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Encounters at the Ramen Shop

A collection of short stories powered by A.I.

The Candy Bar

by | Sep 18, 2022

I sat down to wait for my take-out order of dumplings from the ramen shop. I had a long day of work meetings, so I didn’t really feel like cooking today.

A family with young kids ate at the table next to me.

The kids were making a lot of noise and the parents were trying to keep them under control. The father was especially strict with the kids and would yell at them if they made any noise. The other customers dining in were noticeably annoyed by the noise.

I felt bad for the family because they were clearly struggling to keep their kids under control. However, I was also annoyed by the noise and wished they would do something about it.

Eventually, the father got up and left the restaurant, leaving the mother and children behind. The kids got triggered by the obvious tension between the parents and became even more loud and obnoxious. The mother tried to calm them down, but it was too late.

The youngest started to climb on the table and kicked off cutlery and plates with food. One couple, who tried to have a romantic dinner could not take the tantrums any longer. They got up and left their half-eaten food behind, giving the mother an angry look.

“Hey, do you kids want a candy bar?”

The voice came from Kenji, the kitchen chef. He had overheard the commotion and came out from the kitchen to offer the kids a candy bar.

“Yes, please!”

“Here you go!”

Kenji handed out candy bars to the three kids and they started to calm down immediately. Relief filled the entire restaurant.

As they took their first bites from the bars their faces turned red. One after the other, they started to scream and cry.

“This tastes like pepper!” one screamed.

“Mommy help, the heat won’t go away!” shouted another.

The mother turned to Kenji.

“What the hell did you give them?” she asked.

“Oh, these are Carolina Reaper bars, containing the world’s hottest pepper.” Kenji explained with a grin.

The mother started to scold Kenji but he just shrugged and went back to the kitchen. The kids were still screaming, their mouths on fire. The mother took them to the restroom to wash out their mouths with water.

As the kids came back to the table with their mother, the heat still didn’t wear off. They started to drink milk and eat bread to try and cool down their mouths but to no avail. Kenji watched the aftermath from the kitchen, his hands on his hips. Some customers came over to high-five him.

Eventually, the family had to leave the restaurant without finishing their food. They were probably going to the hospital.

The other customers applauded Kenji as he came out of the kitchen.

“That was brilliant!”

“You are a genius!”

“We finally got rid of those brats!”

Kenji took a bow and went back to the kitchen. I shook my head and smiled. I was glad the family was gone but I also felt bad for them.

I got my dumplings and left the restaurant. As I walked out, I saw the father coming back to the restaurant, his face red with anger.

“I’m going to kill that guy!” he shouted as he pushed past me into the restaurant.

I heard a loud commotion from inside and then a crash. I ran back inside to see what was happening.

The father had Kenji in a headlock and was punching him repeatedly. Kenji was bleeding from his nose and mouth. The other customers were trying to pull the father off of Kenji but he was too strong.

“You ruined my family!” the father shouted. “I’ll kill you!”

I ran over and grabbed a chair, hitting the father over the head with it. He let go of Kenji and fell to the ground. I helped Kenji up and he staggered back to the kitchen.

The father lay on the ground, unconscious. The other customers started to leave, not wanting to be around when the police arrived. I stayed behind and waited for the ambulance.

When Kenji came out of the kitchen, he had a black eye and a swollen lip. He wiped the blood off of his face and shrugged.

“Well, that was interesting.” he said.

I shook my head and laughed. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

Kenji is a hero in my eyes. He saved the other customers from having to listen to those kids screaming. He also got rid of the family so that they would stop ruining other people’s dining experience. Not to mention, he got punched in the process.

I’m glad he’s okay and I hope the family is too. I don’t think they’ll be back anytime soon.

If you’re ever in the mood for some spicy food, I recommend the Carolina Reaper Bars at the ramen restaurant. Just be warned, they are not for the faint of heart!

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