This piece was inspired by a writing prompt published by WordPress blog “A Writing Prompt A Day” The idea was to construct a piece about delivering pizza during the Apocalypse. So here it is:
APOCALYPSE PIZZA CO.
The evening sky glowed yellow, orange, and red with plumes of black smoke punctuating the Apocalyptic sky.
A huge navy blue SUV pulled up to a brick house on Morton street. With monstrous off road tires that were covered in mud and debris, it looked like it could run over a line of cars at a monster truck rally. On the top sat a glowing green sign that read: ‘Essential Pizza’ in red with a pizza beside it.
A slim figure dropped out from the elevated drivers seat dressed in what looked like riot gear. A black helmet with Plexiglas face protector, full body jumpsuit, torso and thigh guards and a holstered gun made them look like they were about to ward off violent protesters. Two green warming bags carried in the left hand bore the company logo.
Jane stood at her front door as the driver approached.
“Hi.” Jane said to the driver.
The pizza carrier pulled off the helmet to reveal shoulder length curly hair and feminine facial features.
“Hi Ma’am. Here are your pizzas.” The driver replied as she unsnapped the opening of the food warming bags. “Two large cheese with green peppers and tomatoes and a large spinach and mushrooms, right?”
Jane had friends in the house sheltering from the Apocalypse outside. They were playing games and watching tv in the background. A man peeked at Jane and the driver from behind a wall deeper inside the home.
“Food’s here!” he called to others inside.
“Finally, we’re starving.” a woman’s voice responded from the next room.
As the driver pulled the pizzas from their cozy warm cover, the man approached behind Jane peering at the driver anxiously.
“We also had five bread sticks and seven cinnamon twists.” he said wringing his hands nervously.
“Yep, got those here.” The driver said opening the other heated bag.
“Marty, I left my purse in the living room, you got any cash?” Jane asked turning to her nervous, hand wringing companion. He dug in his pockets a moment before producing the money to pay for their dinner.
As the driver took the payment a bright orange yellow flaming ball zoomed overhead and landed a few houses away. Screams of horror cut through the sounds of the blaze and jerked Jane and Marty from their interaction.
The shocked and surprised voices of Jane’s friends could be heard in the next room as they all ran to the living room window.
“Oh my gosh! It’s a fireball!”
“Wow, that sucks for the Henderson’s!” They heard a voice from the living room cry out.
Jane looked back at Marty with a concerned expression. He wore the same expression.
“I’ll call 911.” He replied and disipeared into the house.
Jane turned back to the delivery woman who was cool as a cucumber.
“Um, so you delivering much tonight?”
“Yeah, a ton. This is my fifteenth tonight. About an hour ago I delivered eight pizzas and seventeen pastas to a family of five a couple of miles away. And last night we did a massive order of twenty-five pizzas for a group of ten. Everyone’s ordering.”
The calls for pizza had been surprisingly frequent at Essential Pizza. So much so that everyone on staff had to be called in to handle the deluge of pizza requests. People all over the city had been ordering pizzas like crazy and Essential Pizza drivers were driving all over town.
“Wow! Wonder why they’d order so much!?” Jane exclaimed.
“Eh, gonna need to stockpile food for the disaster.” The driver replied casually.
“Yeah, I guess we should have done that. There are eight of us in here.” Jane said, gesturing to the noise of the people in the living and dining rooms.
“Well, just let us know if you need anymore food.” The driver replied. “We have extended hours during the Apocalypse.”
“Well that’s good to know.”
Marty returned to stand with Jane.
“Paramedics and Fire are on the way.” He said. Jane nodded. They could already see neighbors rushing to the Henderson’s’ house to help the family escape the fireball that had hit their home.
“Have you had to deal with any crazy apocalypse stuff?” Marty asked the driver.
“Oh yeah. Yesterday I had to run from three big hungry dogs. A few days before that my co workers and I were fighting off crazed customers at the store. And I always have to drive around the meteors.”
Jane gazed around her neighborhood at the crazy chaos unfolding around them.
“Aren’t you worried about that? The driving, I mean.” She asked.
“Nah, I’ll be fine. We’re outfitted pretty well to get through this.” The driver said patting her helmet.
“But things are so crazy out there!” Marty exclaimed, his anxiousness over the situation obvious. “I’m worried we won’t be able to get food soon!”
The driver seemed unfazed by Marty’s worry.
“Nah, we’re a Pizza place, we survive anything.” The driver looked at Jane and Marty’s concerned expressions. “Food places never close- you’ll be fine.”
“This is so crazy. You guys are risking your lives during the Apocalypse to deliver food. Your pizza shop should be called ‘Apocalypse Pizza Company’ or something.”
The delivery woman smirked and turned to leave.
“Ya’ll are hero’s!” Cried Jane.
The driver turned back to her.
“We do what we can.”
As the pizza delivery woman drove off Jane surveyed her neighborhood. The Henderson’s burning house being attended to by fire teams and neighbors, another house down the street smoldering from an earlier hit, people’s pets and local wildlife wandering around, the sky a swirling eddy of yellow, orange, red, and black swirls of smoke.
About four houses down, a group of people sat on their front lawn in folding chairs watching the chaos unfold. They treated the Apocalypse like some sort of reality show, eating pop corn and drinking beer, pointing, laughing and guffawing in amazement when a stray meteor would slam into a building further off. One member of the group even held up their phone at the goings on, videoing, getting it all for an internet that wasn’t even functioning. Jane sighed, shook her head and closed the door.