Saturday, 25 June 2016

'Foreign Food' by Morgan Parks

My triplet opens the door, taking the lead for the first time. We breathe in spicy warmth after the emptiness outside. The place is crowded, noisy with chatter and steam. I smell coffee, milk, detergents, sugar, humans and something else. One small child pulls away from his mother, and then stops in front of us, eyes round and the same blue as today’s sky. I don’t want to think of the fight under that terrible sky.
I swing the glass door back to its frame, there is no one behind us. Heads are turning. More eye colours, different shades of brown, grey, green, no pair matching another. Cups are put down. One tilts, spills onto an empty chair. Conversation drops, the machinery behind the counter hisses loud. Two young adults are still intent on their levers, liquids and jugs. A man stands in front of them, square and alert, surely the boss. 
To our left, a dog - now that furry scent is identified - looks up, nostrils busy. Surprising, to find such an animal in an eating establishment, we should update the travel guide. My sibling has not noticed, is pawing through our bag.
I wait, and watch the boss man, and the dog. Neither moves yet. I’m grateful to be trusted as guard, now there are only two of us. At last, my sister has her aroma analyser switched on and connected. She gazes around the silence.
Clearly, dear twin, they are not used to space travellers.” She hooks a claw under her face mask. 
Breathable,” she says, and nods towards the nearest table. “Also edible”.
We can avoid the taboo of eating our own.

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