The Golden Trough

The following excised excerpt is from my upcoming novel Sunday Morning at the Peak of Hell. It has been cut because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the story any more, but I still think it has potential as a disconnected piece of flash fiction. Enjoy. 

The Golden Trough is open for business! The already fat customers are packed single file into a maze of cold iron bars with flaking lead based white paint. They are whipped along by a cadre of rail thin menial workers wearing cheap Casper the Friendly Ghost masks. The customers huff through one at a time and are then forced to wait in line again for the cashier. They mutter non sequiturs, while looking at their cell phones, or their shoes, or the ceiling, or their fat beer guts, but never at each other or anyone around them. Direct eye contact is verboten!

The toll for this establishment is $31.41. Exact change is required. Outside the customers must display this amount to the thick suited guards, armed with truncheons and Mace. If the customer is off by one cent, they are given a healthy dose of stick and spray and sent on their way. Once the amount has been verified, the customer must swallow it before being let in. When they reach the register, they are slapped on the back of the forced to regurgitate all of the money onto the counter.

The manager is a hirsute Italian wearing a stained wife-beater shirt, with five chins and surprisingly spindly arms. Stinking of old oil and spoiled tomatoes, he anoints each person who pays on the forehead with a stamp in blue ink, reading “valued customer.”

The inside is one large gleaming white room, with plain patternless, easily stained, linoleum glued to the floor. On the leeward side, a large aluminum tough, spray painted gold, is sunk into the floor, with “friendly” waiters there to attend to whatever is needed. Each of the “friendly” waiters cheeks have been pierced with twine that is pulled back and tied behind the head, forcing the waiter to smile no matter how obnoxious or stupid the valued customer is.

Three feet in front the trough are a series of holes exactly 14 inches apart. The

valued customer crawls (walking is so exhausting) up and positions their anus exactly behind a hole. Then a “friendly waiter” pulls down the valued customer’s trousers and brown streaked underthings (“Anything to make it easier for the customer”), and pulls up two plastic tubes from the hole. One is inserted into the rectum, while the other is slapped on the penis or into the vaginal shunt.

Thus the valued customer isn’t discomforted by having to handle such unsavory bodily functions, which one would not like to think about at the dinner trough. They must merely pause their gorging for a brief moment, flex what muscles are need to get the ball rolling, and automatic suction machines take over the rest of the process.

To cut costs, The Golden Trough only hires one “friendly” waiter per estimated one hundred and fifty customers. So occasionally, the customers must wait. They shift about, getting annoyed, making little huffing noises, but they dare not raise their voice above the low decibel range, lest they are picked out from the herd by The Scum Who Rule. They could start eating, if the wished or even apply the tubes to themselves, but they don’t. They prefer to wait and delay their pleasure, their paying someone else to deal with these problems, not to do it themselves.


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