The dead Elvis stands in front of the entree table of the All Night China Buffet. He is dressed in the iconic white sequined jumpsuit, the ends of his cape slightly soiled with soy sauce, the enormous silver belt buckle ready to burst.
Being deceased, he cannot see himself in a mirror.
The dead have no style or sense of time.
The hostess at the All Night China Buffet screams a monosyllabic sing-song announcing the presence of the dead king.
The staff is accustomed to this and pays no attention whatsoever.
Elvis temporarily forgets where he is and starts to rock back and forth in his heeled leather boots, singing “Hunka, hunka, burnin’ love” into a teaspoon.
The wait staff are again indifferent as they have witnessed these antics on previous nights.
They bring out more General TSO’s chicken as a distraction. It works. It always does. The dead Elvis loves his spicy chicken, loves it tender, loves it sweet (and sour).
And when he has had enough, he pushes the plate across the table and removes his extraordinarily large sunglasses. As he places the shades across the crest of the epic black pompadour, the wait staff gasp at the glory. They will attempt to emulate the effect to no avail.
The influence of the dead king surpasses all time. In his world it is always now or never.
Elvis reaches for the token fortune cookie, consistent in its content:
Your lucky numbers are: 4, 14, 28, and 31.
Your Chinese word is: picture Chinese characters – “platinum”
The dead Elvis flips the slip of paper over as he crunches on the last bits of tasteless cookie. The reverse side reads:
“You’ve always been a friend of mine” (in bed)
He rises to the majesty of his full sequined height, bows respectfully to the staff of the All Night China Buffet and pivots on the words: “Thank you. Thank you very much.”
And so departs the legend as the “Open” sign in the window of the All Night China Buffet flickers quickly and then shorts out.
3 thoughts on “THE KING, THE GENERAL, AND THE CHICKEN (OR AT LEAST PARTS OF THE CHICKEN)”
Love this one! Bravo!
Miss seeing you and hearing your latest work…are you going to join us with one of the library writers’ groups again sometime soon?
I am going to try to start coming to the Wednesday afternoon writer’s group maybe starting in October. I can’t wait to read your latest works, Ginny. You are very talented.
Donna…glad to hear that you may be joining us soon on Wednesday afternoons..this group is self-moderated and open…meets 2-4 pm
….there is also a poetry group starting at the library October 4 …Tuesdays 12-2…you have to pre-register with Karen Bradley if you are interested in the poetry group…not sure if there is still room to get in.
Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement…just received another rejection yesterday, but the editors did comment that the work made it to the final stage in their editorial process, and suggested that I submit other work soon. So, not ideally what I had hoped for, but not a form rejection, either.
Hope to see you soon at one or both of the groups. Keep writing! Ginny