Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Rule of Three: Finale

Final week, and this week's post ties the three previous stories together. To refresh your memory, please read the previous parts: One, Two, and Three.
   This week, there is a new arrival in town, and the misfortune is accepted (the two prompts that I'm using), all in 557 words.

The whole town gathered under the golden arches for the opening. The controversial new development was finished, and this was its first day of trade. Although previously the franchise's arrival had divided the town, it now appeared that everyone accepted its presence. McDonalds had come to Renaissance.
   At 10:30 in the morning, with the whole population gathered around, Peter P. Petersham cut a large red ribbon over the glass double doors. The new owner, Daniel Crawford, grinning and shaking hands. He was new to town and wanted to meet everyone at the opening, whilst spirits were hight.
Caitlyn Mollison, along with all the other mothers, lined up to get Happy Meals and helium balloons. Children went running off around the vinyl floors and throughout the plastic playground, screams of happiness echoing. Occasionally a scream would have a distressed pitch to it, and a mother would scurry off to find her sobbing child who had been pushed off the slide, or stepped on.
   Peter P. Petersham ducked behind the playground after the official opening, knowing it was the last place that his wife or girlfriends would find him. They were all at the opening, as as soon as he could, he ran back to his empty take away show to consider all his former customers who would prefer McDonalds to his Burger With The Lot.
   Dr Adele Divine had agreed to make an appearance, at the insistence of her husband. She now absently listened to old Thelma Hardy talk about how she expected the salt in the fries would flare up her scorisis. Her husband stood with a group of young men, just outside the entrance. They were waiting for the queue of mothers to ease before ordering their Big Macs and Quarter Pounders.
   After Caitlyn Mollison had plonked herself into a plastic chair with three Happy Meals for her triplets, she was joined by her uniformed husband. He had stopped by to ensure that law and order prevailed at the opening. He needn't have worried - with the ease of service and the entertainment that the restaurant provided to her girls, Caitlyn wondered why she ever thought McDonalds would be a bad idea for Renaissance. 
   Daniel Crawford gradually got around the meet everyone, his grin plastered on his face. Noon came and went, the festive attitude prevailed, and the kitchen was humming as people kept eating.
   It was mid-afternoon when the first child vomitted. The embarrassed mother gathered her child up and muttered something about eating too much and running around. Soon, however, a few more children were projecting vomit over the plastic play equipment. A couple of adults with sympathetic involuntary reflexes also chucked.
   A few minutes of confusion and embarrassment ensued, until almost simultaneously, cramps set in to the entire restaurant. Many vomitted. Some collapsed, moaning. A few ran for the toilets.
   Amid stomach cramps, a headache and a dry mouth, Dr Adele Divine recognised food poisoning when she saw and felt it.
   In the days that followed, it was discovered that a batch of green potatoes had caused solanine poisoning.
   Daniel Crawford never recovered his business. No locals would return with any frequency. An occasional tourist passing through the town was not enough to sustain him. Daniel closed his franchise after three months, moving back to Sydney. 
   The mayor's take away shop boomed.


  1. Oh dear, what an ending. well done.

  2. "McDonalds had come to Renaissance."

    I knew at that moment, there would be trouble, and your ending matched. That was awesome. That's close to how I feel whenever I pass one of those places. Don't ask. Thank you for sharing your writing! :)

  3. Hmmm... I smell a rat... Or at least, I smell the origin of the potatoes. ;-)