Fiction Bedtime Suspense

Adhering closely to the unwritten social norms of Korean BBQ joints, the small group of four young writers were in the process of opening the third bottle of rice alcohol. “It’s incredible how the more I drink this rice alcohol, the more I want to continue eating!” cried Joseph. Thin and tender pieces of pork and meat were continuously pressed against the main table grill. Side orders of sardines, cucumber salads, steamed rice, hot kimchi and lettuce wraps populated the entirety of the table. After swallowing, Luke said “I can now firmly state that the best cuisine in the world comes from Korea! Greece comes close in second place. But Korean BBQ style eating is the most explosive of them all. Your hands are constantly moving, capturing new side orders with your lettuce, like a rich family cat sampling the many dishes his master has brought to it. Not to mention this fucking delicious Soju alcohol. It gives you the exact perfect buzz! What other cuisine gives this paladar orgy?” “The Italian” mumbled Arnold. "Bullcrap!” Cheap wine and bread doesn't come even close to stimulating your mouth as much as kimchi!” “Mm what about the South American cuisine?" “The South American cuisine is rather good. I don’t think it is as innovative as Korean cuisine. I mean, if aliens came to earth and wanted to try the best human meal, would you give it a tortilla or a fucking enormous bowl of pho?” Pho is from Vietnam, your drunken puppet ""Not pho! But Korean hot pot. Would you give it a big bowl of Korean hot pot to warm its little alien body up? Or a cold dish of tacos?” “I guess in this particular instance, I would give it the hot pot, yes!” Rising up with from his chair, Luke screamed “May God bless Korea and all its people and food!” The small location was empty and the chefs were too busy to pay any attention to drunk students. “Guys, I think I’m heading home” mumbled Christopher. “What’s the matter buddy, can’t handle the sweet taste of rice alcohol?” “I’ve got a paper to turn in tomorrow. It's for Mr. Nicols.” “Don't Nicols teach Novels and Fantasy?” asked Arnold. “Yes, that’s exactly him. The paper is embarking on the theme of suspense but there are certain guideless.” Luke, while grabbing a piece of pork with his hand because he couldn’t use chopsticks, asked “what are the guidelines?” Ignoring what Luke said, Christopher stood up and grabbed his winter coat. He mentally prepared himself for the harsh weather conditions that he was about to endure until reaching the student dorms. He quickly thought of a wonderful idea that would keep him warm on his way back so he grabbed the half full Soju bottle from the table and finally answered Luke. “Write a story containing the line “I think someone is listening.” “Yup, seems like a typical Nicols assignment.” “See you guys tomorrow. Save me some of that if you beasts leave any…”

One his cold and windy way back, Christopher was brainstorming all the possible stories he could write. The Soju was keeping him warm and his mind blistering with narratives, ideas and characters. After almost thirsty minutes he finally reached the apartment complex that housed students. Distant parties could be heard but Christopher had his mind set in other more productive things. He opened the door to his simple yet clean apartment, dropped the empty bottle of Soju on his low wooden desk and opened his laptop. A YouTube video of earlier studying was ready to be played again. Christopher liked melodic house music to concentrate. Switching tabs, was an empty word document ready to be populated with Times New Roman letters. He stood still for a few seconds, redrawing the whole thing in his head, trying to memorize each detail before it disappeared in a sea of thoughts and started writing.


           “The Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo was hosting a grand bawl for Swarovski Crystals new product launching. It was an enormous gathering of guests, celebrities and even professional athletes. Multi-million dollar cars constantly passed through the Monte Carlo’s entrance dashing every bystander contemplating their beauty. Thousand-dollar champagne bottles brought by waiters carrying low grade firework sparks.

