Chicken Crack by John Dorroh

    When Mason saw me, he knew what I wanted.

   “Chicken crack?” he asked.

   “Yes. Large container, please.”

   And that was all we needed to say. If he saw my hands shaking, he didn’t let on. He understands.

   “Anything else?” he asks, handing me the warm delectable morsels.

   “No, thanks. I’m good.”

   I could feel his eyes watching me walk away from the deli compartment, but I knew that he was not judging me.

   I’d devoured over half of the container by the time I made the four-minute drive home. The dogs know better, that they will not get a single bite.

   “Too spicy for dogs,” I say. Izzie’s tail wags. She wants to live on the wild side.

   I toy with the idea of saving some for my roommate. That thought doesn’t last long.

   I get as comfortable as possible: underwear and a tee-shirt. There’s one Coke Zero. Perfect.

   Fraser re-runs. I’ve seen them all a hundred times, They fit like cozy pajamas.

   I wake up sprawled across the bed. There is sauce on the top of my right hand, and on the bed sheet. And on my face, and pillow. The cat is looking at me with disapproval. The house is a tomb. My heartbeat is elevated and I am thinking about my next fix. The deli closes at 8 PM, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. But can I?

John Dorroh taught high school science for a couple of decades and used writing strategies with his students to help them better understand principles and concepts. He has one book of flash fiction to his credit (99 WORDS, Black Rose Publishing), which is composed of 99 stories, each one exactly 99 words. A sequel is being considered.

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