Ocean, Ketchup, Shoe

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320

The ketchup bottle was nearly empty. It was plastic and so every squeeze became a foreshadowing of the private storms I would experience after the meal.

It wasn’t the food that was bad. No, in fact it was quite good, albeit unhealthy. It was the motion of the boat rocking along in the chop of the Northern Atlantic. It would be a wonder if I could finish the meal without a brisk walk to the room while tightening my sphincter, out of necessity rather than for pleasure.

So far, the walks had looked like I was holding a water balloon filled with undercooked chili between my legs. My shoes shuffling from deck to carpet. Toes extending, reaching down to each step with speed and agility, always mindful of the thin bladder full of steamy soup.

It was the cheeseburger and fries that finally poked through the stretched skin of the bladder. Of all the exotic foods I’d eaten, it was to be the most familiar to me that would burst me open too soon and spill my pride out in front of everyone in the over crowded buffet.

In the moment, my heart stopped and I felt my tight grip on that ‘oh so under appreciated nether cavity’ loosen. The room slowed and just before the dam burst, I scanned the room in slow motion, taking in all of the meals I’d had during the two weeks on board.

Wisps of steam curled away from the beef stroganoff, a heaping pile of chicken and potato curry falling into a bed of rice, barbecue braised short ribs dripping onto the plate of a man with sweat glistening from his jiggling turkey neck, bread pudding slopping onto a plate, ice cream swirling, lobster cracking, egg yolks spilling, then my eyes turned down to my own plate. I had thought the burger my safest choice.

As my pants filled, my head began shaking feverishly and I thought, “Et tu, burger?”

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