January 2014 – “ever after” – The Kebab King, The Nameless Servant Boy and the Hot Fiancé by Simon Evans

The Kebab King, The Nameless Servant Boy and the Hot Fiancé

by Simon Evans

Once upon a time in a large, cold city in the north of a small, dark country there was a kebab shop. The kebab shop was owned and run by a fuzzy haired, sweaty brute called Kevin Henderson. He was known throughout the city as ‘The Kebab King’.

One gloomy, wet day The Kebab King announced that if any man could eat seven of his mighty kebabs in an eating contest he would win the hand in marriage of his beautiful daughter, Donna.

Soon the day of the wondrous eating contest arrived and the greasy Kebab shop window was besmirched with posters advertising the event. Word had spread far and wide and eager, hungry men turned up in droves, all hoping to wed the dusky beauty Donna.

The men adopted a variety of poses to aid their digestive systems as the munching commenced. Some sat at the plastic, grey tables in the kebab shop, some stood at the counter, others leaned against the greasy glass shop front and one burly fellow chose to eat his seven kebabs on all fours. Eventually a large, red faced yeoman roared in victory as the last mouthful of his seventh kebab was despatched. He scooped Donna up under his fat, bristly arm and ran into the drizzly horizon, with a full belly, a light head and a racing heart.

The Kebab King nodded in satisfaction and proceeded to count the takings of a busy day’s trading.

The events of the competition were observed by a local servant boy, who had entered the shop to purchase his dinner – hard earned pennies clutched in his skinny hand. When the servant boy arrived home he sat at his simple, bare table and unwrapped the greasy, meaty package. As he raised the kebab to his salivating mouth he heard a small voice.

“Don’t eat me!” said the voice.

“What’s that you say? Who goes there?” replied the servant boy, eyes goggling.

“Please don’t eat me!” said the thin, reedy voice once more.

The servant boy realised the voice was coming from within his meal. Upon closer inspection he noticed that a particularly large green chilli pepper was looking back at him. The chilli pepper had a little face on the end of it.

“Please help me!” said the chilli, who then proceeded to tell the servant boy that she was the Kebab King’s other daughter, Shish, and that he had turned her into a chilli when she had informed him that she was a vegetarian.

“If you can turn me back into the beautiful woman that I am I will surely marry you,” promised the chilli.

“I will save you my love!” vowed the servant boy, as he chewed on a large strip of meat, all the while holding his small, green fiancé in his palm.

Shish told the servant boy (who had no name) that in order to turn her back into the stunning woman she most surely was, he would have to collect various unusual items and perform a number of incredible tasks. The servant boy wrote a list of everything he would have to do so that he wouldn’t forget any of it. The list read as follows;

‘Collect the following items: A horse tooth, a magical locket from the neck of the recently deceased butcher’s wife (buried somewhere in the forest) and tomorrow’s newspaper. Carry these items to the forest, swim the widest river, befriend a golden eagle, climb the tallest tree and sit in total silence for seven years.’

That night the servant boy and his fiancé made love with great difficulty.

The next morning the plucky but nameless servant boy prepared for his great adventure, clutching a knapsack containing a piece of cheese and three small coins. Before he left he placed his fiancé in a fruit bowl between two apples.

“See you in seven years or so my darling,” he said as he left his home. “I would keep you in my fridge but I fear that you might become a little chilly.”

Three years later the servant boy returned home – dejected, hungry and only slightly wiser.

“What happened?” cried Shish, who now looked a lot less appetising than she did three years ago. “Why are you home already and why am I still a chilli?”

“Silence woman!” roared the irritable servant man. “I failed OK? I’m a failure. It took me only but a few hours to prise a tooth from an unsuspecting mare but I’m buggered if I can find the body of the butcher’s wife. Tomorrow’s newspaper is always tomorrow’s newspaper and consequently ever after out of reach. The snooty golden eagle is the last person I would want to befriend. I can’t swim. I can’t work out which tree is tallest and I keep talking in my sleep and waking myself up. Plus I’ve been thinking about it and I don’t think that I want to marry a vegetarian.”

The servant man popped the devastated chilli into his mouth and strode from his home and into the rainy street. He needed to search for a job.

When he passed the Kebab Shop a poster in the window caught his eye.

This, dear reader, is what the poster said;

‘Wanted: a kebab apprentice who can become a son to me and inherit my shop. Vegetarians need not apply’.

Ten years later a new Kebab King was crowned.

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