Sale.

Sale.


Now you know me, Peter the Greek they call me round the way. Bald head, round belly, 5'8 tall and always chatting to the customers. You know me because you are a regular! I'm always sure to ask about your eldest child at university, the youngest one who has autism and your wife who hasn't left the house in months due to one of those motor diseases, I want to call it motor neutron? I don't know much about stuff like that. But I ask anyway. I slide the chargrilled meat off the skewer onto the flatbread with salad and a cucumber and yoghurt sauce, I know your order without you asking, I pass it to you, then it's Tina from down the street buying small donner kebabs for her two kids. Tina is what we call "a bag head" though not to her face. I see her down the street at night, getting in cars with men and returning 15 minutes later. I worry about her kids. Who watches them when she's put selling her pussy for her next bag of smack? But at least she is feeding them tonight. She asked for small kebabs, but man I load them with salad and pile them up with meat, giving them cans of pop for free, I look at the scrawny little things. Dark circles around their eyes , one boy, one girl. Neither speak. They look traumatised like the kids you see on television in Syria. Like everyone else round here I have heard the rumours. Things said in hushed voices. That sometimes she doesn't just sell herself. I look at her. I know Tina all the way from back at The Parklands High School. Back then she was a beauty. And I mean a beauty. Long black hair, dark eyes and an amazing figure. Now I look at her. She has the sunken face of a heroin addict. Hair scraped back into a pony tail. I know the rumours are true from the fact she can't look in my eyes. I wave my hand as she tries to pay. "The kids eat free tonight" I say. It's like this. One customer after another. I know all their stories, all the neighbourhood gossip. Some I count as friends. Some are strangers. Some are friendly. Some are scary. But I work here night after night. I inherited this take away from my dad (rip) and he inherited it from his. Pablos Established 1965 the sign reads and now more than 50 years later it's still busy. Pablo my grandad prided himself on friendly customer service. He taught my dad who then taught me, to always ask lots of questions. People like that! The funny thing is, people do like it. Though they never ask me questions in return. And that suits me. Once it gets to 1.50am I begin clearing out the shop. The last few drunks take their kebabs and finish them on the bench just outside on the high street. I lock up the shop, clean the equipment and turn the lights off. I leave via the back instead of going upstairs to bed, or even going home to my wife Candice who will have long since been asleep. I'll often sleep at the shop instead of disturbing her, she has been fading for a while and now she's in the final stages, sometimes it breaks my heart too much to see her. But tonight I don't feel like sleeping. I pull the hood up on my coat and walk down the alley. I see Tina stood there under the streetlight, she still has a good set of legs on her. The mini skirt emphasises what must be the last remaining feature of her legendary beauty. I walk up to her and before she can say "business?" Like I'm some common John, I smack her in the jaw as hard as I can. She crumples and falls to the pavement looking up in shock. I grab her and drag her down the alleyway, forcing her into the shop. Within an hour every part of her has been chopped, diced, put through the minced and slapped onto a kebab skewer. I hose the butchering room down, I collect up her bones in a bag (I'll smash them into tiny fragments tomorrow and scatter them in the canal), and I finally head up to bed. For the first time in ages I sleep well. Sometimes you have to do a good deed to raise your spirits. And knowing that those two kids will be taken into protective custody where their mum won't pimp them out, where they can have a meal better than a takeaway kebab, it felt good man. For one night only I have a "clearing stock sale" and the till is ringing as the regulars buy kebab after kebab. I watch them eat them up hungrily. Again feeling like I did something good with a bad situation. I love being at the heart of the community!

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