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SERIAL FICTION: D.U.O. (Chapter 3)

This is Chapter Three of an ongoing work of serialized fiction by Brewerytown resident Michael Ferrence. You can read previous chapters, as well as other works of Spirit Fiction, here.

  Over the course of eight days following the attack, Dutten was responsible for taking out 30-some people, indiscriminately pummeling all kinds of unsavory characters, “pieces of garbage, scumbags that at one time or another had it out for me in someway, some shape or form, many of em’ still do, guys who want me gone, who fought dirty against me, against us, our movement” he said. “We can’t keep taking 5 steps forward and 4 steps back, you know? We have to move forward continuously. We have to change history. It doesn’t work if we go backwards. We’re running out of time.” I agreed with the sentiment, in this case our ideals aligned, but he was full of shit; he either wouldn’t admit it or truly didn’t get it yet, so he dragged a couple homeless guys all over the park in front of the Free Library and tossed them over the embankment onto 676; he unhinged the jaws of a few longtime defense attorneys; caved in the right orbital and broke the hands of union boss Dave Doherty; put a 4-pack of soda lobbyists through the front window of a popular Center City steakhouse; pummeled real estate mogul Ari Flatbush inside a descending elevator in a parking garage in Rittenhouse; cracked the ribs of award-winning chef, Devin Sprago; and from behind, kicked a 67 year old City Hall custodian in the ass, bouncing him down a flight of stairs. He said there was a good reason for everything he did. I didn’t believe him. I told him his reasoning was flawed, that he was not well, and that even though his disorder was eliciting his maladaptive behavior, what he was doing was fundamentally wrong. It was illegal. I knew that simply telling him this wouldn’t be enough to change him, that he would have to discover this for himself, but the nature of his actions were so extreme I really didn’t know what else to do. The situation was far more complex than any I had ever experienced, far more than I’d expected, and I was doing all I could to keep it from becoming personal.

  The perceived random acts of violence were all over the news and no one knew what to make of it. People started freaking out, but Dutten, our Mayor, was there to assure us that everything would be all right, not to worry.

  D.U.O. benefited because it was Dutten’s home base throughout the spree; he dined with us every night we were open- Thursday, Friday, and Saturday- and media coverage portrayed me as having saved his life, and suddenly, we were on the map. It was all we needed and we never looked back.

  Everything is done in-house. We do gastronomical variations of greens, fruits, roots, trees, shoots, fungi, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, flowers, birds, and various rodents- raccoons, squirrels, snakes, possums, and whatever else we could get our hands on. Sounds too out there to work, I know, but it works to perfection. If I’ve learned anything since starting this, it’s that anything, absolutely anything, goes.

  The clientele is as eclectic as the food is diverse. They come from all over the city, from all walks of life, and they make the place move.

  As always, on Thursday morning, Jeremy rushed in carrying a wooden crate overflowing with freshly harvested ingredients and dumped it out on the stainless steel kitchen counter.

  An hour and a half later, after thoroughly dissecting the collection, I said, OK, here we go, we’ll do a 6 course tasting tonight. What do you think of this?

  Rainbow Trout and Cabbage

  Mushroom Paste, Onion, and Lavendar

  Steamed Turtle and Egg Yolk Sauce

  Raw Ants with Ginger and Coconut

  Rosebay and Leek

  Dried Boneset Flower Ice Cream

  “Goddamnit!” He said, smiling. “Hell yeah! Let’s go.”

    I put on the debut album of The Remains, cranked the volume, and we went to work.


Michael Ferrence has written 3 novels, dozens of short stories, and hundreds of Hall of Fame caliber rock songs. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and son Jack, and works as a teacher. Read more from Michael at www.milkfuzz.com.

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