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Encounters at the Ramen Shop

A collection of short stories powered by A.I.

The Fox

by | Sep 14, 2022

“I got something special today for you,” Takashi mentioned to one of his ramen shop regulars. “I got this special shipment of saké in from Japan. I’ll get you a free sample.”

Takashi went into the kitchen and grabbed a small cup and bottle of saké. He walked back out and placed the cup in front of the man, who grabbed it eagerly. Takashi then uncorked the bottle and tipped it over the cup, letting three or four drops into the cup.

“Enjoy,” Takashi said with a smile.

“Ah, thank you,” the man said before downing the cup in one gulp. He smacked his lips a few times before letting out a long sigh. “That’s some good stuff.”

“Glad you like it,” Takashi said as he took the empty cup and bottle back into the kitchen.

Takashi then went to the back room and grabbed a box. He placed the box on the counter and started to unpack it. Takashi pulled out a few bottles of saké and placed them on the shelves. He was about to leave when he noticed something else in the box. Takashi reached in and pulled out a small wooden statue.

The statue was of a fox. It was only a few inches tall and had its mouth open, revealing sharp teeth. Takashi turned it over and noticed that there was a small hole drilled into the base. Takashi shook his head and placed the statue back in the box.

“Weird,” Takashi muttered to himself as he went back out to the front of the shop.

Later that night, Takashi was getting ready to close up shop. He was about to turn off the lights when he heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Takashi slowly made his way to the kitchen and peaked around the corner. He saw the wooden fox statue on the counter. Takashi furrowed his brow and walked over to it.

“How did you get in here?” Takashi asked as he picked up the statue.

Suddenly, the statue started to shake. Takashi’s eyes widened in shock as he dropped the statue. The statue fell to the floor and broke into several pieces. Takashi stared at the broken statue in shock as he heard a voice coming from behind him.

“Who are you?” the voice asked.

Takashi slowly turned around. He saw a small fox standing on the counter. The fox had red fur and nine tails. Takashi’s eyes widened in shock as he realized who he was looking at.

“You’re a kitsune,” Takashi said in disbelief.

“Yes, I am,” the kitsune said with a nod. “And you are Takashi, the owner of this ramen shop.”

“H-How do you know my name?” Takashi asked in confusion.

“I’ve been watching you for some time,” the kitsune said. “You have a kind heart and always help those in need.”

“W-What do you want from me?” Takashi asked nervously.

“I want you to make a wish,” the kitsune said. “Anything you desire, I will grant it for you.”

Takashi’s eyes widened in surprise. He had heard stories of kitsune granting wishes, but he had never thought he would meet one in person. Takashi thought for a moment before making his wish.

“I wish for my ramen shop to be the most popular in all of Japan,” Takashi said.

“Your wish is granted,” the kitsune said with a nod.

Suddenly, Takashi felt a surge of energy within him. He could feel his ramen shop becoming more and more popular with each passing day. People from all over Japan would come to his shop to try his delicious ramen. Takashi was now on the path to becoming the most popular ramen chef in all of Japan.

Thank you for granting my wish, Takashi said in his mind.

You’re Welcome, the kitsune said before disappearing.

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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