Thursday, 19 February 2009
I was famished, so Hideki took me to a noodle bar.
“You like stand-up soba?” He twists the noodles from the soup and threads the long strands of buckwheat through his teeth.
“First time,” I said.
“Your girlfriend never took you?”“She was a ramen girl.” I snapped my disposable chopsticks apart and jabbed them into the bowl.
Hideki is jittery; his eyes are like little black fish darting about in his horn rimmed glasses.
Just then, there was a movement in the soup. I felt something tugging on my chopstick. I stepped back from the bar, “What the—”
The noodles parted to reveal a bulbous pair of bloodshot eyes staring out at me. One of the noodle creatures twisted itself around my chopsticks; I could see the fangs in its open mouth.
Someone screamed; it could have been me. I don’t remember exactly, but the inside of the entire soba bar was suddenly alive with panic.
“I knew it. Get out of here.” Hideki swipes the bowl off the bar and sends it hurtling across the floor, then grabbing my hand he drags me out of the shop.
The last thing I remember seeing were thousands of noodle-like worms sliding across the floor, their bulbous eyes fixed upon the Soba Chef. I saw him kicking in vain as they slithered up his legs, constricted around his body and sank their fangs into his throat as he fell whimpering to the floor.
Hideki Desu appears in the Spring 2009 edition of Space and Time Magazine. Many thanks to the very talented David Grilla for illustrating this excerpt.