK.

Soon the parking lot would be filled with the cities most essential workers. With out of commission school buses bringing people from all over the city.

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Stacie’s stomach felt sour at the thought of cooking for all of those customers. But, she was up for the task. After all she graduated from the cities most prestigious cooking school just before the virus knocked the world all to hell. And, she was certain her training was the only reason she was able to land one of the few job openings available.

Headlights blinded her momentarily. As the driver parked, Stacey, recognized her new boss in the driver’s seat. She made her way to announce herself even though she was certain she had been spotted already.

Peggy spoke as she gathered her purse and coffee mug. “I’ve got something for you in the trunk. You’ll need it for today. ” Stacey imagined what the “thing” would be. An apron surely or a t-shirt with the company logo perhaps.

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The heavily scarred woman stood face to face with Stacey inspecting her with suspicion in her eyes before going to her trunk. “You sure you’re immune to the virus? You didn’t have your mama fix you up papers saying you was? Did ya?”

Panic flooded Stacey’s face, ” No mam! I would never…I might look normal, but I swear to you I was sick with it too!” The two stared at each other in silence a few seconds before peggy thrust her coffee mug into stacy’s hands. “Hold this for me will ya?” Stacy gripped the cup and followed Peggy to her trunk.

When she opened it immediately scurrying sounds could be heard from somewhere in the trunk. Peggy ignored the sounds and reached in to grab a bright pink sign with words written on it. “Here you go!” Peggy said cheerfully showing her the posterboard.

Stacey stood in disbelief reading it. “But. I thought I was cooking today?”

Peggy shot her a look of equal disbelief. “Honey I need a sign holder to show today’s special. Its been a while since people round her have had some meat. We’re gonna charge extra; make a lot a money serving rabbit tacos.” Stacey said nothing in response, which only prompted Peggy to speak again.

“We ain’t serving the fancy stuff you learned in chef school.” She said becoming increasingly annoyed. “Are you gonna be willing to kill them animals in there? Skin em?” She said pointing to the trunk. Stacy’s mind flooded with scenes of old discovery channel survivalist episodes.

“At least your face is decent enough you won’t need the costume.”

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Thank you for reading!

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