Daniel caught sight of a restaurant he’d never noticed before in all the years he went this way home from work. It had a miniscule entrance labeled “restaurant” with a miniscule sign on a door tucked into a dark corner of a complex. Inside was an elevator that went down.

The elevator door opened into a nice-looking place with many people dining.

At the back of the waiting area, a man with a long nose and black tuxedo stood behind a ledger.

“A table for one,” said Daniel to the man.

The man looked at him for a few protracted seconds. “The wait will be one year, sir,” he said.

Daniel had to consider this. It occurred to him that the meal would be heaven when it came. He said, “Okay.” He sat on a wood bench along a wall.

© Punt Volat Press, 2019

Spencer Parker (1990-2014) was an avid reader, especially of fiction, and a gifted perceiver of the idiosyncracies of life. This story was written in longhand, tucked between the pages of the Saul Bellow novel Humboldt’s Gift.