Thursday, September 13, 2007

Red Mask in the Mailbox

Red Mask in the Mail Box By Chris Griffith

Chapter 3: Floyd’s Chicken and Waffle Shack
Floyd’s Chicken and Waffle Shack sat on the corner of Huntington Avenue and Williamson Road. The brick building had a bright, orange, roof and a giant, tasteless sign out front. When lit up, everything nearby took on a strange, uncanny glow. The name “Floyd’s” was written in red neon letters and “Chicken and Waffle Shack” were drafted in bright white. The letters were sketched in a shaky, zigzag fashion as if the letters had been stricken by lighting.

The first thing people noticed about the “Waffle Shack” was an advertising ornament perched upon the roof of the building. A giant rubber chicken. It spun on a huge waffle as if it were surfing and stood twenty feet high. It spun on a mechanical apparatus located deep within the heart of “Shack.”

The police station received many calls from the local airport. Inevitably, a passenger from an out of town flight would see the spinning chicken, ( with the phosphorescent sign shining on it), call the police, and report a fire. One time, a rookie firefighter jumped off a truck, unfurled a hose, and screeched, “Kill the blasted thing…oh the humanity,” mistaking it for some demon from Hell.

Before the building became Floyd’s Chicken and Waffle Shack in 1976, it had been known as Roy’s Tire and Audio Credit. You could have bought more than just tires and stereos at Roy’s! The city closed the place in 1975. It had been reported that in one of the back rooms, Roy and a “customer” of his got into an argument. The “customer”, a guy by the name of Rufus Shinkle, ate a car tire for dinner. Roy and his pals did five years in the Virginia State Penitentiary.

Floyd and Roy Moriarty; brothers from Philadelphia, moved to Roanoke in 1969. Before being sent upstate in 1975 Roy ran a less than profitable business out of the tire and audio store.

Floyd Moriarty, bent and determined not to follow in his older brothers footsteps, opened a restaurant. Floyd conjured up the idea of the chicken and waffle concoction from his mother. It had been her favorite recipe.

Floyd killed more people and made more money with the grease served at the “Waffle Shack” than his brother ever did. Besides, Floyd’s business was perfectly legal.

His waitresses wore brown polyester uniforms with yellow and orange stripes zipping down the side. Their hats were supposed to look like waffles but looked more like orange man hole covers. A miniature rubber chicken hung from each name tag. They were duplicates of the one on the roof, except the one on the roof stood upright: The rubber chickens on the name tags hung from their feet like bats.

Huge vats of grease sat in the back room (the same room that Roy Moriarty fed the guy the tire). In the vats, chicken wrapped in waffles were deep fried in animal fat.

Many rats made their home around a big, brown, repugnant smelling dumpster that sat behind the restaurant. When the restaurant closed down at night, one of the cooks took that night’s grease outside and sat it beside the dumpster. The next day, after the grease cooled and thickened, the grease was disposed into the dumpster. During the winter months, the grease became so thick, it came out of the bucket cylindrically, the same size and shape as the five gallon pickle bucket.

The night before the accident, Dominic Perdue, the night cook at the Shack, had taken grease to the dumpster. Two waitresses helped him unload the awful mess from the vats into two buckets. They immediately ran to the bathroom and vomited.

He had stepped into the night air with a clothes pin stuck on his nose. The smell nauseated him. The only thing that saved him from throwing up was the pin that pinched his nose. He could taste the grease in the air.

He set the buckets down and walked back inside. “Only 30 minutes and I’ll be out of this stinkin’ hole,” he mumbled under his breath.

The buckets Dominic sat beside the dumpster contained the same grease that had found its way to the driveway of the Trimptons. Processed animal fat may stick to the insides of your arteries, but on asphalt, it’s as slick as a crook.


Zach said...

Glad I didn't eat breakfast!

Very descriptive!

andrea said...

I am so amazed about your writing skills! You really should onsider getting a publisher.

I am totally into your story, when will we get part 4????


David said...

You've got talent, brother!