Ficlet Challenge: Tell Me a Story About Penguins

by THX 0477
originally published at 04:42PM on Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Chilean sun squatted oppressively overhead, camped out to make sure no one could lift a finger without feeling the heat. Sitting inside the small roadside cafe only made it worse, the benefit of the shade counteracted by the stuffiness of the small dining area. I had retreated to the veranda to eat my tepid bowl of something stew, watching the locals troop back and forth down the street, apparently a main artery into and out of the village despite it being nothing more than a dirt track.
I tried to shake off the heat but only succeeded in shaking a shower of sweat off of my head and into my stew. Why had I come to this place? My missing brother had probably made himself missing in the first place. My father’s request was probably made out of a sense of obligation. My mother’s tears were just as likely due to inebriation.
When the waiter chanced to stick his head out the door I choked down another bite of grizzled meat and asked in my broken spanish, “What is in this stew?”
His answer, “Pinguino.”

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