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Encounters at the Ramen Shop

A collection of short stories powered by A.I.

A Good Idea

by | Sep 6, 2022

“Come on, let’s head inside here, I’m dying for some asian food” Danny said as he nodded towards the ramen restaurant. 

His younger brother Quinn followed him inside. They were welcomed by the smell of delicious broth. The chef was shouting orders at the opposite end of the restaurant. A waiter came walking towards the men.

“Two please” Danny said while motioning towards a free table. The waiter nodded and went to grab some menus.

“I’m so glad you suggested this place, I’m starving” Quinn said as he looked through the menu.

“Yeah me too, the reviews online said this place had the best ramen in town” Danny replied.

The waiter came back with their menus and took their order for drinks. The men were deciding on what to get.

“I think I’m just going to get the spicy chicken ramen” Danny said.

“I’m getting the same thing” Quinn replied.

The waiter took their order and Danny took in the restaurant’s interior. It was small but cozy. The walls were a light wood color and the floors were tiled. There were small plants placed throughout the restaurant.

The waiter brought out their drinks and they sipped on them while they waited for their food. The broth smelled even better up close. Danny’s stomach grumbled.

“I don’t know about you but I’m starved” he said.

“I know, me too” Quinn replied.

“So you mind telling me about that idea of yours?” Danny asked.

“Ok, listen up. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while” his brother said. “You know that secret hideout near the bridge?”

“Uhu” Danny said, not really paying attention as his eyes were glued to the kitchen entrance, willing his food to come out faster.

“I think we should turn it into a secret casino” Quinn continued.

Danny finally looked away from the kitchen and at his brother. “What?” he said disbelief clear in his voice. “Are you out of your mind? We could get caught and go to jail.”

“No, no, no, hear me out” Quinn said, leaning in closer to Danny. “We could make it invite only. And we could be really strict about who we let in. We could even have a dress code.”

“I don’t know, Quinn” Danny said, shaking his head. “This seems like a really bad idea.”

“It’s not a bad idea” Quinn insisted. “It could be really profitable. Think about it. Rich people love gambling.”

Danny thought about it for a moment. His brother did have a point. “Ok, but we need to be really careful. We can’t let anyone find out about this.”

“Deal” Quinn said, holding out his hand to shake on it.

But, when Danny wanted to shake his brother’s hand, a man in sunshades put his hands on their table and looked at them.

“Hey, what are you two kids up to?” the man in sunshades asked.Danny and Quinn looked at each other and then back to the man in sunshades.

“We’re just talking” Danny said, trying to sound casual.

“It looked like you were up to something more than that” the man said, his eyes narrowing. “I think you two should come with me.”

“Why?” Danny asked, starting to feel nervous.

“I’m not going to ask again” the man said, grabbing Danny’s arm.

Quinn got up from his chair and followed the man and Danny out of the restaurant. Danny’s heart was racing. He had no idea what was going on.

They were led to a black van parked on the street. The man in sunshades opened the door and pushed Danny and Quinn inside. The van took off and Danny’s mind was racing. He had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen to him and his brother.

The van drove for a few minutes before coming to a stop. The door opened and the man in sunshades grabbed Danny and Quinn, dragging them out of the van.

They were in an alleyway between two buildings. The man in sunshades pushed them up against the wall and pulled out a gun.

“Now, what were you two boys up to back there?” he asked, pointing the gun at Danny’s head.

Danny’s mind was racing. He didn’t know what to say. He was scared for his life.

“We- we were just talking” Quinn stammered.

“Talking about what?” the man asked. “It looked like you were up to something more than that.”

Danny swallowed hard. He knew they were in trouble now. There was no way out of this.

“We- we were talking about starting a casino” he said, his voice trembling.

The man in sunshades laughed. “A casino? You two kids are starting a casino?”

Danny nodded. “Yes, sir” he said.

“Well, I’ll tell you what” the man said. “You can start your casino, but you’re going to have to pay me a cut.”

Danny and Quinn looked at each other, their hearts sinking. They were in way over their heads now. There was no way they could start a casino and pay this man a cut.

“Ok” Danny said, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Ok, what?” the man asked.

“We’ll pay you a cut” Danny said. “Just please don’t hurt us.”

The man in sunshades laughed again. “That’s not how this works” he said. “You’re going to have to earn my cut.”

He pulled out a deck of cards and handed it to Danny. “You’re going to deal me a hand of blackjack. If I win, you pay me a cut. If you win, I’ll leave you alone.”

Danny’s hands were shaking as he took the deck of cards. There was no way he was going to win against this man. He didn’t know how to play blackjack.

The man in sunshades dealt the cards and Danny landed a straight blackjack. The man in sunshades cursed under his breath.

“Ok, you win” he said. “But, if you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll kill you. Got it?”

Danny and Quinn nodded. The man in sunshades got back in the van and drove off, leaving the two brothers alone in the alleyway.

Danny’s heart was still racing as he and Quinn made their way back to the restaurant. He had no idea what they were going to do now. There was no way they could start a casino. They were in way over their heads.

They sat back down at their table which now had 2 bowls of spicy ramen on it. Steam was still rising from the bowls.

“That was a close one” Danny said, his hands still shaking.

“Yeah, no kidding” Quinn replied. “We’re lucky he didn’t kill us.”

Danny nodded. He knew Quinn was right. They were lucky to be alive. But, he also knew that this was the end of their casino idea. There was no way they could go through with it now. It was too dangerous.

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