‘How in the name of Krishna did this happen?’ he thought. ‘One moment I am getting laid, the next I am up to my nose in shit, and I am almost naked!’
When the yelling had started, he’d only had time to grab his underwear before diving out the window as her father broke through the door. He’d knocked her brothers over in his headlong dash, but some of the buckshot still found a soft target. He didn’t know how far he’d run or where he was, and he didn’t care. As a hiding place, this left a lot to be desired, but certainly no one would look here, and it beat the hell out of the option.
‘I have shit in my eyes! I have shit in my ears! Things cannot get worse!’
But they did.
Three very angry men charged around the corner of the dark alley and ran past the open cesspool. He sank lower, trying to leave only his nose above the surface. It was all he could do not to retch.
‘Why did she have to be his daughter? And a fucking screamer!’
The men stalked back past the cesspool. Her father, the big one with the cleaver, paused for a moment and peered intently at the darkened, shit-filled pit, then turned and followed the others.
Gingerly pushing through sodden toilet paper and bloated condoms, he moved slowly toward the edge of the pool and peeked over.
‘I am in such deep doodoo,’ he thought, the joke entirely lost in the moment.
He’d been the Sous Chef for a couple of months, and in that time had never seen her in the restaurant. And Chef never talked about his family.
‘Please,’ he prayed, ‘do not let me die like this. Or any way. I cannot get into heaven smelling like . . .’
He whimpered and sank back as, from the end of the alley, Chef’s deep voice erupted in the darkness.
“I know you’re around here somewhere, Patel! You can’t hide from me forever, and you won’t get far without your clothes! I’ll find you, you piss-brained, cock sucking, sack of rotting dog shit! I’ll stick your pecker in an ant hill! I’ll cut off your balls with the dullest knife I can find!”
There was a long pause, and the sound of steel scraping on stone.
“Then maybe I’ll slice them thin and sauté them . . . in butter . . . perhaps with a little garlic and sage! Or maybe I’ll make a nice cojone curry! Then I’ll make you eat them! Keep hiding, Patel! I have all night!”
And it was a very long night.
Sometime just before dawn, on the verge of giving up, and in danger of drowning, he was saved when Patrol officers drove down the alley and ran the three men off. Dripping shit, wearing one shoe and red lace panties, he crawled slowly from the cesspool and limped away in the darkness.
Two days later, subdued, sanitized, and shot full of antibiotics, he booked passage on the shuttle to the Station.