At 3:33pm a black Rolls Royce arrives at the Monte Carlo estate. The valet welcoming the new guest opens the door and out comes a man dressed in a black suit and a black cowboy hat perfectly blending in with the Swarovski Gala fashion. This man however had no intention of making small talk with stupid A-List celebrities or taking pictures for the tabloids. He was late for a meeting. A meeting destined to change the future fine dining in London. “Welcome to the Monte Carlo, is there anything I can help you with?” “Yes. I’m looking for the Biophilia Lounge. “Ah! You must be Madame Carlotta’s guest.” “I certainly am.” “Right this way Mr. Wong.” The Biophilia Lounge was located on the south terrace of the Monte Carlo. A calmer and more silent environment populated the entirety of the terrace. Beautiful and exotic plants were scattered around even more colorful and mesmerizing plants. Orchids, Roses, Philodendron and Agave where the only ones Mr. Wong knew from sight. “Mr. Wong. I thought punctuality was part of Korean culture.” “Well, unfortunately designing proper roads for traffic isn’t in yours.” “You’re late.” “My apologies. Can we get to talking?” “Well, go ahead. Tell me how I am supposed to sell you all my restaurants. A rolling trolley packed with all the necessary materials for a strong drink stool still next to the couches both parties remained. “I need for us to come to an agreement.” “And what agreement is that.” “You take the South Side. I take North and East.” “Again, why would I ever do that?” “You have the biggest restaurant chains in London. All located in the South. You generate twice the revenue the North and East side make. You need me to take over those areas and revitalize them. “With Korean BBQ joints?” “Exactly. One of kind cultural experience.” Madame Carlotta squished some champagne and meditated, “Well, if I do decide to let you take over, it’s going to cost you money.” "I know it will,” said Mr. Wong. “I was planning on giving you 15% percent.” “Make it 20% for 5 years and consider the East and North all yours.” “Done” said Mr. Wong. Both parties shacked hands. “Now, tell me. What are we going to do about the West side?” asked Mr. Wong. An older couple entered the Biophilia Terrace and nodded politely to the members of the meeting. “I think someone is listening,” said Madame Carlotta. Take your drink and follow me.” Mr. Wong quickly followed orders. Walking directly towards the Swarovski event, Madame Carlotta said “I think we are going to have to send him a message” “What type of message” screamed Mr. Wong as camera flashes snapped and multitudes of people moved like sea waves. “A direct message.” “What if we receive push back?” “If we receive push back we take more aggressive decisions, for now let’s just notify him of our little arrangement and that we are planning on controlling the West 50%-50%.” “Sr. Eduardo will go to war if we tell him such a thing! He controls all the Southside with premium Mediterranean food. He is a public figure back in Greece.” “I understand that but we have to do what we have to do.”

 Finally reaching the exit, Mr. Wong gave the valet his ticket. “Mr. Wong, promise one thing. No matter what happened, we keep this alliance strong.” “Ill make sure of that…”


           Christopher had fell asleep preparing Mr. Nicols paper. The Soju from the night before had completely knocked him out. His alarm was making his brain pound like a bass drum. Without noticing he saved and sent the assignment to Mr. Nicol and attended all his morning classes with ease after he received an email, addressed to his name, by Mr. Nicols. It notified him that his attendance was requested in his office immediately, Christopher was never the one to find himself in trouble so he logically feared the worst. “Mr. Christopher. I received your assignment earlier today. It was truly something. How long did it take you to write this? “Couple of hours.” “This is good stuff. Why didn't you finish it?" " The Korean BBQ I had prior to writing this assignment knocked me out cold! Plus, why does it have to have an ending. This could be the beginning of something great." " Beginning of something great? I admire your mentality young man. So, what happens next?” “Excuse me?” asked Christopher. “What happened with the West Side of London?” Christopher paused and said “Probably Sr. Eduardo goes to war with Madame Carlotta and Mr.Wong.” “Why war and not peace?" "Well, Mr, Nicols, I took into consideration the current temperature of international affairs and asked myself do humans really want peace? It took me a while but if I had to answer that question, I would say no. War is more entertaining than peace." "Your ideas work cohesively in chaos. Your style and voice are prevalent throughout the paper. I’m recommending you for student Editor in Chief of the school’s newspaper.” Christopher couldn’t have experienced anything less than pure happiness and out of body experience. The position was highly acclaimed within the student body. “There he is! The man of the hour!” said Luke as a big plate of Korean hot pot was settled In Front of him.” “Mr. Chief Editor is in the building!” said Arnold as he prepared 4 Soju shots. “To our friend, Christopher. May the writing Gods bless you with unlimited creativity. “To the Gods!” cried the group of young writers. "Well," said Joseph " Don't you have anything to say?" "Let's eat Greek tomorrow." said Christopher as he downed the savory rice alcohol.


October 10, 2023 20:32

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Dena Linn
14:57 Oct 14, 2023

Hey Peter I really liked how this flowed and even your style of one huge paragraph was interesting. I think you had lots of typos in your piece, not sure if the typos were on purpose and then I wondered why? I liked how you kept the theme around Korean Hot Pot. Great


Peter Gerber
19:29 Oct 14, 2023

Thank you!


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