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Encounters at the Ramen Shop

A collection of short stories powered by A.I.


by | Sep 18, 2022

It was the starting night of the ramen shop delivery service. People were able to order a meal online and have it delivered to their doorstep by the restaurant. This way, more people could enjoy the popular ramen dishes. Ren was the nephew of Takashi. He was sixteen years old and knew the neighbourhood well, which is why Takashi invited him to work his first job as a delivery guy.

“Do you think you can handle this, Ren?” Takashi had asked him.

“Of course, Uncle! I’ll do my best!” Ren had replied with a smile.

And so, Ren was now out on his first delivery. He had just finished his first order and was about to start on his second when he heard someone calling out to him.

“Hey, you!”

Ren turned around to see a group of teenagers walking towards him. He didn’t recognize them, but he could tell they were up to no good.

“What do you want?” Ren asked, trying to sound tough.

“We want your money,” the leader of the group said. “Hand it over and we won’t hurt you.”

Ren knew he was outnumbered and didn’t stand a chance against them, but he also knew he couldn’t just give them what they wanted. He had to do something.

Suddenly, an idea popped into his head. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small container of wasabi. Then, he opened it and blew the powder into the leader’s face.

The leader started to scream and rub his eyes. The other teenagers were momentarily stunned by what had happened. Ren used this opportunity to make his escape. He ran as fast as he could back to the ramen shop.

When he got there, Takashi was waiting for him outside.

“What happened? Why are you back so soon?” Takashi asked, worried.

Ren quickly told him what had happened. Takashi was relieved that his nephew was unharmed but was also worried about the potential consequences.

“We can’t have our delivery service if people are going to be attacked like this,” Takashi said. “I’m sorry, Ren, but I’m going to have to suspend the service for now.”

Ren was disappointed, but he understood. He knew that his uncle was only trying to protect him and the business.

“Don’t worry, Uncle,” Ren said. “I’ll find a way to stop those guys. I promise.”

And with that, Ren set out to find the group of teenagers and stop them from terrorizing the neighbourhood.

The next day, Ren was back out on his delivery route. He had made a plan and was ready to put it into action.

As he expected, the group of teenagers was waiting for him. As soon as they saw him, they started to run towards him.

Ren pretended to be scared and ran away from them. They chased him for a while, but they eventually got tired and stopped. That’s when Ren turned around and sprayed them with a fire extinguisher he had secretly been carrying.

The teenagers were blinded by the foam and started to panic. They tripped over each other as they tried to run away. Ren laughed as he watched them go.

“That was pretty impressive..”

The words came from behind him. Ren turned around and saw a tall man with a dark black moustache towering over him. The man wore a black raincoat. His hands were hidden in his coat pockets.

“W-who are you?” Ren asked, feeling intimidated.

“Someone who’s impressed by your little stunt,” the man said. “I’m looking for someone with your…skill set.”

“What do you mean?” Ren asked.

“I run a little business,” the man said. “And I think you would be perfect for it.”

“What kind of business?” Ren asked, curious.

“I’ll tell you what,” the man said. “Why don’t you come with me and I’ll show you.”

Ren hesitated for a moment, but he was too curious to say no. He nodded and followed the man. He had no idea what he was getting himself into, but he was eager to find out.

The man took Ren to a run-down building on the other side of town. He unlocked the door and led Ren inside.

It was a small, cramped room with a single window. There was a table in the middle of the room with a few chairs around it. On the table was a laptop and a stack of papers.

“This is my office,” the man said. “Sit down.”

Ren sat down in one of the chairs and the man sat down in the other. He turned on the laptop and brought up a website. On the website was a list of names and addresses.

“What is this?” Ren asked.

“This is my business,” the man said. “I run a protection racket. I collect money from people in exchange for keeping them safe from harm.”

“And you want me to help you?” Ren asked.

“That’s right,” the man said. “Your creativity is just the thing I need.”

“But, I need to help my uncle with deliveries for his restaurant,” Ren responded.

“I’ll tell you what,” the man said. “I’ll give you a cut of the profits and you can still help your uncle with his business.”

Ren thought about it for a moment and then nodded. He was intrigued by the man’s offer and wanted to see what it was like. Plus, he knew he could use the money to help his uncle with the restaurant.

“Welcome to the family,” the man said with a smile.

And with that, Ren’s life of crime had begun.

Enjoyed it? Get the book!

Encounters at the Ramen Shop is now available as an ebook or paperback. It contains all 30 short stories found on the blog with a special fore- and afterword from the author.

Encounters at the Ramen Shop ebook