Table For 127? In The 1%’s Section? No Problem, Sir. Flash Fiction Returns.

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DATELINE: WACO

“You’ll have to speak up, Sir. I can’t hear you above the wind. Perhaps you could step inside somewhere? Oh, that’s much better. A reservation for a large group? Certainly. How many and when. Uh… well… certainly, sir.”

David hung up the phone a few moments later and slammed his head on the host podium. Drenched in sweat that could have come from the chicken fryer, he paged the manager.

“Yeah, Dave. What’s up?”

Tearing at his hair as though fire ants had taken up residence, David’s response was posted like the clacking of a manual typewriter’s keys: “There are 127 members of the Doorknobs coming for lunch. They want their own section and they should be here in about fifteen minutes. The leader said, “If there aren’t seats for everyone, and a glass with ice at every place when we arrive, we’ll just serve ourselves.”

Enrique had been the manager at Shirlene’s Steak House for three years. This had happened once before when he was a bus-boy. It took two weeks to put the place back together the last time. Without another moment passing, he reached behind the podium and pulled the fire alarm. Grabbing the staff before they could exit, he thanked the guests and apologized for the emergency. Locking the front doors, he gave orders to the staff to set every table with iced glasses and wait for the onslaught. Dialing the fire department, he explained that they’d had a false alarm and there was no need to send trucks.

Silencing the alarm, Enrique called the owner. They agreed it would be cheaper to feed the invading horde of outlaw bikers than to have the joint ruined again. Both agreed that staff safety was number one in their concerns.

Moments later the parking lot shook with the rumble of barely muffled engines. Wave after wave of bikers streamed into the lot, parking in a seemingly random fashion. Prospect members were left to guard the machines as the members clogged the doorway. No women in site, this was a combat run. Trouble would follow.

The leader, easily spotted by his extra grungy demeanor and plethora of patches, moved through the pack, delivering head slaps and kidney punches on his way to the front. “We have a reservation. We’re sitting down.” Without further ado, the regurgitated mass covered chairs with posteriors.

Servers took orders as quickly as they could. Tequila and Jack Daniels were top of the list, steak and chicken at the bottom. In the back, the cooks worked to produce orders as quickly as the bartender out front. That poor individual gave up even trying to keep track and just lined up every shot glass in the place in two rows: left for tequila, right for Jack Daniels.

Wondering why the servers had all vanished, Enrique signaled David to go check. When he failed to emerge, Enrique kept filling water glasses while he sent the bartender to check.

Three more minutes passed before Enrique felt his cell phone vibrate. Looking at the text message, he made his way toward the kitchen.

Opening the door he was yanked through and pushed along toward the back of the room by a series of rough hands. His kitchen was filled with SWAT team members. The last man in the line said, “Just wait out back. You’ll be safe. All your people are out there already.

As he headed into the mall adjoining the restaurant, Enrique heard the first flash-bang grenade detonate. They definitely wouldn’t be open for Sunday brunch tomorrow.

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