Cao Cao's Fried Chicken

Vroom just wants to watch some television, but the universe says otherwise!

Chapter 1

Vroom was going to finally achieve his lifelong ambition. The television screen popped and frizzled as the Killette ad ended, sending Vroom into paroxysms of frantic anticipation. The opening credits! He was finally going to break this dreadful curse.

For twenty two long years he had yearned to watch a television show, but alas the curse. Wherever or whenever he went the television set resolutely refused to play anything but ads. Even the internet had taken exception to him, computers crashing whenever they were about to stream videos of any kind. He'd watched two seconds of a video about cats once, a memory he still treasured dearly, and a moment later his head exploded, literally. The doctors claimed that it was a strange new form of toxoplasmosis. The disease later went viral but was quickly contained by a CDC team led by Dr. Hannibal 'Savoury Brains' Pester.

The after-life had not treated Vroom any better. It had flung him into ancient China. The mediators of Death claimed it was a clerical error, and were helpless to send him any place/time else. He'd lost any hope of ever coming near a television, but then demons had invaded the after-life causing temporal aberrations and spatial anomalies throughout the universe. And the demons had brought with them a devastating weapon that was never used thanks to the valiant efforts of Peter, Mary, Thomas and Anne, a weapon so powerful that only one man could be trusted with it. That one man was Cao Cao, Vroom's boss and tormentor.

Cao Cao was a good man, Vroom thought, as the opening credits of 'Barking Mad' rolled on and on, but he never let anybody see it, least of all his subordinates. He fancied himself a 'Byronic hero', though most just thought him an introverted jerk. Cao Cao did have one weakness though … ah, never mind that! The show was starting. Vroom felt his heart race like a Ducati on aviation fuel. A bald man was walking in a desert dressed in his underpants. This was it! The moment he'd spent his whole life, and quite a chunk of time after (assuming you used the Qirelian theory of space-time causal relativity), waiting for. Vroom sighed and banged his fist on the counter as the man walked into a caravan. Ooh, this was going to be so good!

The door of Cao Cao's Fried Chicken opened, the bell above the door peeling like a dirge in Vroom's ears. It was Guan Yu, Cao Cao's one weakness. Did he have to come on the one day Vroom was serving at the counter?

“Welcome to Cao Cao's Fried Chicken, I'm Vroom,” Vroom chanted, not taking his eyes off the screen. “How may I be of service?”

“Move, you insolent wretch,” Cao Cao squealed, running in from the office. He glared at Vroom and turned off the television screen. “Forgive him, my friend,” he bowed towards Guan Yu. “He knows not his place. He's a delivery boy, but I thought I'd try him out at the counter today,” he scowled at Vroom, teeth grinding together to produce a strange pattern of sounds that sounded almost like Morse code. In fact, it was Morse code: “you'll never be near the television again boy,” Vroom translated. Understanding Morse code was a strange skill that every person seemed to acquire after they died.

“Never mind that Cao Cao,” Guan Yu said, resting his spear on a table. “I came here to return this,” he threw a book on the table.

Vroom tilted his head to read the title, 'Investors Report for the year,' followed by a mathematical equation filled with integrals, differentials and strange looking characters that Vroom could make no sense of. Understanding time in the after-life required learning mathematics of such complexity that it was only rigid sticklers like Cao Cao who bothered time stamping anything.

“You will join me then Guan Yu?” Cao Cao crowed in delight. “You will not regret this, I assure you. With you at my side the board of directors will …”

“Join you?” Guan Yu threw back his head and laughed. “Do you never learn Cao Cao? I'd rather play 'fetch' with a snail.”

Cao Cao glared at Guan Yu, his clenched fists shaking with rage. “You waste your talents, Guan Yu. You and I could conquer the universe with our fast fried food, but instead you spend your time writing abhorrently bad fan fiction that people cringe to read. What is this?” He snatched at a sheet of paper sticking out of Guan Yu's belt. “The Legend of Star Wars: Twi'lek Princess,” he read out loud. “Asino gazed longingly at the smooth and shiny tails atop the Princess' head. Could she ever love a mere warrior like him, he asked himself, tears falling out his beautiful brown orbs that shone like the sun over the desert.” Cao Cao shrieked, “you call this literature? This is an aberration.”

“Fan fiction is as legitimate a form of writing as your literary meanderings,” Guan Yu shouted, jumping aside to grab hold of his spear.

This wasn't going to end well, thought Vroom. Hopefully they wouldn't break the television, he thought, as he crept out the room.

The End

1 comment about this story Feed