The Spork Diner
“What are you writing there hun?” the waitress named Judy asked as she approached the table. The man sitting at the table had dark green eyes which matched his long coat,
He glanced from the blonde young waitress to the journal he was scribbling in and back a few times before replying, “I’m documenting my travels.”
“Oh? Have you traveled far?” asked the pretty young thing as she batted her eyelashes in a manner which most would view as seductive.
The man however tilted his head to one side and back like a confused puppy staring at snow for the first time. “Not particularly far by my standards I suppose. Just four or five Ga#*@&!^^%%s.”
The girl batted her eyes again but with confusion as her brain tried to interpret that last word. “I’m sorry sweetie I didn’t catch that last word, how far was that?”
The man blushed slightly in embarrassment, “That word was the closest translation to any know language you have. I’m not sure how else to put it other than farther than most can imagine maybe?”
The girl suddenly nodded understandingly, “That’s fair, travel is good for the soul they say and can teach us better than anythin’ about the world and ourselves.” she said with a slight drawl as she repeated the wisdom of her elders.
“Too true.” He turned back to the menu and asked “How does this work?”
“You mean the menu?” she said pointing.
“Yes, how does it apply to sustaining a person?” he asked.
“Well you simply pick what you like from the pictures and I take the order to the chef who then makes it for you from ingredients in the kitchen.” she explained trying to keep the bemusement off her face. “How do they do it where you’re from?”
“I don’t need a lot of food where I’m from but usually if I want something, I simply construct it myself.” he shrugged.
“So, is this your first restaurant?” the waitress asked playfully but her expression turned to one of shock as he nodded. She quickly composed herself, like any good hostess, then pushed out her chest proudly and said, “Here at the Spork Diner we serve some of the best home cooked food for miles around.”
His eyes went wide in shock and he said, “I’m sorry I didn’t know this was your home, I didn’t mean to barge in and ask for nourishment.”
“What?” flustered the girl, “Oh no, it’s just an expression, this dinner is for everyone, we just work here and make food like at home.”
He sat back down and thought about it for a moment, “What a novel concept.” he scribbled something in his journal. The writing contained symbols and letters the likes never seen on earth before.
“So, what’ll it be hun,” she said as she readied her pen and notepad.
“Can I try it all?” he asked a little unsure still.
“I…um…that is…” she flustered again, “Well, usually a person only orders one or two things from the menu but if you think you can eat it all I don’t see why not.”
“Does this establishment take currency like most of the others?” he asked as she finished.
“It does!” she chimed cheerfully, “Do you have enough for everything?” The man reached into his jacket and set a stack of large numbered bills on the table. Judy’s mouth dropped, at the site of the bills. “That must be almost ten thousand dollars!” she blurted.
“It’s eleven thousand, two hundred, and fifty-five dollars. Is that enough for what I ordered?” he asked with a sudden nervousness on his face.
“Are you kidding?” Judy snorted, “that’s enough for what everyone ordered.”
“Ah, good. Can I pay for theirs as well?”
Judy stood dumbfounded, the dinner only made a few thousand a day. “I… I suppose so but this is really too much even for all of theirs as well.” The man’s face fell at the news as she continued, “I mean, even with a generous tip from everyone the amount is still…”
The man’s head shot up, “Tip? What’s a tip?”
Taken aback again Judy explained, “Um, well, it’s a way of showing thanks to wait staff and cooks if they do a good job.”
His eyes beamed, “Yes, let’s do that, I want you to keep the rest as tip please.”
“But…but…Sir that’s a lot of money?” she stammered back.
“Is that bad? Did I offend your culture?” worry creeping back onto the man’s face.
“It’s not that, it’s just … things like this never really happen. Are you sure you want to use all this money here?” her face had turned red from embarrassment and shock.
“I won’t need it after tonight so best if you use it.” he shrugged, scribbling more notes in his journal.
“Well…if you’re sure… I guess.” Judy gave the order to the chef who had to be told over ten times it wasn’t a joke.
Everyone in the dinner had stopped while the conversation had happened and now watched the man with wonder as he ate course after course with no signs of being filled. As though the food was being dropped into a well just beyond his throat.
He continued taking notes on everything he looked at including the walls, to which he stared at intently.
Judy returned and gave the receipt to the man who eyed it curiously then used it as a bookmark. “If I may ask,” she began, “What exactly did you write on this dinner in your book?”
He glanced down at the leather notebook clasped tightly in his hand. Then standing said, “I wrote the chemical and structural details of everything here to be used with my formula back home. I’m hoping to build something like it when I get back.”
Judy was stunned, “You just wanted to copy our recipes and make your own dinner?”
He chuckled, “Oh no, not just the dinner, I mean everything.”
“Everything?” parroted Judy.
“Everything” he waved a hand the windows to show as much of everything he could.
“Who are you?” Judy demanded.
“I’ve been going by Jay Smith here but that’s not my real name.” He checked a strange watch with too many hands on his wrist. “I must be going now, thanks for the meal, good luck with your lives humans!”
“What does that mean?” Judy protested. Unfortunately, Jay Smith had walked over to the door and instead of opening it he simply stepped out of the universe with a schlock sound.
All that remained was a pile of money and a few strange symbols he had drawn on the wall which no one could read.
They translated as basically, “JS was here”
This is a teaser for one of the biggest story arcs I’m working on, more than 12 books planned. I wanted this to be a fun mystery story to give clues to how all 12 connect.
Thanks for reading
J. S. Figment