Previously On Quarterstories . . .
A rumbling sound began to shake the building. Tiles from the ceiling began falling. Tables toppled, glass began cracking, and the games in the back began to falter their sounds slowing. A ringing from the jukebox pierced the air when I saw his grandfather run and hop over the counter, grabbing something.
The jukebox began echoing synth music from the eighties much louder than before. “What is this,” I asked.
“I have no idea,” my friend said.
“HEY! Catch,” his grandfather shouted, tossing two guns our way and hopping back over the counter with a third. The rumble was low and vibrant under out feet now. The place was wrecked. Cracks began to form in the floor.
“If you visit more than twice a day–” his grandfather said. “Well, let’s just say shit gets a little too real around here for my taste.” He cocked his weapon, aimed, and waited.
“What the hell,” my friend breathed.
“What did you get me into,” I asked.
“I don’t know man. I seriously just thought it was a cool box.”
“Well,” I said, cocking my own gun, “guess I don’t get a lazy day after all.”
Now . . .
The pizzeria had shaken itself into a state of chaos, but for some reason the jukebox stayed playing the same synth tune in the background. “Is this Katrina’s idea of a joke,” my friend asked, cocking his shotgun.
“Katrianna,” his grandfather corrected, “and no, she wanted peace. This is why she gave us the boxes. But, her sister was a different story.”
Steam began to boil from beneath our feet, through the cracks in the foundation, creating a fog bank to our knees. The lights dimmed for a few moments, a surge could be heard from the back of the building.
“So, what exactly is going kill us,” I asked.
“Katrianna’s sister, Kathryn, believed that the soldiers should be able to spend time with their families, but if they were greedy when trying to go back, what they enjoyed most would turn on them,” his grandfather said.
A stirring could be heard in the kitchen. Clattering pans rang out. Just as we turned, a large steaming blob of grease and cheese began slugging its way towards us, olive rings for eyes and bread sticks mapping it’s expression.
“Death by the ‘za, eh? Couldn’t have thought of a more interesting way to out, honestly,” my friend said, cocking his gun again and pelting the floor with a single shell.
“More like Ironic,” I said, “and stop with the cinematics, you’re wasting ammo.”
“You know what, man,” my friend started, dropping all concern and shouldering his weapon while the monster slugged toward us. “Drop the attitude; it’s bad for the skin, bro.”
A shotgun blast rang out and half the pizza blob’s cheesy head was gone. My friend’s grandfather was holding a steady aim.
“Quit your yappin’ and start shootin’ dammit,” his grandfathered grunted. “The guns don’t run out, I’ve had to do this before. Just keep unloading on the pizza demons. I’ll cover the back.”
“Wait, demons,–like plural demons,” I asked. Not long after, the kitchen seemed to be a summoning ground for more of them.
My friend and I didn’t let up. Blasts rang out for a solid minute and I started to go a bit deaf. After the onslaught, I had thought it was over. The ringing in my ears kept me from seeing my friend, surprised look on his face, starring towards the back.
Bleeping and blipping could be heard faintly, not through just a speaker, but it sounded like a stirring behind the walls of the back room. I turned to see every arcade-goer’s worst nightmare.
Hundreds of whizzing, pixelated, neon monsters burst through the rear walls, blipping around the ceilings and the floor.
Another round of shots rang out.
Pixels, much like the pizza demon’s cheese and grease had splattered the wall, covered the floors, and, somehow, some of it was stuck to the ceiling. The sight of neon all over the place was quite mesmerizing, but soon after, the place began to shake again.
“That’s it boys, time to go,” his grandfather said.
As the ground crumbled beneath our feet, pixels and cheese falling back from whence they came, the whole pizzeria was folding in on itself. Crumbling, thrashing, and spewing even more steam, it slowly took to a large sinkhole in the middle of the dessert.
We made it out of the building and to our surprise; the moon was out, illuminating the vast and empty dessert. A perfectly door-shaped frame came into view, revealing what looked like a dusty attic.
As we stepped back through, the dry heat turned into a wet, cool, and humid air. It was raining back in the real world.
“You coming grandpa,” my friend asked.
“Nah,” he said. “Place will be back tomorrow, and I can build anything I want now that you’re grown up. Time’s slower here. Just my speed, really. Think I might even open up a burger place. But hey, come to visit anytime you’d like.”
“Sounds great,” my friend said, gave his grandfather an embrace, and stepped through the portal.
As the day rolled on, we were staying in, just watching the rain.
“Pizza demons, man,” I said unbelieving.
“Pixel demons, dude,” he remarked.
“Wait a sec, your grandfather said twice in one day. Did you?”
“Yupp,” my friend said, side of his face curling.
“And your grandfather, he–”
“Yupp,” he said.
“Pretty good lazy day, I must admit. Free pizza and a shooting range, that’s something we need to do again sometime,” I said.
“Oh, you might wanna hold off for a few months,” he said.
“You think that shit was bananas? Trying going in a third time within six months of the second time in twenty-four hours event.”
“What happens,” I asked, interested and concerned.
“Let’s stick to the TV for now.”