Well, before you reach for that non-GMO organic fair trade plastic-free bar of 115% black chocolate for a little romance by proxy, I have some unfortunate news. You have my permission to whine now, but just this ONE time.
Women not waiting don’t bitch they fix.
You see, Tony and Jason prefer to go tandem on the surfboard…together…a fact that Sarah discovered with much embarrassment when she unleashed her hooting cowgirl on him after her 10th Skinny Mermaid Salmon (SMS) tapa and tequila chaser round last month. I’ll spare you the details, for Sarah’s sake.
Sadly nothing juicy happened in Mr. Grant’s office except for a little friendly exchange of special brain cell hungry tequila bottles and then off Sarah and Amanda stumbled home in their freshly cleaned clothes.
The next day at work however…well, you know what that’s like, so let’s fast forward.
A couple of weeks go by and Amanda is finally experiencing some lucid moments. By this time, her and Sarah have become quite close friends. The two of them are hanging out at Sarah’s watching a sci-fi horror flick on WebFlicks.
“Let’s go the Skinny Mermaid,” Amanda blurts out.
“Ahuh! I told you it was addictive. It’s 2 AM, Amanda.” Sarah flips to WeTube and pulls up her favourite comedy channel.
Amanda heads to the closet and grabs her and Sarah’s jacket. “I need to see what goes on in that kitchen.”
“You’re still on about the ‘processing’. It’s just salmon. You’re watching too much science fiction.” Sarah slides the video screen shut. “You polished off that worm at the bottom of the Mescal remember. Ewe! A least I remember that much.” Sarah laughs then stops abruptly. “You’re not suggesting we—”
“Of course not, just…peak through a window or something.”
Sarah sits there for a minute resisting Amanda egging her on, then finally gives in. “All right, but if we run into Mr. Grant you fall down and act like you’re drunk.” She grabs a mickey of tequila, takes a swig, passes it to Amanda who follows suit, and slips it into her coat pocket. They head down to River Street.
Meanwhile at the Skinny Mermaid, a man wearing white coveralls and a hairnet sneaks up behind the bartender restocking supplies.
“How many ladies are we expecting tonight, Tony?”
The man jolts up and hits his head on the open cabinet door. “Geez, Steve. You have to stop slithering around like that. 150 confirmed.” He grabs a case of tequila and starts lining the glass shelving behind him. “It’s a bridal shower for this real famous environmental activist. Mr. Grant sure knows how to hook them in.” He chuckles.
Steve flips the top off the next two cases. “Are you sure you have enough tequila?”
“I have a few more in reserve at the back, just in case things go wild.” He winks and starts emptying the next case. “How about you? Got enough SMSs?”
Steve chops the counter with his hands quickly a few times for effect. “Always. I’m the Skinny Mermaid Messiah.” They both laugh then Steve heads off to the kitchen for a long night.
Amanda and Sarah tip toe through the alley behind the restaurant. Amanda opens up the garbage bin by the kitchen entrance and starts sifting through it. Sarah stares at her in disbelief.
“Nothing. Not even spoiled bits, marinade, stale flatbreads…” Amanda’s voice echos onward while Sarah gets distracted by a horrid scent coming from the sewer grate. She walks over, shines a light inside it and jumps back into Sarah just as she emerges from the garbage. “Watch it!”
Someone stirs in the kitchen. The women flee to the shadows.
“Gross! Those are the biggest maggots I’ve ever seen. There’s a mountain of rats decomposing down there.” Sarah feels nauseous.
“Well, there are no scraps for them to eat. So they must be getting their food from inside.” Amanda starts looking for a hole in the building’s foundation. Sarah joins in. And find one they do, just below the kitchen window.
Steve is at the sink chopping away to the beat of Seven Nation Army and flipping fish heads into one tank, fish tails into another, and midsections into a third. He sets the timer for 10 minutes and attends to the flatbread in the oven. Behind him, two sets of eyes creep up the window. They rapidly shift from side to side as they grow larger and larger.
The kitchen is stacked with water filled interconnected incubators from floor to ceiling. A series of timer controlled valves act as traffic cops for a fish three-lane highway starting from the separate head, tails, and midsection tanks and pulling them progressively into larger tanks as the slimy pieces grow, until they converge into an enormous aquarium filled with fully formed fish.
The timer goes off, the fish bits come alive, they swim onwards, and Steve returns to the chopping block to repeat the cycle. He pulls fish from the aquarium, slices them up crosswise, and sends them back for “processing”.
The spying eyes in the window suddenly drop out of view.
“OMG! They’re still alive when we eat them,” Sarah scream-whispers with her back against the wall. “They’re just stunned for 10 minutes then they start growing again.” She turns to Amanda. “Holy Crap! It really WAS moving. Skinny Mermaid Salmon is…”
Amanda and Sarah brace themselves against one another, stare into each other’s eyes, horrified, and gasp.
“I’m not waiting for this little experiment to infect the wild. Someone has to stand up for the silent, Sarah.” Amanda pulls out her smart phone and starts shooting.
“And for our own DNA. I’m with you, Amanda. Share the pics. I’ll start the twitter storm.”
What about you?