Aaron

@HatInACat

This is a little page for my writing projects as I learn how to write good. I do not guarantee any kind of quality, but I do guarantee lots of use of 'To be continued...'

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February 2019: The Tongue

I really enjoyed writing this, I got the prompt from the /r/writing subreddit and thought it was a fun idea. I was going for a sort of camp, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure vibe.


The Tongue

February 2019.

--

"A spicy veggie wrap meal please, with a coffee...oh and two bags of mozzarella sticks."
The cashier stared blankly at me, a bewildered look on his face.
"Um...and an Oreo McFlurry...please."
His bewildered stare morphed into a horrified frown, eyes widening. I looked around the restaurant, it was almost empty; an old guy in the queue behind me, and a couple of patrons in a far corner having a hushed conversation. It was dark outside, around midnight - and I had just pulled in for a quick bite.
"Wh..who sent you?"
I looked back at the guy behind the counter. He was a strange looking guy - huge, probably six-five, and thick with lean muscle. By contrast the expression on his face was one of cartoonish, child-like horror. I stammered a little, "W-what do you, mean? Are you alright?"
He ignored the question and continued staring at me for a few more minutes. The awkward moment stretched out between us, until finally he backed off - staring at me the whole time, and waved a large hand gesturing to me to come back behind the counter. I stood there in confusion for a minute. A long minute. Until the big guy slowly peeked his head around the corner again and with another gesture urged me again to follow him. Normally I wouldn't have private conversations behind a McDonalds counter with large, strange men - but I saw the look on the face of the man behind me and that gave me an inkling of what had happened.
I was born with a bit of a quirk. I'm not sure when I first realised it, it's just always been a part of me, but for some reason - bear with me - when I speak; people hear my voice in whatever their native language is. Don't ask me why - I don't have a clue. So far as I can tell I'm pretty normal in most other ways. I just...have a knack for languages? I don't know. Sure, it's cool - but it gets me into trouble an awful lot too. People think they're having a private conversation, or maybe they make some assumptions that are broken when an unassuming white girl starts up a conversation in Swahili or whatever. Who knows. This guy was beyond surprised. He was...terrified? A weird reaction, but one of the drawbacks of this little quirk of mine is that I have no way of knowing what language is coming out of my mouth, not until I'm told or I can glean some information from context. So maybe I was speaking some minor dialect? I hate these situations. So much so that I've come up with a massive list of potential white lies to explain away the endless questions I inevitably get. With a heavy sigh I prepped a couple of cookie cutter explanations and followed him to the kitchen. I lifted the little door through the counter and took a few steps around the corner. I had just decided I didn't need this crap tonight when someone grabbed me and I was pulled rather suddenly into a storage cupboard. The big McDonald's cashier peeked out the door behind me, then gingerly shut it, locked the door, and slowly turned around to face me. I was not happy.
"What the heck do you think you're doing? You can't just pull me into a cupboard! Let me out of here. Now!" He frowned, then shook his head and turned away from me. "Hey! Are you listening to me?". He replied in a worried tone, without turning to face me "Who are you?".
"What? That's none of your busin-".
"Where did you learn the tongue?".
"Uhh, you know, I took classes. Let me out!".
He faced me again one eyebrow raised. "Classes."
"Yeah - you know how people learn languages. Classes."
He crossed his arms, and I noticed for the first time that he had a bunch of odd looking bangles, with tribal designs on them around his wrists that rattled a little as he moved.
"You are a bad liar, and...you don't look very strong."
He frowned and then poked me in the shoulder causing me to lose my balance a little.
"Hey - !", I began shouting at him, furious, but I didn't get a chance to finish my sentence because in the moments immediately after opening my mouth the wall to my left exploded inwards, throwing both of us to the ground and raising a cloud of dust so thick I could barely breathe and couldn't see a thing. Amidst the coughing I heard thudding footsteps, and scraping, like a heavy metal object being dragged across the floor. A booming voice erupted through the gloom.
"Sláine! The contract has expired. The circle yearns for sustenance!". An explosion of concrete shot out of the ground just ahead of me as the massive metal object slammed down, and a squeal escaped from my mouth as I sat frozen in the corner.
"What once was sworn shall now be delivered. A cycle ends just as another begins. So it was and so it shall be. The circle wants your head Sláine, and by my will - they shall have it!".
The dust drifted down through the air like ash as a murky figure became visible through the gloom, standing statuesque in the newly formed hole in the wall. I knew I should run, but my body wouldn't listen, wouldn't move. I slowly willed my head to turn, forced it into motion, to see where the cashier had gone. The guy behind the counter was sitting in a crouch by the wall opposite me. He looked over at me with a stupid grin on his face, in the midst of a fit of coughing. I couldn't move, couldn't speak. The cashier finished coughing, met my eyes, and said in a sombre tone; "I knew the harbinger wouldn't be a veggie."

TBC...


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