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LNH20: The Wonderful, Worrisome World of Writer's Block Person #4: "An Account of One Evening Delivered in the Classic Spine-Chilling Manner"

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Drew Nilium

Oct 30, 2023, 12:01:13 AM10/30/23
On that rainy October day, I arrived home after sunset. Drained by a long and
difficult struggle with the conditions of the everyday, I resolved that I
should not cook, nor subsist entirely on pre-prepared items; I would order out.

On my laptop, I pulled up FoodFling, one of those all-too-common gig economy
delivery services. I am normally loath to use such a product of late capitalism,
but the dolor of the day was such that novelty would be a great boon to soothe
my soul.

I scrolled thru a number of options when I chanced upon one I had not seen
before - Squish'd Burger. Its food photography was unadorned dishes on single-
color backgrounds, undistinguished but serviceable, and it seemed to be just
what I was craving, something familiar in a novel context. I filled out my
order, paid an exorbitant delivery fee, and tried to give an equally exorbitant
tip for whatever poor soul would be delivering my food.

I left up the map telling me of the delivery's status and relaxed in my desk
chair, picking up my game console and re-engaging with an old classic. When I
glanced over at the laptop, the icon representing my driver had vanished; but
the status said that the food had been picked up, so I shrugged and assumed it
was but a mere error of Javascript, a bug not worth chasing down.

A vigorous session of gaming reinvigorated me, and I glanced at the laptop
again. The time until delivery had now disappeared, and I frowned. But suddenly
there was a noise at the door - perhaps, my food?

I ran over, unlocking and throwing the door open in one motion-- but nothing
awaited my gaze but damp concrete. I looked around, but there was no car, no
driver, no one who could have made the noise.

Doubtless it was simply the old apartment building, creaking and settling under
the weight of the rain. Doubtless.

I closed the door and took a deep breath. The times on these apps were often
inaccurate anyway; I would simply wait, and check every so often. My fries, I
thought, may cool a little more than would be desired, but so it goes.

I journeyed to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water. I flicked on the
light - nothing happened. Off, on, off, on-- there was a subtle glow from the
old fluorescent light panels, but they refused to give any more than that...
strange... maybe even... creepy...

I threw open the refrigerator door, letting its light spill out across my
kitchen. No. Annoying, definitely, but not creepy in the least. I grabbed the
jug of water--

And the refrigerator went dark.

I froze, for a moment. I raised my head and realized - I could not see the
light of my laptop's screen, nor the LCDs on the front of my microwave, nor
even the streetlights outside. It seemed to be colder than an autumn evening
should be, something more like the depths of winter; I closed the refrigerator,
but the chill remained, creeping up my legs, crawling along my spine, until it
seemed like the darkness around me must be some lonesome cave of ice in the
Arctic wilderness.

As my eyes adjusted to that dark, I began to notice one light. From where my
laptop, my desk chair, should be; but not like the direct radiance of its flat-
panel display. No, this was a light as soft, as cold, and as strange as a will-
o-the-wisp, floating thru some forgotten forest, leading unwary travellers to
their doom.

The chill gripped my muscles, and stilled my breath; I could not have moved if
I wanted to, and my mind was filled with a terror of that light, and what it
might betray, were I to take a few steps forward, and see what sat in my chair.
I could see that horribly gentle radiance shimmer, see it swell; and I heard an
unmistakable rustling, as feet thru autumn leaves, heard a thump, as the blade
of the guillotine coming down--

And with a fizzle of electric noise, the fluorescents above me activated, and
the kitchen flooded with light.

I remained in place, listening to my own haggard breath, as my heart began to
beat again; and when I ventured to move my legs, my muscles obeyed my commands.
Tho the evening was not warm, the chill was gone.

As I walked timidly into my living room, there were no ghosts, but there was
one thing that brought, not a physical chill, but an emotional one, thrilling
my nerves all over again. For though my door was still locked and my windows
had not opened, there, on my desk--

--sat a burger, fries, and a fountain drink!


"Anyway," said Whisperion, "that's why I'm no longer ordering from ghost kitchens."


Drew "girl when did you get so *gothic*" Nilium


Oct 30, 2023, 12:23:02 AM10/30/23
On 10/29/23 23:01, Drew Nilium wrote:
> "Anyway," said Whisperion, "that's why I'm no longer ordering from ghost
> kitchens."

Great joke, and there was some good tension too!
user <candycane> is generated from /dev/urandom

Drew Nilium

Oct 30, 2023, 11:03:29 AM10/30/23
On 10/30/23 12:23 AM, candycanearter07 wrote:
> On 10/29/23 23:01, Drew Nilium wrote:
>> "Anyway," said Whisperion, "that's why I'm no longer ordering from ghost
>> kitchens."
> Great joke, and there was some good tension too!

Awwwww, thank you! :D

Drew "surprised that this story seems to have evoked some genuine horror feels"
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