Godsquatter

Sci-Fi Book

I had some professional down-time during COVID, so rather than cry in my soup I decided to write a book. It’s a satire. About social media. And world domination. Also potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes. You can learn more at godsquatter.com, and also check out the Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.

Writer: Me
Publisher: Me
Cover Art: Me
Editing: Outsourced (I’m not totally crazy)

Excerpt

Chapter 3: The Horde

Gordon absorbed himself in the process. Open bag, pour frozen slivers into basket, mount basket in oil, step back. Wait, watch, move to the next and repeat. As the three timers took turns clicking to zero and the fries gently browned, there was nothing else to do but immerse himself in that simple, magic sound. There was solace in that sizzle, along with a complete and total freedom. Not just from customers, but from co-workers, and the whole rest of the world besides. With any other Solomon’s station there was a constant need to grin and pretend you actually enjoyed slinging fast food. But at the fry station, all Gordon had to do was cycle a few baskets, press a few buttons, and drift into a perfect rhythm that, save for the occasional grease burn, melted the hours away. The fries fried, the time flied.

It was Thursday afternoon at Sol’s, and Gordon thanked the gods he was back on days and not on register. Every night had its annoying regulars, but “Solomon’s Thursday Frydays” were different. Owing to their discounted mini-fries and limited-edition seasoning flavors, Thursday Frydays had only one customer, and that customer was chaos. A relentless stream of hungry faces and muddled orders, the crowds often began as an early-evening trickle, and then snowballed exponentially until well past closing.

But Gordon wouldn’t have to deal with that. His shift ended at six, long before the worst would hit. And whatever craziness did come along, that was for the cashiers to worry about. Gordon looked up front to see his less fortunate coworkers manning their registers, Dave among them ringing up the early-bird crowd with a speed and panache earned through years of owning Turf-Murphy newbs. As Dave’s fingers danced across the keypad, Gordon knew he could safely check out and enjoy the solitude of frying his fries.

Easing back to his duties, Gordon loaded a fresh batch of wedges and reset the timer. He placed the basket next to its peers in the shared mount above the oil, and stood back to let the station work its magic. Then the whole assembly shifted sideways, a barely audible “pop” giving the only warning before all three baskets dropped. The oil splashed dangerously at Gordon as the baskets spilled their precious cargoes into the bubbling depths. Now robbed of the chance to be seasoned and served to an adoring public, the capsized potato slices gave in to their fate and simply blackened, shriveled, and dissolved to nothing.

Gordon yelped. He clutched his right arm as the kiss of hot grease shot up his elbow, past the shoulder and straight into every pain center of his brain. He screwed his eyes shut to block it out, and then opened to see the shift manager doing what little he could to salvage things. He’d filled Solomon’s one and only backup basket, and, without any mounts to use, cautiously lowered it directly into the grease by the handle while wincing against the fry station’s ubiquitous heat.

Never fully OSHA-approved, the space above the fry station’s tub wasn’t quite an oven, but it definitely wasn’t rated for more than a few seconds of bare skin exposure. So when the timer dinged zero, the manager wasted no time pulling the now-golden fries out with his now-bright-pink arm. He dumped the fries into the seasoning bin, where the song of their sizzle seemed even more profound than usual. But then Gordon realized it wasn’t the sizzle at all—it was the quiet that surrounded it. He looked to Solomon’s front counter, where every man, woman and pale-faced child stood fixated on the manager’s efforts with a shock as sudden and palpable as the grease blisters now forming on Gordon’s arm.

The adventure continues—read Godsquatter.