Friday 14 August 2009

TOAST by Alan Griffiths

TKnC welcomes Alan to the fold...


Anthony, or Tone to his Sarf London friends was having a mare of a day.

Three years at catering college, with aspirations of being the next celebrity chef on the block, had led to a lengthy spell on the rock n roll.

Tone quickly learnt that the credit crunch was a ready made excuse for the recession hit catering trade.

Eventually he rocked up at a sandwich bar in a concrete and glass shopping complex, complete with annoying Musac.

Days were spent preparing toasted paninis for benefit-claiming mothers and their screaming offspring. Endless mugs of frothy coffee were brewed for coffin dodgers, who were keeping out of the cold and eking out their old age pension.

Despite the frustration and boredom Tone wanted to make an honest living. Villainy ran through his family and he knew that it simmered inside him. As if a dormant rage, bubbled below the surface, waiting to boil and erupt.

“You can take the boy out of the council estate but you can never take the council estate out of the boy.” His old man’s words still echoed in his head.

Frank-O, the owner, was all Brylcreem, fake smiles and pseudo Italian chat with the punters but with the hired help it was very different. He was a bully, with a short fuse that ignited a filthy mouth.

Tone had been working the early shift and it was now past six in the evening. The afternoon shift had failed to show again and he was running late for a date with the lovely but demanding Tanya.

Frank-O’s fuse started to fizz when Tone announced he was offski. His face went as sour as full fat milk on the turn.

“I pay you wages and you leave when I fucking say,” shouted Frank-O into Tone's face, covering him with spittle and halitosis. He hawked phlegm and spat, “You one lazy ungrateful pig - get toasting!”

Snap, crackle, pop.

Tone swung a ferocious boot to Frank-O’s crotch. Frank-O groaned and turned several shades of red. He collapsed to the tiled floor where he curled up whimpering and holding his rapidly swelling testicles.

Tone calmly pocketed several bundles of notes from the cash till while the customers and the rest of his minimum wage colleagues watched in stunned silence.

“Frocio!” hissed Frank-O.

Tone was unaware of the meaning of the insult but had a sneaky suspicion that it was far from complimentary. Grabbing a hold of Frank-O’s collar he dragged him towards the panini toaster.

Flesh touched red hot grill plate and the smell of burning meat filled the air; a smouldering Frank-O screamed long and loud.

“Toast that,” said Tone.


BIO: Alan Griffiths is a rookie writer, from London, England. He has a keen interest in reading and writing Crime Fiction, particularly Noir and Pulp. His short fiction can been found on A Twist of Noir, Pulp Pusher, Powder Burn Flash and Six Sentences.


  1. I wonder how long it took for the paninis to cease having a faint hint of human cheek to them. Solid piece.

  2. Thrillers, Killers, Chillers.

    And, now, Grillers.

    Hot, hot story, Alan.

    Okay, I think I'm done with the puns.

    Seriously, though, I really enjoyed this one and haven't we all had those moments where we snap or, at least, want to?

  3. Welcome, Alan.

    Chris, you missed a pun: Alan's just served up a treat for us! Nice usage of the old cockney rhyming slang, too, giving it an authentic feel.

    Come back soon, Al.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments and in particular to Matt and Col for publishing TOAST on TKnC. But those puns…. Ouch!

    All the Best.

  5. I might have guessed you wouldn’t be able to resist Mr B!

    Thanks Paul.