The Pizzeria

I opened the door, and a bell rang a cheerful tune above me. Artificial white light flooded my eyes and the crescendo of whirring ovens and men shouting to one another echoed in my ears.

A man sat covered in a thick coat just to the left of the door, all sign of his humanity shielded by the ugly black disguise. A few seats down from him sat a lady on the phone who was chewing gum and talking aggressively in a language I didn’t understand. Her blonde ponytail shook as she spoke, and her face was caked in cheap makeup.

I paced forward to the counter and looked at the face standing behind it. A sour expression was dragged across her face; she wore a dirty uniform, stained with what I hoped to be tomato sauce.

“What do you want?” she barked; with each exhale a cloud of bitter scent floated my way. I ordered, stomaching her foul breath, and turned to sit down on a chair between the two other customers.

A flickering fluorescent light cast brightness onto my face contrasting to the dark shadows in the doorway to the kitchen. A single black spider crawled up from them and onto the ceiling. The creature then lowered itself by its web and scuttled across the floor. My shoulders became tense and my throat dry.

The man grunted under his breath, muttering something about how I was disgusting. The woman shouted on her phone, louder still, before hanging up. She pulled a nail file from her bag and dragged it across her nails. A shrill scrape screeched through the room, echoing off the dirty linoleum tiles. From inside the kitchen, I heard the shouting voices growing louder, and a crashing sound of metal soon followed.

I had a feeling I wouldn’t be getting a pizza anytime soon.

Unable to bear the foul scents and nasty sights, I left, leaving behind any food that may have been made for me.

It was probably poisonous anyway.

By Maxwell Masters, Year 9

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash