The Twilight Zone: Episode 6X: The Mexican Cafe

It was an altogether unpleasant place, acrid odors whose origins Derek didn't care to know drifting up through the rotting floorboards. Black smoke--not the gray stuff that sidled out of chimneys, this was pure, dangerous, black--slithered its way into the room like a snake on track of its prey. Derek felt his heart leap and pressed even further against the stone walls, knowing for certain that it was all over... he was dead...

"Derek? Derek!" Derek drifted lazily out of his reverie, finally pulled back to reality by a slim hand waving straight in front of his vision. "Quit doing that. Did you get enough sleep?"

Derek blinked twice, then let out a labored sigh as his sister lit another cigarette, inhaling deeply. "Yeah. I dunno, it's just... do you think that'll keep happening?"

"Oh, that? Yeah, I'm sure it will. I stopped counting years ago..."

"Mm..." Derek took a nervous sip of his usual Sprite, feeling the hairs on the back of his neck begin to lay down again. Seeing the smoke from Michelle's cigarette, however, he felt his pulse increase again. Black smoke... "You know that stuff's going to kill you, right?"

Michelle shrugged, flicking a lock of light-brown hair out of her eyes. "Tell me when I'm dead. Hey, want some nachos? Those sound really good right now."

Derek chuckled. "You ordered the same thing when we were kids,"

"Well, yeah. They're nachos. Can't go wrong with chips and salsa," Michelle lifted her cigarette to her lips again, frowning as she inhaled. "Can you believe this place is still in business?"

"Well, it's like you said. Mexican food isn't one of those acquired tastes. You can't go wrong with it." Derek shifted uncomfortably, glancing to other tables as Michelle exhaled. Smoke.

"Yeah, I guess so... Hey, do you think--"

Their conversation was cut off by a muffled scream from the kitchen. Michelle raised her eyebrows and turned around in her seat to discover what was happening, only to let out her own yelp. Derek rose from his seat, eyes wide, trying desperately to erase the spectacle of orange and red from his mind. Orange and red and...

It was an altogether unpleasant place, acrid odors whose origins Derek didn't care to know drifting up through the rotting floorboards. Black smoke--not the gray stuff that sidled out of chimneys, this was pure, dangerous, black--slithered its way into the room like a snake on track of its prey. Derek felt his heart leap and pressed even further against the stone walls, knowing for certain that it was all over... he was dead...

"Derek? Derek!" Derek drifted lazily out of his reverie, finally pulled back to reality by a slim hand waving straight in front of his vision. "Quit doing that. Did you get enough sleep?"

Derek blinked twice, then let out a labored sigh as his sister lit another cigarette, inhaling deeply. "Yeah. I dunno, it's just... do you think that'll keep happening?"

"Oh, that? Yeah, I'm sure it will. I stopped counting years ago..."

"Mm..." Derek took a nervous sip of his usual Sprite, feeling the hairs on the back of his neck begin to lay down again. Seeing the smoke from Michelle's cigarette, however, he felt his pulse increase again. Black smoke... "You know that stuff's going to kill you, right?"

Michelle shrugged, flicking a lock of light-brown hair out of her eyes. "Tell me when I'm dead--"

"I am," Derek met her eyes steadily. "We can't keep doing this. I am, Michelle."

She stared blankly at him for a moment, then turned her gaze towards the other tables. Every customer was staring at him steadily. Derek gulped, suddenly forgetting what it was he had wanted to say.

"Well, anyways... Hey, want some nachos? Those sound really good right now."

Every other customer went back to their conversations. Derek stayed where he was, heart beating nonstop, wondering where this feeling of deja vu was coming from.

Smoke.

The End

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